DER YIDDISH-VINKL March 11, 2005

A WEEKLY BRIEFING ON THE MOTHER TONGUE

Published March 11, 2005, issue of March 11, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Al Grand is back with us again, with one of his inimitable translations of Gilbert and Sullivan into Yiddish. The Savoyards, so called because their musicals were performed in the Savoy Hotel’s theater, were and are Grand’s passion. His e-mail address is Savoyid. What follows are passages from G&S’s “Pirates of Penzance” in English, which Grand translates as “Di Yam Gazlonim.”

English Original

FREDERIC:

Oh, is there not one maiden breast

Which does not feel the moral beauty

Of making worldly interest

Subordinate to a sense of duty?

Who would not give up willingly

All matrimonial ambition

To rescue such a one as I

From his unfortunate position?

GIRLS:

Alas! There’s not one maiden breast

Which seems to feel the moral beauty

Of making worldly interest

Subordinate to a sense of duty!

FREDERIC:

Oh, is there not one maiden here

Whose homely face and bad complexion

Have caused all hope to disappear

Of ever winning man’s affection?

Of such a one, if such there be,

I swear by heaven’s arch above you

If you will cast your eyes on me

However plain you be, I’ll love you.

However plain you be

If you will cast your eyes on me

However plain you be

I’ll love you, I’ll love you, I’ll love you.

GIRLS:

Alas. There’s not a one maiden here

Whose homely face and bad complexion

Have caused all hope to disappear

Of ever winning man’s affection.

Yiddish Version

FAYVL:

Avu iz do a meydl sheyn

Vos hot oyf mir a kap rakhmones

Un vet bald shenken mir aleyn

Ir gut harts un ir nemones.

Tsi ir zayt gut vi ir zayt sheyn?

Dos ken men zen, s’iz nit kayn frage

Oy helft mir, lozt mikh nit aleyn

Un ratevet mikh fun mayn lage.

Oy ra-te-vet un helft mir aroys

Fun mayn um-glik-er un shver-er lage.

MEYLEKH:

Es iz nito kayn meydl sheyn

Vos hot oyf dir kayn kap rakhmones

Un vet bald shenken dir aleyn

Ir gut harts un ir nemones.

FAYVL:

Gefint zikh do a meydl fayn

Vos hot a zeyer mis ponim

Un keyn mol vet keyn kale zayn

(To audience) Oy trefn zol es mayne sonim!






Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.