To Me, You Are Lovely

Should you ever happen to get near any dixieland band, most probably you’ll hear evergreens such as “When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Hello Dolly”, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” nebo “Mackie Messer”, but also another merry tune bearing an exotic title: Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn.

Where was this song born and what is it about? It is truly worldwide known, as it is connected to many places all over the globe – it was rehearsed even at one of our winter accordionists’ workshops at Chaloupky. However, it appeared first in a Jewish musical “Men Ken Lebn Nor Men Lost Nisht“ (I Would If I Could), introduced in New York in 1932. It was written in Yiddish, the language of Hasidic Jews, which is a combination of German, Hebrew and Slavic languages.

SCORES – PDF  MSCZ  VideoScore

Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn – instructional

You may know the song also under the German title Bei Mir Bist Du Schön. We have used a shortened dixieland version, but you can listen to the full version, performed by the famous Andrews Sisters.

Lyrics in Yiddish

Bay mir bistu sheyn,
Bay mir hos tu heyn,
Bay mir bistu eyner oyf der velt.
Bay mir bistu sheyn,
Bay mir hostu heyn,
Bay mir bistu tayerer fun gelt.

Fil sheyne meydlekh
hobn gevolt nemen mir,
Un fun zey ale oysgeklibn
hob ikh nor dikh.


To me, you are lovely,
To me, you are charming.
To me, you are the only one in the world.
To me, you are lovely,
To me, you are charming,
To me, you are more precious than money.

Many pretty girls
wanted me for a spouse
and among them all
I chose only you.


article, video, scores and instructional recording | Ondřej Zlevor
translation of Yiddish lyrics |
published on 2/4/2016