Di Grine Kusine
Di Grine Kuzine
Tsu mir iz gekumen a kuzine
Sheyn vi gold iz zi geven, di grine
Bekelakh vi royte pomerantsn
Fiselakh vos betn zich tsum tantsn.
Herelakh vi zaydn-veb gelokte
Tseyndelekh vi perelakh getokte
Eygelakh vi himl-bloy in friling
Lipelekh vi karshelekh a tsviling.
Nisht gegangen iz zi, nor geshprungen
Nisht geret hot zi, nor gezungen
Lebedik un freylekh yede mine -
Ot aza geven iz mayn kuzine.
Un azoy ariber tseyner yorn
Fun mayn kuzine iz a tel gevorn
"Peides" hot zi vokhenlang geklibn
Biz fun ir iz gornisht nit geblibn.
Haynt az ikh bagegen mayn kuzine
Un ikh freg ir: S'makhtsu epes, Grine?
Ziftst zi op, un kh'leyen in ir mine:
Brenen zol Colombus' es medine!
The Greenhorn Cousin
A girl cousin arrived, a greenhorn,
Beautiful as gold she was
Cheeks red as oranges
Tiny feet, just made for dancing.
Her hair was as a silk web
Her teeth as pearls on a string
Her eyes, blue as skies in spring
Her lips, just like twin cherries.
She did not walk, she leapt
She did not talk, she sang.
Her every feature joyful and gay -
Such a one was my cousin.
But, as the years passed by
My cousin went downhill
From working hard week after week
Nothing remained but a wreck.
Today, as I meet her in the street
And I ask: How's everything, Greenhorn?
She just sighs and I read in her eye:
To hell with Columbus'paradise!
From Theodore Bikel sings Yiddish theatre and Folk songs
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Added June 21st, 2000