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Monday, February 6, 2017

Mir zol zayn far dir (If I could only take it upon myself) - Yiddish theater song from "Circus Girl"

I have the words for this one from a folio of Joseph Rumshinsky hits, and I have the record from eBay, so here it is. You'll find this song not only under the standard YIVO transliteration above, but under all these permutations: Mir Zol Zein Far Dir, Mir Sol Sein Far Dir, Mir Sol Zein Far Dir, Mir Zol Sein Far Dir. On the label the song is subtitled "Devotion." Rumshinsky takes credit for the music and Picon is credited for the lyrics. There is a much later recording by June Astor.

Zylberzweig says that in 1928 Jacob Kalich and Joseph Rumshinsky staged Dos tsirkus meydl (The Circus Girl), with Molly Picon as star of course, also starring Sam Kestin, Betty Simonoff, Gertrude Bulman and Irving Grossman -- in the show Molly sang this song, but the recording I have is of Irving. You can read about Irving Grossman (1900-1964) here.

Here it is, with subtitles and sing-along Yiddish captions in transliteration:


Words and translation after the jump.


Mir zol zayn far dir

Yede mame bet, yede mame iz greyt
far ire kinder als avek tsu gebn
Keyn zakh iz ir shver, eyn zakh bet zi zeyer
Gliklekh zol ir kind zayn ir gants lebn
hot dos kind a shmerts, veynt der mames herts
Un zi zogt im mit a tsarter shtim:

Mir zol zayn far dir, mir zol zayn far dir
Mir far dayne trern
Got zol hern vos ikh bet atsind
Mir zol zayn far dir, mir zol zayn far dir
Mir far dayne beyndelekh
Dayne tseyndelekh, oy mayn tayer kind

Zi flegt mir zingen, oh,
Vi zis flegt klingen, oh
Mir zol zayn far dir, oy vi felt zi mir,
s'shver fargesn ire tsarte verter
mir zol zayn far dir

Every mother prays, every mother is ready to give everything for her child(ren)
Nothing is hard for her, there's just one thing she so prays for:
That her child should be happy through her entire life
If the child has heartache, the mother's heart cries
And she says to him with a tender voice:

If I could only suffer for you, if I could take your tears on myself
May God hear what I pray for now:
If I could only suffer for you, if only I could suffer instead of your little bones,
instead of your little teeth, my dear child

She used to sing to me, oh, how sweet it used to sound, oh
"If I could suffer for you." Oy, how I miss her!
It's hard to forget her tender words:
"If I could suffer for you."


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