A Yidish Yingl

A Yidish Yingl A Nice Jewish Boy

lyrics and music David Beigelman

Tango Yona’s source: sheet music courtesy of the Holocaust Memorial Museum/Henry Baigelman Collection

translated by Jane Enkin and Justin Jaron Lewis

Verse 1

Mayn bobe hot gezogt mayn mame

Zay erlekh mayn kind un fayn

Vest du oysvaksn a sheyne dame, vet

yeder mikh mekane zayn”

Mayn mame hot fun di verter

gelitn nebekh azoy fil

Un iberal oyf ale erter

hot zi gezukht in der shtil


A yidish yingl

Iz dokh ziser fun vayn

A yidish yingl

Hot dokh toyzenter kheyn

Di oygn zaynen

Vi koyln shvarts

Zey glien un brenen

Adurkh a harts

Verse 2

Un ikh bin, ir zolt es visn

Punkt vi mayn mame iz geven

Ich hob oykh a geshmak, keyn miesn

Ir vet es bald aleyn zen

Ot dort zitst a bokher a sheyner

Nor du kenst zayn mayn kavalir

Folg mir zay zhe du nor mayner

Vayl ich lib gor on a shir


Verse 3 (not on Tango Yona CD)

Mayns a khaverte keyn miese afile

Hot zikh gor a sheygets farvolt

Geven a voyle a frume a shtile

Poshet optsuvegn mit gold

Ober ikh hob zi oyfn oyg

Un zog ir muser on a shir

A sheygets zog mir tsu vos dir toyg

Halt ikh in eyn shrayen tsu ir


Verse 1

My grandmother said to my mother

Be upright and refined

If you grow up to be a fine lady

everyone will envy me

My mother, from these words

suffered, nebekh so much

And everywhere, in every place

she quietly searched


A Jewish boy

is sweeter than wine

A Jewish boy

has thousands of charms

His eyes are

like black coals

They shine and burn

through your heart

Verse 2

And I am, you should know

exactly like my mother was

I have taste, not bad

as you will soon see

There sits a boy, a good-looking one

Only you can be my beau

Follow me, my own

Because I love without measure


Verse 3 (not on Tango Yona CD)

A girlfriend of mine, not an ugly one even,

Got an urge for, of all things, a non-Jewish boy

She was good, religious and quiet,

Worth her weight in gold

But I’m keeping an eye on her

And I preach to her without end

A non-Jewish boy? Tell me, what good is that to you?

I keep yelling at her