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

Yetst muz ikh im rufn tate - Louis Gilrod Yiddish vaudeville parody of "Now, I Have To Call Him Daddy"

Now I have to call him father
by Louis Gilrod
Sung with the melody from "Now I have to call him father"
Sung with great success by the famous artist Mrs Dora Vaysman

This ditty, published in 1908 by composers Charles Collins and Fred Godfrey, was a hit for, among others, Vesta Victoria (though not as big as "Waiting At The Church," which was featured on this blog in its Yiddish parody version here: Zol zayn mit mazl.

If you're interested in the original lyrics, they're posted at Radio Days, here: Vesta Victoria, Now I Have To Call Him Father! Vesta Victoria (1874-1951) became hugely wealthy on the strength of her comedic songs.

Dora Weissman, lauded here as the famous artist who sang the Yiddish version with huge success, emigrated to New York from the Ukraine with her family when she was two years old. Her father Reuben was a playwright. She played in the Yiddish theater starting as a child and performed her whole wife, notably in vehicles written for her by her husband Anshel Schorr, like Der meydl fun der vest; one of her hits from that show was Hit aykh, meydlekh.

Louis Gilrod's parody keeps the original conceit: that a girl's fiance marries the mother instead. In his version, it's when the guy "tastes her Jewish fish" that he is won over. The same tempting dish wins the day in the song Yidishe Fish.

Here's my version from yesterday, stripped down to its bare bones. The coronavirus quarantine has removed any desire I might have had for embellishment.



There are some nice Yinglish touches here: gespendet was my favorite.

Transliteration of the Yiddish lyrics and translation after the jump.

Gevezn bin ikh gliklekh mit mayn khosn Semke Knish
Yedn tog flegt er mir gebn efsher hundert fuftsik kishbr/>
Er flegt zikh mit mir shpiln glat azoy tsum tsayt fartrayb
Gevezn bin ikh mer vi shur az ikh vel zayn zayn vayb
Biz er hot derzen mayn mame un farzukht mayn mames fish
Un mayn mame hot mir opgeshpilyet mayn khosn Semke Knish

Er flegt mikh rufn kale ikh fleg gliklekh zayn
Ikh fleg im rufn khosn kh'hob gehoft im rufn man
Biz der lets, der sharlatan iz gevorn mayn mames man
Un yetst muz ikh im rufn tate

Er hot af mir gespendet a farmegn gelt yu no
Tsvey mol a vokh getrit mikh tsu a moving piktshur sho
Er hot lib gehat tsu davenen tsu zingen hoykh un shtark
Er hot mit mir gedavnt af a bentsh in Hester Park
Der shlak zol im yetst trefn, dem blofer ot dem slob
Er hot oysgetshenshzet mikh, a moyd, af a sekond hendik vayb

Gestern nakht hob ikh gemeynt az ikh bakum di plats
Ven ikh hob gehert er ruft mayn mame darling litel shats
Shpeter hob ikh oykh gezen durkh der bar-rum tir
Vi er davent mit mayn mame vi er flegt davenen mit mir
Dem nekstn khosn vos ikh vel krign vel ikh haltn far mir aleyn
Un mayn tayere mame vet nit hobn keyn "show" im mer tsu zen


I was happy with my fiance, Sammy Knish
Every day he used to give me about 150 kisses
He used to fool around with me to pass the time
I was more than sure that I'd be his wife
Until he caught sight of my mama and tasted my mama's fish
And my mama took my hook right out of Sammy Knish

He used to call me his fiancee, I used to be happy
I used to call him my fiance, I hoped to call him husband
Until that clown, that charlatan became my mama's husband
And now I have to call him daddy.

He spent a ton of money on me, you know,
Twice a week he'd treat me to a movie
He loved to pray, to sing loud and strong,
He "prayed" with me on a bench in Hester Park
I hope disaster finds him, that bluffer, that slob!
He exchanged me, a maiden, for a second hand wife!

Yesterday night, I thought I'd gain the prize
Until I heard him call my mama "My darling little treasure."
Also, later I saw, through the bar room door,
He was "praying" with my mother the way he used to pray with me.
The next boyfriend I get, I'll keep him for myself.
And my dear mama won't have a show for him to see any more.

For sheet music and/or performances contact me: jane@mappamundi.com

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