Words by Solomon Smulewitz-Small (1868-1943); music by Louis Friedsell (1863 1923), from the play Der antlofener soldat (The Deserter). The song was published in sheet music by A. Goldberg in 1905. Joseph Rumshinsky writes in his autobiography Klangen fun mayn lebn that the famous Russian basso Feodor Chaliapin often sang the song in Russian translation at his concerts. In a German song “Ghetto, Lied und Shimmy” about a Polish-Jewish fiddler, words and music by Ralph Benatzky (published in 1923 by Edition Bristol A. G. Vienna-Berlin), the melody of “Khave” appears as the refrain. The footnote on the songsheet refers to the melody as a Russian-Jewish folksong.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Since God took Adam’s bone
and made Eve for him,
oh, he’s had to put up with a lot
from her, day and night.
Oy, I even bring her food in bed
she eats all day long.
Try not giving her a “hat”.
She will wail and lament.

She just cried and is already smiling,
long hair and short on logic.
Soon she will forget whom she loves.
When the time comes
that she has a pain in her side,
might as well gather yourself together
and run out of the house.
At one thing, sleeping,
she is exceptionally good.

Khave, oy, oy, oy,
Khave how come?
it amazes me to no end;
Khave, oy, oy, oy,
I’d be curious
to see what will become of you.


Zint got hot fun Odems beyn
A Khave im gemakht,
Oy, hot er zikh oystsushteyn
Fun ir say tog, say nakht.
Oy, esn breng ir khotsh in bet,
Zi est a gantsn tog.
Pruv nit gebn ir oyf a “het”
A yomer un a klog.

Ot geveynt un shoyn a shmeykhl,
Lange hor un kurtser seykhl.
Bald fargest zi vemen zi hot lib.
Ven es kumen on di tsaytn
Az es shtekht ir in di zaytn,
Nem khotsh hent un fis
Un loyf aroys fun shtib.
Eyn zakh, in shlof
lz zi gut on a sof.

Khave, oy, oy, oy,
Khave, vi kumt es?
Mikh vundert gor on a shir;
Khave, oy, oy, oy,
lkh volt geven tshikave
Zen vos vet aroyskumen fun dir.

זינט גאָט האָט פֿון אָדמס בײן
אַ חוה אים געמאַכט,
אױ, האָט ער זיך אױסצושטײן
פֿון איר סײַ טאָג, סײַ נאַכט.
אױ, עסן ברענג איר כאָטש אין בעט,
זי עסט אַ גאַנצן טאָג;
פּרוּװ ניט געבן איר אױף אַ „העט,”
אַ יאָמער און אַ קלאָג.

אָט געװײנט און שױן אַ שמײכל,
לאַנגע האָר און קורצער שׂכל,
באַלד פֿאַרגעסט זי װעמען זי האָט ליב.
װען עס קומען אָן די צײַטן,
אַז עס שטעכט איר אין די זײַטן,
נעם כאָטש הענט און פֿיס
און לױף אַרױס פֿון שטוב.
אײן זאַך, אין שלאָף
איז זי גוט אָן אַ סוף.

חוה, אױ, אױ, אױ,
חוה, װי קומט עס:
מיך װוּנדערט גאָר אָן אַ שיעור;
חוה, אױ, אױ, אױ,
איך װאָלט געװען טשיקאַװע
זען װאָס װעט אַרױסקומען פֿון דיר.

Song Title: Khave

Composer: Louis Friedsell
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Solomon Smulewitz-Small
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: שלמה שמוליװיטש
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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