A BOY NAMED ZLATEH- Country Yossi- Strike Again
(Orig. A Boy Named Sue- Johnny Cash- Composed by Shel Silverstein)
Well, my Daddy left home when I was three
He didn’t leave much to Mom and me
Just some geklapteh shaines and a shirt that looked like a shmatteh.
Now, I don’t blame him ‘cuz he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me Zlateh.
Well, he must have thought that it was quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a lot of folk
And it seemed I was always fighting on account of my Tatteh.
Some Rebbe’d smile and I’d get red
And some guy’d laugh and I’d bust his head
I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named Zlateh.
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean
And when it came to a fight, ich hub gevist vus tzu teen
And I roamed from Shteeble to Shteeble to hide my shame.
But I made me a vow I intended to keep
I’d search everywhere and I wouldn’t sleep
Till I found the man that gave me that awful name.
Well, it was up in Woodbourne back in ‘79
And I was having pizza with some buddies of mine
When a man that looked familiar walked into the place.
Well, he ordered himself up a mushroom pie
And he glanced at me and I caught his eye
And I knew it was him the minute I saw his face.
You see, I knew that guy was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother had
And besides, he was wearing a shirt that looked like a shmatteh.
He was big and bent and gray and old
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said, Shalom on you, how do you do?
My name is Zlateh!!!
Then I poured my soda all over his pie
But he just smiled, didn’t bat an eye
He just smashed that soggy pizza all over my face.
So I reached out to a paper dish
And I come up with a potato knish
And I held it high and chased him all over the place.
Then he jumped on a table and he pulled off his belt
And he gave me a zets like I’d never felt
I tell you, looked like he was going to go wild.
But then that table collapsed out from under his feet
And he crashed through the window and out to the street
And as I stood over him, he looked up and he smiled.
And he said, son, this world is rough
And if a man’s gonna make it then he gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn’t be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said goodbye
I knew you’d have to get tough or die
And it’s that name that helped to make you strong.
Now, you just fought a gevaldige fight
And I know you’re angry and you got the right
To get even now ‘cause I treated you like a shmatteh.
But you oughta thank me before you do
For the cholent in your guts and the kishka too
Cause I’m the @#&%$#@ that named you Zlateh!
Well, I really felt bad so I asked him for mechilah for what I’d done
And I called him my dad and he called me his son
And I come away with respect for my good old Tatteh.
And I think about him every now and then
Every time I try and every time I when
And if I ever have a son I think I’m gonna name him…
Zundel, Fischel, anything but Zlateh!!!