Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ikh bin a boarder bay mayn vayb (I room at my wife's place) by Rubin Doctor. Sung by Abraham Moscowitz.

This song and Chicken are probably Rubin Doctor's most famous songs. You'll find this one transliterated as Ich bin A border bei mein Weib and Ich bin a border by mein weib and other variations.

I prefer the recording by Jacob Jacobs, it's on Youtube under the ridiculous transliteration Ich Bin Aborder By Myn Weib ...

... but Jacobs does not sing the words which were available on the sheet music (at the Library of Congress as Ich bin a boarder by mein weib.

Here's how the title looks as Rubin Doctor himself wrote it out on the manuscript he submitted to the copyright office, see how tortured and indecisive he was about it:


Abraham Moscowitz is great too, of course. Here's his version:


translation and original Yiddish typescript after the jump


Click for larger view.


I'm single again, just like a young fellow.
My wife and I divorced.
I was thinking I'd move, find someplace to sleep; my wife changed my mind.
Why should you try your luck, stick yourself in a stranger's rooms and be alone and talk to the wall?
Be my boarder now." I pay her rent like a stranger

I'm a boarder at my wife's place. Men, it's a good situation. She provides me everything, she doesn't ask me any questions when I come in. I'm boarding with my wife.

I tell you now explicitly, I feel lucky.
It's better to be the boarder than the husband. I don't need to pay attention to my wife and I show up just when the butcher brings in the meat.
I'm free from cares, I don't need to borrow,
I don't have to work and bring her the money. Since I've been her boarder everything's great, I eat and drink more and have a high time.



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

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