Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
Index of songs on this site
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, April 30, 2020

Zumer bay nakht in di ayz krim parlors (Summer nights in the ice cream parlors) - 1907 Yiddish Vaudeville parody

Summer at night in the icecream-parlors
by Louis Gilrod and D. Smulesko
To sing with the melody from the English song
Won't you come over to Philly, Willie?

Again a Yiddish version of a ditsy Tin Pan Alley waltz, Won't You Come Over To Philly, Willie? by composer J. Fred Helf, original words by Ed Gardenier, from 1907. The parody was probably written the same year, and was published in Yehudah Katzenelenbogn's Lider magazin, again by Louis Gilrod but this time in partnership with A. Smolesko, I don't know who that is.

Three things really amused me here. First, "the boarder squeezes a lemon right into the landlady's soda." Hahaha. Secondly, that the ice cream parlor, like the picnic, was a place where Jews accustomed to close supervision could have a little fun without chaperones. For that reason they are both categorized as locations of sin.

Third: "you can gulp down ice cream just like free lunch." Free lunch came up in another song recently so I looked it up. Turns out saloons offered their patrons free lunch in hopes they could make the money back on drinks.

"After Prohibition had killed the saloons, old timers waxed lyrical describing the free lunches of the grand old palaces, or rather the gourmet buffet dinners of tiny, savoury meatballs, French Gruyere cheese, hickory-cured ham, and other dainties." Narrow, twenty-foot-long tables in these establishments would be covered with "spotless white linen and plates of delicacies to please the most discerning tastes." The more plain saloon would serve cold cuts, or yellow cheese; beans, stalks of celery -- whatever was easy to procure and inexpensive to serve. Above all, the free lunch featured salted food: pretzels, rye bread, smoked herring, salted peanuts, potato chips, and dill pickles.

Here's my living room version from yesterday:

Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.

Zumer bay nakht in di ayzkrim parlors

Ven der zumer kumt on iz a plezhur a prakht
Ales lebt uf af dos nay
Ven der tog geyt fariber un es kumt on di nakht
Un di luft iz zo frish un zo fray
Der geyt shpatsirn, der fort in a park,
Der krikht tsu der shkheyne nekst dor.
Dos ales gefelt mir gor nit azoy shtark
Mayn plezhur gefin ikh mir nor:

Zumer bay nakht in di ayz krim parlors
Dort iz do fon baym bontsh!
Missus mit borders, khasanim, kales,
Men shling ayz krim punkt vi fri lontsh!
Der border kvetsht di missus a lemen punkt in der sode arayn...
Zumer bay nakht in di ayz krim parlors
Kvetsht men zikh liblekh un fayn

Vu treft men a bokher fun zibetsik yor?
Vu treft men a bsule on tseyn?
Vu treft men a leydi mit koyl shvartse hor
Vos treft bay aykh di vatsh un tsheyn?
Vu treft di missus dem mister bay nakht
Ven er zogt tsu a moyd: "Lyube mayn..."
Ven di missus vert beyz un a lyarem zi makht
Farfort zi dem mister gants fayn!

Yukl der bigler hot zikh forgeshtelt
Als singl man tsum tsayt fartrayb.
Spendin af a meydl flegt er zayn gants gelt
Fargesn in yurop zayn vayb.
Nor eyn mol bay nakht (hert nor oys Yukl's glik):
Mit tsvey meydn zitst er gants fayn.
Zayn vayb Khane Brayne mit pipkes zeks shtik
Kumt plutsim gants breytlekh arayn!

When summer comes, what a pretty pleasure.
Everybody lives it up again
When the day is over and night comes on
And the air is so fresh and free.
One goes walking, one goes to a park,
One creeps over to his next door neighbor.
None of this pleases me so strongly.
I find my pleasure:

Summer nights in the ice cream parlors,
There you find a bunch of fun!
Landladies with their boarders, bridegrooms and brides,
You gulp ice cream just like free lunch!
The boarder squeezes a lemon right into his landlady's soda...
Summer nights in the ice cream parlors
People are embracing freely and fine.

Where do you find a 70-year-old bachelor?
Where do you find a toothless maiden?
Where do you find a lady with coal black hair
Who "finds" your watch and chain?
Where does the landlady find her husband at night
When he's calling some girl "My love..."
When the landlady gets mad and starts a ruckus
She slaps her mister very well!

Yukl the ironer passed himself off as a single man
When he went out to have a good time.
He used to spend all his money on a girl
Forgetting about his wife in Europe.
But one night (listen to Yukl's luck)
He's sitting so fine with two girls,
His wife Khane Brayne with six children
Suddenly comes sailing in!

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:


Post a Comment

<< Home