In a Shtetele Pitshepoy

In a Little Town Pitshepoy
אין אַ שטעטלע פּיטשע-פֿױי

Humorous dialect song collected from Moshe Kligsberg by compilers, in 1947, According to informant the song was by Moishe Broderson (1890-1956). The text appears in Ruth Rubin’s Voices of a People as an anonymous children’s song. Also Leyzer Ran analyzes it as a children’s song in Di goldene keyt, 110-111, 1983: In the second and third stanzas, the words are formed from dialectal elisions: “Tsoteki” means “Ets hot di ki?” (Do you have the cows?), “Moteki” means “Me hot di ki” (I have the cows) and others.

The name of the town “Pitshepoy” has several meanings. It is used as a synonym for an anonymous town, for a remote or nonsensical place like Hotseplots. During the Holocaust the children of the internment camp in the Parisian suburb of Draney came up with the name “Pitchipoi” as an unknown, mysterious place to which they would be taken and which turned out to be Auschwitz.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


In a little town called Pitshepoy
stand little huts, roofed with straw.
When it happens to rain, or it snows,
two neighbors live there.

You got the cow, I got the cow
You got it, I got it
As long as You got it,
that’s what people call them.

You got it, the bargain,
that gem of a cow,
So come, Reb Mikhele, closer to me,
Lam-tsi-di-ri-ri, lam-tsi-di-ray,
let’s both have a dance.

In a shtetele Pitshe-poy
Shteyen hayzelekh gedekt mit shtroy.
Tritt a regndl, falt a shney,
Voynen dort shkheynimlekh tsvey.

Tsoteki, moteki,
Tsotse, motse
Abi tsotse*
Rutt men zey.

Tsotse di metsotse**,
Di metsotse di ki;
Kumt, reb Mekhele, nenter tsi.***
Lam-tsi-di-ri-ri, lam-tsi-di-ray,
Lomir beyde ,a tentsele gayn [geyn].

* Ets (ir) hot di ku? Me hot di ku. Ets (ir) hot zi? Me hot zi.
Abi ets (ir) hot zi.

** Ets (ir) hot di metsie di ku?

*** tsu

אין אַ שטעטעלע פּיטשע-פּױ
שטײען הײַזעלעך געדעקט מיט שטרױ.
טריפֿט אַ רעגנדל, פֿאַלט אַ שנײ,
װױנען דאָרט שכנימלעך צװײ.

צאָטעקי, מאַטעקי,
צאָצעְ, מאָצע,
אַבי צאָצע
רופֿט מען זײ.*

צאָצע די מעצאָצע,
די מעצאָצע די קי, **
קומט, רּ’מעכעלע, נענטער צי,
לאָם-צי-די-רי-רי, לאָם-צי-די-רײַ,
לאָמיר בײדע אַ טענצעלע גײַן (גײן).

*צאָטעקי, מאָטעקי: עץ האָט די קי? מע האָט די קי.
צאָצע, מאָצע: עצ האָט זי? מע האָט זי.
אבי צאָצע: אַבי עץ האָט זי.

**צאָצע די מעצאָצע: עצ האָט זי די מציאה.

Song Title: In a Shtetele Pitshepoy

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Moishe Broderson
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: משה בראָדערזאָן
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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