Ikh bin an inteligent

The song described the destiny of the 'little intellectual,' referring to the fate of every Jew in the ghetto, who daily faced pushing and shoving in long lines for the necessities of life.  The second verse conjures up a very realistic descriptions of hunger on the one hand, and lousy food on the other.  Accordingly, when the soup is made of bare bones, it becomes a cause for celebrations and singing. 

The song uses subtle irony and humour.  It was performed on stage to entertain a hungry audience.  The theatre was censored by Rumkowski and his people, so any criticism had to be veiled.

Ikh bin an inteligent
Verse 1:
Ikh bin an inteligentl,
Ikh es nisht mit dem hentl,
Oyb ir vilt a documentl,
Tsayg ikh aykh dus bald.
Ikh fil mikh du posvoysku,
Ikh es kokletn koloyske,
In ikh shray gevalt!
Oy, halt mir s’tepl!
S’tepl halt mir!
In di kartofl,
Oykh bashmalts mir!
Vus toyg mir glikn,
In di rayes shtipn,
Vus toyg mir zupn,
Oy, zup,zup!
Verse 2:
Es tsit mikh shoyn shtark baym mugn,
Di fis viln mir nisht trugn,
Az es hengt a ratsie in di rayn
Dan ver ikh shoyn gesint.
Di zup is haynt mit knokhn,
S’iz yom-tov in der vokhns,
Men tut arayn ale tsores brekhn
In men zingt azoy:
Halt mir s’tepl …

Verse 1:
I’m an intellectual,
I won’t eat with my hand,
But if you want to see a document,
I’ll show you right away.
I feel right at home here,
Eating my horseflesh meatballs,
Smothered with cologne,
And yet I scream 'gevalt!'

Oy, hold my bowl,
Hold my bowl!
As for the potatoes,
Spread them all over!
What luck I got,
Getting shoved in the lines,
What soup I got,
Oh! Soup, soup!

Verse 2:
My stomach is in agony,
My feet will carry me no more,
But if there’s a food ration waiting
Then I’m well again.
Today we have bone soup,
We’ll have a celebration,
So put all our troubles away,
And let’s sing along:

Oy, hold my bowl…