Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908-1954)
Ikh blondzhe in geto
Fun gesl tsu gesl
Un ken nit gefinen keyn ort
Nito iz mayn liber,
Vi trogt men ariber?
Mentshn, o zogt khotsh a vort.
Es laykht oyf mayn heym itst
Der himl der bloyer
Vos zhe hob ikh itst derfun?
Ikh shtey vi a betler
Bay yetvidn toyre
Un betl a bisele zun.
Friling, nem tsu mayn troyer
Un breng mayn libstn
Maynt trayen tsurik
Friling oyf dayne fligl bloye
O, nem mayn harts mit
Un gib es op mayn glik.
Ikh gey tsu der arbet
Farbay undzer shtibl
In troyer, der toyer farmakht.
Der tog a tsehelter
Di blumen farvelkte,
Zey vanynen, far zey iz oykn nakht.
Far nakht oyf tsurikvegs,
Es noyet der troyer,
Ot do hostu libster gevart.
Ot do inem shotn
Nokh kentik dayn trot iz,
Flegt kushn mikh liblekh un tsart
S'iz hay-yor der friling
Gor fri ongekumen,
Tseblit hot zikh benkshaft nokh dir,
Ikh ze dikh vi itster
Balodn mit blumen,
A freydiker geystu tsu mir.
Di zun hot fargosn
Dem gortn mist shtraln,
Tseshprotst hot di erd zikh in grin
Mayn trayer, mayn libster,
Vu bistu farfaln?
Du geyst nit aroys fun mayn zin.
<em>Here's a singable translation:</em>
I walk through the Ghetto alone and forsaken,
There's no-one to care for me now.
And how can you live when your love has been taken,
Will somebody please show me how?
I know that it's springtime, and birdsong, and sunshine,
All nature seems happy and free,
But loocked in the Ghetto I stand like a beggar,
I beg for some sunshine for me.
Springtime, what good is springtime,
What good is sunshine, when he is away?
Springtime, you shine upon my sorrow, but still tomorrow
Is as bleak as today.
The house that we lived in is now barricaded,
The windows are broken and bare.
The sun is so fierce that the flowers have faded,
They wilt in the wintery air.
Each morning, each evening I have to walk past it,
Hiding my eyes from the sight
The place where you loved me the place where you kissed me,
The place where you held me so tight.
How thoughtful, how kind of the heavenly powers
To send spring so early this year.
Why thank you for coming, I see you brought flowers
You want me to welcome you here?
They say that the Ghetto is golden and glowing
But sunlight and tears make me blind.
You see, my beloved, how soon they start flowing
I can't get you out of my mind.
<em>here's another translation:</em>
I wander through the ghetto
From lane to lane
Useless, no solace I find.
My beloved is gone
How can I go on?
Someone, oh say just a word!
My house is aglow now
The sky's like a blue dome
But what is there left in my life?
I stand like a beggar
At each of these doorways
And beg for a little bit of sun
Springtime, please take my sorrow
And bring my loved one,
My dear one back to me.
Springtime, upon your wings of blue
Take my heart with you
And bring love back to me
I go to my work
And pass by our small house
In sadness, the door is closed tight
The days is full of sunlight
But flowers won't bloom now,
They're wilting, for them too it's night
At night when returning
The sadness is burning
Right here love, you waited for me
Right here in the shadows
I still hear your footsteps
You kissed me so passionately
Springitme is with us
This year very early
My longing for you is in bloom.
I see you before me
Adorned with spring lfowres
Smiling, you will greet me soon
The sun's rays have lit up
The garden with sunlight,
Turning the hard earth to geen.
My dearest, my loved one
Are you gone forever?
I can't get you out of my mind.
(from liner notes to "We are Here - Songs of Remembrance, Hope, and Celbrations in the Jewish Tradition) The lyrics to this song were written in the Vilna ghetto by writer and partisan Shmerke Kaczerginski (1908-1954), following the tragic death of his wife in April of 1943. The song was first sung in the ghetto theater revue Di Yogenish in Fas. Kaczerginski survived the war but died in a plane crash in 1954. Abraham Brudno, one of vilna's promising young musicians, composed the music for this piece. Following hte liquidation of the ghetto in September of 1943, Brudno was taken to the Kluga concentration camp in Estonia where he died in 1944.
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Added July 30th, 1999