Sex Appeal

Title

Sex Appeal

Description

In the 1937 Polish film, Piętro wyżej (One Floor Up) the foxtrot “Sex Appeal” was performed by the unforgettable Eugeniusz Bodo impersonating (in drag) none other than Mae West. As an actress renowned for her overt sexuality and risqué wit, West embodied the momentous transformation of mores that was taking place during the interwar period.

“Sex Appeal” became an immediate and enduring hit, whose popularity continues into our time. In the countless recorded adaptations by male and female singers, the text has been adjusted to express the respective gender standpoints. This Yiddish version of “Sex Appeal” offers a variant of the male-perspective text.

Publisher

Syrena Elektro

Transcription

S’kempfn tsvishn zikh geshlekhter
Man mit der froy
Yidn mitn Khaves efsher eybik azoy
Lange hor in kurtser seykhl
A melokhn in a velt
Nor genigt der froy a shmeykhl
in der man farligt zayn geld!

Sex appeal
Mit eyns a froyn vern
Sex appeal
Dos makht a man bagern
Kheyn, reyts, bren, shik,
Nemen oyf in oygenblik
Ooooo…

Bloyz eyn vink un mikh farlir dem moykhes
Shnel in gring, blaybt ir bay im dem koykhes,
Akh! Okh! Vey! Oy!
Un infalt bay im in shtroy!

Mayn a shmeykhl, royt in seykhl
Yeydns in ayn,
Alemen glaykh
Meg dayn harts
[[Iyer?] mitfal kidesh in say urem-raych]

Shvakhest froy, vi shtarker alts fun ayzn
Mieste froy, du shenste, kontst bavayzn
Kheyn, reyts, shik, stil
Mayn gever iz sex appeal

Ver s’iz reytsn, ver s’iz zidlekh?
In ver s’iz Zi?
Ver hot kheynedike gribelekh
Ikh?—sheyne fis.
Mayn obid iz mayn a shmeykl
Mayn potents [du mit der breyn]
???? mir dem seykhl
???????

Sex appeal
Mit eyns a froyn vern
Sex appeal
Dos makht a man bagern
Kheyn! Reyts! Bren! Shik!
Nemen oyf in oygenblik
Ooooo…

Bloyz eyn vink, un mikh farlir dem moykhes
Shnel in grin, blaybt ir bay im dem koykhes
Akh! Okh! Vey! Oy!
Un infalt bay im in shtroy!

Fun mayn a shmeykhl, royt in seykhl
Yeydns fun aykh,
Alemen glaykh
Meg zayn harts
Iyer? ???? say urem-raych

Shvakhste froy, vi shtarker alts fun ayzn
Mieste froy, du shenste kontst bavayzn
Kheyn! Reyt! Shik! Stil!
Mayn gever iz sex appeal!
Ooooo…

Sex appeal
Sex appeal
Kheyn! Reyts! Bren! Shik!

Ooooo…

Sex appeal
Sex appeal
Akh! Okh! Vey! Oy!

Abu!
Parabu!
Parabao!
Parapab bu
Lazldidldadldazl la bao bao!

Sex appeal
Sex appeal
Kheyn! Reyts! Shik! Stil!
Mayn gever iz sex appeal!

Original Format

78 rpm

Duration

2:52

Performer

Menasze Oppenheim

Other Performers

Syrena Rekord Orkiestra

Composer

Henryk Wars

Lyricist

Emanuel Schlechter

Translator

S. Korn-Tayer

Date Composed

1937

Date Recorded

1938

Translation

They struggle with each other, the genders
Man with the woman
Jews with Eves, maybe it's always been so.
Long in hair and short in intelligence
A handicraft in a world
The woman only needs to smile
And her man’s money is gone!

Sex appeal
To become one with a woman
Sex appeal
That makes a man passionate
Charm, excitation, fire, chic,
Take him in the blink of an eye
Ooooo…

Just one wink, and I lose my mind
Quick and easy, he leaves by her his strength.
Ah! Oh! Vey! Oy!
And he cracks like straw!

A smile of mine, blush, and wit
Each together,
All men equally
[It could be the heart falls [...] whether poor or rich.]

Weakest woman, how much stronger than iron,
Ugliest woman, you most beautiful, can show
Grace, excitation, chic, style
My weapon is sex appeal

Who is irritating, who is vituperating
And who is she?
Who has flirting dimples
Me?—beautiful feet.
My meal is a smile
My power ?
?
?

Sex appeal
To become one with a woman
Sex appeal
That makes a man passionate
Grace! Excitation! Fire! Chic!
Take him in the blink of an eye
Ooooo…

Just one wink, and I lose my mind
Quick and easy, he leaves by her his strength Ah! Oh! Vey! Oy!
And he cracks like straw!

From mine a smile, blush, and wit
Each of you,
All men equally
[It could be the heart falls [...] whether poor or rich.]

Weakest woman, how much stronger than iron,
Ugliest woman, you most beautiful, can show
Grace! Excitation! Chic! Style!
My weapon is sex appeal!
Ooooo…

Sex appeal
Sex appeal
Grace! Excitation! Fire! Chic!

Ooooo…

Sex appeal
Sex appeal
Ah! Oh! Vey! Oy!

Abu!
Parabu!
Parabao!
Parapab bu
Lazldidldadldazl la bao bao!

Sex appeal
Sex appeal
Grace! Excitation! Chic! Style!
My weapon is sex appeal!

Collection

Citation

“Sex Appeal,” Jewish Life in Interwar Łódź , accessed July 22, 2024, https://jewish-lodz.iu.edu/items/show/71.