Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Di bankrotirte dray benk (The three bankrupt banks) - The Panic of 1907 in Yiddish verse!

New York City banking collapse 1907I'm not sure but I think this broadside is probably referring to the 1907 Bankers' Panic (Knickerbocker Crisis). Go read about it at Wikipedia if you're interested.

Morris Rund, who was always ready with a song about social injustice, penned this one and set it to "Di yidishe troyke," one of the most famous songs he ever collaborated on. So here it is:

Here's the cover of his songsheet (click for a larger view):

Here's the Yiddish and my translation below

An umglik getrofn hot yetst do in Nyu York
Nit eyner veynt af dem khurbn
Fil mentshn zet ir yetst mit penimer fil zorg
Gefaln zenen zey a korbn
Dray shokhtim bankirn hot men gegloybt
Un a sent tsu a sent dort geklibn
Yetst hobn zey mentshn milyonen baroybt
Un fil zenen iz noyt yetst geblibn.

Oy merders ganovim vos filt ir nit dem shmarts?
Es gisn yetst trern sakones
Du shokhtim banditn oy vu iz ayer harts?
Ir hot mentshn gekoylet on rakhmones

Tsi filt ir banditn dem veytik un dem shmarts?
Fil mentshn ruinirt dos lebn.
Es veynen yetst kinder es rayst, es brekht dos harts?
Tseshtert zeyer tsukunft zeyer shtrebn.
Khasanim un kales vos hobn gegloybt
Tsu heyratn un lebn bald gliklekh
Yetst hot ir zeyer lebn zeyer nadn geroybt
Zey veynen un klogn yetst shreklekh.

Dem arbeters pratse dem arbeters blut
Ales geroybt hot ir atsinder
Hot ir den ir shokhtim keyn hertser in aykh
Zet trern fun orime kinder
Gelt fun yesoymim un fun almones oykh
Z'hobn in shop dort geshklaft un gezesn
Baroybt hot ir mentshn oy shvakhe on koyekh
Zey laydn yetst hobn nit tsu esn!

A calamity's taking place in New York
More than one is lamenting the destruction
You see many people now with faces full of worry
They are fallen victims
Three butchers, banks, people trusted them
And collected on penny after another
Now they've robbed people of millioins
And a lot of deprivation is the result

Oy, murderers, thieves, why don't you feel the pain?
Terrible tears are flowing now
You butcher bandits, where are your hearts?
You've murdered people without mercy

Do you bandits feel the pain and suffering?
You ruined so many lives
Children are crying, it tears and breaks one's heart
Their future, their strivings demolished
Bridegrooms and brides who'd believed
They'd soon marry and live happy lives
Now their lives, their dowries are robbed
Now they cry and lament terribly

The worker's toil, the worker's blood
You've stolen it all now
So do you butchers not have hearts in you
Look at the tears of poor children
The money of orphans and widows too
Who slaved away in the shop imprisoned
You robbed weak people who have no strength
They suffer now and have nothing to eat.

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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