A dance-song about the sher, a Yiddish square dance (melody #260, English or Yiddish).

    Tantslieder Collected by Y.L. Cahan

    The tantslieder in the table at this link, were taken from the book:   Yiddish Folksongs with Melodies by Y.L.Cahan, edited by Max Weinreich, published by YIVO, New York, 1957.

    Some of the tantslieder are songs that probably were once used as dance calls when people were learning the dances.  See Ruth Rubin's work for a complete discussion of this topic and also Cantor Joseph Levine's article in the Journal of Synagogue music, 2010.  Whether at some point in time we will have enough clues from various sources to reconstruct some of the dances, I don't know, but would like to begin by collecting as much information as possible.

    Another function of the dance songs, was to provide music for dancing when instruments weren't permitted such as on the Sabbath.  Scroll to the bottom of the spreadsheet to find a reference to one such event from an online memoir.
    I have uploaded Pdf copies of the tantslieder and  articles about them in Yiddish from Cahan's work.  The articles come from another of his books called "Shtudies vegn Yidisher Folksshafung/ Studies in Yiddish Folklore. Published YIVO New York 1952 .  You can also read the English (pdf format) translation of some of the content of these articles, kindly donated by Cantor Joseph Levine.
    I would like to thank Michel Borzykowski, Wolf Krakowski, Fraidy Katz, Josh Horowitz, Michael Wex,  Cantor Joseph Levine, Steve Weintraub, Itzik Gottesman, Paula Teitelbaum, Andreas Schmitges  and Leon Balaban  for assisting me with translation and other information.

    Some of these songs were translated and discussed in Ruth Rubin's book Voices of a People The Story of Yiddish Folksong. Philadelphia:The Jewish Publication Society of America., 1979. (A newer edition of this book exists, but I have the 1979 edition) I've tried to indicate those within the chart.  If you have any information to share or would like to contribute a translation, please e-mail .

    Summary of Documents referred to above:
    1)Yiddish dance songs and melodies
    2)English Translation of dance-songs with commentary
    3)Articles about dance-songs in Yiddish written by YL Cahan
    4)English Translation of Cahan's articles about dance-songs

    Tantslieder Collected by Zanvel Pipe

    Paula Parsky has kindly translated another series of dance songs.  This series comes from  the Dance Songs chapter, from: Folklore Research Center Studies, Volume II [HEBREW /YIDDISH] Shmuel Zanvel Pipe - Yiddish Folksongs from Galicia; The Folklorization of David Edelstadt's Song "Der Arbeter"; Letters, Jerusalem Hebrew University of Jerusalem 1971, edited by Dov and Meyer Noy.  You can read the Yiddish, English translation and view the musical notation at this link .