Avremele un Yosele

Avremele and Yosele
אבֿרהמעלע און יאָסעלע
Illustration of musical notes from the books


Avremele, take a look,
the sun, how beautifully it’s shining!
Everything in the field is growing and blooming
I’m not so very eager
to go to kheyder today –
The sun, how beautifully it’s shining!

Oy, Yosele, as I am a Jew
I am thinking the same thing now,
how happy it is here, how lovely,
who wants to go to kheyder,
but you know, it’s a sin,
I am thinking about that, too.

Avremele, do you see how
a bee is flying around in the field?
And there, perched on a little branch
is a golden songbird*,
Avremele, come faster!
A bee is flying around.

I see it, Yosele, as I am a Jew,
but wait another minute.
The bird really is lovely,
but what will happen tomorrow,
you know the teacher well…
Oh, wait another minute!

Avremele, you little fool,
I don’t care about tomorrow.
There are enough excuses,
you just have to be a little clever –
now the bird is flying!
I don’t care about tomorrow.

Oy, Yosele, I’m warning you,
Don’t go, as I am a Jew.
That is Satan there in the field,
hiding himself in a bird.
That’s how he pulls and entices us –
Don’t go, as I am a Jew!

Avremele, you’re leaving?
Fine, leave. I’ll stay here alone,
but if you speak one word about me
I swear, I’m not joking,
I will break one of your bones.
Fine, leave. I’ll stay here alone.


*Lit. a “summer bird”. The term zumer-feygele sometimes means a butterfly, but the word ‘feygele’ alone in the subsequent stanzas makes ‘bird’ the more logical translation.

— Avremele, gib nor a kuk,
Di zun, vi sheyn zi shaynt!
Vi alts in feld shoyn vakst un blit,
Kh’hob epes zeyer keyn kheyshek nit
Tsu geyn in kheyder haynt —
Di zun, vi sheyn zi shaynt.

— Oy, Yosele, vi kh’bin a yid!
lkh trakht dos oykh atsind,
Vi freylekh iz do itst, vi sheyn,
Es vilt zikh nisht in kheyder geyn,
Nor veyst, dos iz a zind,
lkh trakht dos oykh atsind.

— Avremele, du zest in feld,
A bin flit shoyn arum?
Un dort shteyt oyf a tsvaygele
A goldn zumer-feygele,
Avreml, gikher kum!
A bin flit shoyn arum.

— Kh’ze, Yosele, vi kh’bin a yid,
Nor vart nokh eyn minut
Dos feygele iz take sheyn,
Nor vos vet ober morgn zayn,
Dem rebn kenstu gut. . .
Oy, vart nokh eyn minut!

— Avremele, oy, narele,
Far morgn zorg zikh nit.
Terutsim iz faran genug,
Men dart nor zayn a bisl klug­ —
Ze, s’feygele itst flit!
Far morgn zorg zikh nit.

— Oy, Yosele, ikh vorn dikh,
Nisht gey, vi kh’bin a yid.
Dos hot der sotn dort in feld
Zikh in a feygele farshtelt,
Dos shlept er undz un tsit­-
Nisht gey, vi kh’bin a yid!

— Avremele, du geyst avek?
Nu, gey, ikh blayb aleyn,
Nor zogstu oys a vort fun mir,
Bay mayn nemones shver ikh dir,
Tsebrekh ikh dir a beyn,
Nu, gey, ikh blayb aleyn!

— אַבֿרהמעלע, גיב נאָר אַ קוק,
די זון, װי שײן זי שײַנט!
װי אַלץ אין פֿעלד שױן װאַקסט און בליט,
כ’האָב עפּעם זײער קײן חשק ניט
צו גײן אין חדר הײַנט —
די זון װי שײן זי שײנט.

— אױ, יאָסעלע, װי כ’בין אַ ייִד!
איך טראַכט דאָס אױך אַצינד,
װי פֿרײלעך איז דאָ איצט, װי שײן,
עם װילט זיך נישט אין חדר גײן,
נאָר װײסט, דאָס איז אַ זינד,
איך טראַכט דאָס אױך אַצינד.

— אַבֿרהמעלע, דו זעסט אין פֿעלד
א בין פֿליט שױן אַרום?
און דאָרט שטײט אױף א צװײַגעלע
א גאָלדן זומער-פֿײגעלע.
אבֿרהמל, גיכער קום!
אַ בין פֿליט שױן אַרום.

— כ’זע, יאָסעלע, װי כ׳בין אַ ייִד,
נאָר װאַרט נאָך אײן מינוט,
דאָס פֿײגעלע איז טאַקע שײן,
נאָר װאָס װעט אָבער מאָרגן זײַן
דעם רבין קענסטו גוט. . .
אױ, װאַרט נאָך אײן מינוט.

— אַבֿרהמעלע, אױ, נאַרעלע,
פֿאַר מאָרגן זאָרג זיך ניט
תּירוצים איז פֿאַראַן גענוג,
מען דאַרף נאָר זײַן א ביסל קלוג —
זע, ס’פֿײגעלע איצט פֿליט!
פֿאַר מאָרגן זאָרג זיך ניט.

— אױ, יאָסעלע, איך װאָרן דיך
נישט גײ, װי כ’בין אַ ייִד.
דאָס האָט דער שׂטן דאָרט אין פֿעלד
זיך אין אַ פֿײיגעלע פֿאַרשטעלט,
דאָס שלעפּט ער אונדז און ציט —
נישט גײ, װי כ’בין אַ ייִד.

— אַבֿרהמעלע, דו גײסט אַװעק?
נו גײ, איך בלײַב אַלײן,
נאָר זאָגסטו אױס א װאָרט פֿון מיר,
בײַ מײַן נאמנות שװער איך דיר,
צעברעך איך דיר א בײן,
נו גײ, איך בלײַב אַלײן.

Song Title: Avremele un Yosele

Composer: Mordkhe Gebirtig
Composer’s Yiddish Name: מרדכי געבירטיג
Lyricist: Mordkhe Gebirtig
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: מרדכי געבירטיג
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

Mir Trogn Song Book Cover with Illustrations

Mir Trogn A Gezang: Favorite Yiddish Songs

First published in 1972, Mir Trogn A Gezang: Favorite Yiddish Songs was reprinted six more times (in 1977, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000) due to popular demand. The songs in this anthology represent a sampling of beloved folk and well-known Yiddish songs, many of which are scattered in various song collections; some appear in very rare and inaccessible collections; and some were never before published. Folk songs comprise about a third of this volume and were selected mainly on the basis of popularity and sometimes for their historic significance. Needless to say, they are only representative of the vast, rich treasure of Yiddish folk material. The selection was made not only on the basis of personal preference, but in the knowledge they are favorites of many who sing these songs. Most of the songs represent the repertoire that was sung at Yiddish summer camps, May 1st demonstrations and at social gatherings. Many songs were introduced to American Jewry by Jewish immigrants who came to the United States after World War II, for whom these songs had been favorites in Poland and other East European communities destroyed by the Nazis.

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