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Yiddish workers songs

04 May 00 - 04:30 PM (#223105)
Subject: Yiddish workers songs
From: Fedele

Anyone will help me? I'm looking for Yiddish socialist, revolutionary, or workers songs. Actually the only one I know is "In Kamf" as played by the Klezmatics, but I think there are many. I presume that was not the only one Jewish workers sung in America, and I suppose Jews in Eastern Europe had their songs. Isn't there a Yiddish version of the Internationale? Give me any suggestions or links. I'm particularly interested in the Socialist Bunds that appeared in Russia and expecially in the Baltic countries between XIX and XX century, so I'd appreciate any link related to that historical matter. Thank you.

04 May 00 - 05:42 PM (#223152)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Fedele - be sure to look at Zemerl (click) the Jewish song database at Princeton. Not too many songs in the Work (click) category yet, but some.
Also check here (click) for another collection of Jewish songs, including some you'll find very interesting.
-Joe Offer-

04 May 00 - 05:53 PM (#223161)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Chocolate Pi

argh. there's a tape specifically of "Songs of the Jewish Workers" which I have at home, but it's a thousand miles away.
There's "Dorten est mein ruheplatz," and
"Sunday, potatoes,
Monday, potatoes,
Tuesday and Wednesday, potatoes.
Thursday potatoes,
Friday potatoes,
And Shabbos for a special treat we get potato kugel."
and "The cloakmaker's union is a no-good union" and "Dona, Dona" and some lullabies ...

Chocolate Pi (if there is an equation for a curve like a bell, why not a bluebell? And if a bluebell, why not a rose?)
Click for Yiddish lyrics of Bulbes

05 May 00 - 01:37 PM (#223569)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Fedele

Thank u people. Very kind. Could you suggest any CD I could ever find here in Italy? I got both that Klez & CA CD and got Bulbes on a Moni Ovadia (Italian Jewish artist) CD.

05 May 00 - 01:58 PM (#223582)
Subject: ADD: Lomir alle freilach zein

Hi Fedele,

My mother sang this song to me before I spoke English.

Lomir alle freilach zein lomir alle zingen (2x)
Zingen far sholem, zingen far broit,
Boyen a morgen uhn hartz un uhn noit,
Zingen far sholem, zingen far broit,
Boyen a morgen far sholem.

Let us all be happy, let us all sing,
Sing for peace, sing for bread,
Build a morning without heartache without strife,
Sing for peace, sing for bread,
Build a morning of peace.

It's one of my earliest memories.

05 May 00 - 02:25 PM (#223601)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Jacob B


If you are willing to buy something through the mail, then go to www.hatikvahmusic.com and use the "Contact us" button to send them your question. Simon at Hatikvah Music seems extremely knowledgeable, and he can probably send you exactly what you are looking for.

05 May 00 - 02:45 PM (#223617)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Mark Cohen

I found 10 songs that I think are exactly what you are looking for. They are in a book called "The Yiddish Song Book" by Jerry Silverman. Copyright 1983, Stein and Day Publishers, ISBN 0-8128-6130-2 (paperback). The book has melodies, chords, transliterated Yiddish words and Silverman's singable English translations. One of the songs is called "Hirsh Lekert", and is about a member of the Jewish Labor Bund in Vilna, who was executed in 1902. Some of the songs are from Europe and some from America. If you send me your address in a personal message (click on "Quick Links" at the top of the page, then "Send a Personal Message"), I can mail you copies of the songs. (I don't have a scanner or a music program, so I can't send them electronically.) Here are the titles:

Tsum Hemerl (To the Hammer)
Hirsh Lekert
Un Du Akerst (Oh, You Plow -- I don't know the Internationale but this sounds like some kind of anthem, including the words "Man fun arbet, oyfgevacht"--workers, unite)
Dire Gelt (Rent Money)
Bin Ich Mir a Shnayderl (I'm a Little Tailor)
Mayn Rue Plats (My Resting Place -- this is the one Chocolate Pi mentioned; it's one of my favorite songs)
Svetshop (Sweatshop)
Arbeter Froyen (Working Women -- a wonderful feminist anthem a la "Bread and Roses", and also written by a man, David Edelstadt)
In Kamf (In Struggle)
Vos Vet Zayn der Sof? (What Will Be the End?)

Thank you for your question. Now I've rediscovered this wonderful book, and have new songs to learn!


05 May 00 - 04:07 PM (#223673)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Fedele

Thank you all very much. Everybody seems to lend each other a helping hand! (...That's Socialism...)

06 May 00 - 02:39 AM (#223936)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Sourdough

It may be Socialism but it could also be thoughtfulness and the enjoyment of sharing things loved.


06 May 00 - 10:20 AM (#224008)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Fedele

Yes. I agree. But what you say is just the essence of my view about Socialism...

10 Nov 04 - 10:00 PM (#1323001)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: GUEST,Michael Halberstadt

you might find the song Die Moorsoldaten of interest. There was also an English cover of this by folk great Luke Kelly (of the Dubliners??) called the Peat Bog Soldiers. As I recall this has to do with the first Nazi KZ (concentration camp.)

Also there is a song called >>Arbeitlosen Marsch<< or Unemployeed March.

