Yiddish Curiosities: a library of wonderful but forgotten Yiddish songs from the late 1920s and after (includes Polish Jewish Cabaret). Have a listen!

1. Link to list of posts on this site
2. Link to songs for sale
3. Click here for our music videos of Yiddish songs with English subtitles (mainly post-1925)
4. List of the still lost songs. Do you know any of them?
5. Warszawa zumerkurs song links


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lost Polish Yiddish song: Sonya (Sonia)

This is not the "Sonya" sung by Lebedeff; it's so long it must be a folk song! It's noted as being from a show, the Vilner Khazn. Anybody know the melody?

Sonya and Hershl fall in love but the dad takes her somewhere far away. Meanwhile Hershl becomes a famous cantor! And he is hired to sing at her wedding to another! But they kiss and in disgust (spoiler) the bridegroom runs away. So the Dad gives in. Here's my translation from Yiddish to English:

Bay undz in shtetl iz geven a meydele
Sonia iz ir nomen geven,
Far irs a shmeykhele a kheyndele
Oy, flegn di bokhmorimlekh oysgeyn

Gehat hot zi tsvey oygn vi koyln shvarts
Lipelekh, azoy vi honik zis
Tsubrokhn hot zi yedn bokher s'harts
Vi shtroy geboygn zey tsu ire fis

Hot Sonyele, dos vunder-sheyne meydele,
Mit Hershelen a libe gefirt
Vos tsvey oygn, sheyne, eydele,
Hobn zayn yung poniml batsirt

A libe bay di mentshn yunge traye
Vos shtarker un heyser kon nisht zayn
Es hobn di neshome tsarte, zeyere
Tsu zikh gezogt, as du, nor du bist mayn

Der tateshi hot Sonitshken gezogt, oy gezogt
Az Hershele ir khosn vet nisht zayn
Hot Sonitshka far veytog oy geklogt, oy geklogt
Un oysgebrokhn in a groys geveyn

Du vest mit Hershelen nisht zayn keyn por, oy keyn por
Oyf dem ken ikh gebn dir di hant
Gezegn zikh mit im oyf lange, lange yor
Mir forn ale in a vaytn land

Sonitshka du bist dokh libe mayn
Ver veyst tsi mir veln zikh nokh zen
Ver ken den filn mayn shmerts un mayn vey
Mit a tsveytn tsu der khupe tsu geyn

In vaytn land hot der tate forn meydele
A khosndl fun ergetin fayn
der mame zogt a tsatskele a kheyndele
Oy, a khasene bashtimt oyf zumer-tsayt

Un Hershele in shtetl hot gezungen sheyn
Farkhisheft vert men fun zayn gezang
Ale zogn zingen ken er, zeyer fayn
Un koved brengen vet es im oyf langS

Gekumen zaynen yidn fun dem vaytn land
A khazndl far zikh gefunen do
Un ven men hot mit Hershelen zey bakant
Tsufridn zenen zey geven biz gor

Du, Hershele, vest undzer khazn zayn
Es vet dikh voyl zayn fun der velt
For mit undz in vaytn land arayn
Es vet nisht feln dir keyn gelt

Nor nisht tsum gelt hot Hershele gebenkt, oy gebenkt
Nor Sonitshke hot er gevolt nokh zen
Iz er mit zey geforn dortn vayt avek, avek
Un nor benkendik iz er geven

In vaytn land a khasene iz do, oy, iz do
A khazndl tsum zingen iz geven
Un Hershele der khazn oy, iz do, oy iz do
Un der kale hot er Sonitshke derzen

Oy, Sonitshka, oy Hershele, oy tayere kind,
Undzer libe iz nisht geven umzist
Di muzik iz bald gevorn farshmitn, oy farshmitn
Un zey beyde hobn zikh tsukisht.

Ven Sonitshka hot Hershelen derzen, oy derzen
Vi meshuge hot zi zikh gemakht
Hot yener khosn nisht gevolt keyn rege shteyn
Un iz antlofn in der vayter nakht

Der tate hot in Sonia itst shoyn derkent
Az libe iz shtarker fun altz
Hobn zey gegebn zikh di hent, oy di hent
Un iz gefaln Hershele oyfn haldz

Oy Hershele, mayn tayerer oytser goldn kind
Mayn tokhter nemen vestu far a froy
Un lebn zolt ir gliklekh fun atsind, fun atsind
Vayl bashert iz geven azoy
There was a girl in our town
Sonia was her name
Boys would just expire
For one of her charming smiles

She had two eyes like black coals
Lips sweet as honey
She broke every boy's heart
They bent like straw to her feet

Sonyele the wondrously beautiful girl
Was in love with Hershele
His young face had two beautiful, genteel eyes

A love stronger and hotter than the love
Of these young, faithful people
Their tender souls promised to each other
"I will be yours, only yours"

Sonia's father said
Hershele would not be her bridegroom
So Sonitshka wept for miser
She broke out in a torrent of tears

"You won't marry Hershele,
I give you my word on that"
Say goodbye to him for long, long years
We're all going to a faroff land"

"Sonitshka, you are my love,
Who knows if we will see each other again
"Who can know the feeling of my misery and woe
That I go to the khupe with somebody else."

The father took the girl to a faraway land
To a bridegroom from somewhere fine
The mama said "he's a precious fellow, charming,
We'll have a wedding in the summer."

In the village, Hershele sang beautifully
People were bewitched by his singing
Everybody said he could sing very well
And that this would bring him honor for a long time

People from that far land came
To find a little cantor here
And when they became acquainted with Hershele
They were incredibly happy

"You, Hershele, will be our cantor,
It will be really great
Travel with us to the faraway land
There will be no scarcity of money for you."

But it was not money Hershele longed for
It was only that he wanted to see Sonitshka again
So he traveled with them far away
He was just full of longing.

In the far land there's a wedding
There was a cantor to sing
And there's Hershele (the cantor)
And he saw the bride - Sonitshka

"Oy Sonitshka!" "Oy Hershele, my dear child,
Our love wasn't in vain!"
The music became voiced?
And they kissed each other.

When Sonitshka caught sight of Hershele
It made her crazy
That other bridegroom didn't want to stay for even a moment
He ran far away into the night

Now the father recognized in Sonia
That her love was stronger than anything
They gave each other their hands
And Hershele embraced her

Oy Hershele, my dear golden treasure
Will you take my daughter as your wife?
You will live happily from now on
Because it was destined to be so.

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