Moyshele, Mayn Fraynd

Moyshele, My Friend
משהלה, מײַן פֿרײַנד

Text and music by M. Gebirtig (see note to Yankele on page 8).

Illustration of musical notes from the books


So how are you, Moyshele,
I still remember what you looked like,
you were my close friend
many years ago,
and even in kheyder, we
studied side-by-side for a long time.
I picture the teacher standing in front of me,
with his little whip in his hand.

Oh, where can we get back those years,
those fine times?
Oh, that beautiful young life
is now far away from us;
Oh, where can we get back those years,
Moyshele, my friend?
Oh, even for that evil teacher,
my heart is longing now.

How is it going with you, Berele,
How is Avremele doing?
And Zalmele, and Yosele?
I think of you very often,
I’ve dreamed of you as little children,
with myself among you,
We have become old men –
how fast the time flies.

Oh, where can we get back those years,
even for those youthful hardships,
my heart is longing now.

Vos makhstu epes, Moyshele?
Kh’derken dikh nokh on blik,
Du bist geven mayn khaverl
Mit yorn fil tsurik,
Un oykh in kheyder hobn mir
Gelernt lang banand,
Ot shteyt far mir der rebe nokh,
Der kantshik in zayn hant.

Oy, vu nemt men tsurik di yorn,
Yene sheyne tsayt?
Oy, dos yunge sheyne lebn
lz fun undz shoyn vayt;
Oy, vu nemt men tsurik di yorn,
Moyshele, mayn fraynd?
Oy, nokh yenem beyzn rebn
Benkt dos harts nokh haynt.

Vi geyt es epes Berelen,
Avremele vos makht?
Un Zalmele un Yosele?
Zeyer oft fun aykh getrakht,
Gekholemt fun aykh, kinderlekh,
Gezen zikh in der mit,
Gevorn alte yidelekh —
Vi shnel dos lebn flit.

Oy, vu nemt men tsurik di yorn. . .
Oy, nokh yene yunge laydn
Benkt dos harts nokh haynt.

װאָס מאַכסטו עפּעס, משהלע?
כ’דערקען דיך נאָך אָן בליק,
דו ביסט געװען מײַן חבֿרל
מיט יאָרן פֿיל צוריק,
און אױך אין חדר האָבן מיר
געלערנט לאַנג באַנאַנד,
אָט שטײט פֿאַר מיר דער רבי נאָך,
דער קאַנטשיק אין זײַן האַנט.

אױ, װוּ נעמט מען צוריק די יאָרן,
יענע שײנע צײַט,
אױ, דאָס יונגע שײנע לעבן
איז פֿון אונדז שױן װײַט;
אױ, װוּ נעמט מען צוריק די יאָרן,
משהלע, מײַן פֿרײַנד?
אױ, נאָך יענעם בײזן רבין
בענקט דאָס האַרץ נאָך הײַנט.

װי גײט עס עפּעס בערעלען,
אַבֿרהמעלע װאָס מאַכט?
און זאַלמעלע און יאָסעלע?
זײער אָפֿט פֿון אײַך געטראַכט;
געחלומט פֿון אײַך, קינדערלעך,
געזען זיך אין דער מיט,
געװאָרן אלטע ײַדעלעך –
וױ שנעל דאָס לעבן פֿליט.

אױ, װוּ נעמט מען צוריק די יאָרן. . .
אױ, נאָך יענע יונגע לײדן
בענקט דאָס האַרץ נאָך הײַנט.

Song Title: Moyshele, Mayn Fraynd

Composer: Mordkhe Gebirtig
Composer’s Yiddish Name: מרדכי געבירטיג
Lyricist: Mordkhe Gebirtig
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: מרדכי געבירטיג
Time Period:20th 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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