Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Shtoyst zikh on (Figure it out yourself) - Solomon Small sings, 1910

I found this record on ebay. The song is by, again, Arnold Perlmutter and Herman Wohl with words by Louis Gilrod. My recording is by Solomon Small (originally Solomon Smulewitz) but the song was published in 1909 featuring Bessie Thomashefsky - it's from Boris Thomashefsky's show Dos pintele yid (or as it says on the sheet music Das pintele yud). You'll find it spelled Shtoist sich on or Shtoist zikh on. So here he is. I love this recording!


I'm sad the third verse (about, I assume, a lecherous piano teacher) is not printed in the sheet music. If anybody wants to figure it out I'd be grateful. Email me if you do.

The YIVO transliteration of the Yiddish and my translation after the jump.




Di mode fun der letster tsayt tsu zogn bin ikh aykh do oysn
Es git fil zakhn haynt bay layt vos me darf zikh aleyn oyf zey shtoysn
A moyd, tsum bayshpil, zet ir arumgeyn shpatsirn mit fil yungelayt
Un vos zi zukht darft ir zikh onshtoysn un visn shoyn vos dos badayt
Vos zi zukht, vos ir felt, volt ikh aykh do gants ofn dertseylt

Nor shtoyst zikh on, zayt klug un shtoyst zikh on
Azelkhe zakhn zaynen gants laykht tsum farshteyn
Klert nit keyn sakh, dos iz a klore zakh,
Zayt nit keyn goylem, shtoyst zikh on aleyn

A raykher man hot lib zayn froy, far libe falt er far ir koyrim
Nor zi iz, nebekh, krank azoy, men halt in eyn rufn doktoyrim.
Ambestn ven dem man nor farglust zikh tsu redn mit zayn froy a vort,
Iz gor di tir fun tsimer farshlosn, der yuntgitshker doktor iz dort.
Af vos zi krenkt, un vos ir felt, volt ikh aykh do gants ofn dertseylt

Nor shtoyst zikh on, zayt klug un shtoyst zikh on,
Azelkhe zakhn zaynen gants laykht tsum farshteyn.
S'a klore zakh, a doktor helft a sakh,
Zayt nit keyn yoldes, shtoist zikh on aleyn.

I'm going to tell you about how things are nowadays.
A lot of things people are doing today, you ought to be able to figure them out yourself.
A girl, for example, you see her walking around with a lot of young guys,
And what she's looking for, you yourself can guess, and know what it means.
What she's looking for, what she's lacking, I'd tell you about it here:

But figure it out yourself, be smart and figure it out,
Such things are easy to understand.
Don't think about it, it's pretty clear
Don't be a dummy, figure it out yourself.

A rich man loves his wife, he prostrates himself with adoration.
But she, poor thing, is sick, doctors are constantly being summoned.
Especially when the husband just wants a word with his wife,
The door is locked! The new young doctor is with her...
What's making her sick, what she's lacking, I could explain to you here...

But figure it out yourself, be smart and figure it out,
Such things are easy to understand.
It's clear! A doctor is a lot of help!
Don't be chumps, figure it out yourself.


For sheet music and/or performances contact me: jane@mappamundi.com

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