DER YIDDISH-VINKL January 27, 2006


Published January 27, 2006, issue of January 27, 2006.
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“Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Songs” is one of several compendia of Yiddish songs edited by Eleanor and Joseph Mlotek. What follows is a folk song titled “Ikh Bin Shoyn a Meydl in Di Yorn.” Among the obstacles to getting married are two roadblocks — a dowry and yikhes.

What follows are the text of the poem in Yiddish, and an English version by Gus Tyler.

Ikh Bin Shoyn a Meydl in Di Yorn

Ikh bin shoyn a meydl in di yorn

Vos hostu mir dem kop fardreyt?

Ikh volt shoyn lang a kale gevorn

Un efsher take a khasene gehat.

Un efsher geyt dir, ketsele, in nadn?

Di mame vet farkoyfn di shtib;

Mir veln beyde khasene hobn,

Vayl ikh hob dikh lib!

Un efsher viltstu visn mayn yikhes?

Der zeyde iz gevezn a rov;

Lomir beyde khasene hobn,

Un zol shoyn nemen a sof.

I’m Not Such a Young Girl Anymore

I am no longer just a girl

Why do you get me so confused?

Marriage I might’ve given a twirl

Instead I feel my hopes abused.

Is it, dear, no dowry’s here?

My mom will sell her lovely house

Let’s marry ’cause I love you, Dear

’Cause you’re a man and not a mouse.

You want to know my pedigree?

My grandpa was a rabbi great

So waste no time and let’s agree

Let’s hurry up and set a date!

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