Yiddish Curiosities: a library of wonderful but forgotten Yiddish songs from the late 1920s and after (includes Polish Jewish Cabaret). Have a listen!

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4. List of the still lost songs. Do you know any of them?
5. Warszawa zumerkurs song links


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vos kh'hob gevolt hob ikh oysgefirt: an Aaron Lebedeff yiddish show tune made over for a girl klezmer band

UPDATE: I just found this song (without the catchy chorus, though) in a 1920 book put out by Y. L. Cahan called Yudishe Folkslieder (Yidishe folkslider) or in English "Yiddish Folksongs with Their Original Airs Collected from Oral Tradition" - the sheet music is at the bottom of this post, after the jump. And it turns out this original folksong is from a woman's point of view!

cabaret dancer 1930
You'll find this song spelled: Wus hob gewalt, hob ich oysgefirt and it was recorded by Aaron Lebedeff, with the Abe Schwartz Orchestra, as Ay, ay, vos kh'hob gevolt, hob ikh oysgefirt. written by Herman Wohl and Louis Gilrod, the song was in Israel Rosenberg's show Yankele Litvak in 1924.

David Medoff recorded it in 1923 as Vos Ich Hob Gevolt Hob Ich Ausgefirt, translated there as "What I Wanted, I Found."

I heard the Lebedeff recording when I was at Florida Atlantic University. The words were hard to make out, but I didn't try very hard because it was all about a wife, so I decided to take snatches of what I heard and incorporate them into a new version suitable for a women's klezmer band. I couldn't do it justice as I was alone and didn't have a klezmer band with me - it deserves the whole nine yards. And drums.

If you want to write your own words too, I suggest you get a copy of Stutchkoff's Yiddish thesaurus and his Yiddish rhyming dictionary (Yidisher gramen-lexicon) and then have at it!

Continuing experiment with green screen. The glasses I wore today had a lot of glare. You live and learn.

Here's the English translation of the Yiddish lyrics I sang:

What I wanted, I succeeded in, let me go on that way.
I wanted good luck and God gave it to me.

Sisters, listen: Stay free, dance like the gypsies
Because worry and bother, they help like a bandaid on a corpse

I used to be considered a lucky girl
But luck is round, it rolls away. Now I beg and steal.

What good is hurrying to me? What good is it to rush around?
I'd rather just have good food in my belly every day

Naturally, I love a herring with potatoes,
But just grab a herring once without paying for it,
You'll sit behind bars.

I'm going to transform and vanquish indignation and rage
Friends and a warm house: that's enough pleasure for me

Away with endless trouble, with unrest and calamity
Away with melancholy, I'll soon be joyful.

Click for a larger view:

For sheet music and/or performances contact me: jane@mappamundi.com

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks good! XOXO

April 16, 2015 at 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheva Zucker said nobody uses the verb gazlen, but it's in Stutchkoff.

April 17, 2015 at 7:30 AM  

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