Archive for Rhinebeck

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

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2021 by yiddishsong

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.

“Oy sheyn bin ikh a mol gevezn” Performed by Leah (Lillian) Kolko

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2019 by yiddishsong

Oy sheyn bin ikh a mol gevezn / O, I Was Once Beautiful
Sung by Leah (Lillian) Kolko, recorded in Camp Boiberik, Rhinebeck, NY by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, 1974

Commentary by Itzik Gottesman

Leah Kolko remembers learning this song when active in the youth branch of the Poale-Zion organization in Paterson, New Jersey in the the early 1920s. The recording here was made at Camp Boiberik in 1974 by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman.

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 10.10.45 AM

Image by Tsirl Waletzky

The rhyme “trovern” [instead of troyern] and “movern” [instead of moyern] indicates the song has its origin in the Ukraine. but dialectically speaking, the song is inconsistent.

TRANSLITERATION

Oy sheyn bin ikh a mol gevezn.
[Oy] vi der morgn shtern hob ikh geshaynt.
oy, zint ikh hob zikh mit dir bakont,
oy, fun tog tsu tog ver ikh mer krank. 

Ikh hob gemeynt az af dayne reyd
[Oy] ken men shteln movern [moyern]
Tsum sof hostu mir mayn kop fardreyt,
az ikh hob tsu veynen un tsu trovern. 

Shpatsirn zaynen mir gegangen
ale shabes oyfn bulevar.
Oy, dayne reyd hob ikh gegloybt.
Oy, bin ikh geven a groyser nar.

Du vest zikh nokh a mol on mir dermonen,
vayl keyner hot dir nit azoy lib.
Oy, du vest forn un vest mikh zukhn,
nor ikh vel zayn shoyn fun lang in grib.

TRANSLATION

O, I was once beautiful.
O, like the morning star did I shine.
O, since I got to know you,
O, with each passing day I feel more ill. 

I thought that upon your words
I could build stone walls.
In the end you turned my head around
so that I cry and mourn. 

We used to take a walk
every Sabbath along the boulevard.
O, I believed in your words.
O, what a fool I was. 

Someday you will remember me
for no one loved you as much as I.
You will travel all over and will search me
but I will have long been in the grave.
Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 10.08.04 AM

“Ikh zits mir bay der arbet” Performed by Leah (Lillian) Kolko

Posted in Main Collection with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2019 by yiddishsong

“Ikh zits mir bay der arbet” / I Sit at My Work
Sung by Leah (Lillian) Kolko. Recorded at Camp Boiberik by Beyle Gottesman.

Commentary by Itzik Gottesman.

Leah (Lillian) Kolko was from Slonim, Belarus. Her maiden name was Zadikow. She was the wife of Fishl (Philip) Kolko who was for many years the Jewish culture teacher at Camp Boiberik, near Rhinebeck, NY. According to biographies of their son, the historian Gabriel Kolko, Leah was a teacher.

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 3.13.41 PMLeah Kolko at Camp Boiberik, 1975
(photo by Ed Kaufmann)

In this recording, summer 1974, Kolko says that all the songs she sang she had learned in America. She learned “Ikh zits mir bay der arbet un ikh arbet” from a friend in Detroit named Zemel. In the Ruth Rubin Archives at YIVO, the singer Harry Ary sings an almost identical version.

Thanks to Ed Kaufman for the photo.

TRANSLITERATION

Ikh zits mir bay der arbet un ikh arbet
un fun mayne tsores veyst dokh keyner nit.
Nor eyn padruge flegt mir shtendik zogn
Vos zhe geystu oys azoy vi a likht?

Kh’ob zikh ayngelibt in a yingele tsum shtarbn.
Di tshakhotke mame hot er mir gemakht.
Kh’ob zikh ayngelibt in a yingele tsum shtarbn.
Un tsum sof hot er zikh, mame, oysgelakht. 

TRANSLATION

I sit at my work and I work.
No one knows of my troubles.
But one girlfriend used to say to me:
“Why are you expiring like a candle?”

I have fallen in love with a boy, I would die for.
He has driven me wild. [Literally – he has given me consumption]
I have fallen in love with a boy, I would die for.
And it turns out he was making fun of me.

ikh zits mir