Shoyn Haynt Dray Yor Az Ikh Stradaye

It's Three Years Today that I'm Suffering
שױן הײַנט דרײַ יאָר אַז איך סטראַדאַיע

Folksong published in the YIVO journal Yidisher folklor, no. 2 (June 1955). Collected from Charles Leikin, Bronx, N.Y. Several variants were previously published by S. Ginzburg and P. Marek, 1901, Platon Brounoff, 1911, Y. L. Cahan, 1912, and others. The song was one of 50 that Y. L. Peretz collected and had ready for publication in 1896. It was also sung as an underworld song (see S. Lehman, 1928).

Illustration of musical notes from the books


It is three years today that I’ve been suffering
and I cannot come to you;
Oh, a hellish fire burns in my heart
and no one can put it out.

I damn the day of my birth,
I am cursing it even now;
If only my mother had lost me
when I was a little child.

And my pain becomes grey-ey-ey-ey-ter
When I see you walking with another;
I would like to stab myself with a knay-ay-ay-ife
so that my eyes won’t see it.

But do not think, my dear, that you will succeed
if I go to my grave so young.
My shadow will take revenge on you
so that no one will think you are worthy.

Only one thing, love, I ask of you:
When they carry me through the door,
follow two or three steps behind me,
so people will say it’s because of you.

Shoyn haynt dray yor az ikh stradaye
Un tsu dir kumen ken ikh nit;
Oy, in mayn hartsn brent a helish fayer,
Un keyner leshn ken dos nit.

lkh farshelt dem tog fun mayn geboyrn,
lkh shelt un shelt nokh atsind;
Halevay volt mikh mayn mame geven farloyrn
Beshas ikh bin gevezn a kleyn kind.

Un mayn veytog vert mir gre-ve-ve-veser [greser]
Az ikh ze dikh mit a tsveytn geyn;
Shtekhn volt ikh zikh mit a me-ve-ve-ser [meser]
Kedey mayne oygn zoln dos nit zen.

Nor zolst nit denken, tayere, az es vet dir gerotn,
Az ikh vel lign azoy yung in dr’erd,
Noykem zayn vet zikh in dir mayn shotn,
Az du zolst nisht hobn bay keynem keyn vert.

Nor eyn zakh, lyube, vel ikh dikh betn,
Az me vet mikh durkhtrogn durkh der tir,
Tsvey-dray trit, oy, zolstu nokh mir gebn
Az laytn zoln zogn s’iz durkh dir.

שױן הײַנט דרײַ יאָר אַז איך סטראַדאַיע
און צו דיר קומען קען איך ניט;
אױ, אין מײַן האַרצן ברענט א העליש פֿײַער,
און קײנער לעשן קען דאָס ניט.

איך פֿאַרשעלט דעם טאָג פֿון מײַן געבױרן,
איך שעלט און שעלט נאָך אַצינד;
הלװאַײ װאָלט מיך מײן מאַמַע געװען פֿאַרלױרן
בשעת איך בין געװעזן אַ קלײן קינד.

און מײַן װײטאָג װערט מיר גרע-װע-װע-װעסער (גרעסער)
אַז איך זע דיך מיט א צװױיטן גײן;
שטעכן װאָלט איך זיך מיט אַ מע-װע-װע-סער (מעסער)
כּדי מײַנע אױגן זאָלן דאָס ניט זען.

נאָר זאָלסט ניט דענקען, טײַערע, אַז עס װועט דיר געראָטן,
אַז איך װעל ליגן אַזױי יונג אין דריערד,
נוקם זײַן װעט זיך אין דיר מײַן שאָטן,
אַז דו זאָלסט נישט האָבן בײַ קײנעם קײן װערט.

נאָר אײן זאַך, ליובע, װעל איך דיך בעטן,
אַז מע װעט מיך דורכטראָגן דורך דער טיר,
צװײ-דרײַ טריט, אױ, זאָלסטו נאָך מיר געבן
אַז לײַטן זאָלן זאָגן סיאיז דורך דיר.

Song Title: Shoyn Haynt Dray Yor Az Ikh Stradaye

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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