Mudcat Café message #962716 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11507   Message #962716
Posted By: Joe Offer
05-Jun-03 - 04:48 AM
Thread Name: Tune Req: Yoshke,Yoshke
Subject: ADD: Yoshke,Yoshke
While we were down, DADGBE called me and asked if I had any information about a Yiddish song, "Lomir, ale freylekh zayn." I didn't find that exact song, but a couple of books say it is a variation of "Yoshke, Yoshke." I'm hoping DADGBE will post his version. He sang it for me over the phone, but I didn't catch it all.
-Joe Offer-


From Pearls of Yiddish Song (Mlotek)

DER REBE HOT GEHEYSN FREYLEKH ZAYN!
The Rabbi Told Us To Be Merry
Popular melody appearing in numerous collections as an anonymous folksong. The song is possibly derivative of the text presented here which was written by Abraham Goldfaden (1848- 1908), founder of the modern Yiddish theatre, for his operetta Ni-be ni-me ni-kukeriku, staged in Jassy, Rumania In 1878; It appears in two operetta manuscripts in the Sholem Perlmutter collection at YIVO. In the catalogue of the Hebrew Publishing Company. Goldfaden is also cited as the composer of the song.
The words and music underwent many transformations and adaptations. Irving Berlin wove the melody into one of his first songs, "Yiddle on Your Fiddle, Play Some Ragtime," published in 1909. The melody, entitled "Der rebi [sic] hot geheysen lustik zayn" appears in J. Fleischmans 25 Hebrew Songs and Dances (1911). Part of the melody was used in the song "Yoshke. Voshke, shpan dem loshek," published in 1912 by V. L. Cahan. Words and music were published in 1919 by Janot S. Roskin. The song's title was used as the title of Isidore Lillian's operetta, staged in 1921, for which Joseph Rumshinsky's arranged the melody. The melody was also sung to Mark Warshafsky's song about two sisters, Sore and Rifke, and Zanvel Zilberts arranged the melody for the song "Reb Dovidi fun vasilkove," words by F. Fuchs (1924).
In 1952, a French wedding song "Tire l'aiguille" was published with this melody. It was also discovered in 1981 in the Hal and Topsy Frankl collection in Frankfurt as a Simkhas Torah song.
In a Soviet-Yiddish version, published in 1940 by I. Dobrushin and A. Yuditski, the stanza beginning with "Yoshke, Yoshke, shpan dem loshek" was changed to "Lomir, ale freylekh zayn, vayl mit veysn nit fun keyn payn" (Let us all rejoice, for we know no sorrow). The loshek the horse will be strong as iron and will fly like an eagle over the free earth, and enemies, like hares, will be driven from the fields.

Voyl lz dem rebn un di khsidim
Un di khsidim oykh dertsu,
Voyl iz dem rebn un di khsidim,
Un di khsidim oykh dertsu.

Der rebe hot geheysn freylekh zayn,
Ta-di-di-di...
Trinken bronfn, nit keyn vayn,
Ta-di-di-di...

Shtup zhe, shtup zhe,
Shtup dem loshik;
Shtup im, shtup im gikher
Der rebe aleyn shtupt oykh dem loshik,
Shtup im, shtup im gikher.

Yoshke, Yoshke, shpan dem loshik,
Lomir glkher loyfn!
Tomer vet er zikh opshtein,
Veln mir im nit koyfn.

The Rabbi is happy and the Hassidim also.
The Rabbi told us to be merry, to drink whiskey not wine.
Push, push the colt. Push it quicker. The Rabbi himself pushes the colt. Push it quicker.
Yoskhe, Yoshke, harness the colt. Let's run faster. If it stops, we won't buy it.


Version from Zemerl:

Yoshke Yoshke, shpan dem loshik, vet er gicher loyfen,
Tomer vet er zich opshtelen, velen mir ihm nit kenen farkoyfen.
Der Rebbe hot gehesen freilich zain, tai dai dai di dai...
Trinken bronfen nit kain vain, tai dai dai di dam.


From Ruth Rubin's Voices of a People:

A farm song which utilized the pattern of a former drinking song entitled "Yoshke, yoshke, shpan dem loshik" (Yoshke, Yoshke, harness the horse") now described Yoshke as a fleet rider with a horse with "wings of an eagle," who "races over the free earth," driving the "enemies from the fields, like frightened hares." However, the old refrain of der rebe hot geheysn freylech zayn, trinken bronfn nit kayn vayn ("the rebe told us to be gay, to drink whisky and not wine") was changed to lomir ale freylech zayn, vayl mir veysn nit fun kayn payn ("let us all be gay, for we know not of any sorrow").

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