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Called up an old girlfriend the other day

Who fell out of touch

Not asking too greatly

But hoping a bit too much

I tell her, So I hear you got yourself a new dude

Why didn’t you ask me if it was all right?

You know you been keeping me wandering

For a thousand black nights?

She says, What do you want me to do

When you’re way out of town?

I say, Stay with me baby

And I won’t let you down

She says, I don’t know, Heshy

I go for this guy in a big way

Maybe some other time!

So you know what I had to say?

Love is a yutzmach

Oh yeah, love is a yutzmach

Plays tricks with your heart

It tears you apart

Love is a yutzmach

I’m hanging out with this girl now

Who drives me up the wall

She wants my goomies, my beret, and my pins

She treats me like her “pet chayal

I tell her, You want a goomie?

That’s fine with me, honey

But my goomies have a price

That isn’t paid in money!

She doesn’t care ‘bout me or my songs

It’s all ‘cause I’m in the army

She says, For all I care you can go to hell

But at night she says she can’t go to bed without me

She says, Remember me when you get famous

Don’t forget to come by my place

I say, Well come here baby

And I’ll autograph your face!

Love is a yutzmach …

And then when finally something’s going right

She’ll say, Something’s wrong!

Even if it’s all coming naturally

Just like a song

I tell her, Baby come out tonight

But she says to me, I’m not making the same mistake twice

I been through this thing before with an old boyfriend

And the end of that wasn’t too nice

I tell her, Time doesn’t slip into the future

It slips into the past

There’s no way we can stop that

But we can make our love last

And then I tell her, I’d spend my whole life

Looking for ways to make you happy

She says, That’s really sweet of you

But if you’ll excuse me it sounds really sappy!

Love is a yutzmach …

Yeah, yeah, yeah, love is a yutzmach

That’s what the blues is all about, honey

Oh yeah, love is a yutzmach

©2024 The Hesh Inc.

Goomies ... the nonfungible tokens of love, circa mid-1980s.

"Yutzmach" is one of my favorite expressions, a Yiddish word ostensibly meaning someone clueless. Although I grew up speaking Yiddish at home, I first heard the word many years later, once I had moved to Israel and my family stopped speaking Yiddish amongst ourselves. If I remember correctly, it was yelled out by the musical director of one of the IDF orchestras at one of his errant musicians during rehearsal. I adopted the word and used it as an all-purpose epithet, popularizing it in my circles as I did so.

This song goes back to 1986 or thereabouts, chronicling some of my boneheaded romantic misfires during that era. It utilizes the same slow blues groove used in such songs as "I Just Want to Make Love to You," "I'm Evil," "Riot in Cell Block Number Nine," and many others. One of my friends, upon reading the lyrics in my old notebook, quipped that only I could get away with writing a song called "Love Is a Yutzmach." But all told, it was never played outside my four walls.


Yutzmach=Yiddish for someone who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

Goomie=literally “rubber” in Hebrew and Yiddish. Refers to the rubber gasket that keeps mortar-shell containers air- and watertight. Used by girls, mainly from English- and French-speaking countries, as bracelets, “trophies” glommed from IDF soldiers, at least during the 1980s. The word can also be taken to refer to a condom, as in English.

Chayal=Hebrew for soldier.

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