Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

A gut yor, A git yuhr zu alle leite, A gut masoldig yohr: Happy New Year!

Just when I was feeling so pleased with myself for helping a reader with Az men farzikht in s'iz git, the next day (today) somebody wrote and asked for this song, as the High Holidays are roaring in and he wanted to perform the song with his chorus.

He'd found the Joseph Feldman 78 recording at the Library of Congress Jukebox under the name A Git Yuhr Zu Alle Leite (A Good Year to Everybody), but couldn't find the words.

I found the sheet music for him, also at Library of Congress but under a different title: A gut masoldig yohr (and inside the cover they spell it A gut maseldig yohr. It was published in 1915. Composer was David Meyerowitz (here spelled Myerowitz).

Feldman did not record the second verse, which is drenched in gloom.



Words and translation after the jump.


A gut yor tsu ale layt

A nayer yor yetst geyt un a yeder bet
Got, git men a mazeldik yor
Es zol keyn shlekhts geshen bet yeder mit geveyn
Un helfn zol undz eyn Got nor
Er zol farnemen undzere trern
Un fargebn undzer zind
Un far undzer veynen zol er unds bashern
A gut yor tsu yeder yidish kind, yo, yo

A gut yor un a mazeldik yor
Zol kumen af undz ale yidelekh

A yor iz yetst avek in tsores un in shrek
In blut iz gezhvumen dayn kind
Pogromen on a tsol, in milkhome ale mol
Geshlakhtet gor on a shum zind
Der on a tatn, der on a mamen,
[?] fiele elend vi a shteyn
Mir betn dikh Got in dayn heylikn nomen
Az mer zo-vos zol whoyn nit geshen.

Fun tsores un fun payn zol shoyn an ende zayn
Zol brengen undz der nayer yor naye glik
Un dayn orem eyfele, dayn orem shefele,
Oy, gib zey shoyn zeyer land tsurik.
Zay shoyn a tate tsu dayne kinder
Mir zoln dir nit blaybn keyn balkhoyv
Un shrayb in yederns kvitele bazunder
Di ksive vkhsime toyve


A new year is come, and everyone prays:
God, give us a lucky year
Each prays, crying: May nothing awful happen
Please just help us, God
May he take away our tears and forgive our sin
And in exchange for our tears may he lavish upon us
A good year, for every Jew. Yes!

May a good, lucky year come for all us Jews

A year has now passed in misery and fear
Your child is swimming in blood
Innumerable pogroms and war all the time
Butchered without any sin at all
Those without a father, without a mother,
they feel desolate as a stone
We beg you, God, in your holy name,
That this shall never happen again.

May there be an end to misery and pain
May the new year bring us new happiness
And your poor infant, your poor sheep,
Oy, give them their land back already.
Be a father to your children
That we may not remain in your debt
And write in the account of each of us
A good inscription and sealing.


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

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