lkh Vil Nit Geyn In Kheyder

I Don’t Want to Go to Kheyder
איך וויל ניט גייען אין חדר

This theatre song is an adaptation from one of the few well-known poems by the famous Yiddish humorist Sholom Aleichem (1859-1916). The music is by J. Cherniawsky. The song became popular in the Second Avenue theatre in New York City, in the rendition of the actor Ludwig Satz.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Evil ones always come and change
the pleasant, good times;
After summer, fall awaits,
Soon [it will be] autumn with its winds.

I don’t want to go to kheyder
because the teacher is always whipping [us]–
I don’t want to go to kheyder
and the ruler beats us black and blue,
But no one wants to study–
I don’t want to go to kheyder.

He is standing nearby,
the assistant at my side,
with a walking stick and a lantern–
may he sink into the ground!

The ice beckons us outside,
the ice is smooth, the snow is white,
we want to go skating and have some fun!
but he is bothering us with the “Four Patriarchs”.

Shlekhte kumen un farbaytn
Shtendik libe, gute tsaytn;
Nokhn zumer shteyt shoyn hintn,
Bald der osyen mit di vintn.

Kh’vil nit geyn in kheyder.
Vayl der rebe shmayst keseyder­ —
Kh’vil nit geyn in kheyder
Un der kantshik dresht di beyner,
Lernen ober vil nit keyner —
Kh’vil nit geyn in kheyder.

Un er shteyt shoyn do nit vayt,
Der bahelfer bay der zayt
Mit a shtekn, a lamtern­ —
Ayngezunken zol er vern!

S’tsit ahintsu oyfn ayz,
Dos ayz iz glat, der shney iz vays,
Vilt zikh glitshn, a katoves!
Un er dult undz mit “fir oves.”

שלעכטע קומען און פֿאַרבײַטן
שטענדיק ליבע, גוטע צײַטן;
נאָכן זומער שטײט שױן הינטן,
באַלד דער אָסיען מיט די וױנטן.

כ’װיל ניט גײן אין חדר,
װײַל דער רבי שמײַסט כּסדל —
כ’װיל ניט גײן אין חדר.
און דער קאַנטשיק דרעשט די בײנער,
לערנען אָבער װיל ניט קײנער —
כ’װיל ניטם גײן אין חדר.

און ער שטײט שױן דאָ ניט װײַט,
דער באַהעלפֿער בײַ דער זײַט
מיט א שטעקן, א לאַמטערן —
אײַנגעזונקען זאָל ער װערן!

ס’ציט אַהינצו אױפֿן אײַז,
דאָס אײַז איז גלאַט, דער שנײ איז װײַס,
װילט זיך גליטשן, אַ קאַטאָװעס!
און עֶר דולט אונדז מיט “פֿיר אָבֿות”.

Song Title: lkh Vil Nit Geyn In Kheyder

Composer: J. Cherniawsky
Composer’s Yiddish Name: י. טשערניאַװסקי
Lyricist: Sholom Aleichem
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: שלום עליכם
Time Period:19th century

This Song is Part of a Collection

Mir Trogn Song Book Cover with Illustrations

Mir Trogn A Gezang: Favorite Yiddish Songs

First published in 1972, Mir Trogn A Gezang: Favorite Yiddish Songs was reprinted six more times (in 1977, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000) due to popular demand. The songs in this anthology represent a sampling of beloved folk and well-known Yiddish songs, many of which are scattered in various song collections; some appear in very rare and inaccessible collections; and some were never before published. Folk songs comprise about a third of this volume and were selected mainly on the basis of popularity and sometimes for their historic significance. Needless to say, they are only representative of the vast, rich treasure of Yiddish folk material. The selection was made not only on the basis of personal preference, but in the knowledge they are favorites of many who sing these songs. Most of the songs represent the repertoire that was sung at Yiddish summer camps, May 1st demonstrations and at social gatherings. Many songs were introduced to American Jewry by Jewish immigrants who came to the United States after World War II, for whom these songs had been favorites in Poland and other East European communities destroyed by the Nazis.

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