Saturday, September 9, 2017

Leonard Cohen: Un Az Der Rebbe Zingt (1976)


Leonard Cohen [1934–2016; born in Montreal] performs part of a traditional Yiddish song, “Un Az Der Rebbe Zingt,” (“And when the rabbi sings”) in an unplanned concert at what is now the Arena-Besetzung in Vienna, Austria, in the summer of 1976. When you read the story behind this impromptu performance, you will appreciate the significance of this song and why Cohen likely sang it, so far from home. It is important to note that Cohen rarely sang this song in a public venue. Also important to note is that there are as many versions of this Yiddish folk-song as there are interpretations of it, as one can or would expect with a folk-song of unknown or indeterminate origin. (I could not find out who originally wrote the lyrics, so if someone knows, please let me know.) You can listen to some of the versions here, here, here and here.
Via: Youtube

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Un As Der Rebbe Zingt
[Lyrics courtesy Jane Enkin Music]
Az der rebbe tantst (When the rabbi dances)
Az der rebbe tantst
Tantsn ale khasidim (All the Hasidim dance)
Tantsn ale khasidim
Ay didi day didi day, ay didi day didi day
Tantsn ale khasidim
Ay didi day didi day, ay didi day didi day
Tantsn ale khasidim

Az der rebbe zingt (When the rabbi sings)
Zingen ale khasidim (All the Hasidim sing)
Tshiri biri bim tshiri biri bom
Zingen ale khasidim

Az der rebbe trinkt (When the rabbi drinks)
Trinken ale khasidim (All the Hasidim drink)
Yaba baba bay 
Lekhayim! Yaba baba bay
Lekhayim! To life!
Trinken ale khasidim

Az der rebbe lakht (When the rabbi laughs)
Lakhn ale khasidim (All the Hasidim laugh)
Ha ha....
Lakhn ale khasidim

Az der rebbe veynt  (When the rabbi cries)
Veynen ale khasidim (All the Hasidim cry)
Oy oy oy oy oy vey’z mir, oy oy... Oh, woe is me
Veynen ale khasidim

Az der rebbe shloft (When the rabbi sleeps)
Shlofn ale khasidim (All the Hasidim sleep)

Az der rebbe tantst! (When the rabbi dances)
Tantsn ale khasidim (All the Hasidim dance)
Ay didi day didi day, ay didi day didi day
Tantsn ale khasidim

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