Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
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Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele

DREMLEN FEYGL (Drowsing Birds)

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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Vu Iz Dos Gesele
Where Is the Little Street (Vu Iz Dos Gesele) [Malvina Reynolds]

GUEST,Volgadon 19 Feb 08 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 20 Feb 08 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Sheila 20 Feb 08 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Ah Yiddisheh Mameh 20 Aug 10 - 02:42 AM
GUEST,F. 20 Aug 10 - 11:40 AM
leeneia2 21 Aug 10 - 09:20 AM
Joe Offer 14 Mar 11 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Mar 11 - 06:37 PM
GUEST 05 Jun 11 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,Merle 21 Mar 12 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,Pat S 18 Jul 21 - 10:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 07:25 PM

Come to think of it, zhuravushka is a diminutive form of crane, so maybe he is calling her that.

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 07:49 AM

I found some interesting stuff out here.
It's mentioned as a Russian song from the turn of the century, not a word about Jewish origins, interstingly enough, and compares it to a Polish folk song, collected in Silesia, with similar words and tune. The origin is unknown for both. The Polish (a girl walking along the street) resembles vu iz dos gesele a lot more than the Russian which is about elopement).

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 20 Feb 08 - 08:28 AM

Dear Volgadon,

What incredibly similar melodies. Thank you for your erudition and perseverance. Of course, it will always be my Grammy's voice singing whatever I heard it to be.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Ah Yiddisheh Mameh
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 02:42 AM

This is another rendition of the song, it's heartfelt but the lyrics are a combination of different versions:

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Subject: History of Yiddish for Dummies
From: GUEST,F.
Date: 20 Aug 10 - 11:40 AM

History of Yiddish in a nutshell, as drawn from books and internet sources (not my own research):

- Roman Empire, first centuries AD: Jews from Palestine settled in many parts of the empire, also in southern Germany via Italy and present-day France. The principal languages were "Vulgar Latin" and "Germanic".

- AD 843 to 1348: "High German" in various dialects was spoken by Christians and Jews alike. Many religious terms were of course retained from Latin/Greek resp. Hebrew/Aramaic (tiny traces of Latin as well). All male Jews were supposed to learn Hebrew and Aramaic, the pronunciation was adapted to German usage. Some Jewish writers used the Hebrew letters at hand to write pure German. Slavs were generally not within hearing!

- 1348ff: Many German-speaking Jews fled from socio-religious prosecution to Poland and Lithuania, including present-day Belorus, Ukraine etc.

- 1348 to ca. 1800: There the communities held contact among each other and with the Slav population. The contact with German language was largely interrupted, so Yiddish language evolved, borrowing from those Semitic and Slav languages. The influence of Caucasus Judaism (with their languages Persian and Turkish, the latter by conversions!) was negligable, in terms of genes and language. - German changed considerably as well, together with the sociolects spoken by Jews in Germany (often, but falsely, named "West Yiddish").

- ca. 1800 to 1945: The contact between Yiddish and German speakers increased considerably. Creole versions became common and also influenced the "pure" Yiddish dialects.

- since 1945: Purists try to reestablish True Yiddish, while Hebrew in Israel has to be pronounced the Spanish way. For the first time Yiddish became something like a "religious language": of antizionist Jews centered in New York.

Thus Yiddish can be regarded as an ethnic term (not identical to the wider notion Ashkenazic), although before, say, 1900, Jewish religion was more or less a precondition: apostates would drop the language as quickly as possible. On the other hand, I know persons who think of themselves as "Yids" without speaking Yiddish, "because it was prohibited under Stalin". The popular saying "A yid zol sikh blaybn a yid!" can be translated "A Jew of Yiddish ethnicity should stick to its religious and other customs, such as having no political or military ambitions."

Thus Yiddish folklore is to be treated like any other *ethnic* folklore: for some it is a part of their identity, others are free to borrow or quote it, but the difference must be noted.

F. (neither a Jew nor a historian, just wanting to spread some basic information for madcutters like the one who complained about Wolf Krakowski being unintelligable ...)

