Return to homepage

Bookmark This Site
Search our site
WOLFE'S WORDSSeptember 11, 2007
Send this page to a friendIncrease Font
Page DownBottom

Share this page
Zing Mir a Lidl (Sing Me a Song)
by: Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Important dates

This Month...

Editor's Comment
Michael looks at:
Farewell, Shalom and Adieu

Being Jewish Magazine

see a .pdf copy of the current issue

An Open Letter from Abba to His Family

Enough With The Political Finger-Pointing!

Revisiting the Haggadah

Eddy's Recipe List
Victoria Sponge

Book Review
Unstrung Heroes

The Outspeaker
Encouraging violence is never correct

Good times and bad times with Batya

Nathan Weissler
What my friendship with Michael Hanna-Fein meant to me

BC's Backlot
The Last Shalom

This And That
My Treasure Chest

Three Symbols of Passover


Lynn Ruth Miller
How we all became part of a bigger story

Mel Yahre
A few words for my friend

Eddy's Thoughts
Don't let life flutter by

The Bear Facts
How I found Michael


Joey Fatone is the host of a new NBC television program titled, "The Singing Bee." It's a variety-competition show that challenges contestants to accurately sing the lyrics to popular songs. There's no teleprompter and no middle ground for partially correct answers; contestants must be perfect...or they're OUT!

This "mishpocheh"-friendly show is conducive to playing (and singing) along at "heym."

"Di muzik" inspires hilarious wrong answers and amazing performances by those rare contestants who somehow manage to get every "vort" (word) right.

Could YOU sing the words to the 1924 Irving Berlin song written for Fanny Brice and titled, "Yiddisha Eskimo"? (It brought down the house with the line, "I'm one of God's frozen people.") Do you know the words to "Be True To Your Shul" (The Beach Boychiks), "Man of Constant Tsuris" (the Soggy Matzoh Boys), Mickey Katz ("Paisach in Portugal"), and "Hanukkah in Santa Monica"?

Now IMAGINE if we were offered a Jewish/Yiddish version of "The Singing Bee." Grab a pencil and let's see how well you would do. (The correct answers may be found at the end of the article.)

Complete the lyrics to the song,
"It's the Most Meshugganah Time of the Year":
(Source: "Chrismukkah Cookbook" by Ron Gompert)

It's the most meshugganah time of the year
Many gifts I'll be buying
and Latkes need frying
'Cause Chrismukkah's here...
It's the most meshuggunah time of the year

To the mall I'll be shlepping
You know I'll be kvetching
The roads will be jammed driving home
Then back out I'll be going
Menorah's not glowing
[fill in the blank]

Curvesome, loud-shouting Ethel Merman sang, "Take a Chance" The amusing lyric begins:

Sadie was a lady
Though her life was shady.
Edie had class
[fill in the blank]

"Dizzy Spells" (Jingle Bells) Shlomo Clausberg

I walked up the steps
To the Chinese place
It was quite a shlep
Ach such a red face

I got to the door
Oy it smelled so nice.
I was thinking
[fill in the blank]

In the B'way show, "Fiddler on the Roof," Golde sings to Tevye:

Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town,
You're upset, you're worn out,
Go inside, go lie down.
Maybe it's [fill in the blank]


This 54-second tune aired twice on "Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company in 1990.

I'm spending Hanukkah, in Santa Monica,
Wearing sandals lighting candles by the sea
I spent Shavuous, in East St. Louis,
A charming spot but clearly not the spot for me.

Those eastern winter, I can't endure 'em,
So every year I pack my gear
[fill in the blank]

The song "Nights of Hanukkah"

On the eighth night of Hanukkah
my shaindy gave to me
Eight pickled heerings,
Seven kosher chicken,
Six stuffed cabbage,
Five rolls of tums...
Four pans of brisket,
Three latkes,
Two pounds of lox and
[fill in the blank]

"Pretty Fly For A Rabbi" (parody of "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" by The Offspring.

People used to scoff, now they say "Mazel tov!"
He's [rabbi] such a macher 'cause he worked his tuchis off
Yeah, he keeps his cool and teaches shul
What's not to like? What's not to like?
On high holy days, you know he prays and prays
[fill in the blank]
And "Oy Vey."

Irving Kruger remade the popular standard song, "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" into Yiddish camp.
Complete the missing words:

All I vant is ah man somevere
E should dense like [fill in the blank] [fill in the blank].
Good teeth and lots of hair
Oy, wouldn't it be loverly."


"Dem Pedlers Brivl" (The Peddler's Letter) by Y. Brisker, tells of how immigrants are advised by their friends to take a pushcart until they can establish themselves in some business. (Source: "The Yiddish Song Book" by Jerry Silverman)

O, my dearest Mama, you ask how I'm doing,
You ask what I do here in this golden land.

I cannot write, Mama dear, lies in my letter,
so I'll write the truth with a trembling hand.

I peddle, I peddle in all of the big houses,
Not one is too far, not one is too tall.
In heat and in cold and in wind and in rainstorm,
We creep and we run till exhausted we fall.
In heat and in cold and in wind and in rainstorm,
[fill in the blank]

"Shoot The Shtrudel To Me, Yudel"
by Henry Foner and dedicated to Yudel Slutsky. (chorus). Source: "Jewish Currents," July-August 2006.

Shoot the shtrudel to me, Yudel,
Watch my tongue hang out with glee,
'Cause I know that kind food'll
Brighten up the day for me.

Let me grapple with that apple,
Let me taste those flakes sublime,
Raisin filling's very thrilling
[fill in the blank]


1. I'm all out of candles you know.
2. With a cap-i-tal K.
3. Mu shu pork but now I need advice.
4. indigestion. ("boykhveytik" in Yiddish)
5. And come out here to Purim.
6. a bobka with a glazel tea.
7. And he never eats pastrami on white bread with mayonnaise.
8. Fred Astaire (who else?)
9. We creep and we run till exhausted we fall.
10. In Apple Shtrudel Time.

Marjorie agrees with Theodore Bikel ("Theo"), who wrote, "Jewish song in America--wherever it still exists--is changing in form and shape...There are temple youth groups that sing 'Adon Alom' ("Master of the Universe") to the tune of the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine.'"



Michael answers almost all of them.

Consult him about religious and spiritual issues

News article of interest to our community.


Tshatshkes, shmates and other shlok for the discriminating shopper.

Our (real world) publication

Interesting tidbits of jewishness


Have the Gantseh Megillah dropped directly into your e-mail box

Join the Gantseh Megillah Facebook Group

Follow Michael's Tweets

Environmentally friendly Megillah bag

Audio and video Yiddishkayt

Buy him a Megillah shirt

See everything we have to offer


See Marge's website    

A  print companion to our online magazine
Page UpTop Small Monitor Subscribe Tzedakeh Links

Subscribe (free) to the Gantseh Megillah. The Gantseh Megillah and are designed and hosted by HannaVisioN About this site Send a financial contribution to this site Contact us See our glossary of Yiddish words and expressions Log In Join
Personal insights from two yiddishe meydls Life stories from the heart News and information with a lighter touch Politics and policy with a Yiddishe taam