Polish Jewish Cabaret: a library of wonderful but forgotten Yiddish songs of the 1920s - 1930s. Have a listen!

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Di Milkh-ku -- aka Cabbage Head aka You Drunken Fool (a Yiddish Child Ballad)

I wonder if this Yiddish lyric was simply translated from one of the dozens of English-language versions of a song about a man who comes home and hears a bunch of lies from his wife about the guy with a moustache sleeping in their bed.

Lorin Sklamberg at YIVO provided a melody for me and Randy and I recorded it on our new cd "In Odess" - click the picture to hear it for free (or buy it).

Click here to buy the sheet music with text and translation and chords etc:



Here's our music video! With subtitles!



It's even a Child Ballad #274, When I Come Home The Other Night:
When I come home the other night
So drunk I couldn't see
I found a horse in th stable
Where my horse ought'a be
So, I says to my wife,
Explain this thing t' me
How come a horse in th stable
Where my horse ought'a be

O, you blind fool, ya crazy fool
Can't ya plainly see
It's only a milk cow
My Grandma sent t' me

Well, I've roamed th whole world over
A thousand times 'er more
But a saddle on a milk cow
I never saw b'fore

Missouri, Drunken Fool:
Well, I came home the other night
Just drunk as I could be
Found a hat on my hat rack
Where my hat ought to be
Now, come my little wifey
Explain yourself to me
How come that hat on my hat rack
Where my hat ought to be
Well, you blind fool, you drunken fool
Can't you never see
That's just a milk pail
My granny gave to me
Well, I've travled this world over
A hundred miles or more
But a sweat band in a milk pail
I never did see before

Ireland, Four Nights Drunk:

I came home the other night as drunk as I could be,
I saw a horse in the stable where my horse ought to be.
So I said to my wife, my pretty little wife, "Won't you tell me please,
What's this horse a- doin' here where my horse ought to be ?"
She said, "You darn fool, you drunken fool, can't you never see ?
It's nothin' but a milk cow that your mother gave to me."
Well, I've travelled this wide world over, some crazy things I've saw,
But a saddle on a milk cow I never seen before.

Dr. John, Cabbage Head:

I come home the first night, drunk as I could be
And there was a mule in the stable, where my mule orta be
I asked my wife, my pretty little wife, explain this thing to me
How come there's a mule in the stable, where my mule orta be?

Well, you old fool, you drunken fool, can't you plainly see
That's nothin' but a milk cow my granny gave to me?
Well, I've traveled the whole world over, ten thousand miles and more
And a saddle and a bridle on a milk cow I ain't never seen before

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