Gefilte Fish

from by Two Shekel Swing

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This old song was rediscovered by Adrienne Cooper and recorded on her 2010 album "Enchanted."



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?

(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?


from Pocket Change, released May 17, 2019
Music/Lyrics: Isidor Lillian
Arrangement: Yoni Avi Battat


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