“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!