Mudcat Café message #1289942 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9070   Message #1289942
Posted By: Wilfried Schaum
06-Oct-04 - 02:57 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
Subject: RE: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
Joe - your first request was started before I joined the MudCat. Might be good so, because your second version makes better sense with the 2nd stanza.

Vu iz dos gesele, vu iz di shtib (shtub)?
Where is the small lane, where is the chamber?
Vu iz dos meydele, vemen kh'hob lib?
Where is the girl I love?
Ot iz dos gesele, ot iz di shtib,
Ot iz dos meydele, vemen kh'hob lib.
There is ...

Vu iz dos taykhele, vu iz di mil?
Where is the small pond, where is the mill?
Vu iz dos derfele, vu iz di shil?
Where is the small village, where is the school?
Ot iz dos taykhele, ot iz di mil,
Ot iz dos derfele, ot iz di shil.
There is ...

Arayn in di shtiber, mayn veytog iz groys,
In the chambers my pain is great
Alts iz geblibn a kholem nor bloyz,
All that has remained only a dream now
Nishto mer dos gesele, nishto mer di shtib,
Nishto mer dos meydele vemen kh'hob lib.
No more the small lane ... (as in 1st stanza)

The small lane: In former times the Jews were restricted to a limited area in villages and towns, mostly a narrow lane. In my hometown we still have a Jews' lane which is a little bit broader and longer than usual. In cities like Frankfurt and similar metropoles of commerce one could find a Jewish quarter in former times.
Shtib: could be a small house, consisting of only one room.
The school is the synagogue in Yiddish.

The use of the Slavic words ot (there) and nishto (nothing) proves that the song originated in Eastern Europe.