A folk song (text and music published by S. Kisselgof in 1911) that jests about the poverty and mean fare of the Jews in the Old Country. The folklorist Meir Noy of Israel published in Yeda Am an interesting and unknown version of the song that was popular among the Jewish soldiers in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. There are several stanzas in addition to the bulbes-refrain, one is: “Must one only eat meat and have a fat belly? In time of poverty potatoes are also a delicacy.”

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Sunday – potatoes
Monday – potatoes
Tuesday and Wednesday – potatoes
Thursday and Friday – potatoes
Shabes, for a change – a potato casserole!
Sunday – potatoes again!

Bread with potatoes,
Meat with potatoes,
Dinner and supper – potatoes,
Again and again – potatoes
Once in a while for a change – a potato casserole,
Sunday – potatoes again!

Zuntik — bulbes,
Montik — bulbes,
Dinstik un mitvokh — bulbes,
Donershtik un fraytik — bulbes,
Shabes in a novene — a bulbe-kugele,
Zuntik — vayter bulbes!

Broyt mit bulbes,
Fleysh mit bulbes,
Varemes un vetshere — bulbes,
Ober un vider — bulbes.
Eyn mol in a novene — a bulbe-kugele,
Zuntik — vayter bulbes!

זונטיק — בולבעס,
מאָנטיק — בולבעס,
דינסטיק און מיטװאָך — בולבעס,
דאָנערשטיק און פֿרײַטיק —- בולבעס,
שבת אין אַ נאָװענע — אַ בולבע-קוגעלע,
זונטיק — װײַטער בולבעס!

ברױט מיט בולבעס
פֿלײיש מיט בולבעס,
װאַרעמעס און װעטשערע — בולבעס,
אַבער און װידער — בולבעס,
אײן מאָל אין אַ נאָװענע — אַ בולבע-קוגעלע,
זונטיק — װוײַטער בולבעס!

Song Title: Bulbes

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Unknown
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Time Period:20th century

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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