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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Di yetstike troyke - a song about the Ottoman German alliance of 1914

Morris Rund was given to being didactic but this song goes too far! It's a combined history lecture and propaganda piece set to the Shimon Frug tune from Di Yidishe Troyke, a song which was Morris Rund's first big hit -- which I guess is why he reused it so often.

Knowing that when the US finally entered World War I it was on the side of England and France, we might be surprised to find New York Jews throwing their emotional support so strongly to the Ottoman–German alliance. Jews hated Czar Nicholas so much, everything else was secondary. From their point of view, England and France had, as the third verse sneers, gone to bed with the pig Nikolai - and Amalek the anti-semite was a member of the wedding party.

Here's the text and translation:

A troyke iz gevorn fil yor nokh anand
Dray partners yeder ken dos visn
Italyen un Estraykh un oykh Daytshland
Dray fraynd geteylt zikh mit dem bisn
Plutsling an umglik di troyke iz tseshtert
Di troyke iz geblutikt, tseshrokn.
Italien hot Estraykh milkhome derklert
Di troyke iz gevorn tsebrokhn
Nor bald getrofn hot dortn gor a glik
Ir veyst dos ir kent dos aykh merkn
Di troyke iz gevorn gor fresh un nay tsurik
Fun Daytshland Estraykh un Terkkn!

Di troyke gekrign hot sonim bald genug
England, Frankraykh, Nikolayke
Zey firn yetst ale a blutige krig
Zey viln nor tsebrekhn di troyke
Dokh gibt nor a kuk vi di troyke iz klor
Zi is boke (skilled) in hilkhes (matters of) milkhome
Zi shlogt ire sonim shoyn bald dray yor
Zi nemt fun zey ale nekome
Di soyne Yisrol, Despot Nikolay,
Tsu shvakh iz yetst dayn nagayke (whip)
Di yidn in Poyln zey zingen shoyn fray
Gedenken vestu lang di troyke!

England un Frankraykh ir shtoltse lender tsvey
Vu iz ayer nomen dem guten?
Meshadekh (engaged to) geven mit a khazer Nikolay
Un Emelekh iz oykh a mekhutn
A blutike hokhtsayt shpilt ir ale yetst (marriage)
Ir tantst ir meynt ir zent shoyn ziger
Ir vet di troyke nit brekhn ven ir vert tsezetst (smashed)
Vayl zi iz fun aykh fil kliger
Zi shlogt aykh, bagrobt aykh, zi lakht aykh ale oys
Zi shpayt af a kozak a nagayke
Bagrobt aykh fir shande ir England, Frantsoyz,
Respekt far der yetstike troyke!

A troyka was made years ago,
Three partners, everybody knows this
Italy, Austria, and also Germany
Three friends shared bites
Suddenly a calamity, the troyka is destroyed,
The troyka is bloodied, frightened.
Italy declared war on Austria,
The troyka was broken.
But soon a good thing happened,
You know, you can observe it,
The troyka has become completely fresh and new again,
Made up of Germany, Austria, and Turkey!

The troyka soon had enough enemies:
England, France, Nicholas,
Now they're all carrying out a bloody fight,
They want to break the troyka.
But have a look at how the troyka is lucid,
It's skilled in matters of war.
It's been fighting its enemies for three years now,
It's getting vengeance on all of them.
That enemy of Israel, the despot Nicholas,
His whip is now too weak.
The Jews in Poland are singing now, free,
You'll long remember the troyka!

England and France, you two proud lands,
Where is your good name?
You've gotten engaged to the pig Nicholas,
And Emelekh (famous anti-semite) is also an in-law.
You're all playing out a bloody marriage...
You dance, you think you've already won.
You won't break the troyka, you'll be smashed
Because the troyka is much smarter than you.
It beats you, buries you, it laughs at all of you.
It spits on that Cossack's whip.
England, France, you're buried for shame.
Respect today's troyka.

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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