There are a number of websites dedicated to such music, for example:

(songs of the former GDR from the successor of the Socialist Unity Party)

11 Nov 04 - 02:11 AM (#1323176)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Un du ackerst ...
Yiddish translation of:
Bundeslied für den Allgemeinen deutschen Arbeiterverein
(Federation Song for the German Workers' General Union)
by Georg Herwegh, 1864.
Herwegh (1817 - 1875, "The Iron Lark") was a well known poet of the 1848 revolution, fighting for socialism and a free German Republic.
By later Young Socialists the song was attributed to Erich Weinert, a writer in the German Democratic Republic. This is utterly false.

A fine song is also: Oyf'm weg nach Simferopol (click) about farming on the Krim, when Jews were allowed to own land after the October Revolution. (A Treasury of Jewish Folksong / by Ruth Rubin. - New York : Schocken Books, 1950)

11 Nov 04 - 02:48 PM (#1323569)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs

Frank Krasnowsky of Seattle has a double cassette titled "Songs of the Jewish Workers" (maybe the one Chocolate Pi referred to above). As it happens, I have two copies of one cassette, which I'd be happy to pass on. PM me for info.
I think Frank is still around, though he's over 80. Address: Chutzpah!, PO Box 414, Duvall, WA 98019. That may be out of date.

Alse Mark Levy has a CD, "Bin Ikh Mir A Schnayderl". Mitzvah Music, PO Box 559 Felton CA 95018. I think that's the only way my grandfather didn't spell "Schneider"!

Franz Schneider

12 Nov 04 - 01:47 AM (#1324284)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Who was the kind soul who inserted the two links into my previous post? Maybe you, Joe? Thanks a lot for helping out!


12 Nov 04 - 07:41 AM (#1324436)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Internationale, Yiddish:
in Hebrew characters
in Roman characters
In both versions only the first stanza is given. Orthography is faulty, e.g. the first word sheitmust be shteit = stand up ...

26 Oct 07 - 08:40 PM (#2180156)
Subject: origins: Lomir alle freylakh zayn
From: Joe Offer

So, DADGBE is here visiting, and he sang "Lomir alle freylakh zayn." All I could find is this:

    Lomir alle freylakh zayn, lomir alle zingen,
    zingen far sholum, zingen far broyd,
    boyen a morgn on hass un on noyt,
    boyen a morgn b'sholum
...which is about the same thing DADGBE posted above. Anybody know anything else about this song?

source: http://shakti.trincoll.edu/~mendele/vol04/vol04.070

29 Oct 07 - 08:00 AM (#2181666)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

As so often a problem of orthography. A certain knowledge of Middle (not Old!) High German can prove helpful.

Look up "lomir ale freylekh zayn": nine hits with Google, one of them DADGBE's question.
[Note: When not using the quotation marks you'll get 733 hits where only single words are contained, not the entire phrase only.]

Sing and enjoy

30 Oct 07 - 10:36 AM (#2182636)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

maybe you could contact Juliana Yaffé, a beautiful singer who started a Yiddish project.

31 Oct 07 - 12:53 AM (#2183227)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Donuel

Oy Vay mama nuishtay
In seteya via
hertzben brenta fire

an early memory but thats all thats left.

31 Oct 07 - 01:06 AM (#2183233)
Subject: Lomir ale freylekh zayn
From: Joe Offer

My friend Mrs. Lev sent my request to somebody, who posted it on the Jewish Music List. Here's the most significant response:
    from Lori Cahan-Simon:
    The song "Lomir ale freylekh zayn", aka "Sholem lid", has been recorded a number of times by people such as Martha Schlamme and Betty Klein. The first song on my Chanukah is Freylekh CD, "Khanike iz freylekh", uses this same melody, possibly written by Yosef Shrogin, a composer connected with the Los Angeles Secular Community. Alternately, a former Camp Hemshekh attendee remembers that song being introduced by music teacher/composer Ben-Yomen. It can be found on p. 117 of the Kinderbuch publication Lomirkinder zingen/Let's Sing a Yiddish Song. This melody is also similar to "Barikadn", pp. 84-85 in Songs of Generations/Lider fun dor tsu dor, the third book of the Mlotek's series, available at the Jewish Bookstore of theWorkmen's Circle in NYC and probably from the National Yiddish Book Center'sbookstore. Here are the lyrics as I have them:

      Lomir ale freylekh zayn, *Let us all rejoice,*
      Lomir ale zingen. *Let us all sing.*
      Lomir ale freylekh zayn, *Let us all rejoice*
      Lomir ale zingen. *Let us all sing.*
      Zingen far sholem, *Sing for peace*,
      Zingen far broyt, *Sing for bread.*
      Boyen a morgn *Build a future*
      On has un on noyt. *Without hate or need.*
      Zingen far sholem, *Sing for peace,*
      Zingen far broyt, *Sing for bread*
      Boyen a morgn fun sholem, *Build a future of peace,*
      Boyen a morgn fun sholem, *Build a future of peace.*

    **I hope this has been helpful.
    mit a muzikalishn grus, Leyele
Not as complete an answer as I was hoping for, but a darn good start. Thanks, Leyele and Andy and Mrs. Lev!
-Joe Offer-

24 May 11 - 06:52 PM (#3160006)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: Jack Campin

I reckon if anybody can help with songs from the UK, it'll be David Mazower (great-grandson of Scholem Asch and the author of a phenomenally well-informed book "Yiddish Theatre in London"). I don't have any contact info for him but the Jewish Music Institute at SOAS (University of London) can find him.

24 May 11 - 07:15 PM (#3160020)
Subject: RE: Yiddish workers songs
From: GUEST,Azoic

"Mayn Rue Platz" by June Tabor from the cd "Aqaba".