Professor Dov-Ber [Boris] Kerler, son of Yiddish writer Yosl Kerler, writes: “The song's text is included as a poem in my father's longer cycle entitled Mayn zeyde Yosele badkhn [My Grandpa Yosl the Wedding Jester], which was dated by him in his 1972 edition: Vorkuta, 1953. This means that it was originally written as a poem, albeit in the style (or genre) of Drinking Songs, by a person who was at the time a political prisoner in the Vorkuta labor camp. He was imprisoned in early 1950, then in Vorkuta he first worked in the coal mines and was later [around 1953] reassigned to another physically less demanding work just 10 years after he courageously fought and was nearly fatally wounded in battle -- in February 1943 (for the latter he was awarded the ‘For Bravery’ medal, a Soviet version of the Purple Heart, I guess).” Yosl Kerler’s poem was later set to music by Vladimir Shainskiy, who became one of the best-loved Soviet composers for his many popular Russian songs. Yash was originally recorded in 1961 by Nechama Lifshitsaite, during Krushchev’s post-Stalin ‘thaw.’
Ven ikh nem a bisele yash, oy-oy,
Finklt alts un glantst;
Kh'gib a varf di puste flash, oy-oy,
Un ikh gey a tants!
Halt mir bay di hent;
Flekhtn beygelekh di fis,
Di neshome brent!
Vos mir shviger, ver mir vayb, oy-oy,
Veys ikh zey di shlek!
Mitn ershtn kelishik vayn, oy-oy
Shvimen zey avek.
Brider, kumt in kon
Lomir vaysn vind un vist
Vos a kabtsn kon.
Vos mir dayges, ver mir zorg, oy-oy,
Shtrof nit far di reyd
Gib mir, gotenyu, af borg, oy-oy
Khotsh a tropn freyd
NYC-based ISLE of KLEZBOS approaches tradition with irreverence and respect. The soulful, fun-loving powerhouse all-women’s
klezmer sextet has toured from Vienna to Vancouver since 1998. Repertoire ranges from rambunctious to entrancing: neo-traditional folk dance, mystical melodies,Yiddish swing & retro tango, late Soviet-era Jewish drinking song, re-grooved standards, & genre-defying originals....more