This Month - we be talking about holiday songs instead of Castles

Dreidel

"I Have a Little Dreidel" (also known as "The Dreidel Song" or "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel") is a children's Chanukah song in the English speaking world which also exists in a Yiddish version called "Ikh Bin A Kleyner Dreydl", (Yiddish: איך בין אַ קלײנער דרײדל Lit: I am a little dreidel). The song is about making a dreidel and playing with it.
The lyricist for the English version is Samuel S. Grossman and the composer of the English version is listed as Samuel E. Goldfarb (also S. E. Goldfarb). You’ve probably never heard of the late Samuel E. Goldfarb, but chances are good that you’ve heard the music he’s written. In fact, you probably know one of his songs by heart: the Hannukah-season staple “I Have a Little Dreidel.”
Goldfarb came of age at the turn of the century in a Lower East Side tenement, in a large, music-oriented family, and cut his teeth performing Jewish liturgical songs at synagogues throughout Manhattan. He compiled two Jewish songbooks with his brother, Israel. Influenced by Tin Pan Alley, Goldfarb went on to write more secular ditties—enter the dreidel song, which was published in 1927.
Almost a century later, the song has only grown in ubiquity, although its origins remain hazy.

The Yiddish version was both written and composed by Mikhl Gelbart[1] (Yiddish: מיכאל געלבאַרט) (pseudonym Ben Arn), but he listed the author as Ben Arn, a pseudonym referring to himself as the son of Aaron. There is a question about who composed this music, as the melody for both the Yiddish and the English versions are precisely the same. The meaning of the lyrics to the Yiddish and English versions is largely the same. However, in English the singer sings about a dreidel, whereas in the Kafkaesque original Judeo-German version, the singer is the four-sided spinning top made out of ‘blay’ (Yiddish: בלײַ‎), which is lead. The original version is historically accurate. In the English version the singer has a four-sided spinning top made out of clay, yet clay is not easily spun.
English version
I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.

And when it's dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.
It has a lovely body, with legs so short and thin.

When it gets all tired, it drops and then I win!
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, with leg so short and thin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it drops and then I win!
My dreidel's always playful. It loves to dance and spin.

A happy game of dreidel, come play now let's begin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it loves to dance and spin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. Come play now let's begin.
I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.

When it's dry and ready, dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, then dreidel I shall play.

Yiddish version
I am a little dreidel, I am made from lead.

Come let's all play dreidel – one two three.
Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, oh, dreidel, dreidel, spin.
So let's all play dreidel, one and two.
And I love to dance, to spin in a circle.

So let's all dance a dreidel-circle.
Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, oh dreidel, dreidel, spin.
So let's all play dreidel, one and two.

Promotion Timeline

2017-12-12