Dos Kelbl (Dona Dona)

Secunda, Sholom (1894-1974)

Aharon Zeitlin

Yiddish Lyrics


Oyfn vogn ligt a kelbl

Ligt gebundn mit a shtrik

Oyfn himl flit a foygl

Flit un dreyt zikh hin un tsurik.


Lakht der vint in korn

Lakh un lakht un lakht

Lakht er on a tog a gantse

Un a halbe nakht, hey!

Dona, dona, dona...


Veynt dos kelbl, zogt der poyer

"Ver zhe heyst di zayn a kalb?

Volstu beser zayn a foygl

Volstu beser zayn a shvalb?"



Bidne kelblekh tut men bindn

Un men shlept zey un men shekht

Ober ver s'hot fligl, flit aroyf tzu

Un iz keynem nit keyn knekht



On the cart lies a calf

Lies bound with a cord

On the sky flies a bird

Flies and turns back and forth


The wind is laughing in the corn field

Is laughing an laughing and laughing

Is laughing a whole day

And a half a night.

Dona, dona, dona...


The calf cries, the farmer says

"Who did you order to be a calf?

Don't you prefer to be a bird

Don't you prefer to be a swallow?"



One usually bounds poor calfs

And leeds them off and slaughters them

Who however has wings, flies up and away

And is no slave of nobody

(A call to offer resistance, sorry for my bad English,


One of the all-time favorites, a playful song that is often known as "Doyna Doyna". The real audio clip featured here is from "Yiddish Songs", performed by Oksana Sowiak and Anton Stingl. Click here to find out more about the CD.


Added May 4th, 1999