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Gur in eyn fintsterer nakht / In a Dark Night Performed by Goldie Rosenbaum-Miller

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2022 by yiddishsong

Gur in eyn fintsterer nakht / In a dark night
Sung by Goldie Rosenbaum-Miller, Recorded by Michael Kroopkin, Chicago 1965.

photo: “Goldie (left) and sister Hyala Rosenbaum

COMMENTARY BY ITZIK GOTTESMAN

For biographical information on the singer Goldie Rosenbaum-Miller, see the previous post at this link.

Most Yiddish love songs are three, four, maybe five verses long, but here we have a ten verse lyrical love song. Some of the Yiddish lines do not make sense to me (“God, show us your nap”?)  We welcome suggestions for other interpretations. Eliezer Niborski helped clarify some lines and suggested corrections in brackets. 

Though some of the verses are confusing, Rosenbaum-Miller sings with much self-assuredness in an old, slow Yiddish folksong style.  

The two word spoken conclusion “Ende libe”, (“the end of the romance”) implies a ballad-like plot was at play during the performance of this song, but many verses can be found in other Yiddish lyrical love songs.

Thanks again to Rosenbaum-Miller’s great granddaughter Debbie Kroopkin for bringing the home recordings of Goldie Rosenbaum-Miller to the attention of Binyumin Schaechter, longtime conductor of the NYC based Yiddish Philharmonic Chorus.

Gur in eyn fintsterer nakht
Sung by Goldie Rosenbaum-Miller

1) Gur in eyn fintsterer nakht.
Badekt iz gevorn der himl. 
In ikh shtey mir in ayn vinkele fartrakht. 
Got, oy, bavayz shoyn dayn driml.

In a dark night,
the sky became covered, 
and I stand in a corner and think – 
Oh God, reveal your nap/rest. [?]

2) Lyubtshenyu, dushunyu, leybn,
efn mir oyf di tir. 
Ikh shtey eyne aleyn;
hob shoyn rakhmones oyf mir.

My darling, dear one, my love, 
Open the door for me.
I am standing alone – 
Have pity on me.

3) Ikh hob mir nisht mit veymenen tsu baheftn.
Mit keynemen kayn vort tsu reydn.
Es geyt mir oys mayne koykhes un kreftn.
Dem toyt iz mir optsubeygn [?]
[Or – “dem toyt oyf zikh betn”]

I don’t have anyone to connect with.
With no one do I have a single word to say.
My strength and power are fading.
Death is for me to bend [?]
[Or perhaps – I wish death upon me.]

4) Nisht meyn vayl di bist eyner,
kenst dekh shoyn visn mayn harts.
Nisht meyn vayl di bist eyner
kenst dekh shoyn visn mayn shmerts.

Don’t think that because you are the one,
you can know what is in my heart.
Don’t think that because you are the one,
you can know my pain. 

5) Mayne eltern tien mir freygn:
“Tokhternyu, vus geyst azoy fartribt?”
“Muter, kh’en dir nisht fartseyln. 
Kh’ob mir in eynem ayngelibt.”

My parents ask me:
“Daughter, why do you go around so sad?”
“Mother, I can’t tell you.
I have fallen in love with someone.”

6) Farlibt hob ikh mir in eynem.
Vayter, oy, lib ikh nisht keynem
Fartseyln ken ikh nisht far keynem,
Minhastame, [min-hastam] dekh, i’ mir azoy bashert.

I have fallen in love with someone;
none other do I love. 
I can speak of this to no one.
Probably it was so fated.

7) Ikh trink mir un in eyn taykh.
Ale mentshn zeyen mit di oygn.
Vus toyg mir mayn gelt in mayn raykh?
Mayn lyubtshe iz fin mir farfloygn.

I drink much [am drowning?] in a river.
All the people watch me with their eyes.
What need do I have of my money and my wealth?
My darling has flown away. .

8) Er iz fin mir farfloygn
durkh eyn ayn vaytn land.
Ikh sheym mir oystsuzugn. 
S’iz mir ayn groyser shand.

He flew away from me,
to a distant land.
I am ashamed to talk about it.
I am so humiliated. 

9) Kh’ob nisht gekikt af kayn blote un af kayn reygn.
Ikh bin shtendik tsu dir gekimen. 
Hayntike vokh [Haynt iz gevorn] hobn farvaksn indzere veygn,
fin indzern troyerdikn shpatsir.

Neither mud, nor rain prevented me.
I still always came to you.
This week  [today our paths grew together?]
our two paths crossed
during our sad walk. 

