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


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dos fleshele (Chort voz'mi) a.k.a. Dos lid fun a shiker (Song of a Drunkard) - Yiddish Russian folksong

Click the picture to listen to and/or buy this track from our cd In Odess.

I wrote about this song on Itzik Gottesman's Yiddish Song of the Week blog: Dos fleshl/Tshort vos’mi performed by Jacob Gorelik. Mr. Gottesman, who is editor of the Yiddish Forward, had kindly dug through his cassette collection to find this recording for me.

The singer whose recording was cited in 35 letste teater lider was Simkhe Zaremba, about whom I have learned nothing. In Warsaw we saw the name Felix Zaremba mentioned as a freedom fighter in the Radosc group, and Felix could be considered a Latin rendering of Simkhe, but I don't know if they were related or perhaps the same person.

The words Jacob Gorelik sang were entirely different from the words sung by Simcha Zaremba except for the refrain. You can find my translation on the Gottesman site. Here is my rendition of Jacob Gorelik's tune, with the words as printed in Warsaw in 1929, with Ken Bloom playing guitar, and the link for buying the sheet music with translation etc.:

Here's the music video with the English translation as subtitles:

Transliteration and translation after the jump:

Dos fleshele (Chort voz'mi) - the Devil Take Me, Bottle!

Geven bin ikh a mentsh eyner
Bakant geven in der gantser velt
Haynt iz far mir alesding tsu
Tsulib dir, mayn fleshele, okh! Tshort vosmi!

Gehat hob ikh a kale Gitele
Antlofn iz zi, der tayvl veyst zi vu
Zi hot mir geton mayn lebn derkutshn
Tsulib dir, mayn fleshele, okh! Chort vozmi!

men varft mir shteyger nokh in di gasn
shlogt im - shrayt men - dem bosyak
zogt mir, menshn, farvos tut ir mikh hasn?
Tsulib dir, mayn fleshele, okh! Chert voz'mi!

Vu iz mayn foter? Vu iz mayn muter?
Vu iz mayn heymat, zogt mir vu?
Fun vandern iz mir shoyn mayn lebn far'mies't
Tsulib dir, mayn fleshele, okh! Chort vozmi!

S'vert mir erger in di letste tsaytn
Kh'bin shoyn alt un krank un farshmakht
Un, ikhg shtarb avek! mayne libe laytn
durkh dir, mayn fleshele, oy, a gute nakht!

I used to be a man well known throughout the world
Now everything is lost to me because of you, my bottle,
The devil take it

I had a bride, Gitele,
She's run away, the devil knows where
She tormented my life thanks to you, my bottle
The devil take it

People throw stones at me in the street.
"Hit that bum," they cry,
Tell me, people, why do you hate me so?
It's because of you, my little bottle,
Oh, the devil take it.

Where is my father? My mother?
Where is my homeland? Tell me, where?
My life is ruined by wandering,
Because of you, my little bottle
The devil take it.

Lately things have gotten worse for me,
I'm old and sick and languishing
I'm dying, my dear people,
Because of you, my little bottle,
oy, good night!

This Russian Jewish folksong in Yiddish about a drunkard has a Russian song according to Mr. Gorelick. Here's a version I found online, according to this source the composer was Pavla Andreevicha Fertikova:

(любимая песня Павла Андреевича Фертикова, 1917г.р.)

Ой, карие глазки да где скрылись
Мне вас больше не видать
Где вы скрылись да запропали
На век заставили меня страдать

Я страдала да страдать буду
Да буду плакать горевать

Пойду я с горя во чисто поле
Зайду в дремучий темный лес
Закричу я слишком громко
Пусть меня услышит лютый зверь

Ух, вы звери люты звери
Да приближайтеся ко мне
Да растерзайте тело бело
Выньте сердце из меня

Выньте сердце да выньте легкие
Да унесите к дружку моему
Пусть он взглянет и помянет
В какой бы не был стороне.

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