Words by Sam Liptzin (1893-1980), music by Joseph Shrogin (1902-1974). Originally published in Zingen mir, 1949 to the tune of “Lomir bagrisn.” In the Anthology of Yiddish Folksongs, IV (1987), there are additional words that new immigrants from Soviet Russia sang in Israel: “Lekhayim for Jerusalem” . . . “for our army” . . . “for our suhny larad.”
Lekhayim! To life! Let’s drink a toast for all the good things here!
So raise your glasses and dance, and let’s all drink lekhayim!
Let us know no more sorrow, let’s only enjoy happiness!
Let’s strive for peace, for joy, good fortune and life!
Lekhayim for the new land, the free land!
Lekhayim – a shnepsl lomir makhn,
Lekhayim-far ale gute zakhn!
To heybt di glezlekh un raglayim,
Lomir ale trinken lekhayim.
Lekhayim – fun tsores mer nit visn,
Lekhayim – oor fun freyd genisn!
Lekhayim – far sholem lomir shtrebn,
Lekhayim – far glik un freyd un lebn!
Lekhayim – far dem land dem nayem,
Lekhayim – far dem land dem frayen!
לחײם — אַ שנעפּסל לאָמיר מאַכן,
לחײם — פֿאַר אַלע גוטע זאַכן!
טאָ הײבט די גלעזלעך און רגלים,
לאָמיר אַלע טרינקען לחײם!
לחײם — פֿון צרות מער ניט װיסן,
לחײם — נאָר פֿון פֿרײד געניסן!
לחײם — פֿאַר שלום לאָמיר שטרעבן,
לחײם — פֿאַר גליק און פֿרײיד און לעבן!
לחײם — פֿאַר דעס לאַנד דעם נײַיעם,
לחײם — פֿאַר דעם לאַנד דעם פֿרײַען!
Song Title: Lekhayim!
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.”