“Vi sheyn s’iz itstert di pagode” Performed by Feigl Yudin
Commentary by Itzik Gottesman.
This week we feature another track of Feigl Yudin recorded in a 1978 concert presented by the Balkan Arts Center (now Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Ethel Raim provides the introduction). Vi sheyn s’iz itstert di pagode (How beautiful is now the weather) is another lyric love song by Feigl Yudin, this time in the voice of the man. I have yet to find other variants.
Today the term “cavalier” sounds old-fashioned, but it is often found in Yiddish folksong to denote suitor, gentleman, boyfriend. The admission that he cannot write is a rare one in Yiddish song, since most males had at least a rudimentary Jewish education and could read and write.
Feigl sings “Der ponim” instead of the standard “Dos ponim”, which reflects her Grodno dialect.
Vi sheyn s’iz itstert di pagode,
Es tsit mayn harts mit libe tsu dir.
Du kum tsu mir mayn Khaye- Soshe [Shoshe]
Vayl ikh bin der shenster kavalir.
Khaye-Shoshe, di zogst ikh hob a feler.
Hob ikh oykh a sredstve tsu dem.
Ikh vel zikh koyfn a brivn-shteler,
Un vel zikh oyslernen shraybn fun dem.
Oy dayne oygn vi tsvey brilyantn
vi di shtern shaynen zey.
Volt shtendik veln in zey kukn
un shtendik shpiglen zikh in zey.
Oy dayn heldzl vi alabaster
un dayne lokn iz tayerer fun gelt.
un dayne tseyndlekh vi vayse perl
un dayn ponim’z der shenster af der velt.
How beautiful is now the weather.
With love my heart is drawn to you.
Come to me my Khaye-Soshe [Shoshe]
Because I am the most handsome cavalier.
Khaye-Soshe, you say I have a fault.
So I have a remedy for that.
I will buy a handbook of sample letters,
and will learn to write from it.
O, your eyes like two jewels,
like the stars they shine.
I would like to always look into them
and always look at my reflection.
O, your neck is like alabaster
and your locks are more dear than money,
and your teeth like white pearls
and your face is the most beautiful in the world.