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Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn

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alanabit 22 Feb 05 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Philippa 22 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM
Wilfried Schaum 22 Feb 05 - 05:25 AM
Wilfried Schaum 22 Feb 05 - 05:28 AM
masato sakurai 22 Feb 05 - 07:11 AM
alanabit 22 Feb 05 - 07:23 AM
GUEST,Philippa 22 Feb 05 - 08:37 AM
Wilfried Schaum 22 Feb 05 - 11:24 AM
alanabit 22 Feb 05 - 11:38 AM
Joe Offer 22 Feb 05 - 03:09 PM
Wilfried Schaum 23 Feb 05 - 02:59 AM
alanabit 23 Feb 05 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,Revea 16 Feb 07 - 01:01 PM
alanabit 16 Feb 07 - 06:31 PM
Wilfried Schaum 20 Feb 07 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,sylfija 12 Oct 07 - 10:09 AM
alanabit 12 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM
alanabit 12 Oct 07 - 11:44 AM
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Subject: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 03:56 AM

I have been listening to this song a lot recently and the only information I have about it is that it is popular in Jewish circles. It is in Yiddish, but the words are so close to German, that they sound rather like an East European dialect. It is a love song with a beautiful melody. I want to learn it and perform it. I have the words and music and everything, but I would like to know a little more about the song, its author and its history if anyone could enlighten me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM

Have you tried looking this song up on the Zemerl website?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 05:25 AM

Oy, dortn, dortn

Ashkenazi Yiddish, or Jewish German, is a form spoken by the Jews of Germany and the East European countries. Its base is the Middle High German language, with Hebrew and Slavic words inserted.

This text is entirely German, with one Hewbrew word with German flection: benkn (to think of, to await, to long for)

And then there is Sephardic, the language of the Jews of Spain, naturally on the base of the old Spanish language.

The text with a rough translation:
1.
Oy dortn dortn ibern vaserl
O there, there over the water
Oy dortn dortn ibern brik
O there, there over the bridge
Fartribn hot men mikh in di vaytene lender
They have driven me out into the wide lands
Un benken benk ikh nokh dir tzurik.
And I'm longing back for you.

2.
O, helf mir, gotenyu, o Got in himl,
O help me, dear God, o God in heaven,
O, helf mir, gotenyu, s'iz mir nisht gut,
O help me, dear God, I'm not well,
Shoyn zayt dray yorelekh, vi mir shpiln libe,
Since three years we are playing love,
Oy oys shpiln di libe konen mir nit.
But we can't play the love to an end.


3.
Oy dayne oygelekh, vi di shvartze karshelekh
O your eyes, like the black cherries
Un dayne lipelekh - vi rozeve papir.
and your lips - like rosy paper.
Un dayne fingerlekh - vi tint un feder
And your fingers -like ink and pen
Un shraybn zolstu ofte briv tzu mir.
And you must write me letters often

rozeve = rozene? Printer's error?

[All words ending in -lekh are diminutives]


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 05:28 AM

You can't find it in zemerl because the sound is oy. Oj = pronounced like "odge" in English transliteration. For the palatal semivowel always use y.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 07:11 AM

"Oj, dortn, dortn" (score with chords)

"Oj, dortn, dortn", sung by Oksana Sowiak, together with "Doss kelbl (Dona, dona)."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 07:23 AM

Thanks very much everyone, but what I am really looking for is some background information to the song. I have a lovely version by Zupfgeigenhansel, but I always like to know a bit about a song before I try to perform it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 08:37 AM

the lyrics and translation given above are from Zemerl. The second link given by Wolfgang is interesting for it gives Yiddish and German side by side [maybe Wolfgang can give us an English translation for Papirossn/Zigaretten song on the same recording/webpage, or maybe I'll look it up at Zemerl?]. According to Oksana Sowiak's notes, the context of "Oj, dortn, dortn" is the large-scale emigration of Jews from Eastern Europe in the late 19th century and "ibern vaserl" (over the water) refers to America.

and Wolfgang's first link is also very useful for it gives musical notation


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:24 AM

The rough translation above is mine, there are some differences to the one given in zemerl. But the text is from zemerl; masato gives a version with one stanza more.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 11:38 AM

Thanks again. I was aware of the background of the Yiddish and I had already tracked down the music on the net, although it would have been easy enough to lift it from the Zupfgeigerhansel album. The meaning of the lyrics is simple enough for anyone with a smattering of German (which I have). I also have the good fortune that my girlfriend speaks Russian, which usually fills in most of the gaps. What is interesting, is that you have given me a clue as to its origin. That context of it being against a background of mass migration is particularly poignant. I really hope other posters appear to shed more light on it.


