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Re: Yiddish Peysakh songs

My computer was out 12 days (till Thursday night) and since then it works 
some days for 8-12 minutes, others for 20 minutes at a time, and one day I 
got 90-minute sessions out of it before it either shuts itself off or 
freezes, which requires rebooting anyway.  Today is 12-minute session day. 
 I had 1068 unread messages on Thursday night and now 394 remain.  I have 
tried to respond to this message 7 times now and they all failed.  Pushing 
either REPLY button causes a general protection fault as does pushing the 
save button a second time - both require a rebooting.  Am now trying to 
write this message in Notepad.  We will see if this will work.

  I will wait a bit more before responding to the old posts I owe answers 
to because I am afraid to take a chance with on this computer right now. 
  We will see if writing in Notepad and then copying the letter to my mail 
program will work.  Right now I can not write more than two lines at a time 
within my mail program before the computer gives way. This is all very, 
very strange and no one knows what is causing all this.   My replacement 
diskette for WindowsNT should arrive by the end of the week and hopefully 
that will take care of things.  (An electrical blackout on my block caused 
some failure and re-installing WindowsNT has involved a million different 


Since you work for the Workmen's Circle, they should provide you with all 
the books and
information about the songs you are supposed to teach.  Insist that they 
send you the material or else, tell them you can not do your job properly. 
 Call Adrienne Cooper who is now at the Workmen's Circle and tell her what 
you need.

I think that the book that will probably work best for you is "Yontevdike 
Teg: Song Book for the Jewish Holidays" compiled and edited by Chane Mlotek 
and Malke Gottlieb (illustrated by Tsirl Waletzky) published by the Jewish 
Education Press of the Board of Jewish Education, Inc. (NYC).
This book has all the Yiddish holiday songs usually taught at Yiddish 
Sunday schools, e.g., Workmen's Circle schools, Sholem Aleichem Schools, 
and the old linke schools.   It has the Yiddish texts, transliteration, 
musical notes, song explanations, and the names of the lyricists/composers. 
 It has a few more songs than what you listed, but there are many more 
traditional Yiddish peysakh songs.  My husband knows them and sings them 
all the time, but I can not get them to you throught the 'net.

The recitations you asked about are from the Sholem Aleichem Folk Institute 
hagode, a hagode still used annually in the Waletzky family (and 
illustrated by my mother in law) who were active and prominent members of 
that movement since its inception in the early 1920's at least.  They are 
not sung or recited proudly, not in sing-songy tone (God forbid).  I 
haven't seen the Workmen's Circle hagodes in a few years and don't remember 
what the differences are between them or who wrote who but those things 
should not be that difficult to find out.  I have spent one seyder night 
doing that hagode for the last 26 years, and many third seyders in the last 
30 years.

These are all recitations:
b. Tzint on di likht fun ek biz ek / Bakrants dem tish mit frishe
blumen / Dray shenste royzn, hel un sheyn, / Klayb oys mayn kind un
shtek arayn / In moror, karpes, un kharoyses / Un mitn reynstn bestn
vayn / Oys on biz ful di koyses.

   c. Mit freyd un libe on a mos / Mit heysn gloybn, tifer trayhayt /
Hoyb oyf mayn kind, dem ershtn kos / Far undzer alter ziser frayhayt.
(Kidish af Yidish)

   d. "Seyder Nakht" - Di fentster, zey laykhtn mit yomtev un blenden /
Di tishn - mit gilderne koyses un kares / Di shtiber - mit kinder un
vunder-legenden / Zey zingen fun for ale vinklen un shpares.  (another

   e. "Lomir Heybn Dem Bekher"

I don't recognize this one:
>   a. Peysakh, Peysakh, Yontev liber / Es iz der vinter shoyn ariber /
>Un der friling iz gekumen / Brengt mir matze, vayn un blumen.  (2 more

I think that there is a Peysakh song with similar words on the the 
Workmen's Circle recording made in the 1960's "A Mol iz geven a Maynse" 
with Mashe Benye but I don't have time to listen to it for you to tell you 
for sure.

