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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nokhemke mayn zun (Nokhumke mayn zun): Yiddish folksong, parody of Meyerke mayn zun.

UPDATE: Here's a 1-minute video of this song I just posted to Instagram.


You can hear the whole thing for free (or even buy it) on our cd: In Odess.

On Youtube you can also hear this sung by an actual human who knows it from 'back in the day' - Nokhemke mayn zun - Kalinkovichi (posted by Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch).

In Pearls of Yiddish Song, the Mloteks say Nokhemke should be sung to the same tune as Meyerke, but in the Menakhem Kipnis 80 folkslider, a different tune is provided, and that's the one I recorded with guitarist Ken Bloom.

Emil Gorovets sang Nokhemke Mayn ZunThe song this parodizes, Meyerke mayn zun, is a serious religious "folksong" written supposedly by the Berdichever rebbe (Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev). It was a fixture in the repertoire of Emil Gorovets (right).

This song addresses a real or imagined fashion for young people to have sex and babies without having gotten married first, and without parental consent. There goes tradition!

For once, the lyrics printed by Zhelonek are more respectful, not less, than words available elsewhere. He writes (my translation from the Yiddish):
Nokhemke my son, who do you love? A Jewish girl, dad.
Who is the girl, son? She's from a respectable family, dad.
How much dowry does she have, son? No dowry, dad.
I say, don't take her, son. I didn't ask you, dad.
When will the marriage contract be signed, son? I'm already going to the khupe, dad.
Who will bless you, son? God in heaven will bless me, dad.
I give you my blessing, son. I give you my thanks, dad.
The version provided by the Mloteks is more pointed:
Why are you so sad, Nokhemke? I love a pretty girl, dad.
And who is this girl, son? She's a fine girl, dad.
And how much dowry does she give? She doesn't give any.
This match doesn't please me, son. I didn't ask your opinion, dad.
I won't come to the wedding, son! You'll come to the bris.
When is the wedding, son? I'll send your grandson to fetch you, dad.

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