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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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Kum tsu mir mayn kenign (Come to me, my queen!) by Louis Gilrod 1899

Come to me, my queen
To sing with the melody from the English song
Come To Me My Lady Love (Ma Lady Lu) 

You notice that the title as given in Judah Katzenelenbogen's Lider Magazin was incorrect. That often happens and then I get to use my sleuthing skills. In the end I have to rely on the Cinderella glass slipper approach: do the Yiddish lyrics fit? 

Louis Gilrod was a very young man, disappointed in love. Things rarely go smoothly for his parshoynen

This song was in my file folder called "duds" but pianist Glenn Mehrback did a bang-up job improving it. Thanks Glenn! 

I usually defend the Yinglish / Daytshmerish lyrics of the penny songs but this one went too far when it rhymed kenign with untertenik un

Here's yesterday's recording, my vocal done over Glenn's wav file. Ordinarily he follows the vocalist so it was a challenge to follow his rubato rendition! 

Transliteration from the Yiddish and translation after the jump. 


To sing with the melody from the English song
Come To Me My Lady Love (Ma Lady Lu)

Vi der ziser reyekh fun frishe blumen
Zo tayer is dayn libe mir
Mayn gantses herts in fang host du genumen
Mayn orem herts tsit nor tsu dir

Ven di levone shaynt, di shtern finklen
Un ales shaynt zo shtil un mid.
Dan veynt mayn herts fun ale vinklen
Un ruft dikh mit a libe lid.

Kom tsu mir mayn kenign!
Libn vel ikh dir untertenig - in
bloyz dayn ziser blik --
ot dos vet zayn mayn glik,
Mayn lon fun dir mayn kenign.
Kom tsu mir mayn kenign!
On dir iz als mir veynik - in -
ven du zolst kenen zen
mayn herts volst du farshteyn
vi heys ikh lib dikh mayn kenign.

Sheyne kenign fun maynem hertsn,
Herst du den nit vi mayn herts klogt?
Varum barekhenst du nit mayne shmertsn?
Varum host du mi opgezogt?
Dayn gezikht iz sheyner vi di zonne.
Dayn blik iz zis, himlesh un mild.
Dayn sheyner kop iz shtoltser fun der krone.
Dayn kerper iz a getlekh bild.

Keyn ander zakh bahersht mayne gedanken
Vi du aleyn gelibte mayn
Dayn yedes vort iz mir vi liebes tranken
Dayn shtime iz vi der zister vayn
Ven du redst meyn ikh mlokhim zingen
Fun poezie un himlekh nor
Un mit a zisn shtiln shlof a gringen
Lib ikh fun dir tsu drimlekh nor.

Like the sweet smell of fresh flowers -
That's how dear your love is to me.
You've captured my whole heart.
My poor heart beats only for you.

When the moon shines, the stars twinkle
and everything shines, so quiet and weary.
Then my heart calls out from every corner
and beckons you with a love song.

Come to me, my queen!
I will humbly love you, and
only your sweet glance, just that, will be
my happiness, my reward from you, my queen.

Come to me, my queen!
Without you nothing satisfies me - and
if you could only see my heart, you'd understand
how ardently I love you, my queen.

Lovely queen of my heart,
don't you hear how my heart laments?
Why don't you think about my suffering?
Why have you refused me?

Your face is more beautiful than the sun.
Your glance is sweet, heavenly, and mild.
Your lovely head is prouder than the crown.
Your body is a godlike image.

For sheet music and/or performances contact me:


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