Oildo mi novya


Susan, vocals, guitar;
Tina, violin;
Howard, guitar;
Steve, dumbek

The Flory Jagoda Songbook; lyrics, El Romansero Judeo-Espanyol


Oildo mi novya
Meteldo en tino
Ke ijo ajeno
Kere ser byen servido.

Kuando veriash mi novya
A vuestro suegro
Bezalde la mano
Yamaldo padre muevo.

Kuando veriash mi novya
A vuestra sugra
Bezalde la mano
Yamalda madre mueva.


Listen, my bride,
Remember this;
A foreign boy
Likes to be treated right.

When you see
Your father-in-law,
Kiss his hand
And call him “my new father.”

When you see
Your mother-in-law,
Kiss her hand
And call her “my new mother.”

Wedding portrait of a Jewish bride and groom in Salonika, courtesy United States Holocaust Museum.


The lyrics for this pre-nuptial song come from a volume of traditional Sephardic song lyrics collected in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by Samuel M. Elazar, which Flory Jagoda set to the typical Balkan 7/8 rhythm. Flory tells us that in the old days, a bride was expected to live in her new husband’s family house for the first year of marriage, so her new mother-in-law could instruct her in the various services she was expected to carry out for her husband.