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Pocket Change

by Two Shekel Swing

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YIDDISH: a bisl zun, a bisl regn, a ruik ort dem kop tsu legn, abi gezunt, ken men gliklekh zayn. a shukh a zok, a kleyd on lates, in keshene a dray, fir zlotes, abi gezunt, ken men gliklekh zayn. di luft iz fray far yedn glaykh, di zun zi shaynt far yedn eynem, orem oder raykh. a bisl freyd, a bisl lakhn, a mol mit fraynd a shnepsl makhn, abi gezunt ken men gliklekh zayn. eyner zukht ashires, eyner zukht gevures, aynnemen di gantse velt. eyner meynt dos ganse glik hengt nor op in gelt. zoln ale zukhn, zoln ale krikhn, nor ikh trakht bay mir, ikh darf dos af kapores, vayl dos glik shteyt bay mayn tir ENGLISH TRANSLATION: (courtesy of Milken Archive) https://www.milkenarchive.org/music/volumes/view/great-songs-of-the-american-yiddish-stage/work/abi-gezunt/ A bit of sun, a bit of rain, a peaceful place to lay your head … so long as you’re healthy, you can be happy. A shoe, a sock, an outfit without patches, three or four measly coins in your pocket … so long as you’re healthy, you can be happy. The air is free, equal for all; the sun shines for everyone, whether rich or poor. A little rejoicing, a little laughter, some schnapps with a friend once in a while … so long as you’re healthy, you can be happy. Some look for riches, some look for power, to conquer the whole world. Some think that all happiness depends only on money. Let them all search, let them all scrounge. But I think to myself that I have no use for such things, since happiness is waiting at my doorstep.
Blue Lentils 04:44
YIDDISH: A kalte nakht, a nebldike, finster umetum Shteyt a yingele fartroyert un kukt zikh arum Fun regn shitst im nor a vant, a koshikl halt er in hant Un zayne oygn betn yedn shtum. Kupitye, koyf zhe, koyf zhe papirosn Trukene, fun regn nit fargosn Koyf zhe, bilik benemones Koyft un hot oyf mir rakhmones Ratevet fun hunger mikh atsind ENGLISH: A cold night, foggy, darkness everywhere A boy stands sadly and looks around Only a wall protects him from the rain He holds a basket in his hand And his eyes beg everyone silently. Please, Buy my cigarettes! Dry ones, not wet from the rain Buy real cheap Buy and have pity on me Save me from hunger now
Gefilte Fish 03:12
YIDDISH: Zog vos esn Yidn mit groys kheyshek, Bay yenem tsi bay zikh aleyn in shtub? S'iz pareve, nisht milkhik un nisht fleyshik, Nor a maykhl vos a yeder Yid hot lib. Zog vos iz a yeder froys ambitsye? Me hot es lib, me veyst take far vos, S'iz a yidish maykhl mit traditsye Un yedn erev-shabes est men dos: Gefilte fish, gefilte fish! S'iz a maykhl vos hot toyznt tamen, Kh'hob tsu ersht farzukht es bay mayn mamen. Es iz tayer, es iz voyl, A maykhl far dem folk Yisroel! Esndik tsegeyt es zikh in moyl. Oy, di gefilte fish zey zenen yidish: Me kumt fun shul un shtelt zikh makhn kidesh, In shtub iz sheyn un reyn un frish, Me zetst zikh tsum gedektn tish Un me derlangt gefilte fish. Gefilte fish, gefilte fish! Der Unger hot lib gulyash mit paprike, Der Polak hot lib bigos fleysh mit broyt, Bay dem Rus iz royter borsht der iker, Un der Yeke hot lib klise mit kroyt. A mamelige glaykhn di Rumener Un der Gruziner hot lib a shashlik, Nor vos gut iz veysn zey nit keyner, Un adrabe zogt mir vos iz gut? ENGLISH: (translation courtesy of Ellen Kellman) Say, what do Jews eat with great enthusiasm At someone else's house or at home? It's parve, neither dairy, nor meat, But it's a dish that every Jew loves. Say, what is every woman's ambition? People love it, and we really don't know why It's a Jewish dish with its own tradition And what do people eat every Sabbath eve? Well, what? Gefilte Fish, Gefilte Fish! It's a dish that has a thousand flavors I first tasted it at my mother's (table). Oy, it is precious, it is good A dish that belongs to the Jewish people When you eat it, it melts in your mouth. These gefilte fish are Jewish! You come home from synagogue and stand up to make kiddish (the blessing over the wine). In the house it's beautiful, clean and fresh You sit down at the prepared table And they serve up gefilte fish. The Hungarian loves goulash with paprika And the pole loves bigos (a stew), meat and bread. The Russian mainly loves beet borsht And the German (Jew) loves pasta with cabbage. Rumanians like mamelige (polenta) And the Georgian loves shashlik (kebab). But none of the them knows what is good And by all means, people tell us, come on, tell us already, what is good?


Yoni would like to thank David Chevan for his mentorship and encouragement; Adam Shapiro, Jesse Chevan, and all the musical collaborators whose generous spirit and creativity have shaped his voice as a musician; Ellen Kellman for introducing him to the beauty of Yiddish language and song; Jay Miles for filming at Firehouse 12; and Leah Carnow, Eitan Battat, and Stacey Battat for their unhindered opinions, their endless love, and their logistical and emotional support.


released May 17, 2019

Yoni Battat: band leader, violin, viola, vocals
Adam Shapiro: guitar
David Chevan: bass
Jesse Chevan: drums

Recorded April 27th, 2019
Firehouse 12 Studios - New Haven, CT
Greg DiCrosta, engineer

Additional Overdubs Recorded April 29th, 2019
Q Division Studios - Somerville, MA
Joel Edinberg, engineer

Editing, Mixing, and Mastering by Joel Edinberg

Album Artwork by Sara Weininger, Album Design by Yoni Battat

All songs arranged and produced by Yoni Avi Battat. ℗ © 2019, Yoni Avi Battat.
All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.


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