Yidish Redt Zikh Azoy Sheyn

Yiddish Sounds So Nice
ייִדיש רעדט זיך אַזױ שײן

Words by Isidor Lillian (1882-1960); music by Maurice Rauch (1910-1994).

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Jews speak Yiddish,
What’s so remarkable about that?
A Jew likes a Yiddish word in his mouth.
A Jew asks: How are things with you?
He says “Sholem-aleykhem.”
And says [the blessing]: “He who distinguishes between holy and secular.”

When Jews speak Yiddish,
It sounds rich,
For Jews speak Yiddish so beautifully.
And if he makes kidush
He does so in Yiddish,
What else, in a foreign tongue? Who would understand him?

Yiddish sounds so nice.
Yiddish rolls off the tongue.
Yiddish is spoken by mothers,
Fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers.
By all means try to say “Good Sabbath” in a foreign tongue.

Yiddish sounds so nice,
For Yiddish is full of charm.
“Forgiver of Sins”
No, thank you, to other languages,
Since Yiddish sounds so nice!

Yidn redn yidish,
lz vos iz do der khidesh?
A yid hot lib a yidish vort in moyl.
A yid fregt: Ma shemeykhem?
Git op sholem-aleykhem,
Un zogt: Hamavdl ben koydesh l’khoyl.

Redn yidn yidish,
Klingt es dokh negidish,
Vayl yidn redn yidish azoy sheyn;
Un vil er makhn kidesh,
Makht er es oyf yidish,
Voden, oyf goyish? Ver vet im farshteyn?

Yidish redt zikh azoy gring,
Yidish leygt zikh oyf der tsing,
Yidish redn mames,
Tates, zeydes, bobes.
Aderabe pruvt oyf goyish
Zogt: gut-shabes.

Yidish redt zikh azoy sheyn,
Yidish iz dokh mole-kheyn.
Moykhl avoynes.
Di andere leshoynes,
Az yidish redt zikh azoy sheyn!

ייִדן רעדן ייִדיש,
איז װאָס איז דאָ דער חידוש —
אַ ייִד האָט ליב אַ ייִדיש װאָרט אין מױל.
אַ ייִד פֿרעגט: — מה־שמיכם!
גיט אָפּ שלום עליכם
און זאָגט: — המבֿדיל בין קודש לחול.

רעדן ייִדן ייִדיש,
קלינגט עס דאָך נגידיש,
װײַל ייִדן רעדן ייִדיש אַזױ שײן;
און װיל ער מאַכן קידוש,
מאַכט ער עס אױף ייִדיש,
װאָדען אױף גױיִש? װער װעט אים פֿאַרשטײן?

ייִדיש רעדט זיך אַזױ גרינג,
ייִדיש לײגט זיך אױף דער צונג,
ייִדיש רעדן מאַמעס,
טאַטעס, זײדעס, באַבעס.
אַדרבא ְפּרוּװט אױף גױיִש,
זאָגט: — גוט שבת.

ייִדיש רעדט זיך אַזױ שײן,
ייִדיש איז דאָך מלא־חן.
מוחל עװנות
די אַנדערע לשונות
אַז ייִדיש רעדט זיך אַזױ שײן!

Song Title: Yidish Redt Zikh Azoy Sheyn

Composer: Maurice Rauch
Composer’s Yiddish Name: משה ראַוך
Lyricist: Isidor Lillian
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: איסידאָר ליליאַן
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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