Yiddish Curiosities: a library of wonderful but forgotten Yiddish songs from the late 1920s and after (includes Polish Jewish Cabaret). 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


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Di rumenishe kretshme (The Romanian Tavern) sung by Irving Grossman. Yiddish theater song of 1929

This song - spelled Die Roumanishe kretchme and Die Rumainishe kretchme on the sheet music - and performed as Roumanishe Kretchme by klezmer hiphop performer SoCalled (Josh Dolgin) - is from a show called Helo Mali (Hello, Molly), starring Molly Picon, staged at the 2nd Ave Theatre as early as 1926 (accounts differ).

It was directed by Jacob Kalich, with music by Joseph Rumshinsky and lyrics by Morris Rund.

In 1932 Picon took the show to Argentina under the name Der kleyner mazik (The Little Devil).

The show was written by Sheyne-Rokhl Simkof, Semkoff) (Sheyne Rochl Simkoff). Shaye Rachel Simkoff was born in 1899 in Grodno. In 1915 she came to America and worked in a sweatshop, writing stories, plays and poetry by night. She eventually became successful enough to quit the sweatshop and make her living writing.

The excellent recording I have is by Irving Grossman, probably from 1929.

Transliteration and translation after the jump.

Di Rumenishe kretshme

Vilt ir hobn fargenign?
Veyst ir vu ir kent dos krign?
In Rumenishe kretshme.
Vilt ir khapn a gutn gisn?
Fartrinken vayn, zoyer un zisn?
In Rumenishe kretshme.
Vilt ir hern lidelekh zingen,
Un freylekh tantsn un shpringen?
Gopl, lefl un teler klingen
In Rumenishe kretshme.

Oy di Rumenishe kretshme
S'iz dokh a ganeydn far mener, vayber, "maiden."
Oy di Rumenishe kretshme
Oy karnatzalakh, oy oy feferlakh,
Oy oy steykelakh, oy oy fleykelakh.

Do you want pleasure?
Know where you can get it?
In a Romanian tavern.
Want to get a good pour?
Drink loads of wine, sour and sweet?
In a Romanian tavern.
Want to hear songs sung,
And happy dancing and jumping?
Fork, spoon and plates clanging?
In a Romanian tavern.

Oy, the Romanian tavern,
It's really a paradise for
men, wives, and maidens.

Oy, the Romanian tavern,
Oy, sausages, peppers,
Steaks, [some other delicious thing]
Oy, the Romanian tavern,


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