“Mit eyn un zekhtsik yor tsurik” Performed by Mimi (Simon) Forman

Mit eyn un zekhtsik yor tsurik/Sixty-One Years Ago
A Yiddish birthday song sung by Mimi (Simon) Forman
Recorded by David (Dovid) Forman in Ithaca, NY, on the occasion of his birthday. May 2, 2021

Photo: Mimi Simon at Camp Boiberik in her bunk with a friend.

Guest commentary by David R. (Dovid) Forman

This week’s song is simple and charming– an alternative to the Yiddish birthday song most readers will know. But unlike Tsu dayn gebortstog, by the famous Avrom Goldfaden, it is little known. In fact, this writer, grateful recipient of the performance posted here, does not know who authored the song or when.

Mimi Forman, born Miriam Simon, is the youngest child of the Yiddish writer Solomon Simon. Here she is singing to her youngest but not-very-young son at a small post-vaccinated birthday gathering in May, 2021. Mimi believed she’d learned the song at Camp Boiberik (a Yiddish culture camp near Rhinebeck, NY) because her birthday is in late July. She spent nearly every summer there starting from age five, in the kinderheym on the guest side, to age fourteen as a mitle elste camper. Her friend Phyllis Tobin, who was Phyllis Onheiber when she was at camp, confirmed this is a Boiberik song. It dates back at least to the 1940s.

TRANSLITERATION

Mit eyn un zekhtsik yor tsurik
In a guter sho,
hot Dovid ongezogt “helo! Helo!
Ikh bin shoyn do!”

Iz gut, iz gut, iz gut vos du bist do.
Tra-a-la-la-la-lal
Mir vintshn dir in khor
Tra-la –la –la-la
Biz hundert tsvantsik yor.

TRANSLATION

Sixty one years ago,
in a fortunate hour,
Dovid announced “Hello, hello
I am here!.”

So good, so good, so good that you are here.
Tra-la-la-la-la.
We wish you all together [literally: in a chorus]
Tra-la-la-la-la
A hundred and twenty years.

4 Responses to ““Mit eyn un zekhtsik yor tsurik” Performed by Mimi (Simon) Forman”

  1. Isabelle Ganz Says:

    “Mit eyn un tzvantsig yor tsurik”, nisht?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. bobfreedman Says:

    Dear David Forman,
    My name is Bob Freedman. My wife Molly and I are founders and curators of the Jewish Sound Archive at the University of Pennsylvania. I was a counselor at Camp Boiberik in the summer of 1946 and 1946. After we married Molly & I would spend two long weekends at Boiberik each summer on the adult side (until the camp closed) and count ourselves as “Emeser Boibericaner”.
    The Archive at Penn includes memorabilia related to the recordings and your Song of the Week will become part of that memorabilia.
    Please send me your mailing address and I’ll send you a recording of Boiberik Songs Please be patient
    as the campus at Penn (where the Archive is located) is currently closed) and current plans are to reopen it in September.
    Cordially,
    Bob Freedman
    ________________________________

  3. Dear Bob,
    Thank you for your note.
    Yasher koyekh. That archive is a remarkable resource, and I am very pleased my mother’s song will be a part of it.
    I’m replying to your kind offer separately via your Penn email.
    While my mother spent all her childhood summers there, I was only at Boiberik a summer and a half, and at yingste yingste age. So I never quite felt like an emeser Boiberikaner myself. Studying Yiddish brought me into the fold, and now I no longer feel like there’s an asterisk next to my name.
    Zayt Gezunt!
    Dovid

  4. Itzik Gottesman Says:

    The song “Mit 61 yor tsurik” can be found in “Mayn liderbukh, vol 2,” Mexico 1973, put together by Shoyl Ferdman. page 54. The song text was written by “L. Vovnik”, a obvious pseudonym (for Camp Director Leibush Lehrer?). Music by Vladimir Heifetz who was for many years the music counselor at Boiberik.

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