Fonye Ganev

In the Czarist Army
פֿאָניע גנבֿ

Folk song, published by M. Beregovski and I. Feffer in 1938. A song of the Jewish soldier, contrasting the bitter life in the Czarist army with home.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


It is raining outside
It is going to be muddy,
and today they denied me
my prime (military) exemption.

Fonye, Fonye Ganev (Ivan the Thief)
Fonye, Fonye Ganev
Fonye, Fonye Ganev,
Fonye remains a thief.

My mother raised me
on milk and butter,
and now I have to serve Fonye.
Dismal and bitter is my lot.

The Rebbe taught me
Khumesh and Rashi,
and now I have to serve Fonye
for borscht and kashe.

In droysn geyt a regn,
Es vet dokh zayn a blote,
Haynt hot men mir opgezogt
Di perve legote.

Fonye, fonye ganev,
Fonye, fonye ganev,
Fonye, fonye ganev,
Fonye blaybt a ganev.

Di mame hot mikh gehodevet
Mit milkh un mit puter,
ltst darf ikh fonyen dinen,
Fintster iz mir un biter.

Der rebe hot mikh gelernt
Khumesh mit rashe,
ltst darf ikh fonyen dinen
Far borshtsh un far kashe.

אין דרױסן גײט אַַ רעגן,
עס װעט דאָך זײַן אַ בלאָטע,
הײַנט האָט מען מיר אָפּגעזאָגט
די פּערװע לעגאָטע.

פֿאָניע, פֿאַניע גנבֿ,
פֿאַניע, פֿאַניע גנבֿ,.
פֿאָניע, פֿאָניע גנבֿ,
פֿאַניע בלײַבט אַ גנבֿ.

די מאַמע האָט מיך געהאָדעװעט
מיט מילך און מיט פּוטער,
איצט דאַרף איך פֿאַניען דינען,
פֿינצטער איז מיר און ביטער.

דער רבי האָט מיך געלערנט
חומש מיט רשי,
איצט דאַרף איך פֿאָניען דינען
פֿאַר באַרשטש און פֿאַר קאַשע.

Song Title: Fonye Ganev

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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