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“S’hot mit indz geleybt a khaver” Performed by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2022 by yiddishsong

S’hot mit indz geleybt a khaver / A Comrade Lived Among Us.
A Soviet Yiddish song praising Stalin. Sung by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman [BSG], recorded by Itzik Gottesman, Bronx. 1990s.

Image: A Jewish Kolhoz in Crimea

Commentary on the song is below after the lyrics and translation. 

BSG spoken: 

Dos hob ikh gehert tsum ershtn mul in Chernovitz in tsayt fun di rusn.
I heard this for the first time in the time of the Russians.  [The Soviet occupation of Chernovitz was June 1940 – July 1941]

S’hot mit indz geleybt a khaver.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
S’iz geveyn a yat a, braver.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

A comrade lived among us.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
He was a brave lad.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Er fleygt kikn af di shtern.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
A kolvirt vet bay undz vern.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

He used to look up to the stars
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay.
We should build a kolvirt [farming collective].
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Fun di velder ungekimen.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
Hot er indz tsunoyf genimen.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

From the fields we came.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
He gathered us together
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Lomir trinken a lekhayim
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
far dem leybn, far dem nayem.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

[BSG indicates this verse can be sung at the end]

Let us make a toast
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
for the new life.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Far der oktober-revolutsye
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
in far Stalins konsitutsye
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

For the October Revolution
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
And for Stalin’s constitution
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Far di kinder, [far] di zkeynem.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
In far alemen in eynem.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

For the children, for the old ones
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
And for all of us together.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Zol der ershter kos zikh khvalyen.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
far indzer libn khaver _______ 

(BSG spits and says “yemakh shmoy” then continues) …Stalin.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Let the first drink swirl
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
for our dear comrade ______
[BSG spits and curses him “May his name be erased” then continues]
…Stalin.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

Far der Oktober-revolutsye
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
in far Stalins konsitutsye.
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

For the October Revolution
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay
And for Stalin’s constitutution
Ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay

.ביילע רעדט: דאָס האָב איך געהערט צום ערשטן מאָל אין טשערנעוויץ אין צײַט פֿון די רוסן

ס’האָט מיט אונדז געלעבט אַ חבֿר
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
ס’איז געווען אַ יאַט אַ בראַווער
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

ער פֿלעגט קוקן אויף די שטערן
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
אַ קאָלווירט זאָל בײַ אונדז ווערן
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

פֿון די וועלדער אָנגעקומען 
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
.האָט ער אונדז צונויפֿגענומען
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

לאָמיר טרינקען אַ לחיים
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
.פֿאַר דעם לעבן, פֿאַר דעם נײַעם
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

פֿאַר דער אָקטאָבער־רעוואָלוציע
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
.און פֿאַר סטאַלינס קאָנסטיטוציע
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

פֿאַר די קינדער, [פֿאַר] די זקנים
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
.און פֿאַר אַלעמען אין איינעם
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

זאָל דער ערשטער כּוס זיך כוואַליען
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
פֿאַר אונדזער ליבן חבֿר ____
[ביילע שפּײַט אויס און זאָגט ‘מח־שמו’]
…סטאַלין
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

פֿאַר דער אָקטאָבער־רעוואָלוציע
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ
.און פֿאַר סטאַלינס קאָנסטיטוציע
אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ־אײַ

COMMENTARY BY ITZIK GOTTESMAN

BSG was reading from a notebook of Yiddish songs that she wrote down in Vienna in the Displaced Persons camp (1947- 1950). You can hear my voice helping her read some of the lines. 

It seems that this song started out as a Hasidic nign (כּיצד מרקדי   Ketzad merakdin); 

Here is an instrumental version of the Hasidic tune from the album “Chassidic Authentic Wedding Dances (Galton D-5935):

Then the melody was used for a Soviet Yiddish song praising Stalin in the 1930s and 1940s, probably made popular by the 1938 recording of the Soviet Yiddish singer Zinoviy Shulman (1904 – 1977) .

The text version praising Stalin as was printed in the collection Yidishe folks-lider, edited by Y. Dobrushn and A. Yuditsky, Moscow 1940, p. 425

Here is an image of that version:

       In the 1950s, after the death of Stalin (1953), the song made its way into the leftist 1956 American Yiddish songbook Lomir ale zingen / Let’s Sing (Jewish Music Alliance, NY)  but dropped any mention of Stalin, of his constitution and of the October revolution. It was called “S’hot mit undz gelebt a khaver”.

A rousing version of the song entited L’chayim Stalin and based on the Shulman recording was recently recorded by Dan Kahn and Psoy Korolenko, including the references to Stalin on their album The Third Unternationale (2020):

Special thanks this week to Benjamin Ginzburg, Arun Vishwanath, Psoy Korolenko and Dan Kahn. 

“Kegn gold fun zun” Performed by Chaim Berman

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by yiddishsong

Kegn gold fun zun (Toward the Golden Sunrise)
Performance by Chaim Berman
Recording by Rabbi Victor Reinstein
Commentary by Itzik Gottesman

The words and music for the Soviet-Yiddish song Kegn gold fun zun have been published in Ruth Rubin’s Treasury of Jewish Folksong and Chana and Joseph Mlotek’s Songs of Generations (see below). The words were also included in Sam Liptzin’s collection Zingen mir (1974). Apparently it was a well-known song in the 1930s- 1960s; however, the only recording of the song that we are aware of is on Ruth Rubin’s 1940s 78 rpm recording Ruth Rubin: Jewish and Palestinian Folksongs and among the field recordings in Ruth Rubin’s collection (tape 81) found in YIVO and other archives.

Kegn78-1The composer is unknown, but the text was written by the Soviet Yiddish poet Shloyme Lopatin (Lopate). According to Chaim Beider’s Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband, (pp.194 – 195) Shloyme Lopatin was born in Belinkove, Ukraine in 1907. He settled in a Jewish colony in the Kherson area for several years and became a colonist. In 1929 he came to Odessa to further his studies. He published his first songs in 1928 in the Kharkov Yiddish journal Prolit, and among these first published writings was the poem Ikh, der yidisher muzhik (I, the Jewish Russian Peasant). Beider writes that this poem “immediately became so popular that people began to sing it as if it were a folksong, and it was then included as such in anthologies”. Lopatin died fighting on the Russian front in 1941.

This week’s recording of folksinger Chaim Berman (d. 1973) was made by Rabbi Victor Reinstein in the 1970s. Berman’s words vary from the printed texts in the second verse, where he repeats the first two lines from the first verse.

Kegn gold fun zun