Khasene Iz Geven In Der Kazarme

The Wedding Was in the Barracks
די חתונה איז געװען אין דער קאַזאַרמע

Folksong of a recruit in the Czar’s army, collected from Russian singer Emil Gorovets, who states that the song was made popular in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s by the folk singer Mikhail Apelbaum. Like other East European recruits, the Jewish recruit compared his draft to marriage with the Czar. A different version was submitted to the Perl by Moyshe Aaron Buchvald (Brooklyn, N.Y.) from Biala, Siedlec province.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


The brought me into the draft board,
I got the perfect measurements,
the doctors said to me:
“You’re fit to be a soldier.”

The high-ranking official congratulated me
while drinking a glass of whiskey.
He gave me a slap on the shoulder,
“May you serve the Czar faithfully.”

The wedding was in the barracks,
the official government rabbi was there as well.
Oh, he administered an oath to me,
that I will serve the Czar faithfully.

Farewell, my dear soul,
oh, how hard it is to part with you.
Oh, I will miss you, my dear soul,
my heart will long only for you.

note: relied on the original translation for the Russian

In prisutsvye hot men mikh gebrakht,
Di mos hob ikh gekhapt akurat,
Di doktoyrim zey tuen mir zogn:
— Bist godyen tsu zayn a soldat.

Pozdravet hot mikh di visoko blagorodye,
Un oysgetrunken a glezele derbay.
A trask in pleytse hot er mir gegebn,
Zolst dinen dem keyser getray.

Di khasene iz geven in der kazarme,
Der kazyo11er rabiner iz oykh geven derbay,
Oy, a shvue hot er bay mir genumen,
Kh’zol dinen dem keyser getray.

Zay zhe mir gezunt, mayn tayere nekhomenyu,
Oy, shver iz zikh mir sheydn mit dir.
Oy, benken nokh dir vel ikh, neshomenyu,
Mayn harts vet nor tsien tsu dir.

אין פּריסוסטװע האָט מען מיך געבראַכט
די מאָס האָב איך געכאַפּט אַקוראַט,
די דאָקטױרים, זײ טוען מיר זאָגן:
— ביסט גאָדיען צו זעײַן אַ סאַלדאַט.

פֿאָזדראַװעט האָט מיך די װיסאָקאָ בלאַגאָראָדיע,
און אױסגעטרונקען אַ גלעזעלע דערבײַ.
אַ טראַסק אין פּלײצע האָט ער מיר געגעבן
זאָלסט דינען דעס קיסר געטרײַ.

די חתונה איז געװען אין דער קאַזאַרמע,
דער קאַזיאָנער ראַבינער איז אױך געװען דערבײַ,
אױ, אַ שבֿועה האָט ער בײַ מיר גענומען,
כיזאָל דינען דעם קיסר געטרײַ.

זײַ זשע מיר געזונט, מײַן טײַערע נחמהניו,
אױ, שװער איז זיך מיר שײדן מיט דיר,
אױ, בענקען נאָך דיר װעל איך, נשמהניו,
מײן האַרצ װועט נאָר צֶיען צו דיר.

Song Title: Khasene Iz Geven In Der Kazarme

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Unknown
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
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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