Zay gezunt (LKT)

This entry is part of the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refers to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


“We find the melody to this song [‘Zayt gezunterheyt mayne libe eltern’] in the wedding repertoire of klezmorim. It’s played as a zajt gezunt (good-night piece). From this we can infer that the song was a parting song of the child from the parents after the wedding. S. Aynhorn also remarks on this song. He describes it as a parting song after the wedding.” Beregovski 1935 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 515, n. 4]. 

“Dance music [was played] to speed the parting guests, right up to the final zaj gezunt (farewell) piece when everyone left.” Beregovski 1937 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 301]

“This sort of piece [zay gezunt] was played toward the end of the wedding ceremony, when the guests were leaving. After the farewell tune, as after all lyric pieces, they played a frejlaxs. A.M. Bernstein (1927:243) says these pieces were played also in Lithuania. On leaving, the matchmakers cried, after which the musicians played a frejlaxs and everyone danced in a circle.” Beregovski 1962 [= Beregovski/Slobin 1982, p. 592, n. 85]

“Zay gezunt (skotshne).” Beregovski/Goldin 1987 #44. (Musical notation included). 

“Melody, that klezmorim play at the end of a wedding. The in-laws bid each other farewell and it becomes like a ‘yonkiper’ [sad occasion]. At the end the melody becomes happy and people dance a karahod.” [Vilna, Lithuania, 1920s]. Bernstein 1927, p. 96.

“Zay gezunt.” Beregovski/Goldin 1987, #82-85. (Musical notation included). 

“Pieces like Zay gezunt and A gute nakht were played at the end of a wedding.” Rubin 1997, p. 24. (Recording references included).

“Sunday, the day following the wedding, is called the Rumpel (from a German word meaning tumult) and is marked by specific entertainments...At the close of the Rumpel, there is a specific farewell dance.” [last decades of the nineteenth century]. Schauss 1950, p. 196

See A gute nakht and Dobranotsh.