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

Mayn vaybl Sorele: Morris Rund continues to be unlikeable.

Click for a larger view of the cranky Morris Rund who either had an awful relationship with his wife or simply perceived that songs about awful wives sold well on the street (this songsheet says "third edition"). (Click for a larger view.)

I like the tune he set his screed to; I put it up on Youtube last week: Di mume glikele (Lady Luck).

This song could be a central exhibit for some PhD student writing about how sexist Yiddish humor lingers into annoying sexist humor still popular today.

Here's my rendition from this morning:

Text and translation after the jump.

Vos zogt ir mentshn tsu mayn plog
Ikh gey arum meshuge dil
Geheyrat hob ikh ersht dray teg
Un dokh hob ikh shoyn tsores fil
A vayb hot mir dos Got bashert
Nit meglekh iz fun ir tsu leydn
Arayn zol zi vos gikher in der erd
Un hobn dos likhtike ganeydn
Ikh zog aykh es iz a fardros
Tseshlogn hot zi mir mayn noz
Zogt mir vi halt men dos oys?

Ikh hob a vaybl Sorele, zi iz a shlak a tsorele,
Nit meglekh fun ir oystsuhaltn zi shlogt mir oft mayn leyb!
Di pisk bay ir af shrayfelekh kvitshet vi mit fayfelekh
Ikh vintsh nit keynem fun aykh fraynd tsu krign aza vayb.

Dem tog ven zi derzet di "pay"
Damols iz dokh gor a shrek
Es vert a "fight" ... gevalt, oy vey!
Un nemt bay mir bald ales avek
Di gantse vokh far a sent ikh krapir
Un fast nebekh op gantse teg
Zi frest un trinkt un fregt nit bay mir
Zi iz "ladies first" do zi meg
Zi nasht "kendi" gor vi a kats
Frest "ayzkrim" gemisht mit "pinats"
Dos zeendik krig ikh di plots!

Der fraytik ven er kumt gor on
Tut mir bald dos herts a ris
In shtub darf ikh dan ales ton
Un makhn muz ikh oykh di fish
Fefer un zalts oykh petrishke, khreyn
Dos ales muz ikh farzorgn
Un bald nokh kidush tut zi avek geyn
Un kumt gor dem tsveytn frimorgn
Koym freg ikh vu bistu geven?
Tseshrayt zi zikh bald af di tseyn
Un tseklapt mir a yedviden beyn!

What do you say, people, to my torment?
I'm going around plumb crazy.
I got married three days ago and already I have so much trouble.
God blessed me with a wife, I can't free myself from her.
May she soon be buried six feet under and have a great time in paradise.
I tell you, it's an aggravation, she hit me in the nose,
Tell me, how do I put up with this?

I have a wife Sorele, she's a nuisance, a problem,
I can't take it! She often hits me!
She never stops talking, she screams like a whistle,
I don't wish on any of you, friends, a wife like this.

The day when she sees my pay, then it's terrible,
There's a fight, gevald, oy vey! She takes it all away from me.
The whole week I'm dying for a penny.
I fast the whole day long!
She gobbles and guzzles and doesn't think about me,
She's "Ladies First!" and gets away with it.
She snacks on candy like a cat,
She hoovers down ice cream mixed with peanuts
When I see this I want to burst!

When Friday comes my heart's torn.
I have to do everything in the house...
And I also have to cook the fish
Pepper and salt, also parsley, horseradish,
I have to provide it all.
And soon after the kiddush she goes away
And comes back two mornings later!
If I ask, "Where have you been?"
She shouts at me and breaks all my bones!

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