Dos Freylekhe Shnayderl

The Happy Tailor
דאָס פֿרײלעכע שנײַדערל

Words by Joseph Kerler (born 1918); composer unknown. Popularized by Joanne Borts and Judy Bressler.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Oh, my companions, did I
hear a sweet little tune today!
You just have to relish it.
While I sew and stitch,
while the shears are ringing,
every little bone of mine sings along.
Listen –
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

Who am I and what do I have
in all the wide world,
other than my miserable shears and iron?
Any ordinary little shopkeeper,
when I go to cross his threshold,
can show me the back door.
But –
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

He is not all there,
my fine employer,
he never stops cursing and yelling.
All day long he thrashes around,
and snorts with his nose,
but I listen to him and for next to no pay.
Because –
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

Oh, my friends, today
I have it well and good.
And I am full, oh full– it’s a pleasure.
What have I had then all day
today in my mouth
besides that tune, that heavenly-tasting tune?
Listen –
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

Oy, hob ikh haynt, khevre-layt
A nigndl gehert,
Darf men poshet oyslekn di finger.
Baym neyen un fastrigeven,
Baym klingen mit der sher,
Ale mayne beyndelekh zey zingen.
Hert —
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

Ver bin ikh un vos hob ikh den
Oyf gor der groyser velt,
Saydn nor mayn bidne sher un ayzn;
A lyadne dribne-kremerl,
Ven kh’kum nor oyf zayn shvel,
Ken dokh mir di hinter tir bavayzn.
Nor —
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

S’iz epes nit mit alemen
Mayn sheyner balebos,
Er hert nit oyf tsu sheltn un tsu shrayen,
A gantsn tog er mordevet
Un shnoret mit der noz,
Nor ikh her im dafke far a drayer.
Vayl —
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

Oy iz mir haynt, khevre-layt,
Nishkoshedik un voyl,
Un zat bin ikh, oy zat — a fargenign,
Vos hob ikh den a gantsn tog
Gehat haynt in mayn moyl?
Khuts dem tam gan-eydndikn nign.
Hert —
Oy, daray, daray-ram, ay!

אױ, האָב איך הײַנט, חבֿרה־לײַט,
אַ ניגונדל געהערט,
דאַרף מען פּשוט אױסלעקן די פֿינגער.
בײַם נײען און פֿאַסטריגעװען,
בײַם קלינגען מיט דער שער,
אַלע מײַנע בײנדעלעך, זײ זינגען.
הערט —
אױ, דאַרײַ, דאַרײַ־ראָם, אײַ!

װער בין איך און װאָס האָב איך דען
אױף גאָר דער גרױסער װעלט,
סײַדן נאָר מײַן בידנע שער און אײַזן,
אַ ליאַדנע דריבנע קרעמערל,
װען כ׳קום נאָר אױף זײַן שװעל,
קען דאָך מיר די הינטער־טיר באַװײַזן.
נאָר —
אױ, דאַרײַ, דאַרײַ־ראַם, אײַ!

ס׳איז עפּעס ניט מיט אַלעמען,
מײַן שײנער באַלעבאָס,
ער הערט ניט אױף צו שעלטן און צו שרײַען,
אַ גאַנצן טאָג ער מאָרדעװעט,
און שנאָרעט מיט דער נאָז,
נאָר איך הער אים דװקא פֿאַר אַ דרײַער.
װײַל —
אױ, דאַרײַ, דאַרײַ־ראָם, אײַ!

אױ, איז מיר הײַנט, חבֿרה־לײַט,
נישקשהדיק און װױל,
און זאַט בין איך, אױ זאַט — אַ פֿאַרגעניגן,
װאָס האָב איך דען אַ גאַנצן טאָג
געהאַט הײַנט אין מײַן מױל?
חוץ דעם טעם־גן־עדנדיקן ניגון.
הערט —
אױ, דאַרײַ, דאַרײַ־ראַם, אײַ!

Song Title: Dos Freylekhe Shnayderl

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Joseph Kerler
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: יוסף קערלער
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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