[yiddishteachers] My Yiddishe Momme
- With apologies... I can't find the email, but someone was looking for
the words to My Yiddishe Momme.
I took these lyrics down from Sophie Tucker's recording, but there are
recordings with slight variations.
Of things I should be thankful for
I've had a goodly share
And as I sit here in the comfort
Of a cosy chair
My fancy takes me to a humble East Side tenement
Three flights, in the rear,
To where my childhood days were spent
It wasn't much like Paradise
But amid the dirt and all
There sat the sweetest angel
One that I fondly call
My Yiddishe momme
I need her more than ever now
My Yiddishe momme
I'd love to kiss that wrinked brow
I long to hold her hand once more
As in days gone by
And ask her to forgive me for
Things I did that made her cry
How few were her pleasures
She never cared for fashion's styles
Her jewels and treasures
She found them in her babies' smiles
Oh, I know that I know that I owe
What I am today
To that dear little lady
So old and gray
To that wonderful Yiddishe momme
Then I found the lyrics online at
but a close inspection shows that version is probably taken down from
the same recording.
Published 1925, lyrics by Jack Yellen; music by Jack Yellen and Lew
A Yiddish transliteration may found online at
but this version shows work (by two transliterators, or one very
inconsistent one) substituting modern German forms for the Yiddish but
also renders other forms in Litvish pronunciation. One transliterator
renders the letter "zayin" as "s," which follows German usage, but the
other renders it as "z." Similarly, "velshe" in the third line is
clearly influenced by the modern German pronunciation of "welche,"
which in Yiddish is always "velkhe," an older pronunciation which is
sidelined as a regional variant in modern German. On the other hand,
Yiddish "un," which in modern German is always "und," is rendered
"unt," which is a phonetic spelling unlikely to be used by anyone
educated in German, and a spelling like "vaser" for Yiddish "wasser" (=
German "Wasser" = English "water") makes it unlikely that the
transliterator is educated in English.
I've added a few corrections [LIKE THIS], but there is more correction
needed, and I don't have a published text at hand.
I leave the rest of the sleuthing to Professor Henry Higgins and
Colonel Pickering, because there's such a thing as accurate, but
there's also such a thing as a nudnik.
Ich vil hay [BEI] aych a kasheh freygn
Sogt mir ver es kem [KEN]
Mit velshe [VELKHE] tayere fermeygens
Ventsht Got alemen
Men koyft es nit far kayne gelt
Dos git men nor umsist
Un doch as men farlirt
Dos vi fil trern men fargist.
A tsveyte git men keinem nit
Es helft nit kayn geveyn,
Oy! ver es hot farloy'rn
Der veys shoyn vos ich meyn.
A Yiddishe mameh,
Es gibt nit beser in der velt.
A Yiddishe mameh
Oy vey, bi [VI] bitter ven si [ZI] felt.
Vi sheyn unt lichtig [LIKHTIK] is in hoys
Ven di mameh's do
Vi troyrig finster vert ven Got
Nemt ir oyf ola habo
Du [DURKH] vaser [VASSER] unt [UN] fayer
Volt si gelofen far ir kind
Nit haltn ir tayer
Dos is gevis di greisteh sind
Oy vi glikech un raich
Is der mensh vos hot
Asa sheineh matoneh
Geshenkt fun Got
Asa altitchkeh yiddishe mameh,
A Yiddishe mameh my [MINE - THIS IS ENGLISH, WHERE YIDDISH SHOULD USE
THE FEMININE FORM "MEINE," BUT PERHAPS THIS IS JUST POETIC LICENSE].
Ver bashikt un bahirmt dos kind,
Vi do shvartzapfl fun oyg?
Ver shloft nit durch di lange necht.
Ven es filt ir kind zich shlecht?
Af dem tzu entfern iz nit shver,
Un yeder veys gevis.
Der nomen is undz zeyer tayer:
A mamenyu dos iz.
Ver gliklekh iz nor vi a mameh,
Ven dos kind af di fis zich shtelt?
Ver sholem vil nor, vi a mameh,
Zol shaynen af der velt?
Es zoln bombes mer nit shrekn,
Iz ir grester vuns.
A mameh vil, dos kind zol vaksn
Un zol zayn gezunt.
As I said, more correction is needed to come up with an accurate
A Hebrew version by Avi Koren is online at
A midi recording may be found at
Now, can anyone find the lyrics to the song I was inquiring about a few
weeks ago, "Dem Rebbens Mofsim?"