PRATIE PLACE

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vi azoy lebt der keyser? aka "How does the tsar drink tea?"

I just bought an amazing mp3 of Paul Robeson singing this song in quite good Yiddish. Nu?







Vi azoy lebt der keyser? (How does the tsar live?)
  
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg,Gentlemen, gentlemen, endlessly wise,
Kh'vel aykh fregn, kh'vel aykh fregn,I want to ask you a question.
- Nu, freg zshe, freg zhe, freg,- Nu, ask, ask, ask:
Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle:Everybody answer my question:
Vi azoy trinkt der keyser tey?How does the Csar drink tea?
Me nemt a hitele tsuker,You take a cylinder of sugar,
Un me makht in dem a lekhele,And carve a hole on the top,
Un me gist arayn heyse vaser,And into it you pour hot water
Un me misht, un me misht ...And then stir and stir.
Oy, ot azoy, oy, ot azoy,Oy, just like that, oy, just like that,
Ot azoy trinkt der keyser tey!That's how the Csar drinks tea.
  
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a bregGentlemen, gentlemen, endlessly wise,
Kh'vel aykh fregn, kh'vel aykh fregn.I want to ask you a question.
- Nu, freg zhe, freg zhe, freg.- Nu, ask, ask, ask:
Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle:Everybody answer my question:
Vi azoy est der keyser bulbes?How does the Csar eat potatoes?
Me nemt a fesele puterYou take a barrel of butter
Un me shtelt avek dem keyser oyf der anderer zayt,And you place it opposite the Csar
Un a rote soldatn, mit harmatn,And a company of soldiers, with cannons,
Shisn di bulbes durkh der puterShoot the potatoes through the butter
Dem keyser glaykh in moyl arayn ...Straight into the Csar's mouth.
Oy, ot azoy, oy, ot azoy,Oy, just like that, oy, just like that,
Ot azoy est der keyser bulbes!That's how the Csar eats potatoes.
  
Rabosay, rabosay, khakhomim on a breg,Gentlemen, gentlemenn, endlessly wise,
Kh'vel aykh fregn, kh'vel aykh fregn.I want to ask you a question.
- Nu, freg zhe, freg zhe, freg.- Nu, ask, ask, ask:
Entfert ale oyf mayn shayle:Everybody answer my question:
Vi azoy shloft der keyser bay nakht?How does the Csar sleep at night?
Me shit on a fuln kheyder mit federn,You fill a room with feathers
Un me khmalet ahin arayn dem keyser,And you wham the Csar in,
Un dray polk soldatnAnd three regiments of soldiers
Shteyen a gantse nakht un shrayen:Stand all night and shout:
Sha! Sha! Sha!Shah! Shah! Shah!
Oy, ot azoy, oy, ot azoy,Oy, just like that, oy, just like that,
Ot azoy shloft der keyser bay nakht!That's how the Csar sleeps at night.

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