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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In dr'erd dos shnayderay (To Hell with the Tailoring Business) - Yiddish singalong for disgruntled workers

UPDATE: Reposting to add a short Instagram video:



Randy Kloko and I recorded this song on our Nervez! cd, click below to listen and/or buy it. 
What a great song!


Though this tune is found in the card catalog at the U.S. copyright office under the name "In dreird dus shnaiderai" the music reading room people resolutely denied having it in their possession until  my wonderful friend at the Library of Congress, Sharon Horowitz, found somebody who suddenly said, "Oh yes, we have that off site at Landover."

This is the second song Sharon Horowitz at the Judaica collection at the Library of Congress managed to fish out of the mysterious "off-site storage facility" in some suburb where old pieces of music go to die. I wonder what other marvels are hidden there? I have not ever seen/heard a recording of it. It was copyrighted (but not renewed) under the name "In dr'eird dus shnaiderai." (With two dots over the last i)

This is a very catchy workman's song. In the second verse the tailor's wife complains he's been too tired to get her pregnant for six long years.




The music is by Julius Jaffe and the words by the amazingly prolific Morris Rund (who features prominently in my Yiddish Penny Songs blog. Though little is known of him, he has a great number of copyrights registered and many of the songs in Zhelonek's collection were written by him.

Julius Jaffe, who wrote this melody, remains obscure. If anybody can tell me anything about him, please do!

Transliteration and translation below:

Ikh bin a shnayder, ikh makh kleyder
Fun mentshn groys un kleyn
Nor hakhnose, di parnose
Iz nisht vi es iz geven
Gevorn elter, shvarts un kelter
Khotsh ikh hob shoyn bald keyn hent
Fun mayn nayen, iz nishto tsu kayen
Ikh hob nisht oyf keyn rent.

In dr'erd dos shnayderay
Di arbet iz nisht keday
Ikh zits bay der mashin, aher ahin
un makh gornisht derbay
Ikh hob shoyn nisht keyn koyekh
Keyn hent, keyn fis, keyn moyekh
Nishto keyn glik, khotsh nem a shtrik
In dr'erd dos shnayderay

Sore Brayne hot a tayne
Shtendik tsu ir man
Host farshprakhn tsu 8 vokhn
Vel ikh a mame zayn
Zeks yor vart ikh, gornisht art im
Ikh hob nokh nisht keyn kind
Der man mit seykhl tut a shmeykhl
Un entfert ir geshvind

In dr'erd dos shnayderay
Di arbet iz nisht keday
Vos vilstu mer, ikh arbet shver
Ikh makh gornisht derbay
Ikh hob shoyn bald keyn koyekh
Keyn hent, keyn fis, keyn moyekh
Nishto keyn glik, khotsh nem a shtrik
In dr'erd dos shnayderay

My translation:

I'm a tailor, I make clothes for people big and small. My revenue isn't what it used to be, I'm older now, weak and cold, my hands are giving out, I can't make enough by sewing to buy food or pay rent.

To the devil with tailoring, this work is lousy, I do what I can, I sew and rip seams and make nothing. I don't have strength any more, no hands, no belly, no happiness. Might as well take a rope and hang myself. To hell with the tailoring business.

Sore Brayne always complained to her husband: "You promised I'd be pregnant 8 weeks after our wedding. I waited six years, you don't care at all that I don't have any kids." Her husband smiled wisely and quickly answered:

To the devil with tailoring, the work is lousy, what more do you want from me? I work hard and make nothing. I have no strength, no hands no feet, no mind, no happiness. Might as well take a rope and hang myself. To hell with the tailoring business.

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