>f. "Avodim Hoyinu" - Avodim Hoyinu l'faro b'mitsrayim / Knekht zaynen
>mir geven in land Mitsrayim. / In dem land Mitsrayim / In di alte tsaytn
>/ Hot a shlekhter Paroh / Gelebt in land in vaytn. (2 more verses)

>       Or, this version:  Shklafn zaynen mir geven / Gor amol in land
>Mitsrayim /Doyres kumen un fargeyen / Nit geven ver s'zol bafrayen /
>Avodim hoyinu (one more verse)

These are two variations of the same Yiddish translation of the famous 
Peysakh song Avodim Hainu, which some traditional families must have sung 
in the original loshn-koydesh.  These would be recited in Yiddish.   (I am 
the one in the Waletzky family that insists on singing the original 

>  g. "Yokheved" by Peretz, noted as recitation accompanied by misic and
>dance.  Any ideas?

I don't know this, but my husband Josh says it is a recited poem.  He has 
never heard music to it and he used to teach at WC schools for many years 
while in college in grad school.

>  h. "Moyshe"  Ir arbet fun fri, ir arbet biz shpet / Bay tsigl un
>leyim, ir grobt un ir knet / Un moyert far Paren palatsn un shtet.  (3

This sounds like a Yiddish poem someone added.  Remember, God has been 
taken out of these hagodes and Moses has been put in as a heroic figure. 
  This poem is recited.  That 'Ir' should be 'Er'.  I once taught this poem 
to kids.

>  i. As Yisroel iz aroys gegangen fun Mitsrayim / Dos hoyz fun Yakov -
>fun a shtameldik folk / Iz Yehuda gevorn zayn Hayliktum / Yisroel zayn
>geveltikung. (2 more verses)

This is another Yiddish translation from another section in the hagode.  It 
is a rather famous loshn-koydesh Hebrew song of the hagode.  I can sing it 
but don't remember the name at the moment (typing too fast.).   (I knew a 
gorgeous sefardic melody to it.)

>What about Oyfn Nil and Zog Maran?  Are they also American and recent?

Mikhl Gelbart wrote the music to both songs.   (OK, Itsik they are nice 
Gelbart compositions, probably his best songs.)  The Mikhl Gelbart song 
book should be able to tell you what years they were written in.

>1.  In different sources, the song variously called "Kh'hob far aykh a
>maysele" or "Khad Gadyo" the text and music are ascribed to different
>people.  In the former, text, I. Lukowski, music, Mikhl Gelbart.  In the
>latter, text, I. L. Peretz, music, (written in English) L. Lukowsky
>(written in Yiddish) Gelbart.  What's the story here?  Also, does anyone
>know if the text goes beyond the fire verse in the original?

Chane Mlotek writes that Lukowski/Gelbart.  I always go with Chane's 
opinion, whatever it is.  She is a careful scholar and always does her 

OK, it has shut itself off three times since copying here, but maybe it 
will get sent off.


-----Original Message-----
From:   Itzik Gottesman [SMTP:itzik (at) mail(dot)utexas(dot)edu]
Sent:   Friday, March 24, 2000 6:14 PM
To:     World music from a Jewish slant
Subject:        Re: Yiddish Peysakh songs

Lori - it looks like you got a hold of an Arbeter Ring or Sholem Aleichem
Shul hagode,no?  There are a number of us on the list who know those songs
but I don't know where the music is printed. Some of them are recitations
and not songs if I remember correctly. Definitely #c, the Yiddish kiddish
was not sung. Zalmen Mlotek should know about all of them and where to get
the music. They are all American creations.  I believe the Mloteks in their
column "Perl fun der yidisher literatur" in the Yiddish Forverts newspaper
wrote about the Yiddish Khad-Gadyo. I had always thought it was by Peretz,
but as you found out, it is not clear. - Itzik

Dr. Itzik Nakhmen Gottesman
Assistant Professor, Yiddish Language and Culture
Department of Germanic Studies
University of Texas at Austin
EPS 3.102
Austin, TX 78704-1190
NEW PHONE NUMBER (512)232-6360 work
(512)444-3990 home


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