Bei mir? Anatomy of a hit song

Bei mir? Anatomy of a hit song


norman lebrecht

August 14, 2020



  • E says:

    “Eyes like a tomcat…” Love it.
    Thanks! And “Good Night.”

  • E says:

    And love the clarinet!

  • Lyrics

    Of all the boys I’ve known, and I’ve known someUntil I first met you, I was lonesomeAnd when you came in sight, dear, my heart grew lightAnd this old world seemed new to meYou’re really swell, I have to admit youDeserve expressions that really fit youAnd so I’ve racked my brain, hoping to explainAll the things that you do to meBei mir bist do schön, please let me explainBei mir bist do schön means you’re grandBei mir bist do schön, again I’ll explainIt means you’re the fairest in the landI could say Bella, bella, even sehr wünderbarEach language only helps me tell you how grand you areI’ve tried to explain, bei mir bist do schönSo kiss me and say you understandBei mir bist do schön, you’ve heard it all beforebut let me try to explainBei mir bist do schön means that you’re grandBei mir bist do schön, it’s such an old refrainand yet I should explainIt means I am begging for your handI could say bella, bella, even sehr wünderbarEach language only helps me tell you how grand you areI could say bella, bella, even sehr wünderbarEach language only helps me tell you how grand you areI’ve tried to explain, bei mir bist do schönSo kiss me and say that you will understandSource: LyricFindSongwriters: Jacob Jacobs / Sammy Cahn / Saul Chaplin / Shalom SecundaBei Mir Bist Du Schon lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

  • Esther Cavett says:

    Hey,this guy doing the commentary is great ! Really stylish and fun – would like to see more of him

    • david hilton says:

      Absolutely! He’s great. And I’m still waiting to have “Galitzyaner” explained to me. I hear it’s complicated.

  • Rossiya says:

    More Jew things! Why I should care?

    • HugoPreuss says:

      For the same reason you should care about Italian opera, German symphonies and string quartets, English choral music. Because it is great music, and because it comes with a compelling story. And if you don’t care about it, what are you doing here? Or, prey tell, is it the “Jew” part that is bothering you?

    • Rosalie Rellin says:

      Because it’s interesting history and the music is joyful. But you don’t have to listen nor care. But without the Jews there would be far fewer music for everyone to enjoy and almost no Broadway at all.

  • V. Lind says:

    That’s the biggest “misheard lyric” of my life. It was on the radio occasionally when I was very small and radio played more than the latest hits. I thought for years it was called “My Dear. Mr. Shane.” Not that it was a song I paid much attention to, nor would I ever.

  • Larry says:

    There’s a famous photo of the Andrews Sisters standing around Sholom Secunda, who is sitting at the piano. All the sisters have prominent crucifix necklaces. God forbid someone should think that the Andrews Sisters were Jewish!

  • Mustard says:

    Danke Sheyn, Dahlink

  • James Louis says:

    Mazel tov! And Thanks.

  • Tony Bridge says:

    Wunderbar! Let’s have some more ‘Jew’ stuff 🙂

  • Andrews Sisters - of Greek ancestry from Minnesota says:

  • E says:

    Will someone who knows please explain why

    “Galitsyaner” was considered as a negative?

    • It’s not really a negative, it’s just different from being a Litvak, those Jews who originated in the are of the part of Poland now Lithuania, which was considered the Jerusalem of Eastern European countries and also the home of many Yiddish literati, intellectuals, etc. Also home of bundists. socialists and generally left thinking Jews. The publication of the Forward Newspaper is Litvak. There is a distinct difference in the spoken dialect of Yiddish. Galitzyaner belonged to ultra orthodox Chasidim which gave birth to a great dynasty of Rabbinical scholars, like my Greatgrandfather, and followers of these dynasties. Mostly it depends on what part of Poland you were from. Also Litvaks were pretty much integrated into Polish society, whereas Galitzyaner were utterly traditional. One should also know the term Yekke here, which is considered a description of German Jews, who alway wore formal type Jackets, not matter the occasion. I am of the Galitzyaners and speak a Lodzer Yiddish.

  • Harold Kravetz says:

    Very informative, and enjoyable.

  • Ed Rattner says:

    Fantastic !!! Loved the Yiddish version. Musically, the clarinet provides sensational melody.

  • Marilyn Bloch says:

    Wonderful. Brought me back to my childhood. Emotional. Loved the clarinet.

  • Richard Goldberg says:

    Vos is geven, is geven is mare nisht do.

  • Adena Potok says:

    I remember the inspired and delightful musical direction of Sholom Secunda in Camp Kinderwelt and Unser Camp in the 40’s

  • Fay Elisha says:


  • Jerry Siegel says:

    Always fabulous

  • Shirley says:

    I know this song from my toddler years. I think my parents had a record of it, and my father used to take me to Yiddish shows on Second Avenue so I may have also heard it there. I used to sing the chorus whenever my father directed me to do so for company. I hope I could sing better as a toddler than as an adult!

    Thanks for sending it to me Ruth.

  • bob hertz says:

    a blast from the past

  • David Marks says:

    Wow! I haven’t heard that song in many, many years !

  • Joani says:

    Kind of amazing. A little fun. But in a way – so sad! Thanks for the facts

  • Joni Rapp says:

    Ahhhh… Great tune! I used to do a version of that in my Catskill act.

    • roz clayman says:

      loved a;ll the comments. brings back great memories of recalling my mom singing it. we were Galitzianas.roz from israel

  • Batya Goodman says:

    Thanks for this beautiful email .Loved every minute of the singing. Too bad the original writer didn’t get the hors he deserved

  • David Cohen says:

    Try YIVO rules for Transliteration