A textual variant with a different melody was published in 1965 by Ruth Rubin. The present text and music were published in 1970 by Leib Kogan. It was, however, sung earlier, as S. Kaczerginski notes in his comment to the ghetto song “in rod arayn” in his 1947 collection.
The refrain stems from “Oi khsidishe mizinke” (The Hassid’s youngest daughter), a song by Maskilic folk poet Velvl Zbarzher Ehrenkrants (1826? – 1883): “Mayn man, mayn man, tants tsu mir:/ Ikh hob lib dem eydem un du di shnir.” (My husband, dance with me:/ I love the son-in-law and you the daughter-in-law). Masha Benya Matz sang an additional stanza to the compilers which she heard from the poet Chaim Grade: “Ikh dank dir, got, ikh dank dir, got,/ far ale dayne toyves,/ Khasene gemakht./ Gelt oysgebrakht,/ Un batsolt di khoyves.” (I thank You, God, for all Your favors,/ I married off my children, spent money and paid my debts). Masha Benya Matz recalls that she sang “un arayn in khoyves” (and went into debt). This stanza also derives from Zbarzher’s song: “Ikh dank dir, got, far dayne toyves,/ Far dayne groyse vinder,/ Ikh hob mir batsolt mayne khoyves/ Un hob mir khasene gemakht di kinder.” (I thank You, God, for Your favors, for Your great wonders, I paid my debts and married off my children).
During the Holocaust, the song made a reference to the yellow passes or certificates (“shaynen”) issued by the German labor forces: “Tants, tants, tants a bisele mit mir,/ Hostu a geln shayn hob ikh khasene mit dir” (Dance a llttle with me,/ if you have a yellow pass, I’ll marry you).
Join the circle: dance livelier!
Our celebration is great, so fill up the goblet!
Dance a little with me!
You like the sons-in-law and I like the daughters-in-law.
I would dance with you, but I’m not so young anymore.
I’m in my eighties, may no Evil Eye look upon me!
My sieve punctured and everything spilled out;
I tore my shoes so I danced in my stockings.
Let’s take some whiskey.
No more weeping!
Everyone take a little wine and let’s rejoice!
In rod arayn, in rod arayn,
Tantst alts hekher, hekher!
S’iz bay undz di simkhe groys,
To gist on ful dem bekher!
Tants, tants, tants a bisele mit mir,
Du host lib di eydems,
Un ikh hob lib di shnir.
Kh’volt mit dir a tants gegangen,
Nor s’iz shoyn nit di yorn,
In akht tsendlik, keyn ayn-hore,
S’hot zikh mir di zip tsezipt,
Un s’hot zikh alts tseshotn,
S’hobn zikh di shikh tserisn,
Tants ikh in di zokn.
Lomir nemen tsu bislekh mashke,
Genug shoyn gisn trern!
Nemt zhe ale tsu bislekh vayn
Un lomir freylekh vern!
אין ראָד אַרײַן, אין ראָד אַרײַן,
טאַנצט אַלץ העכער, העכער.
ס’איז בײַ אונדז די שׂימחה גרױס,
אָ גיסט אָן פֿול דעם בעכער.
טאַנץ, טאַנץ, טאַנץ, אַ ביסעלע מיט מיר,
דו האָסט ליב די אײדעמס,
און איך האָב ליב די שניר.
כ’װאָלט מיט דיר אַ טאַנץ געגאַנגען,
נאָר ס’איז שױן ניט די יאָרן,
אין אַכט־צענדליק, קײן עין־הרע,
ס’האָט זיך מיר די זיפּ צעזיפּט,
און ס’האָט זיך אַלץ צעשאָטן,
ס’האָבן זיך די שיך צעריסן
טאַנץ איך אין די זאָקן.
לאָמיר נעמען צו ביסלעך משקה,
גענוג שױן גיסן טרערן!
נעמט זשע אַלע צו ביסלעך װײַן,
און לאָמיר פֿרײלעך װערן.
Song Title: In Rod Arayn
First published in 1988 as Pearls of Yiddish Song: Favorite Folk, Art and Theatre Songs, this anthology contains 115 songs. Some material had never been published, while others, included in rare song collections or sheet music, were largely inaccessible. The songs presented reflect Jewish life in Eastern Europe and the United States and depict childhood, love, family celebrations, poverty, work and struggle. There are also songs from the Hasidic and Maskilic movements, songs of Zion and of America, as well as songs from the Yiddish theater.
The title of this anthology derives from the weekly two-page feature column “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry,” which the compilers Yosl and Chana Mlotek initiated in 1970 in the Yiddish newspaper Der Forvertz (the Yiddish Daily Forward). Hundreds of readers from around the world — including authors, composers, singers, actors — became co-participants in this collective folk project and recalled melodies, lines, fragments, stanzas and their variants of songs, poems, and plays which they had heard in their youth. At first, readers sent in only written material. Later, they also taped songs on cassettes, many of whose melodies had, until then, never been recorded. They also identified and supplied missing information regarding lyricists, poets, and composers and described the circumstances surrounding the songs’ origins, their dissemination, diffusion and impact.