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?
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Alts far gelt (Henri Gerro's version) - Everything for money

This is a good song for the corrupt, venal administration we are suffering under. The song was originally written and copyrighted by Aaron Lebedeff but in this version, from a later generation, Henri Gerro (who was four years old when Lebedeff wrote the song) created his own introduction and all his own verses, retaining only the original chorus. I love it.

Sheva Zucker and I worked out the words and we missed a couple so corrections are welcome. Here's the song:

I have also gotten hold of the original lyrics as Aaron Lebedeff sang and that version will be coming along later.

Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.

Alts far gelt

Ikh hob far a teme genimen
A zakh velkhe hersht af der velt
Far velkher me ken alts bakimen
a zakh vemens nomen iz gelt
geyn gefin pieniądze, matbeye
kesef, yes, money, l’argent
ver s’hot es bay dem iz di deye
A koyekh in gelt iz faran

alts far gelt alts far gelt
a bisele mezimen
alts far gelt alts far gelt
ken men alts bakimen
es iz keyn zakh ikh shver bay aykh
ven ir hot gelt un ir zent raykh
vayl af gelt nor shtelt di gantse velt

far gelt koyft men op dem gevisn
far gelt yeder gornisht vert groys
far gelt zitsn mentshn in tfise
far gelt lozt men merder aroys
far gelt shteyt a khazn baym omed
far gelt vartn shayles der rov
far gelt shvert men libe af tomed
far gelt vert fun libe a sof

far gelt vern mentshn gazlonim
far gelt hot men lib un oykh faynt
far gelt gute fraynd vern soynim
far gelt vert fun soyne a fraynt
far gelt makh men zikh far a goylem
far gelt iz men feik af mord
far gelt afile oyfn beys oylem
farkimt men a besern ort

far gelt koyft a kale a khosn
far gelt iz men moykhl a khet
far gelt vert a shidekh geshlosn
far gelt oykh bakimt men a get
far gelt vern froyen shatinkes (chestnut)
far gelt vern froyen blondin
far gelt vern zey oykh brunetkes
far gelt vert a man gel un grin

I've taken as my theme something which rules the world,
For which you can get everything: a thing called money.
Go find money, cash, money, money, money
One who has it has the influence! There is strength in money.

Everything for money, a little dough
Everything for money, for money you get everything
It's nothing, I swear to you, when you have money and you're rich
Because money makes the world go round

For money you sell your conscience
For money you love and also hate.
For money you go to jail,
For money they let a murderer go free.
For money a cantor sings at his stand
For money questions await the rabbi
For money one swears eternal love
For money love comes to an end

For money people become thieves
For money one loves and also hates
For money good friends become enemies
For money, enemies become friends.
For money you make a fool of yourself
For money you get good at murder
For money, even at the cemetery you get a better plot

For money a bride buys a bridegroom
For money one's sin is excused
For money a match is made.
And also, for money you get divorced.
For money women color their hair chestnut,
For money they become blondes.
For money they also become brunettes
For money a man turns a greenish yellow

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