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: leeneia2
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 09:20 AM

Volgandon, thanks for the links to music. I printed the music for 'Sz³a dzieweczka' and have added it to my piano book. My husband read the title and said, "I went to school with her!"

AY Mameh, thanks for the history of Yiddish.

I made a MIDI of 'Vu is Dos Gesele,' but I'm beginning to feel that I don't need another piece with its particular tonality.

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Mar 11 - 07:25 PM

There's mention made above of a recording by Jay Black of Jay and the Americans. My friend Mrs. Lev sent me a link to a YouTube recording of the song today - Art work by Marc Chagall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Mar 11 - 06:37 PM

Thanks for the link, Joe. It explains a lot.

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
Date: 05 Jun 11 - 08:51 PM

I hope everyone is clear now about "shtub" vs. "shtib". In the Northeastern dialect ("Litvisher" that covers the area of the former Lithuanian Duchy including the Baltic States, Belarus, Northern Ukraine), the "oo" sound is as in "food". In Central and Southeastern Yiddish (Central includes Poland and Galicia; Southeastern is mostly Ukraine, which would be "Poylishe, Galistyaner, Voliner etc."), the written "oo" sound in most words is pronounced "ee". Thus, because the song came from Russia, it was "shtib" rather than "shtub" which is obvious from the rhyme with "lib"). A "shtub" can be a room, but most often refers to a one-room cottage, which is all poor people could afford. A "shtibl" would be a small one-room cottage (not a "shtubl" in any dialect). I don't know where the custom arose, but Chassidim in particular often set up small shuls in one-room houses which became known as "shtiblekh". But I suppose a "shtibl" could have two rooms or could be someone's living room - the idea is that it is small - not a large synagogue. In New York, you can easily find a storefront "shtibl". I should point out that Mandy Patinkin and Barbra Streisand did not study in a small "shtibl" in "Yentl". If you remember the movie at all, they studied in a large yeshive ("religious high school" for talented Talmudic students).

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Merle
Date: 21 Mar 12 - 09:57 PM

My father was born in 1909. His family was from Byelrus. When I was a little girl, he sang "Vu is dos gesele" in Yiddish and Russian. My transliterations: "Vu is dos gesele, vu is der shtib, vu is dos meydele vemen ich hob lieb, nit taw dos gesele, nit taw der shtib, nit taw dos meydele vemen ich hob lieb."
"Gdyet a ulitzya, gdyet a dom, gdyet a bareshna shtoya lyubov, ot a ulitzya ot a dom, ot a bareshna shtoya lyubov."
His translation as I remember it: "Where is the street, where is the house, where is the little girl I used to love? Gone is the street, gone is the house, gone is the little girl I used to love." He said the song was about a soldier returning home to his village after the war, and the village was completely destroyed. He also said the song was used in a movie made in Europe perhaps sometime in the 1930's.
Two Russian-speakers I spoke to and asked about the song said they didn't really recognize the words I was saying were lyrics from a Russian song. They said it didn't sound like Russian. My "poetic", singable English translation would be, "Where is the house, where is the street, where is the little girl I'd kiss when we'd meet, Gone is the house, gone is the street, gone is the little girl I'd kiss when we'd meet. Several years ago my brother worked as an educational consultant is Kyrgyzstan, and said the first day he was there he came across a street musician singing this song. Jay Black's version is beautiful!

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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Add: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Pat S
Date: 18 Jul 21 - 10:46 PM

Russian, Polish, Silesian, Kyrgyz -- oy! Isn't it obvious? The song is "Szla Dzieweczka do Laseczka" (should be a slash through the first l). The melodies have nothing in common, but the chorus of the Polish song is virtually identical to the verse of the Yiddish song. Easily found on Youtube. The Polish song has no nostalgia or even much romance. The rhythm of its chorus is much the same as "Vi Iz Dus Gesele." "Szla Dzieveczka" is a favorite at Polish weddings, picnics and parties -- often bellowed by drunk people holding hands and swaying. (The Polish song can also be traced to a Hindi song in a Bollywood movie and a song written for a Japanese public television (NHK) children's program... but I digress.)

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