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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oysgeshpilt! (Played Out)

Now that the third Itzik Zhelonek cd (Nervez!) is finished, I just have a few more songs to record, and this was one of them. Zhelonek called it a hit for Nellie Casman, and I found her recording at the Robert & Molly Freedman Jewish Sound Archive at U. Penn.

Later I found the sheet music for it at YIVO. Herman Fenigstein recorded it for Syrena Grand Records as "Ausgespielt." David Meyerowitz copyrighted it in 1924 but did not renew it, so the song is in the public domain.

I like how the word play in the Yiddish here works well in English too. The last verse seems like it's aimed at getting the customers in a nightclub to buy more food and booze.

Since I'm a little burned out on recording right now, I decided to try something new. I stuck my old camcorder in the corner and sang this song live. What I learned from this: it's embarrassing to sing alone for a camera; I should have practiced the song first instead of just sitting down and reading it off the music. But, it's done. One more struck off the list!




Here's the sheet music if you want it:

Here is my translation from the Yiddish:

Everybody has to understand our life is a little game. When we're young we play. Later guys play with girls (and vice versa). You play with your children, with your grandchildren, you play until you're...

Played out, oy, played out, that means you pack it in. I don't want you to be played out.

Anybody who can play cards and understands the game knows what I'm talking about. When somebody quits suddenly in the middle of the game it's simply because he has to. He doesn't want to get cut up any more, because he is...

He and she, she and he, coming back from the ball. Instead of going straight home, she stays in the hall. From one till two, till three, till four, catching some 'fresh air.' Now she's out in the cold, forever, because he caught her out...

I knew a young couple, let's not say who they were. They got married, the very same year they got divorced. Everybody was in an uproar and couldn't understand. You know what happened there, it's that they were...

One more thing I'll tell you, then I'll shut up. Don't deprive your belly of anything, your gut should be full. Eat and rub both cheeks, drink shnaps, beer and wine. The more you pack in the less you'll be...

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