VER DER ERSHTER VET LAKHN 
ווער דער ערשטער וועט לאכן 

Yiddish - WHO WILL LAUGH FIRST? 
 

For sure, Avreml,
I won't be the first to laugh.
I bet you, though you joke
I'll think about sad things.
You can even tickle me.

You will laugh, I bet you.
Shloimele, you will laugh.
I have a remedy, a fine remedy,
You can think of the saddest things
But you'll have to be the first to laugh.

First of all, Avreml,
I think of my poor weak father.
Who looks for work but can't find any.
Well, will I feel like laughing?
You will laugh, I bet you,
You will lose, Shloimele,
I have a remedy, a fine remedy,
I'll meow like a cat and bark like a dog,
So you'll have to be the first to laugh.

I will remember that yesterday in Kheder,
I forgot today's Parsha
The Rabbi just wants me to study all the time -
He doesn't know how hungry I am.

You will laugh, I bet you,
You won't be such a bad guy.
I'll bet on one button and put four against.
You'll hold your sides and burst with laughter
When you see what I have here with me.

And I'll remember the Rabbi's angry face
When he started to hear me out.
I still have many blue marks from his whip.
I wept tears from the pain.
You'll laugh, you'll laugh
Give me the button already!

Look, Shloimele, what I have here for you!
A buttered roll and a fine herring head.
So tell me, Shloimele, who will laugh first?

A buttered roll and a fine herring head.
Tomorrow, I'll make a bet with you again.



German and transliterated Yiddish words


Special thanks to the Virtual Klezmer website

LYRICS
Mordekhay Gebirtig
MUSIC
Mordekhay Gebirtig

Words translated by Reene Zufi of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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