Mudcat Café message #12505 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2800   Message #12505
Posted By: rechal
18-Sep-97 - 09:23 PM
Thread Name: Hebrew/ Yiddish/ Ladino songs
Subject: Lyr Add: TUMBALALAIKA
Hi gang! Tried to post from home the other night and my browser just wouldn't behave. Anyway, Frank ITS, loved the song. It's a genre that crops up fairly frequently in folksongs; Scarborough Fair and The Wind May Blow Your Plaid Away are two English (or Scottish; leastaways, they're not in Swahili) examples.


My Bubbie used to sing me a Yiddish song called TUMBALALAIKA. I don't speak Yiddish, but the English transalation is very singable. Far from being comical, this tune is quite mournful (as most good Jewish tunes are).

Tumbalalaika

Maiden, maiden, tell me true
What can grow without the dew
What can burn for years and years
And what can cry without any tears

Tumbala, tumbala, tumbalalaika
Tumbala, tumbala, tumbalalaika
Tumbalalaika (something Yiddish that sounds like "spiel ein balaika")
Tumbalalaika, (something "frey something something.")

Silly boy, the answer true
A stone can grow without the dew
Love can burn for years and years
And a heart can cry without any tears
tumbala, etcetera

But my favorite Hebrew song is and always has been the one to which I used to dance with my first boyfriend in first grade.

Simi ya-day-ach, b'yadi
Ah-ni she-lach, v'aht shelli
Simi ya-day-ach, b'yadi
Ah-ni she-lach, v'aht shelli
Hey, hey, Dahlia, bat har-ee, y'fay-fee-ah!
Hey, hey, Dahlia, bat har-ee, y'fay-fee-ah!

The transalation is:
Put your hands in my hands
I am yours, and you are mine
(2x)
Hey, hey, Dahlia, daughter of the mountains, how beautiful you are!


I think the word is Dahlia, and I think it's a woman's name or sumthin'. But I just love the idea of a "daughter of the mountains," and the tune is so sweet and lilting.

My "adult" favorite is Erev Shel Shoshanim, or Night of the Roses, which I don't know the words to but really wish I did. The melody is incredibly haunting and seductive. Shula, can you help? B'vakashah?