Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Sweet Rosie O'Grady: Yiddish Parody by David Meyerowitz of the famous Irish-American song for St Patrick's Day

UPDATE: I know there are a lot of people interested in cross-dressing performers of the vaudeville and music hall stage who will enjoy this picture I just found of Maude Nugent as a young woman:

Here's the track from our cd Yiddish Ragtime.

Here is another song from Lider Magazin - a Yiddish version of Maude Nugent's Tin Pan Alley Irish-American hit song of 1896. (You can hear her singing the original song on Youtube.)

Last March Randy Kloko, the bass who has sung with me on so many of these Yiddish projects, made an unexpected visit from Florida and he sang on this in time for St Patrick's Day 2019. He is a barbershop quartet expert and added the correct flair! Then we were able to put it on our new cd Yiddish Ragtime.

If you have been looking for a Jewish song to sing for St Patrick's Day, here it is.

Note that in the third verse it is revealed that Rosie is disrespected in society. I believe she is probably a chorus girl or an actress, it was a familiar trope of the day (actually still true) that boys of respectable families would fall in love with show biz dames.

Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.

Svit Rose O'Greydi

In a sheynem libn tog s'vor in a zumer tsayt
Vi ikh bin mit file fraynd geven (mit fraynd geven)
In a kleynem park hob ikh farbrakht mit file yunge layt
Veyst ir fraynd vemen ikh hob gezen (ikh hob gezen)

Mayn zis libe Roze Mayn tayere blum,
Ikh lib ir fun tsu hoyze, zi'z mayn eygntum.
Far ir vel ikh imer shtrebn vayl ikh lib ir on a shir,
Ikh lib mayn Roze mayn lebn un Roze mayn lebn libt mir.

Ikh ken keynmol nit fargesn on di gelibte mayn
Vayl zi blaybt imer mayn ideal (mayn ideal)
Vayl zi hot farshprokhn af imer mayne nor tsu zayn
Vayl zi iz a blum vos vakst nit iberal (nit iber al)

S'iz faran fil layte vos zey zaynen baym festn mut
Dokh bleymen ken ikh zey keyn mol neyn (keyn mol neyn)
Zey kritikirn tsu di leydis un shrayen zi iz nit gut
Vayl zey hobn dokh keyn vore blum gezen (aza blum gezen)

On a beautiful day in summer, when I was with many friends,
In a small park I enjoyed myself with many young people.
Do you know who I saw, friend?

My sweet love Rosa, my dear flower,
I've loved her since we were back home, she belongs to me.
I will always strive for her because I love her endlessly.
I love my Rosa, my life, and Rosa loves me.

I can never forget my beloved
Because she always remains my ideal,
Because she promised to be only mine forever,
Because she is a flower that doesn't grow everywhere.

There are many people of strong character,
I can never blame them, they criticize her
To the ladies and shout that she isn't good
Because they have never seen a true blossom

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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