YIDDISH OYFN PRIPETSHIK CLASSIC YIDDISH SONGS

Concert de musique Yiddish
Jeudi 12 février 2009
Lycée La Fontaine Paris

OYFN PRIPETSHIK

Oyfn pripetchik brent a fayerl,
Un in shtub is heys.
Un der rebbe lernt
Kleyne kinderlach
Dem alef-beiss.
Un der rebbe lernt
Kleyne kinderlach
Dem alef-beiss.

Zet zhe kinderlech,
Gedenkt zhe, tayere,
Vos ir lernt do.
Zogt zhe nokh a mol
Un take nokh a mol:
“Komets-alef: o!”
Zogt zhe nokh a mol
Un take nokh a mol:
“Komets-alef: o!”

Oyfn Pripetshik (English: translation: On the cooking stove) is a song written in Yiddish by M.M. Warshawsky (1848–1907). Other spellings includeOyfn PripetchikOyfn Pripetchek, etc.[1]

The song is about a rabbi teaching his young students the alef bet. By the end of the 19th century it had become one of the most popular songs of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe: as such it is a major musical memory of pre-Holocaust Europe.[2] The song is still used in Jewish kindergartens.

The fourth stanza introduces tragic pathos into the song: “When, children, you will grow older/You will understand/How many tears lie in these letters/And how much crying.”[3] The lyrics hint at the traditional Yiddish saying that “the history of the Jews is written in tears”.[3]

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