Researching Yiddish penny songs (tenement song broadsides of theater and variety show songs, 1895-1925)
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Youtube: all the Penny Songs I've recorded so far (with subtitles)

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Imer dos zelbe vert nimes - Everything the same is boring - Yiddish vaudeville song to a Harry von Tilzer favorite

Always the same becomes boring
To sing with the melody from the English song IDAHO!
by Louis Gilrod

Here is a song title nobody would ever use any more, Whoah IDA-HO! Whoah. It's evidently capitalizing on some wild-west theme. Here is the rather naughty beginning of the chorus:
Ida-ho, whoa!
Don't go so fast, dear
My horse won't last, dear,
So please go slow.
I did a little digging on the composer and discovered his original name was Arie Gumbinsky and his parents were married by a rabbi in Detroit. You can read what I put together here: Harry Von Tilzer. His life is a case study in obliterating a Jewish heritage via artful obfuscations.

He's written loads of the songs on this blog. His half-brother Albert wrote "Take Me Out To The Ball Game."

Louis Gilrod is in his usual period-appropriate misogynist, cynical form here with the parody. I cobbled the piano part together by myself and recorded the song yesterday (just the 2nd and 3rd verses):

Some infrequently used Daytshmerisms in this song like nie (never) and imertsu - immerzu (always)

Transliteration and translation from the Yiddish after the jump.

Imer dos zelbe vert nimes

Libe fraynde ikh zog aykh az imertsi di zelbe zakh
Vert nimes un est zikh tsi
Darum hob ikh mikh yetst farzen, mit a lidl nay un sheyn,
Hert dos git tsi nemt aykh di mi.
S'iz mir gekimen afn zinen
Ikh zog es aykh gants fray az ales vos iz nay,
Iz do interes derinen
Un es iz keday
Tsu zingen imer naye lider un makhn sukses derbay

Vayl imer tsu di zelbe zakh vert nimes, afile tsimes
Dos toyg aykh nie,
Darum loyf ikh un krikh un zukh nor nayes
Vayl imer dos zelbe, dos est zukh tsu.

Ikh tref mayn shokhn shpet bay nakht
In gas shpatsirn shtark fartrakht
Ikh stop im zog im helo
Iberrasht blaybt er bald shteyn
Er hot farshtanen bald mayn meyn
S'iz biznes zogt er yu no
Farshteyt ir mikh zogt mir mayn shokhn
May vayb iz, Got zay dank, di vokh geferlekh krank
Khalevay iz dos af lang
Ven zi zol afile kenen kokhn
Volt ikh oykh gezogt a dank
Vayl ire esens zaynen alt, epes frish iz mayn farlang

Imer tsu di zelbe zakh vert nimes, afile tsimes,
Dos toyg oykh nye
Darum gey ikh atsind un zukh vos nayes
Imer dos zelbe est zikh tsu

Ikh hob gevoynt af a lozhi
Ikh vor tsufridn oykh dertsi
Fun mayn mises a lebn af ir
Di zelbe tshikens, zelbn vayn,
dos zelbe vos zi git ir man
Gebn flegt zi mir.
Nor layder hob ikh gemuzt mufn,
Aynfakh nor derfar, bekos zi flegt zogar
Mikh bay nakht nit lozn shlufn
Zi flegt khrapen vi a kar
Ir man fregt mikh far vos ikh muf entfer
Ikh im dos:

Imer tsu di zelbe zakh vert nimes, afile tsimes
Dos toyg oykh nye
Darum muf ikh atsind un zikh a naye misses
Vayl imer dos zelbe est zikh tsu

The same thing all the time gets boring

Dear friends I tell you: always the same thing gets
boring and tedious
Therefore I've provided myself now with a new and
pretty little song
Take the trouble to hear me out
I've noticed, I tell you freely, that everything new
is inherently interesting
And it's worth it to sing new songs all the time and
thereby achieve success

Because the same thing all the time gets boring -
even tsimmes
It's never going to suit you
So I run and crawl and seek only what's new
Because always the same, that's tedious.

I run into my neighbor late at night
Walking in the street, very distracted
I stop him and say hello
He stands there, surprised
He soon understood what I was thinking.
"It's business, you know," he says.
"Understand," says my neighbor,
My wife is, thank the Lord, dangerously sick this
If only this state of affairs can continue!
Even if she were able to cook, I'd also be thankful
Because I'm tired of her food, I long for something

Because the same thing all the time gets boring -
even tsimmes
It never does the trick
So I'm going now to find something new
The same thing all the time, that's tedious

I lived at a boarding house
I was happy with my landlady, good health to her,
The same chickens, the same wine,
Just the same that she gives her husband,
She used to give me.
But alas, I had to move
Because she wouldn't even let me sleep at night.
She'd snore like an automobile
Her husband asked why I was moving, I answered:

The same thing all the time gets boring - even
It never does the trick
So I'm moving now and looking for a new landlady
Because the same thing all the time, that's tedious

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:


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