Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
Index of songs on this site
Link to comprehensive index and research notes
Youtube: all the Penny Songs I've recorded so far (with subtitles)

About this project ♦ ♦ About Jane Peppler
List of the still-lost songs: do you know any of them?
Search the blog:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Gey shnel aheym - Yiddish parody of the Walter Wilson song "Ain't Dat A Shame"

The original song, Ain't Dat A Shame, published in 1901 by John Queen and Walter Wilson, was probably inspired by Frankie Baker, who in 1899 shot her man for going to a dance with another woman. She became the star of "Frankie and Johnny" and there are strains of the famous melody within this one. (In Ain't Dat A Shame, though, the philandering man thinks better of it and goes home, only to find she's locked the door, so nobody dies.)

The Yiddish parody written by Louis Gilrod probably began as just the title, which fit so nicely against the English language original. In the first verse a woman sends her suitor home; in the second verse a wife sends her gambling husband home; in the third verse a boarder sends his lovelorn landlady home.

Barb Coffman played the keyboard and Randy Kloko joined me on this song for our album Yiddish Ragtime

Here's our recording:

Transliteration and translation after the jump.

Gey shnel aheym

Shtark farzorgt iz Berke tsu zayn Beyle gekumen tsu geyn.
Er muz eyn mol far ale mol yetst visn vi zey shteyn.
Genug gevart - un geven genart.
Beyle iz shvakh un mid aheym gekumen fun shop.
Berkes taynes zaynen ir git gekrokhn in kop.
Zi hot nervez - gezogt im beys:

Gey dir aheym, gey shnel aheym!
Du host a moyekh geshtopt mit leym.
(Megst hobn a bisl seykhl)
Oyb du vilst visn vi mir shteyn,
Zog ikh dir Berke: du kenst dir geyn!

Farzorgt zitst Mrs Kohn, es iz shoyn shpet bay nakht.
Vu ken yetst zayn ir man? Veynt zi farzorgt, farshmakht.
Zi loyft far kas - im zukhn in gas.
Farshvitst zitst Mr Kohn in salon baym poyker geym.
Farshpilt zayn gelt in kortn, hot moyre geyn aheym.
In a guter sho - zayn vayb iz do.

Gey dir aheym, gey shnel aheym!
Genug geshvitst shoyn baym poyker geym!
(Megst zikh shemen, a papa fun kinder)
Du vest shoyn shpiln mitn lebn bay mir,
Nit a peni trogstu mer mit dir.

Mrs B. halt borders mit borderkes in shtib,
Nor Lieberman dem border hot zi ambestn lib.
Zi mont im keyn rent - vos tut men mit rent?
Lieberman hot zikh farlibt in a borderke gants sheyn.
Un mit groys parade in a sheyner hal iz di khasene geven!
Mrs B shrayt gevald, er entfert ir bald:

Gey shoyn aheym, gey shnel aheym!
Mayn libe Missus, phooey it's a shame...
(hot a bisl shande)
Vi hot ir keyn seykhl tsu kumen tsu geyn
Un farshtern a khasene zo raykh un sheyn

Go Right Home

Berke was very worried going to his Beyle's house: He must find out once and for all where he stands with her. Enough with waiting and being disappointed. Beyle came home from the shop weak and tired. Berke's complaints were really getting to her. Nervous and angry, she told him:

Go home right now! Your brain is stuffed with clay. (Have some sense.) If you want to know where we stand, I'm telling you, Berke: you can go home!

Mrs Kohn is sitting, worried, it's already late at night. In a tizzy she asks: Where can her husband be? She runs outside, angry, to look for him. Mr Kohn is sitting, sweating, playing poker in the saloon. He lost his money playing cards, he's afraid to go home. Lucky him: his wife is here.

Go home right away! Enough already with sweating over the poker table. (And you, a father with children!) Next it'll be my life you're betting with. You never have a penny with you any more.

Mrs. B keeps boarders in her house. Lieberman's the boarder she loves best. She doesn't make him pay rent. What does she need rent for? Lieberman fell in love with a very pretty boarder. And the wedding took place with a big parade in a lovely hall. Mrs. B bellyached, he quickly answered her:

Go right home! My dear landlady, phooey, it's a shame. (Have a little shame.) How can you be so stupid as to come disrupt such a rich and beautiful wedding?

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home