Der Oytser

The Treasure
דער אוצר

Words by Z. Telesin (1905-1996), music by Lev Kogan. The song was submitted by actress-singer Mina Bern.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


I have a treasure at my place,
not a small one,
that said, do you know of what it consist:
not of gold,
not of precious stones,
a treasure of true joy.
I have a fortune
right now, today,
help me count up
what I possess.

Twelve sons and daughters,
beautiful to look at,
twelve daughters-in-law and sons-in-law,
twenty four mekhutonim [parents of children’s spouses]
and besides that, little rascals,
thirty-three grandchildren,
lucky me!

On my own fields,
my land is dear to me,
our steps ring out on building sites;
life grows more beautiful
life grows freer
in every town and city.
And all that is planted
and built on the land,
receives, every day, their
helping hand.

Refrain: Twelve sons and daughters…

My family grows
ever larger and more bountiful,
the treasures burgeoning quickly;
weddings are held,
one after another,
I grow younger and beam with pride.
The first dance
I dance alone in the center,
the circle joins together
to dance with me.

Refrain: Twelve sons and daughters…


Bay mir iz an oytser faran,
Nit keyn kleyner,
Haynt veyst ir fun vos er bashteyt:
Nit fun keyn gold,
Fun keyn tayere shteyner,
An oytser fun emeser freyd.
lkh hob a farmegn
Bay hayntikn tog,
Helft mir barekhenen
Vo.s ikh farmog.

Tsvelef zin un tekhter,
Bilder sheyne,
Tsvelef shnir un eydems,
Eyns un eyne,
Fun di eydems un di shnir,
Mekhutonim tsvantsik-fir,
Un dertsu kol-boyniklekh,
Dray un draysik eyniklekh,
Dray un draysik,
Aza yor oyf mir!

Oyf eygene felder
lz mayn land mir tayer,
Oyf boy-pletser klingt undzer trot;
Dos lebn vert shener,
Dos lebn vert frayer,
In yetvedn shtetl un shtot.
Un alts vos geflantst
Un geboyt vert in land
Tsu dem leygn tsu
Yedn tog zeyer hant

Tsvelef zin un tekhter . . .

Es vakst mayn mishpokhe
Alts greser un breyter,
Di oystres tseblien zikh shnel;
Men pravet oykh khasenes,
Eyns nokh der tsveyter,

Fun dem ver ikh yinger un kvel.
Dem ershtn tants
Tants ikh aleyn in der mit,
Tsuzamen in redl
Mit mir tantsn mit —

Tsvelef zin un tekhter . . .

בײַ מיר איז אַן אוצר פֿאַראַן,
ניט קײן קלײנער,
הײַנט װײסט איר פֿון װאָס ער באַשטײט;
ניט פֿון קײן גאָלד,
פֿון קײן טײַערע שטײנער,
אַן אוצר פֿון אמתער פֿרײיד,
איך האָב אַ פֿאַרמעגן
בײַ הײַנטיקן טאָג,
העלפֿט מיר באַרעכענען
װאָס איך פֿאַרמאָג.

צװעלעף זין און טעכטער,
בילדער שײנע,
צװעלעף שניר און אײדעמס,
אײנס און אײנע,
פֿון די אײדעמס און די שניר,
מחותּנים צװאַנציק-פֿיר,
און דערצו כּל-בוניקלעך,
דרײַ און דרײַסיק אײניקלעך,
דרײַ און דרײַסיק,
אַזאַ יאָר אױף מיר!

אױף אײגענע פֿעלדער
איז מײַן לאַנד מיר טײַער,
אױף בױ-פֿלעצער קלינגט אונדזער טראָט;
דאָס לעבן װערט שענער,
דאָס לעבן װערט פֿרײַער,
אין יעטװעדן שטעטל און שטאָט.
און אַלצ װאָס געפֿלאַנצט
און געבױט װערט אין לאַנד
צו דעם לײגן צו
יעדן טאָג זײער האַנט –

צװעלעף זין און טעכטער. . .

עס װאַקסט מײַן מישפּחה
אלא גרעסער און ברײטער,
די אוצרות צעבליען זיך שנעל:
מען פּראַװעט אױך חתונות,
אײנס נאָך דער צװײטער, פֿון דעם װער איך יונגער און קװעל.
דעם ערשטן טאַנצ
טאַנצ איך אַלײן אין דער מיט,
צוזאָמען אין רעדל
מיט מיר טאַנצן מיט —

צװעלעף זין און טעכטער. . .

Song Title: Der Oytser

Composer: Lev Kogan
Composer’s Yiddish Name: לעװ קאָגאַן
Lyricist: Z. Telesin
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: ז. טעלעסין
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Song

The Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Song anthology comprises songs that were either never printed before or appeared in rare and inaccessible publications — sometimes in different versions and without proper sources. Most of the songs in this book were submitted by readers of Chana and Yosl’s column “Perl fun der yidisher poezye” (Pearls of Yiddish Poetry) in the Yiddish newspaper Der Forverts (The Forward), initiated in October, 1970. Over 25 years, thousands of songs were collected in correspondence and on cassettes from readers throughout the world, and they represent a veritable national Yiddish song archive. Chana Mlotek, in her introduction, writes, “In the course of years the inquiries, contributions and enthusiasm of these readers have kept our own interest unflagging and have reinforced our dedication to this effort. And in recent years our participants have also been augmented by new readers from the former Soviet Russia, who receive our newspaper there or from newly-arrived immigrants in this country and Israel.”

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