Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Youtube: all the Penny Songs I've recorded so far (with subtitles)

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Lebn zol Franz Josef un Wilhelm (Long life to Franz Joseph and Wilhelm)

I didn't think I was going to record this one (set to the tune of "Lebn zol Kolumbus" but my work on Gimpel Beynish and Samuel Zagat's political cartoons (he drew all threw below) has got me interested in the "Great War."

American Jews really, really hated Nicholas II and so threw in with the Germans and Austrians. Some Jewish men went back to Europe to fight against Nikolay's army. One of the insults in the song: katsap dem khelm. Katsap is a derogatory word for Russian, and Chelm is famous as the birthplace of the world's finest idiots.

Here's my recording from this morning, I sang only half the song (all the words are below) (click to listen at Youtube):

Mir yidn megn tantsn geyn mir hobn a nekome
Der Daytsh bagrobt yetst Nikolai tif in der adome
Franz Josef shlogt im oykh dos veyst fun aykh a yeder
Nikolayke hot kremps in boykh, er krigt yetst heyse beder
Oy vi dos iz fayn shrayt yeder groys un kleyn

Lebn zol Franz Josef un mit dem Daytsh Wilhelm
Zey kokhn yetst a rosl fun dem katsap dem khelm
Freyt aykh, yidn, vinsht zey mazl brokhe
A kapore Nikolayke mit zayn mishpokhe

Gevolt hot Nikolayke gor Galitsiye eynshlingen
Yetst traybt men im tsum shvartsn yor er loyft, er vert tsespringen
Aroys fun Varshe aroys fun Brisk azoy loyft er keseyder
Koym blaybt er shteyn krigt er in pisk der Daytsh shlept im in kheyder
Oy vi dos iz fayn, shrayt yidn groys un kleyn!

Shtoltsirt hot yorn der katsap mit zayne soldatn
Nor lebn zol a daytsher kop, er shlogt zey fun ale zaytn
Franz Yoysef git oykh [gute] klep er ken oykh gut derlangen
Er shist mit bulbes gantse tep kazakn nemt er gefangen
Oy vi dos iz fayn, shrayt yidn groys un kleyn

Nikolayke hot nor geshtrebt tsu esn a viner bratn
A make hot er dos derlebt, a shtekhenis in di zaytn
Gelofn iz der idiot in kloyster betn brokhes
Geholfn take hot im zayn Got, er krigt klep mit kadokhes
Oy vi dos iz fayn, shrayt yidn groys un kleyn

We Jews can go dancing, we've gotten revenge.
The German is burying Nicholas now, deep in the earth.
Franz Josef is beating him too, everybody knows.
Little Nicholas has cramps in his belly, he's in hot water.
Oh, this is fine! Shout, Jews, big and small:

Long life to Franz Josef and the German, Wilhelm
They're making soup out of the Russian fool
Rejoice, Jews, wish them success
Let Nikolai and his family be the sacrifice

Nicholas wanted to swallow up Galitsiye.
Now he's being driven to the devil - he's running, he's exploding
He's running from Warsaw, he's leaving Brisk
As soon as he stands still he takes one in
the muzzle, the German drags him to school
Oh, this is fine! Shout, Jews, big and small:

The Russian and his soldiers have been proud for years,
But long life to the German leader, he's hitting them from all sides
Franz Josef is also giving good blows, he too can deliver
He shoots with a full pot of potatoes, he captures cossacks
Oh, this is fine! Shout, Jews, big and small:

Little Nicholas strove to eat Vienna sausage
He's lived to see a plague, he's stabbed in the side
The idiot ran away to the church to beg for blessings.
His God really helped him out: he got blows and an ague
Oh, this is fine! Shout, Jews, big and small:

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