S'yidishe Meydele

The Jewish Girl
דאָס ייִדישע מײדעלע

Words by Soviet Yiddish poet Rokhl Boimwol (born 1914); music by Soviet Yiddish singer-composer Emil Gorovets.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


The Jewish girl
across (the street) from here –
eyes like cherries,
a treasure of a child!

This Jewish girl –
is actually named Nastye!
I say good morning,
she answers, “Zdrastye!”*

I say to her, “Girl,
do you know today is Peysekh!”
She answers, Peysekh
will be tomorrow, I know.

I see her little forehead
is wrinkled,
“Peysekh time we
will color eggs.”

I see the girl
is not hurrying outside,
standing near me
on the steps is her intent.

I ask her,
Don’t you want to play with the children,
or are you afraid
of a barking dog there?”

She stammers,
“Tall Andreyka chases me,
threatens me with a stick
and yells, “Jewess!” at me.


*Russian, ‘Hello!’

Dos yidishe meydele
Do fun antkegn —
Oygn vi karshn,
A kind, a farmegn!

S’yidishe meydele —
Heyst zi gor Nastye!
Zog ikh “Gut-morgn” ir,
Entfert zi: “Zdrastye!”

Zog ikh ir — meydele,
Veyst, haynt iz peysakh! ­
Entfert zi: Peysakh vet
Zayn, morgn, veys ikh.

Kh’ze oyf ir shterndl
Leygn zikh karbn,
— Peysakh-tsayt veln mir
Eyelekh farbn.

Ze ikh dos meydele
Aylt nit in droysn,
Shteyn lebn mir
Oyf di trep iz zi oysn.

Freg ikh zi:
Vilst mit di kinder nit shpiln,
Oder dikh shrekt,
Vos a hunt tut dort biln?

Shtamlt zi:
— S’yogt mikh der langer Andreyka,
Drot mit a shtekn
Un shrayt mir “yevreyka!”

דאָס ייִדישע מײדעלע
דאָ פֿון אַנטקעגן —
אױגן װי קאַרשן,
אַ קינד — אַ פֿאַרמעגן!

ס׳ייִדישע מײדעלע —
הײסט זי גאָר נאַסטיע!
זאָג איך „גוט־מאָרגן“ איר,
ענטפֿערט זי — „דראַסטיע.“

זאָג איך איר — מײדעלע,
װײסט, הײַנט איז פּסח! —
ענטפֿערט זי: — פּסח װעט
זײַן מאָרגן, װײס איך.

כ׳זע אױף איר שטערנדל
לײגן זיך קאַרבן,
— פּסח־צײַט װעלן מיר
אײעלעך פֿאַרבן. . .

זע איך, דאָס מײדעלע
אײַלט ניט אין דרױסן,
שטײן לעבן מיר
אױף די טרעפּ איז זי אױסן.

פֿרעג איך זי:
— װילסט מיט די קינדער ניט שפּילן,
אָדער דיך שרעקט,
װאָס אַ הונט טוט דאָרט בילן?

שטאַמלט זי;
— ס׳יאָגט מיך דער לאַנגער אַנדרײקאַ,
דראָט מיט אַ שטעקן
און שרײַט אױף מיר „יעװרײקאַ!“

Song Title: S’yidishe Meydele

Composer: Emil Gorovets
Composer’s Yiddish Name: עמיל גאָראָװעץ
Lyricist: Rokhl Boimwol
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: רחל בױמװאָל
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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