Jimmy Buffett’s famed bar ballad gets Yiddish translation

In a tribute to singer Jimmy Buffett and the opening of his latest Margaritaville resort in New York City’s Time Square, a trio of klezmer singers are singing his famed “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” in Yiddish.

There was a purpose to this translation.

The Margaritaville Resort Times Square — part of Buffett’s hospitality company, which manages and franchises restaurants, stores and casinos named for the singer’s hit song, “Margaritaville” — is located at the center of Manhattan’s garment district.

The neighborhood once housed three synagogues serving the many Yiddish-speaking garment industry workers. While most of the textile businesses no longer exist, the historic Garment Center Congregation is now on the ground floor and two sub-floors of the Margaritaville entertainment complex, part of a complicated real estate negotiation.

In honor of that unusual situation, Yiddish culture nonprofit Congress for Jewish Culture commissioned playwright Rokhl Kafrissen to adapt Buffett’s tale of a man’s bar hookup into a woman’s Yiddish plea to skip Shabbat dinner and go right to dessert.

“Midtown New York is a world away from Key West,” said CJC executive director Shane Baker. “We also wanted to remind Jimmy Buffett that in New York, we do everything a little bit differently, even rest and relaxation.”

The song is performed by klezmer performers Sasha Lurje, Craig Judelman and Lorin Sklamberg.

Songwriter Kafrissen said Buffett’s “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” seemed like a hopeful anthem for a pandemic summer.

“Instead of a man propositioning a woman at a bar, I rewrote it from a woman’s point of view,” said Kafrissen. “She’s impatiently watching her husband make kiddush before the Shabbat meal.”

“Kum tsu mir” by Rokhl Kafrissen — Yiddish adaptation of Jimmy Buffett’s “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw” 

S’iz shabes do
It’s shabes here

Oy s’iz gut
It sure is good

Dayn kol klingt mole-kheyn
Your voice is full of charm

Kidesh makhste vunderlekh
The way you make kiddush is wonderful

Un dayn ponim
And your face is

Likhtik sheyn
Shine so bright

Nu, ketsl
So, baby

Nokh a glezl
One more glass

Mashke, vayn, tsi bir
Whisky, wine or beer

Ober loz oys di [ha]moytsi
But let’s skip the motsi [blessing on the challah]

Kum tsu mir
Come to me

Loz oys di [ha]moytsi, kum tsu mir
Let’s skip the motsi, come to me

Ikh hob zikh
I just went

Haynt getoyvlt
And ritually cleansed myself

In der mikve nor far dir
In the mivke just for you

Me ruft dikh a min tsadik
They say you’re really saintly

Oyneg-shabes on a shir
It’s shabes pleasure, without end

Ketsl loz oys di [ha]moytsi, kum tsu mir
So baby let’s skip the motsi, come to me

Loz oys di [ha]moytsi, kum tsu mir
Let’s skip the motsi, come to me

Ikh hob zikh
I just went

Ayngetunken
And dipped myself

In der mikve nor far dir
In the mivke just for you

Me ruft dikh a min tsadik
They say you’re really saintly

Oyneg-shabes on a shir
It’s shabes pleasure, without end

Ketsl, loz oys di hamoytsi kum tsu mir
So baby let’s skip the motsi, come to me

Source Link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/jimmy-buffetts-famed-bar-ballad-gets-yiddish-translation/

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