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Subject: ADD Version: Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 03:09 PM

The best Yiddish songbooks I've found art the three Pearls of Yiddish Song volumes edited by Eleanor and Joseph Mlotek, Pearls of Yiddish Song, Songs of Generations and Mir Trogn a Gesang. This is from Mir Trogn a Gesang, almost exactly what Wilfired posted, but with an additional verse. This particular version was published in 1927, but Eleanor Mlotek found one version published in 1901.

Oy, Dortn, Dortn

Oy, dortn, dortn, ibern vaserl,
Oy, dortn, dortn, ibern brik!
Fartribn hostu mikh in di vaytene lender,
Un benken benk ikh nokh dir tsurik!

Oy, vifl ovntn tsuzamen gezesn,
Oy, vifl ovntn shpet in der nakht!
Un vifl trerelekh mir hobn beyde fargosn
Eyder mir hobn di libe tsuzamengebrakht!

Oy, helf mir, gotenyu, oy, got in himl,
Helf mir, gotenyu, s'iz mir nit gut!
Shoyn tsayt dray yorelekh, vi mir shpiln a libe,
Un oysshpiln di libe konen mir nit!

Oy, dayne eygelekh, azoy vi di karshelekh,
Un dayne lipelekh, vi rozeve papir;
Un dayne fingerlekh, vi tint un vi feder—
Oy, shraybn zolstu ofte briv tsu mir!



Oh, far away, across the seas, my love is parted from me. How many evenings we spent together and how many tears we shed until we knew of our love! Oh, your eyes are like black cherries and your lips are like pale rose paper! May your fingers be like pen and ink so that you may write to me often!

I didn't find any additional information about the background of the song, but I guess it's a help to know it goes back at least to 1901.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 02:59 AM

Source is given on the 2nd of Masato's links:
Papirosn
Papirossen,
both with Engl. trl., the second one better (in my humble opinion).

I don't think that the song is related to emigration, especially to the USA. The text clearly cites a water and a bridge, and a bridge over the ocean has still to be shown.
Wandering away was common for business reasons, and songs about parted lovers are legion all over the world in many languages. It is a general and common human experience; so I think any questions about its origin can't be answered. In folk songs you can only state who sang it when and where, and when it was first recorded.

Variants: in Zemerl it is Fartribn hot men mikh = they have driven me away, in Ruth Rubin's Treasury it is Fartribn hostu mikh = you have driven me away.

Wilfried (not Wolfgang, for whom Masato shouldn't be mistaken either)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Feb 05 - 03:27 AM

Thanks again Wilfried and Joe. At least the age of the song is interesting. If you can't learn everything about a subject, you can at least, always try to find out more! I guess it will always be that way with folk songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: GUEST,Revea
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 01:01 PM

Alanabit, could you possibly send mi this version [Zupfgeigenhansel]? I can't find it anywhere. our history teacher played it for us at the lesson and I fallen in love with this song. it is beautiful and sad.. can you help me? :3


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 16 Feb 07 - 06:31 PM

As you are not a member, I can't contact you through Mudcat. However, you can click on the PM next to my name at the top of this post if you join up. Membership is free here, and it takes only two minutes to sign up. You can also reach me via my e-mail address, which you can get from the members pages. I will be glad to help.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 03:23 AM

You also can find it in Zemerl, with english translation


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: GUEST,sylfija
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 10:09 AM

I just came across this post and although it's already over half a year old I thought I'd post this link to a youtube video which features the Zupfgeigenhansel version of "Oj, dortn, dortn":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUJhs_OE-gs


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:40 AM

Zupfgeigenhansel version of "Oj, dortn, dortn".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Oj, dortn, dortn / Oy, Dortn, Dortn
From: alanabit
Date: 12 Oct 07 - 11:44 AM

If I may comment on the link, I would like to say that moving as both the pictures and the song are, they are only tenuously linked. The song is not directly linked to the Holocaust, and probably predates it by many years. However, it does no harm to show again how much would have been lost had the evil of those times prevailed.


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