In connection with my uncle Mordkhe Schaechter‘s (MS, 1927 – 2007) yortsayt a couple of weeks ago, I am featuring a short children‘s song, “Oy, kh‘bin gegangen eyns‟ (“Oy, I Went One”) that he sang for the collector Leybl Kahn in 1954. (see the earlier post of another song performed by him).
Mordkhe Schaechter at Yiddish Vokh, Circle Lodge, NY 1985.
Photo by Itzik Gottesman
A longer version of this cumulative song involving animals “Tsimba-rimba‟ was recorded on the CD Di grine katshke (Living Traditions 1801) in 1997 produced by Living Traditions. Lorin Sklamberg is the lead singer and according to the notes, he learned this song from “Inna Slavskaya, a Soviet immigrant singer now living in Berlin, Germany. Inna learned the song from her mother‟.
Unfortunately, MS only sings three verses because, as he says later in the recording for Kahn, he only wanted to make sure he got the melodies down before he forgot them, and wasn‘t concerned with the words.
It is possible that in a 1953-54 issue of Der seminarist, a journal of the Yidisher lerer-seminar in NYC, he printed all the words. I hope to find the issue and if the words are found, we will add them to the blog.
Mordkhe Schaechter – spoken –
S’iz a kinderlidl vos ikh hob fartseykhnt fin a froy fin zlotshev, mizrekh-galitsye.
It’s a children’s song that I recorded from a woman from Zlotshev, Eastern Galicia (Today, in Ukraine – Zolochiv).
Oy, ikh bin gegangen ayns, far vuz zhe nisht keyn tsvay?
ikh hob gezeyn a hin. Vi azoy zhe makht di hin?
dun de de dundun makht di hin.
Oy, I went one, so why not two?
I saw a chicken. What sound does a chicken make?
Dundedundun makes the chicken.
Oy ikh bin gegangen tsvay, far vuz zhe nisht keyn dray?
Ikh hob gezeyn a hun, vi azoy zhe makht der hun?
kikariki makht der hun.
dun de de dundun makhe di hin.
Oy, I went two; so why not three?
I saw a rooster; What sound does a rooster make?
Kikariki makes the rooster.
Dundedundn makes the chicken.
Oy, ikh bin gegangen dray, far vuz zhe nisht kayn tsvay? [fir?]
ikh hob gezen a ganz, vi azoy zhe makht di ganz?
SPOKEN un azoy vayter, un azoy vayter.
Oy, I went three, so what not two?
I saw a goose. What sound does the goose make?
SPOKEN etc. etc.