Friday, July 29, 2011

Vyo, vyo, ferdelekh! Giddy-up, my ponies!

In 2002, AHEYM interviewed Liudmila Shor, an amazing singer in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. Liudmila informally directs the Jewish Women's Choir in Vinnitsa, sharing with the group her rich repertoire of Yiddish songs. When singing solo, Liudmila exhibits a beautiful, authentic Yiddish singing style. 

The song in this clip, "Der Furman" -- "The Coachman", composed by Khazn (Cantor) Pinkhos Jassinovsky, is about a poor wagon driver who drinks away his horses and wagon in a tavern. The song has been recorded by well-known Yiddish singer Sidor Belarsky, among others; Yiddish folklorist Chana Mlotek has written about it in an article on two songs about coachmen in the Yiddish Forward (12/16/1988). Liudmila learned the song from her father.

The lyrics are very reminiscent of another Yiddish song, "Shprayz ikh mir", (lyrics by Sh. Kahn, music by Eliyahu Teitelbaum) about a man who goes to the fair to buy a horse but stops by a tavern on the way and drinks away all his money. The song has been recorded by numerous artists; perhaps the best-known version appears on the Klezmatics album "Possessed", performed by Lorin Sklamberg. Unlike "Shprayz ikh mir," which has a very upbeat tempo and cheerful melody, "Der Furman" is a much more melancholy song, as you can see in Liudmila's rendering.

Below you will find the lyrics of the song in Yiddish, transliterated in Liudmila's Southeastern dialect, and translated. Check out our Youtube channel aheymproject for more of Liudmila's songs, as well as clips from a private performance of her choir.

I ride out in my own buggy,
Four little horses bridled across.
Outside there's a blizzard, outside it is raining,
It's dark, you can't see the road.

Giddy-up, my little horses! Giddy-up, my eagles!
Lift your little heads up high!
Giddy-up, my little horses! Giddy-up, darlings!
Giddy-up! Kick up some dust already!

One says, "Hey, Mister, please go faster!"
“I have to get to the tsadik's house!”
The second one says, "Oy, Mister, slower!
My hemorrhoids!"

Giddy-up, little horses! Giddy-up, darlings!
Can't you hear what the folks are saying?
Giddy-up, little horses! Giddy-up, darlings!
Giddy-up! The tavern is not so far!

Arrived in the tavern on Friday night.
Had a glass, considered a second.
Drank away the horses, drank away the buggy.
All I had left was the whip.

Giddy-up, my little wife! Giddy-up, my dove!
There's not a penny for the Sabbath.
Don't worry, my little wife, don't worry, my dove!
Giddy-up! It's a good thing I still have the whip!
And it's good that I'm still here!
Fur ikh mir aroys mit mayn eygener bayd,
Fir ferdelekh geshpont in der breyt.
In drusn iz a vyuge, in drusn iz a reygn,
S’iz fintster, me zeyt nisht deym veyg.

Oy vyo vyo vyo ferdelekh, vyo vyo vyo udlerlekh,
Heybt zhe di kepelekh hoykh,
Vyo vyo vyo ferdelekh, vyo vyo vyo tayere,
Vyo! Geyn zol azh bold a roykh.

Oy eyner zugt, “A, reb yidl, fur gikher!”
Er darf zikh tsun a gitn yidn.
Der tsveyter zugt, “A, reb yidl, pameylekh!
“Oy, mayne meridn!”

Vyo vyo vyo ferdelekh, vyo vyo vyo tayere,
Ir hert nisht vus zugn di layt?
Vyo vyo vyo ferdelekh, vyo vyo vyo tayere,
Vyo! Di kreytshme iz shoyn nisht vayt.

Gekimen in der kreytshme, fraytik tse nakhts,
A koyse genemen, di tsveyte fartrakht,
Fartrinken di ferdelekh, fartrinken di bayd.
Geblibn bin ikh bay der baytsh.

Oy vyo vyo vyo vaybele, vyo vyo vyo taybele,
Af shobes kayn groshn nishtu.
Nisht gezorgt vaybele, nisht gezorgt taybele,
Vyo! Git vus di baytsh iz nokh du.
In git vus ikh bin nokh du.

פֿאָר איך מיר אַרױס מיט מײַן אײגענער בױד,
פֿיר פֿערדעלעך געשפּאַנט אין דער ברײט.
אין דרױסן איז אַ װיוגע, אין דרױסן איז אַ רעגן,
סאיז פֿינצטער, מע זעט נישט דעם װעג.

אױ װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ פֿערדעלעך, װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ אָדלערלעך,
הײבט זשע די קעפּעלעך הױך,
װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ פֿערדעלעך, װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ טײַערע,
װיאָ, גײן זאָל אַזש באַלד אַ רױך.

אױ אײנער זאָגט, אַ, רעב ייִדל, פֿאָר גיכער!
ער דאַרף זיך צום אַ גוטן ייִדן.
דער צװײטער זאָגט, אַ, רעב ייִדל, פּאַמעלעך!
אױ, מײַנע מערידן!

װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ פֿערדעלעך, װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ טײַערע,
איר הערט נישט װאָס זאָגן די לײַט?
װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ פֿערדעלעך, װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ טײַערע,
װיאָ! די קרעטשמע איז שױן נישט װײַט.

געקומען אין דער קרעטשמע, פֿרײַטיק צו נאַכץ,
אַ כּוסע גענומען, די צװײטע פֿאַרטראַכט,
פֿאַרטרונקען די פֿערדעלעך, פֿאַרטרונקען די בױד.
געבליבן בין איך בײַ דער בײַטש.

אױ װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ װײַבעלע, װיאָ װיאָ װיאָ טײַבעלע,
אױף שבת קײן גראָשן נישטאָ.
נישט געזאָרגט װײַבעלע, נישט געזאָרגט טײַבעלע,
װיאָ! גוט װאָס די בײַטש איז נאָך דאָ.
און גוט װאָס איך בין נאָך דאָ.

--Asya Vaisman

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