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

1. Link to list of posts on this site
2. Link to songs for sale
3. Click here for our music videos of Yiddish songs with English subtitles (mainly post-1925)
4. List of the still lost songs. Do you know any of them?
5. Warszawa zumerkurs song links

SEARCH THE BLOG:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Better Go Back into the Dream - a stunning Yiddish ballad by Iso Shayevitsh

I was just hammered by the beauty of this song when I heard it in the Yiddish movie 'On a heym," (homeless), the last Yiddish movie made in Poland before the Second World War. It was sung by a very young Wiera Gran, who had only recently learned Yiddish, playing Bessie the cabaret singer. I believe it was never recorded; I transcribed it from a dvd of the movie. Here we are performing it for the first time, at Duke University, for our Cabaret Warsaw inaugural run:


I looked for a musician credit at the start of the film and all it said was, "Shayevitsh" - not even a first name. After some hunting I figured out who this was and added him to Wikipedia. Israel "Iso" Szajewicz (1910–41) was born in Kutno to Dineh and Józef Szajewicz, Yiddish itinerant actors. He worked as a hairdresser and taught himself music.

In 1927 he moved to Warsaw and began playing violin in theatre orchestras and composing. In 1931 he became music director at the Kaminski Theatre and conducted concerts of the Jewish Music Society.

I read today that he also composed the music for Der Tunkeler's musical comedy Got's ganovim (God's thieves) produced by the Vilner Troupe in 1935. I'd like to get hold of that.

At the outbreak of World War II, Szajewicz fled to Bialystok and toured in Minsk. When German and Soviet conflict broke out he started back to Warsaw to be with his mother. Somewhere in the woods between Bialystok and Baranowicze he was killed before he was thirty years old.

Here's a transcription and the translation:


Beser in troym tsurik

kh'hob gevart af dir, kh'hob gegart tsu dir
kh'hob nor oysgekukt af dayn shtiln klap in tir
kh'hob mikh arayngevigt in a troym fun glik
Oy, vider vakhung! Beser in troym tsurik
Ver zhe ver vet vider kumen treystn un far vos
Ver zhe vet aroysbakumen s'meser fun mayn brust
kh'hob mikh arayngevigt in a troym fun glik
Oy, vider vakhung! Beser in troym tsurik


I waited for you, I yearned for you,
I looked forward to your quiet knock on the door
I cradled myself in a dream of happiness
Oh, but then waking again! Better to go back into the dream.
Who will come again to console me, and why?
Who will take this knife out of my breast?
I cradled myself in a dream of happiness,
Oh, but then waking again! Better to go back into the dream.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home