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DER YIDDISH-VINKL March 21, 2003

Jewish literature had, in the days of massive Jewish immigration into the United States, many poems and songs about Christopher Columbus. The sentiments generally expressed fell into one of two categories. One ended with a “klog oyf Kolumbusn.” Others rang out with a “Lebn zol Kolombus.” It all depended on how one fared in the goldene medine.

The poem-song that follows was written by Arnold Perlmutter and H. Wohl. The music as well as the original Jewish (Hebrew alphabet) version and an English transliteration appear in “Mir Trogn a Gezang,” a compilation by Eleanor Gordon Mlotek.

The English version is by Gus Tyler.

Lebn Zol Kolombus

A shtetl is Amerike

A mekhaye, kh’lebn;

Es rut oyf ir di shkhinele,

Mir zoln azoy lebn —

Milkhomes, biksn, mentshn-blut

Darfn mir oyf tsores,

A gubernator darf men nit,

A keyser oyf kapores.

Ay, s’iz gut —

Zingt zhe ale mit:

Lebn zol Kolumbus,

Trinkt, briderlekh, lekhayim!

Lebn zol Kolumbus

Far dem land dem nayem

Zayt tsufridn —

Gleybt nit in di trombes

Shrayt zhe, yidn:

Lebn zol Kolombus!

Long Live Columbus

My shtetl is America

A land that brings me joy.

Oh, yes, I love embracing her

There’s so much to enjoy.

No wars, no guns, no human blood

For them we have no use.

For tyrants we do have no need,

They treat us with abuse.

There’s nothing really wrong

So with us sing along:

For, long live Columbus

Drink, brothers, unto life

So, long live Columbus

Hug him, brothers, like a wife.

For, happy we should be

For what this man has brought us

It’s time for every Jew

To shout, long live Columbus.

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