PHANTOM OF THE SHTEEBLE- Country Yossi- Captured!
(Parody Of “Phantom 309”- Red Sovine- Composed By Tommy Faile)
I was tryin’ to hitch a ride from Monticello one rainy August night
And I must have been waitin’ for about two hours without seein’ a light,
When suddenly the rain picked up and the wind got mean
And I started thinkin’ about spendin’ the night along Route 17.
But just about then, I saw dim lights
And I was sure grateful when he flashed on ‘em brights.
Then an old school bus with Hebrew words on the side came screechin’ to a halt.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The front was crushed, the windshield was broken
And it made more noise than you could buy with a subway token,
But I couldn’t afford to be choosy,
So I kicked up my heels and ran as fast as I could to that wreck on wheels.
Well, as I stepped on board, I felt like I was home
‘Cause I was greeted by a warm “Shalom!”
And as I squinted in the dim cabin light
I saw a big, bearded, smilin’ old man;
Boy, was he a welcome sight.
So I gave him Shalom and told him where I was headed
And he said he could only take me about half way,
But that was better than nothin’,
So I sat down as he threw it into gear
And I started getting’ sleepy in the warm cabin air,
When he asked me my name.
It’s Yossi, I said.
But when I asked him his, my face turned red,
‘Cuase he gave me a strange smile as he said,
Some people just refer to me as the Phantom of the Shteeble.
Well, when I asked him why they call him such a strange name,
He said, son, there are some things you just can’t explain,
And he didn’t say much more.
We rode for an hour or so when he suddenly pulled off the road
And said, well, this is (as) far as I go.
Well, I didn’t know where I was, but I thanked him anyway.
And as I started getting out, I suddenly heard him say,
There’s a Shteeble up the road. If you want my opinion,
They’re davening about now and could sure use you for a Minyan.
Well, I kinda’ suspected he was kiddin’,
But I told him, alright.
And he winked and smiled and rode off into the night.
But as I started walking, I was sure surprised to see
An old gray bearded Rabbi come runnin’ up to me.
“Did you daven Maariv yet?” He asked.
He smiled when I said, “No”.
“Good”, he said. “Then you can be the 10th man. Come on, let’s go.”
Well, after Minyan in the Shteeble, we got to talkin’ alone
And he asked me how I found the Shteeble so far away from home.
Well, I told him I was hitchin’, and I smiled as I said it,
But the Phantom of the Shteeble is the one gets all the credit.
And I gave a little laugh, but he turned white.
And you coulda’ heard a pin drop in that Shteeble that night.
Did I say something wrong? I asked with a halfway grin.
He said, no. this happens every now and then.
And as the thunder crashed and the night filled with rain,
He put his arm ‘round my shoulder and began to explain.
You see, his real name was Reb Zelig
And he drove the bus,
And he’d pick up all the children and bring ‘em here to us
So they could learn here in Yeshiva,
And then he’d drive ‘em home at night,
But he wouldn’t take a dime, Reb Zelig;
Said it wasn’t right.
He just did it for the Mitzvah, and the kids all loved him so,
And he loved each and every one, more than they’ll ever know.
Well, one dark and stormy night
As he was drivin’ down the hill,
A group of children crossed the road.
Reb Zelig grabbed the wheel.
He hit the brakes but the road was wet,
And the children froze in fear.
And as the bus bore down on the little ones,
We thought the end was near.
But at the very last second he cut that wheel
And crashed into a tree.
All the kids were safe ,
But for old Reb Zelig it just wasn’t meant to be.
The next day, when we buried him,
It rained real hard all day,
As if the heavens themselves were crying
For Reb Zelig who was taken away.
And every once in a while
When the rain’s comin’ down,
And the Minyan’s short a man,
Someone like you just happens along,
Sent by Reb Zelig’s hand.
Well, when he finished talking,
You coulda’ knocked me down with a feather.
And friends, although this story happened many years ago,
Sometimes, in nasty weather,
I still go down to Route 17 and walk along the side,
Hoping to hitch just one more ride
With old Reb Zelig,
Of the Shteeble.