Mudcat Café message #142992 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15715   Message #142992
Posted By: Charlie Baum
30-Nov-99 - 10:59 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: 'Banks of the Ohio' in Yiddish
Well, the tune is different, but the subject matter is similar enough:

In 1934, Moshe Beregovski collected "Toiznter menchn shpatzirn gegangen" and published it in Evreiiski muzykal'nyi fol'klor {Jewish Folk Music], vol. 1 (Moscow; Gosmuzizdat, 1934)
Even if it isn't a Yiddish version of "Banks of the Ohio," it has some similar images.

A translation first, by Mark Slobin, who edited translated Moshe Beregovski's works as Old Jewish Folk Music (University of Pennsylvania Press, Phildelphia, 1982):

Thousands of people went walking
They all went at the same time
Then suddenly you hear a commotion
That someone fell into the river

As he fell into the river, the sun suddenly went down.
Then they made a plan
Thousands of people seeking a good deed
Ran to rescue a young man

When they pulled him out of the river
His feet were bitten
When they laid him on his bier
They tore up his engagement contract

Weep, all you people, weep and wail
Make a row
I thought I'd go to the altar [wedding canopy]
But at the end I must go to the funeral.

Transliteration (not Beregovski's original system, since I can't do c-hacheks and s-hacheks in html, and he uses c, x, and j in Eastern European ways.)

(Last 2 lines of each stranza repeat)

Toiznter menchn shpatzirn gegangen
Gegangen zainen zei ale glaikh
Un mit der vaile derhert men a rash
Az a mench iz arain in taikh.

Vi er iz arain in taikh, di zun iz arop mitamol
Azoi hot men gemakht a plan
Toiznter menchn far mitzves gelofn
Tsu rateven a yungechkn man.

Vi me hot im fun taikh aroisgenumen
Di fis zainen geven tsebisn
Vi me hot im afn tare-bet geleigt
Azoi hot men di tnoyim tserisn.

Veint, ale menchn, veint un klogt
Nemt zikh arop ain raye
Ikh hob gemeint tsu der khupe gein
Tsum sof darf ikh gein tsy der levaye.

--Charlie Baum

(I'll keep searching for a translation of the real Banks of the Ohio into Yiddish. If I can't find it, I'll have to translate it myself.) "Kum gei shpatziern, a bissel shpatz mit mikh..."