Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Al tashlichenu ("Don't Cast Us Away") from Joseph Lateiner's show "Yom Hachupo"

Uttered during the High Holidays, the tefila pleads with the Ribono Shel Olam (G-d): “Al tashlicheinu le’eis zikna. Kichlos kocheinu, al ta’azveinu – Do not cast us out in our old age. When our strength wanes, do not forsake us….”

My great discovery of the week is using a pipe in Google searches to find spelling variations. It helped me find a Youtube video of this song, for which I had previously had only an instrumental (fiddle) part from the Library of Congress. In Yiddish you'd theoretically spell this Al Tashlikheynu, but that spelling is never used.

Here, below, is the version I recorded, it's cobbled together from the lyrics on the original songsheet and the tune from the violin part. The picture is from the actual vocal score, which I just found at the Brown Digital Repository. So click below to hear my version on YouTube :

Comparing my resuscitated song to the actual real thing from back in the day: I didn't do too badly, although Kalman Juvelier sings it much slowly than I did. (I don't have a long attention span.) Click to hear Kalman Juvelier sing Al Tashlicheinu

The song was featured in Joseph Lateiner's "music drama" called Yom Hachupo (The wedding day) at Kessler's lyric theater. A couple other songs from this show are also in the American Penny Songs collection. The music was by Broidy and Friedsel, lyrics by Solomon Small (Shmulewitz) - he is the gent above to the right.

There is also a version at Florida Atlantic University: click to hear Hyman Adler singing Al Tashlichenu. His text varies a little. I think he sounds a little like Bert Lahr as the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.

Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.

Al tashlikheynu (Don't Cast Us Away)

Dem mentshns tsil s'vi a kindershpil: lebn lang iz zayn bager.
Koym vert er alt derfilt er bald az dizer vuntsh iz zeyer shver.
Langzam, langzam shtarbt ales op. s'vern shvakh di fis di hent di oygn
es helft keyn taynes fun mark gey arop! di yugnt iz farfloygn.
Mentsh, vos iz gor dayn lebn dayn flien un dayn gantsem shtrebn
Hevel havolim iz dokh ales nor ven di elter tsaygt nor ir shpur.
Darum Got, bet ikh dir dervarem zikh af mir
Her mayn gebet mayn geveyn un hob mitglayd mit mir!

Al tashlikheynu farvarf mir nit, Gotenyu liber
Af mayn groye elter loz mikh uf hefker nit iber!
Makh ikh zol atsinder nit, onkumen darfn tsu kinder
Kikhloys kokheynu alta azveynu

Der alter man zayn yeder shpan zayn yeder trit vert oysgelakht
Der yungem dor makht khoyzek gor dem altns vort vert zeltn geakht.
Zayne kinder gemakht tsu layt un zeele un shfikhes domim
Yetst iz gekumen zeyer zayt un zey, okh zenen yetst khakhomim.
Di tsayt ven er hot gutem gebrakht geven iz er a guter foter!
Yetst traybt men dem altn un yeder in hartsn trakht:
"Okh, vi vert men zayne poter?"
Dokh kolzman me lebt iz shayden zikh shver
Un dos iz di eyntsike tfile, dem altns bager.

Don't cast us aside

Humanity's goal is like childs' play: to live a long time is his desire
As soon as he's old, he feels this wish is very hard
Slowly, slowly, everything dies, the hands, feet and eyes grow weak
Complaining doesn't help. Leave the market! Your youth has flown away.
Man, what is your life really? Your flying about and all your striving?
Everything is "Vanity of vanities" when old age begins to show itself
Therefore God, I beg of you, bring your warmth to me
Hear my plea, my lament, and have compassion for me!

Don't throw us away, don't abandon us, dear God,
In my gray old age don't neglect me
Don't force me, now, to be placed in the hands of children
When all our strength is gone don't abandon us!

The old man, his every stride
His every step is laughed at
The young generation makes fun of him
Nobody listens to the old man's words,
His children are grown into fine people with soul and the spilling of blood
Now their time has come, now they are, ah, sages!
There was a time when he brought good things, he was a good father
Now the old man's driven away, and they're all asking themselves:
Oh, how to get rid of him?
But really, as long as one's alive it's hard to separate oneself
And this is the only prayer, the old man's desire:

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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