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!
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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org