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

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Zing, Brider, Zing! Sheet music and performances of a Ben Zion Witler song

UPDATE: Reposting because somebody just emailed me and asked for a sing-along version of this song.

The video has our track from the cd I Can't Complain But Sometimes I Still Do with the Yiddish words in transliteration and the translation.



I don't know if Benzion Witler (pictured) wrote this song or if he just made the most famous old recording of it, it's on youtube here.

I heard this sung by Betty Reichart at the Intensive Yiddish Summer Course at the Medem Bibliotheque in Paris. I later got the words from Hilda Bronstein, who recorded it on her Yiddish Songs Old and New cd.

In klal Yiddish this would be "Zing, bruder, zing" or "Zingt, brider, zingt" (plural) but Wittler sings with the theater dialect that pronounces bruder as brider.

You can get the sheet music from me:




Here's the first verse translated into English:

Are you full of worries? Is something not so good?
Do you wait for a good morning and it doesn't come?
Is your summer winter? Is your life hard?
You think your world is going under and you don't want to live any more?
You carry a mountain of troubles on your shoulders?
Pay attention, I have advice for you...

Sing, brother, sing forget all your troubles!
Sing, brother, sing, fling your troubles away.
If you cry, nobody listens to you. Take life lightly.
If you laugh, everybody laughs - sing, brother.

Bistu ful mit zorgn? Iz dir amol nisht gut?
Vartst af a gutn morgn un er kumt gor nit?
Iz dayn zumer winter? Dayn lebn iz dir shver?
Du meynst dayn velt geyt unter,
Un du vilst nisht lebn mer?
Du trogst a barg mit tsores af dayn pleytse?
Folgzhe mir, ikh hob far dir an eytse:

Zing brider zing! Farges in ale tsores.
Zing brider zing! Mit zorgn shlog kapores.
Veynstu, hert dikh keyner nit, nem dos lebn gring.
Lakhstu, lakht a yeder mentsh do, zing brider zing!

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