Bay Mir Bistu Shein (Yiddish)

Secunda, Sholom

Jacobs, Jacob

Yiddish Lyrics

Kh'vel dir zogn, dir glaykh tzu hern
Az du zolst mir libe derklern
Ven du redst mit di oygn
Volt ikh mit dir gefloygn vu du vilst
S'art mikh nit on
Ven du host a bisele seykhl
Un ven du vaytzt dayn kindershn shmeykhl
Vendu bist vild vi indianer
Bist afile a galitsianer
Zog ikh: dos art mikh nit.

Bay mir bistu sheyn,
Bay mir hos tu heyn,
Bay mir bistu eyner oyf der velt.
Bay mir bistu git,
Bay mir hostu "it",
Bay mir bistu tayerer fun gelt.

Fil sheyne meydlekh hobn gevolt nemen mir,
Un fun zay ale oys-geklibn hob ikh nor dikh.


I will say to you so that you would hear
"I love you."
When you speak with your eyes,
I would fly with you wherever you wish -
I do not care where."
When you have a bit of sense
And when you show your childlike little smile
When you are wild as an Indian
Even if you were a Galitzyaner,
I say: It doesn't bother me.

To me, you are lovely,
To me, you are charming.
To me, you are the only one in the world.
To me, you are lovely,
To me, you are charming,
To me, you are more precious than money.

Many pretty girls
Wanted me for a husband
But among them all I chose only you.

the clip here is from a great CD Oy, It's Good by the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra (here sung first in Yiddish, then in English). In his book "The Essential Klezmer," (published by Algonquin Bookds of Chapel Hill in 2000) Seth Rogovoy reports it was originally written for a Yiddish theater production "I would if I Could," in 1932.


Added October 16th, 1999