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[yiddishteachers] My Yiddishe Momme

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  • Peter A. Stark
    With apologies... I can t find the email, but someone was looking for the words to My Yiddishe Momme. Here s information. I took these lyrics down from Sophie
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2004
      With apologies... I can't find the email, but someone was looking for
      the words to My Yiddishe Momme.

      Here's information.

      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
      Momme mine!

      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,
      mameh mayn.

      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
      Yiddish transliteration.

      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?"


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