“Der zeyde mit der babe” Performed by Beyle Schaechter Gottesman
Commentary by Itzik Gottesman
My mother Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman (BSG) could not remember from whom she learned this song, but it she learned it in Chernovitz in the 1930s. I had assumed it was either the creation of the humorist Shamshon (Shamshele) Fersht or from the Chernovitz amateur Yiddish theater group Kamelyon directed by Simkhe Schwartz, but I can not yet find it listed anywhere. BSG also sang Fersht’s version/parody of Gebirtig’s Kinder yorn, and that can be found in Emil Seculetz’s collection Yidishe folkslider. She learned a number of Kamelyon‘s musical numbers which will be added to this blog at some point. The theatricality of this song leads me to suspect that it might have been created and performed by Kamelyon.
Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman (standing) with her cousin Sima. Chernovitz 1930s.
I have posted this song, which I recorded from her in the Bronx around 2009, on the occasion of BSG’s second yortsayt, the second day of khanike. In BSG’s dialect, the word for grandmother is pronounced “babe” not “bobe”.
Der zeyde mit der babe is sort of an irreverent parody of Mark Warshavsky’s Akhtsik er un zibetsik zi but without the refrain. (Listen to BSG’s live version of Warshavsky’s song on her CD of songs she learned in Chernovitz – Bay mayn mames shtibele).
Der zeyde mit der babe, a leybn af zey.
A brukhe af zeyere keplekh.
Der zeyde khlepshtet fun der flash.
Di mame [babe] fun di teplekh.
Leberlekh un pipkelekh, vi oykh pitse.
Alding iz a maykhl.
Der zeyde glet di vontsyelekh.
Di babe glet dos baykhl.
Eydele, oy Eydele, tayere moyd,
zug zhe nor dem zeydn –
Veymen hosti tokhtershe
libersht fin indz beydn?
Indzer tayere skheyne Brane hot a kats
hot zi ketselekh kleyne.
Dus vayse ketsele mir geshenkt,
hob ikh lib di skheyne.
In oykh di Surtse, Sortse kroyn,
dem zeydns tayere meydn;
Veymen vilsti geybn a kish –
der baben tsi deym zeydn?
Mit Yankl didl-dudl un mit Yoselen
shpiln mir tate-mame beyde.
Iz Eydele di mame, di babe bin ikh,
kish ikh Yoselen dem zeydn.
Aza khtsife, aza shkuts –
dus vet men dertseyln der mamen.
A zeydn mit a baben hot men lib –
nisht di ketselekh fin Branen.
Aza hultayke, loz, shoyn loz.
dus vet men dertseyln dem tatn.
A zeydn un a baben git men a kish.
Nisht a Yosele piskatn.
Zeydishe un babeshi dertseylt, dertseylt.
Der mamen in dem tatn.
Zey meygn indz (un)shlugn* vi a pok.
S’vet indz gurnisht shatn.
Grandpa and grandma, may they be well,
a blessing on their heads.
Grandpa guzzles from the bottle,
Grandma [eats] from the pots.
Livers and gizzards, and calves foot jelly,
Everything is a dish.
Grandpa strokes his mustache,
Grandma rubs her belly.
Eydele, oy Eydele our dear girl,
tell your grandpa –
whom do you, daughter,
prefer of us two?
Our dear neighbor has a cat
and she has small kittens.
The white kitten was given to me as a gift,
so I like our neighbor.
And also you Surtse, dear Surtse
Grandpa’s beloved girl.
Whom do you want to kiss
Grandma or grandpa?
With Yankl Didl-Dudl and with Yosele;
We both play “father and mother”.
Eydele plays the mother, and I the grandma –
So I kiss Yosele the grandpa.
Such an impudent girl, such a prankster –
We will tell you mother.
You should love your grandpa and grandma
not the kittens of Brane.
Such a libertine, just wait and see;
we will tell your father.
You should give grandpa and grandma a kiss.
Not that mouthy Yosele.
Go ahead and tell, grandpa and grandma
our mother and father.
Even if they beat us like a drum.
It won’t bother us a bit.
*After singing the song, the singer commented that “unshlugn” would be better than “shlugn”.