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

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Kolumbus, ikh hob tsu dir gornit (Columbus, I've got nothing against you)

UPDATE: Reposted to include a 60-second Instagram video. I just noticed Routenote has been churning out fake videos of our songs via some kind of bot. But the ones I post have translations in the subtitles. You can see the ones I really make here: Yiddish songs with English subtitles and here: Yiddish Penny Song videos. So here's Columbus ikh hob tsu dir gornisht, Randy Kloko is singing baritone:



Sheet music for Columbus ikh hob tsu dir gornishtFrom the Yiddish point of view, "I have nothing against you" is actually high praise. I found the sheet music (Friedsell & Meyerovitz) at YIVO. When Zhelonek printed the song in Warsaw Poland he removed the Americanisms and added some mysterious things like ritsneyl (I thought it would be root beer but it's evidently cod-liver oil) and tani-kukhniyes (which is probably some kind of Polish cookie).

There are some good jokes in this one. It's much more optimistic and cheerful than, say, Kolumbus mit zayn golden land

We recorded this on our cd Nervez: Columbus, ikh hob tsu dir gornisht.



Lyrics translation:

America, you dear land, you please me like a good pudding
You're a marvel for us Jews, we'd do anything for you
People say your earth is very good
Uncle Sam, with his beard, looks like a Jew too
You're like a mother to us
Every woman is a lady by you,
Everybody is a "mister" there from a shoemaker to a doctor

Columbus, I've got nothing against you,
Your America isn't bad
Jews, sing with me:
Columbus, I've got nothing against you
Let's dance

Everything good is there, milk meals, meat meals, hot, cold,
Cookies, cod-liver oil, bitter salts,
People run and shout, it's a winter without snow and without sunshine
One can even travel safely underground
It's a land of everything good, without enemies or anti-Semites
Everybody lives like a duke there, from a bird to a slave

America with your homeland, I'm just dying for you
With you, every greenhorn gets rich and important
My landsman Chaim with the nose, he used to be an attendant in the bathhouse
Now he's a big deal, nobody holds a candle to him
And his wife, that coarse cow, is now President of a Women's Society
She's become a lady overnight. She dances the Charleston on one foot.

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