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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

“Farmutshet in fintserer tfise” Performed by Leo Summergrad

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2018 by yiddishsong

Farmutshet in fintserer tfise / Exhausted In a Dark Jail
Sung by Leo Summergrad, recorded by Summergrad in 1959

Commentary by Itizk Gottesman

Upon hearing a previous post Es hot geshneyet un geregnt sung by Esther Gold, Yiddish singer, song lover and collector Leo Summergrad wrote to say that the melody is similar not only to In kampf by David Edelshtadt but also to the song Farmutshet in fintserer tfise. I asked him to send his recording of the song to the Yiddish Song of the Week.

RussianPrison

Russian Prison, circa 1890

Farmutshet in fintserer tfise is a Yiddish translation of a popular Russian poem Замучен тяжелой неволей by Gregori Machtet (1852 – 1901). Here is a choral version of the original Russian song:

In Albert Bitter’s song collection Zing-A-Lid (NY, 1940, 1941) he has printed the words and melody and noted that it is a translation from Russian. In a Yiddish song collection of the 1890s Lieder Magazin (NYC)  it is already noted that the source of the music for Edelshtadt’s In kamf is the Russian song.

The Yiddish translator is “A. Kovner” which I assume to be a pseudonym.  In the on-line Ruth Rubin Legacy: Archive of Yiddish Folksongs at YIVO,  Naomi Feder sings the first two verses of Farmutshet in fintserer tfise. I could not find any studio recording of the song.

Leo Summergrad writes about this recording:

I probably learned the song in Mitl Shul, which was also before the war.  I don’t recall the when and how, but we put on plays honoring Naphtali Botwin and Hirsh Leckert.  Perhaps it was part of the plays.

As to the recordings:  I’ve had a love affair with Yiddish music since I was a very young child.  My mother and father both sang beautifully and did so all the time.  My uncle was the lead tenor in the Oscar Julius quartet.  A big regret is that I never recorded my parents when I had the opportunity.

In 1959 I bought a quality reel to reel tape recorder, which I still have, for the sole purpose of memorializing some of the songs I love.  Over a period of months, I did so.  On the recording I say, “These are a few of my favorites”.  I then record two hours of songs.  As technology improved, I converted the reels to cassettes and later to CDs.  פארמוטשעט אין פינסטערע טוויסעס appears on volume 1, under “Songs of Struggle”.

About the same time, I started collecting Yiddish recordings and song books.  I currently have about 700 recordings from 27 different countries and more than 60 books.  Information about the recordings and songs, of which there are about 2300, are in data bases that I developed.

Over the years, I have made about a dozen more recordings, many of which were of programs that a friend and I put on at various locations over a number of years.

Thanks this week to Leo Summergrad for sending us his stirring recording. 

TRANSCRIPTION

Farmutshet in fintserer tfise,
in kamf far der arbeter-makht.
Bagegnt dem toyt hostu heldish,
bist erlekh gefaln in shlakht.

Neyn, sine hot bloyz undz nor gevorgn,
getribn in shlakht hot undz mut.
Baym keyver mir hobn geshvoyrn
batsoln dem faynt far dayn blut.

Far undz iz nor eyn veg nor dayner,
vi du zayn in tfise farshmakht.
A lebn nor shtraykn nor kemfn,
un faln vi du far der zakh.

TRANSLATION

Exhausted in a dark prison,
in struggle for the workers’ power,
you met your death like a hero
and died honestly.

No, hatred has only strangled us.
Our courage drove us into battle.
At the grave we swore
to make the enemy pay for your blood.

For us there is only one way – yours,
As you, to be suffering in prison.
A life of only strikes and struggles,
and to die as you for the cause.
jail lyrics.jpeg