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

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Dos reydele dreyt zikh (The wheel turns) sung by Pinnie Goldstein

RryI've been listening lately to Yiddish Pour Tous, an online 24-hour-a-day online radio station out of Paris created by Charles Goldszlagier...

... and one of the songs he plays is this lovely waltz, called variously Dus Redele dreyt zikh, Dos redele dreht sich, Es Dreit Sich, S'reydele dreyt sikh, etc. It was written by Isidore Lillian in 1924. You can hear it, sung by Pinie Goldstein, on youtube: Es dreit sich.

I don't know anything about Pinie except that he was born in 1905, died in 1980, and lived in Argentina. I'd welcome more information. His long time partner was Ana Rappel. (Anna Rappel). Their music was reissued on Tikva on an album with the unforgivably incorrect title Lebenik un Yiddish.

This is a cool song, it should be revived. If you want to sing it, contact me for sheet music. The image of the wheel of fortune recurs in many Yiddish folk and theater songs. They also say money (and good fortune) is "kaykldik" - it rolls towards you one day and away from you the next.

I see that Betty Kenig (one of my favorite singers of the interwar period) recorded this song way back when and perhaps wrote it. The Medem Bibliotheque in Paris has a copy. Her verses are different and the tune is a bit different but not very. Dus redele dreyt zikh. The flip side of the 78 is Es tiochket which was one of Itzik Zhelonek songs (link is to discussion and recording).

Here are the words to "Es dreyt zikh":

Dos reydele dreyt zikh, dos reydele dreyt zikh, es dreyt zikh aroyf un arop.
Dos reydele dreyt zikh, dos reydele dreyt zikh, es dreyt zikh un shtelt zikh nisht op.
Nekhtn bistu gor geven a gevir
Un haynt iz dos gantse farmeygn bay mir.
Vayl dos reydele dreyt zikh, dos reydele dreyt zikh
Es dreyt zikh un shtelt zikh nisht op.

Ikh ken a gevir er iz raykh on a shir un er hot aza kupe gelt.
Er leybt nisht, er shtarbt nisht, er geyt nisht, er shteyt nisht,
er meynt az er hot shoyn di velt.
Nor s’vet kumen der tog vet tsu im zayn a klog
un di rod vet zikh onheybn tsu dreyen
vos toygt aza lebn nor nemen nisht gebn
derfar zing ikh im dem refreyn.

Men loyft un men yogt zikh men shtupt un men shlogt zikh
es iz a meshugene velt.
Nemt mayn shkheyne tsipe, a vaybl a klipe,
nor zi hot, vey iz mir, a sakh gelt.
Zi hot ambitsies, zi makht propozitsies
tsu blaybn mit mir gor aleyn
zi heybt on dertseyln kayn gelt vet nisht feln
un ikh zing ir ot dem refreyn.

My translation after the jump.


The wheel turns, up and down
The wheel turns and doesn't stop
Yesterday you were a rich man, today I have all your earnings.
Because the wheel turns and doesn't stop

I know an incredibly rich man, he has such a pile of dough
He doesn't live, he doesn't die, he doesn't walk, he doesn't stand,
He thinks he's got the whole world
But the day will come when he has misfortune
And the wheel will begin to turn
What good is a life like this, just taking, no giving,
That's why I sing this chorus to him:

One runs and rushes, pushes and hits,
It's a crazy world
Take my neighbor Tsipe, a real harridan,
But she has, woe is me, a lot of money.
She has ambitions, she makes propositions
To stay with me, just me, alone,
She starts telling me she doesn't lack money,
And I sing her this chorus...


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2 Comments:

Anonymous Esther said...

and I just ended up here on your blog because I was listening to Yiddish Pour Tous and they were playing a Pinie Goldsten and Ana Rappel skit Der Hickevate Chusn! I couldn't find much info about these two either but thanks for this great blog.

January 24, 2017 at 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as far as i remember Nellie Casman and Joseph Feldman also recorded "dos reydele dreyt zich" sometime ... around 1924

February 2, 2017 at 5:10 AM  

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