10) Kh’o shoyn dir, oy, lang gevolt oyszugn.
Farblayb shoyn, oy, mayner af gevis. 
Haynt ti ikh veynen in klugn.
Mayn hofening iz geveyn imzist. [imer zis]

I have wanted to tell you for a long time.
Stay mine for sure.
Today I cry and moan.
My hope was for naught. [was always sweet]

(Spoken) Ende libe…The end of the romance

גאָר אין אַ פֿינצטערער נאַכט
געזונגען פֿון גאָלדי ראָזענבאַום־מילער

גאָר אין אײַן [=אַ] פֿינצטערער נאַכט
.באַדעקט איז געוואָרן דער הימל
.און איך שטיי מיר אין אײַן [=אַ] ווינקעלע פֿאַרטראַכט
.גאָט, אוי, באַווײַז שוין דײַן דרימל

,ליובטשעניו, דושעניו, לעבן111
.עפֿן מיר אויף די טיר
,איך שטיי איינער אַליין
.האָב שוין רחמנות אויף מיר

,איך האָב מיר נישט מיט וועמענען צו באַהעפֿטן
,מיט קיינעמען קיין וואָרט צו ריידן
,ס’גייט מיר אויס מײַנע כּוחות און קרעפֿטן
דעם טויט איז מיר אָפּצובייגן   [דעם טויט אויף זיך בעטן ?]

,נישט מיין ווײַל דו ביסט איינער
,קענסט דאָך שוין וויסן מײַן האַרץ
,נישט מיין ווײַל דו ביסט איינער
.קענסט דאָך שוין וויסן מײַן שמערץ

:מײַנע עלטערן טוען מיך פֿרעגן
– ?טאָכטערניו, וואָס גייסט אַזוי פֿאַרטריבט
– .מוטער, כ’קען דיר נישט פֿאַרציילן
.כ’האָב מיר אין איינעם אײַנגעליבט

.פֿאַרליבט האָב איך מיר אין איינעם
,ווײַטער, אוי, ליב איך נישט קיינעם
,פֿאַרציילן קען איך נישט פֿאַר קיינעם
.מן־הסתּמען [מן־הסתּם איז] דאָך מיר אַזוי באַשערט

,איך טרינק מיר אָן אין טײַך,
,אַלע מענטשן זעען מיט די אויגן
?וואָס טויג מיר מײַן געלט און מײַן רײַך
.מײַן ליובטשע איז פֿון מיר פֿאַרפֿלויגן

ער איז פֿון מיר פֿאַרפֿלויגן
.דורך אײַן [=אַ] ווײַטן לאַנד
.איך שעם מיר אויסצוזאָגן
.ס’איז מיר אײַן [=אַ] גרויסער שאַנד

.כ’האָב נישט געקוקט אויף קיין בלאָטע און אויף קיין רעגן
.איך בין שטענדיק צו דיר געקומען
הײַנטיקע וואָך [=הײַנט איז געוואָרן] האָבן פֿאַרוואַקסן אונדזערע וועגן
.פֿון אונדזערן טרויערדיקן שפּאַציר

,כ’האָב שוין דיר, אוי, לאַנג געוואָלט אויסזאָגן
.פֿאַרבלײַב שוין, אוי, מײַנער אויף געוויס
– הײַנט טו איך וויינען און קלאָגן
.מײַן האָפֿענונג איז געווען אימער זיס [אימזיסט?]

 …‏ענדע ליבע

“Ven di zun iz mir fargangen” Performed by Avi Fuhrman

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2020 by yiddishsong

Ven di zun iz mir fargangen / When the sun has set
A Chanukah Song sung by Avi Fuhrman
Recorded at Circle Lodge, NY, 1984 by Itzik Gottesman

Commentary by Itzik Gottesman

Avi Fuhrman (aka Avrom, Avraham, Abraham) learned this Chanukah song from his father in the 1930s in Chernovitz (then Romania, today – Ukraine). We have yet not been able to identify the writer or composer.

Avi FuhrmanFoto

Avi Fuhrman

“Maoz tsur” is usually translated as “Rock of Ages” but literally – “Stronghold of Rock”. The rock is usually interpreted as God.  

In Fuhrman’s native Bukovina Yiddish dialect “maoz tsur” is pronounced “muez tsir”. But in this performance Fuhrman sings “Muez tsur” which does not rhyme with the intended rhyming words: “shir” “mir” “frier”.

Special thanks this week to Eliezer Niborski who helped with the transcription. 

TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION

Ven di zin iz mir fargangen,
kalt in fintster iz di nakht.
Un di shterndlekh fun deym himl
hobn zeyere eygelekh farmakht.

When the sun has set for me,
cold and dark is the night
And the stars of sky
have closed their eyes.

Ikh ken keyn veyg shoyn nit gefinen.
Ikh blondzhe, blondzhe un a shir.
Hob ikh mir a lekhtele ungetsindn,
dos lekhtele heyst dokh muez tsur.

I cannot find any path;
I wander, lost without stop.
So I lit a candle
and the candle is called maoz tsur. 

Un ikh lern mir bay dem lekhtele
bleter groyse, mit oysyes fil.
Un dervarem mir derbay dem kerper,
vayl es vert mir shreklekh kil.

