Hanukkah with the Viper, pt. 2

As noted on my post from yesterday, I am in the midst of posting 8 nights of musical gelt based around my Hanukkah song, “Heyse Latke Kalte Latke.” Yesterday, I posted a recent December 6 recording by the Paint Branch Ramblers, the group with whom I’ve been playing the song.

Today, I’m posting the cheat sheet that the non-melody-playing Ramblers use to play along. I am a Rambler, and so can you!

This Word file contains the basic chord changes (using Mike Paul’s patented method for representing what’s supposed to happen for four bars at a time). And it contains the lyrics in both their original Yiddish and English. And, by original, I mean basically stolen from a transcription of some public domain lyrics I found in a folk music research article on the songs of early 20th-century Jewish-American immigrant tailors in New York. You’ll see that the lyrics are “to be sung pensato,” i.e., thought but not sung while playing. That’s how we did it for a pretty long time (I like to write lyrics for instrumentals that I never plan to sing), but at the Ramblers request, eventually relented and now sing, usually on our second pass through the B strain.

Those lyrics, in case you’re interested enough to wonder, but not interested enough to commit to right-clicking and downloading the file are:

Heyse latke, kalte latke
Bekelech mit royzn
Der vos trogt kayn shleykes nit
Der farlirt di hoyzn


Hot latke, cold latke
Cheeks so rosy red
He who wears no suspenders
Will surely lose his pants

And the chords (not in the patented Mike Paul style) are:


D / | / / | C / | D / |
D / | / / | D / | C D |
D / | / / | C / | D / |
D / | / / | D C | C D |


D / | / / | / / | C / |
D / | / / | D C | C D |
D / | / / | / / | C / |
D / | / / | D C | C D |

So sing and play along! And come back tomorrow for the lead sheet with the melody.

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