Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Pinokl (Pinochle) - Morris Goldstein's Yiddish vaudeville hit of 1918

Allen Lewis Rickman wrote and asked if I'd post this song. I couldn't have done it without the transcription skills of Sam Weiss, who volunteered out of his esteem for Mr. Rickman!

I usually have to stick to songs for which there is either a broadside or sheet music because I'm not good at teasing out the lyrics of the old-time singers.

Here is Morris Goldstein singing:

I don't know anything about Morris Goldstein (though he has been featured on this blog several times before, you can put his name in the search box and see) and I also know nothing about pinochle except that my father and his brothers used to play it.

In Yiddish I've also seen it spelled pinakl, pinakel, pinokel, etc.

As usual, lots of double entendre here. Transcription and translation after the jump.


Pinokl iz zeyer shtark in der mode
In salon vi oykh in der heym
Mener un vayber un boyes mit meydlekh
A yeder rayst-ayn di geym

Azoy vi me kumt nor aheym fun der arbet
Me est-op dem saper vos gikh
In d’rerd der teater!
Me geyt nit in ergets
Oyf shpiln bazetzt men zikh

Pinokl, a gut top fun pinokl
Dos iz a tayere geym
Me rayst di geym, es geyt azh a roykh
In kitshen in front-rum in beder-rum oykh

Pinokl, a gut top fun pinokl
Fun ale geyms iz es di fon
Shabes-nakht zeyger-tsvey
Makht dos vayb a geshrey
Vayl der man hot farloyrn in gantsn di pey

Pinokl iz file-mol zeyer nister
Zogar ven a froy blaybt aleyn
Un der man geyt avek in a miting tsum bayshpil
Un kumt ersht shpet glaykh tsu geyn

Der border iz grade a pinokl-shpiler
Farshteyt a gesheft eyns-un-tsvey
Der man kumt aheym, greytn zikh beyde tsum shpiln
Vos meynt ir -- shplin zey?

Pinokl, a gut top fun pinokl
A plezher tsu shpiln di geym
Zi ruft dem border “mayn tayerer Mack”
Zi meldet di Kvins un er meldet di Jack

Pinokl, a gut top fun pinokl
Du muzt es batsoln fun dem
Du man, zogt zi gikh,
Du megst zikh shemen on shir
Der border shpilt pinokl beser fun dir
Er gevint bay mir ayede geym!


Pinochle is very fashionable in saloons and also in the home
Men and women, boys and girls tear into the game!

As soon as I get home from work I very quickly eat up my supper
To hell with the theater! You don't go anywhere,
You just sit down to play.

Pinochle, a good hand of pinochle, that's a great game.
You tear into it, it's going splendidly,
In the kitchen, in the parlor, also in the bedroom...

Pinochle, a good hand of pinochle, it's more fun than all the other games.
Shabes night at 2 the wife shrieks
Because her husband lost all his pay at pinochle in the saloon.

Pinochle is often very secret, especially when a wife is left by herself
And her husband goes off to a meeting, for example,
And doesn't come home until late.

The boarder is quite the pinochle player
He understands the business quite well
The husband comes home, they both get ready to play
What do you think, do they play?

Pinochle, a good game of pinochle, a pleasure to play the game
She calls the boarder "My dear Mack,"
She melds (discloses) the Queens and he melds the Jack

Pinochle, a good hand of pinochle, you have to pay for it
She quickly says "You, husband, should be so ashamed,
The boarder plays pinochle better than you do.
He wins every time we play!"

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:

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