And I study at my candle
large pages full of letters.
And it warms my body,
because I feel so terribly cool.

Bald farges ikh mayne tsores
vos ikh trug arim oyf mir.
Un ikh zing mir in mayn goles,
zey, vus shvaygstu muez tsur?

Soon I forget my troubles
that I carry around with me.
And I sing in my exile:
See, why silent maoz tsur?

Grekn zenen mir bafaln,
mit zeyere tume hent.
Farumreynikt undzer templ
undzer leybn hobn zey geshendt.

Greeks attacked me
with their polluting hands.
They made filthy our Temple;
our life they defiled.

Zey hobn toyte shtume gotn
ahin arayngeshtelt tsu mir.
Ikh hob far veytik oysgeshrign:
“Zey, vos shvaygstu muez tsur?”

They placed dead, silent gods
in there for me.
From pain I shouted out:
Look! Why are you silent maoz tsur. 

Der barimter Makabeyer
Khashmonoyim mit zayne zin.

[Fuhrman speaks – “Vayter gedenk ikh nisht di verter”]

The famous Maccabee
of the Hasmoneum, and his sons.

Zey hobn dem soyne bald fartribn,
dem templ reyn gemakht vi frier.
Ikh hob far freyd oysgeshrien,
Zey, vos shvaygstu muez tsur?

They drove the enemies away.
The Temple they restored.
For joy I shouted out:
See, why are you silent maoz tsur?

Fuhrman: [spoken] Vus se feylt darfsti aleyn zikhn.

Whatever is missing, you have to find yourself.

fuhrman1fuhrman2fuhrman3

“S’vet nit eybik fintster zayn” Performed by David Fishman

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2019 by yiddishsong

S’vet nit eybik fintster zayn / It will not be dark forever
A song in Yiddish, Hebrew and Hungarian.
Sung by Professor David Fishman, recorded by Itzik Gottesman,
June  7th, 2019, NYC

*There are two parts to this song– please watch the video, then listen to the audio that follows for the song’s conclusion:

Commentary by Itzik Gottesman.

This one-verse song in three languages was learned by Dr Fishman on a visit to Budapest in 1972.

David Fishman is professor of  history at the Jewish Theological Seminary, NYC. His recent work The Book Smugglers won the 2018 National Jewish Book Award in the “Holocaust” category. He was born in the Bronx.

Fishman introduces the song by saying in Yiddish “A very simple song, but very sad”. The Polish/Hungarian Yiddish/Hebrew dialect is reflected in a few words such as: “lekhtik” instead of “likhtik”, “bimhayru” instead of “bimheyro”.

After the initial recording on video, Fishman later realized he had forgotten the ending of the song and sent the Yiddish concluding lines as an audio file.

“S’vet nit” was discussed in Yiddish on a Hasidic on-line forum in 2010. There the song is attributed to the Kaliver/Kalover/Kalever Rebbe, and it is also mentioned there that the Tosh Hasidic community still sings it at Purim. Tosh and Kaliv are both Hasidic dynasties with Hungarian roots. Here is a link to that on-line Yiddish discussion.

kalov shul
The Kalover Shul in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Google Street View)

The version mentioned there by “Khaykl” differs slightly and does not include the concluding lines about Jerusalem that Dr. Fishman added as an audio. “Khaykl” suggests that the composer of the song was the Kaliver rebbe (Yitskhok Isaac Taub 1751 – 1821) who was known for his compositions.

Thanks this week to David Fishman, Bob Cohen, Arun Viswanath and Bret Werb. 

Transliteration of Yiddish on video:
S’vet nit, s’vet nit, s’vet nit
eybik fintster zayn. (2x)
S’vet nit eybik fintster zayn
S’vet amol nokh lekhtik zayn.
S’vet nit, s’vet nit, s’vet nit
eybik fintster zayn.

Translation of Yiddish on video:
It will not be dark forever.
One day it will be light.
It will not be dark forever.

Transliteration of Hebrew:
Yiye loy, yiye loy, yiye loy
leoylem afaylu
Loy yiye, loy yiye, loy yiye leoylem afaylu,
Loy yiye leoylem afaylu
Yiye or bimhayru
Yiye or, yiye or bimhayru

Translation of Hebrew:
It will not be dark forever.
Very soon it will be light.
Very soon it will be light.

Transliteration of Hungarian:
Nem lesz, nem lesz, nem lesz mindig éjszaka
Ha nem lesz mindig éjszaka
majd megvirrad valaha.

Translation of Hungarian:
It won’t always be night.
It will soon be dawn.

Audio conclusion to song (Yiddish):
Ale yidelekh in aynem
trinkt zhe a lekhayim.
Leshone habu beyerushelayim!

Translation of conclusion:
All the Jews together
let’s drink a toast –
Next year in Jerusalem!
fishman1