Kh'hob Gelibt A Meydl Fun Akhtsn Yor

I Loved a Girl of Eighteen
כ׳האָב געליבט אַ מײדל פֿון אַכצן יאָר

Folksong collected from Mascha Benya Matz. Published in the YIVO folklore journal, Yidisher folklor (vol. I, no. 3, March, 1962). Compiler included this song in: “International Motifs in the Yiddish Ballad.” The appearance of the ”telegram” is obviously indicative of more recent vintage; words like “knabe” and “dizer” suggest German provenance; “potshtolyontshikl” suggests Slavic.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


I loved an eighteen year-old girl,
have loved her now for two or three years.

I wanted to know if she loved me
so I traveled away from my house.

As soon as I traveled away from my house
my beloved became ill.

At twelve o’clock at night
the mail carrier brought a telegram:

My business, cooked. My wealth, lost.
I traveled back to my beloved.

Good morning, good morning, my lovely woman,
why are you lying in bed alone?

Good morning, good morning, my handsome lad,
this little bed will be my grave.

It didn’t even take one morning,
the handsome lad also died.

There was wailing and lamentation in the town:
Oh, two lovers in one day!

Kh’hob gelibt a meydl fun akhtsn yor,
Un libn lib ikh ir shoyn tsvey-dray yor.

Kh’hob gevelt visn tsi zi hot mikh lib,
Bin ikh avekgeforn fun mayn shtib (shtub).

Un vi ikh bin fun mayn shtib avekgeforn
lz mayn gelibte krank gevorn.

Tsvelf a zeyger bay der nakht,
Der potshtolyontshikl a telegrame gebrakht.

Gesheftn gebroset, farmegn farlorn,
Tsu mayn gelibter bin ikh geforn.

— Gut morgn, gut morgn, mayn sheyner parsheyn, (parshoyn)
Vos tustu lign in betele aleyn?

— Gut yor, gut yor, mayn sheyner knabe,
Ot dize betele iz mayn begrabe.

S’hot nit gedoyert keyn eyn frimorgn,
Der sheyner knabe iz oykh geshtorbn.

In shtot iz gevorn a yomer, a klog,
Oy, tsvey gelibte in eyn tog.

כיהאָב געליבט אַ מײדל פֿון אַכצן יאָר,
און ליבן ליב איך איר שױן צװײ-דרײַ יאָר,

כיהאָב געװעלט װיסן צי זי האָט מיך ליב,
בין איך אַװעקגעפֿאָרן פֿון מן שטיב (שטוב),

און װי איך בין פֿון מײַן שטיב אַװעקגעפֿאָרן,
איז מײַן געליבטע קראַנק געװאָרן.

צװעלף אַ זײגער בײַ דער נאַכֵט,
דער פֿאַטשטאָליאָנטשיקל אַ טעלעגראַמע געבראַכט.

געשעפֿטן געבראָסעט, פֿאַרמעגן פֿאַרלאָרן,
צו מײַן געליבטער בין איך געפֿאָרן.

— גוט-מאָרגן, גוט-מאָרגן, מײַן שײנער פּאַרשײן,
װאָס טוסטו ליגן אין בעטעלע אַלײן!?

— גוט-יאָר, גוט-יאָר, מטן שײנער קנאַבע,
אָט דיזע בעטעלע איז מײַן בעגראַבע.

סיהאָט ניט געדױערט קײן אײן פֿרימאָרגן,
דער שײנער קנאַבע איז אױך געשטאָרבן.

אין שטאָט איז געװאָרן אַ יאָמער, אַ קלאָג;
אױ, צװײ געליבטע אין אײן טאָג.

Song Title: Kh’hob Gelibt A Meydl Fun Akhtsn Yor

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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