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Mappamundi: music from the ghettos

Mappamundi: songs of the Holocaust

This is just a sampling; you will find many more in the "Yiddish" playlist.

Tsi Darf es Azoy Zayn?
"The same streets and trolleycars (Number Eleven and Number Four). The same boys running and shouting 'Buy a newspaper from me!' The same sky - but the people under it are not the same. The sun is still shining but I don't understand, I have to ask: Does it have to be this way? Why are some people blessed with happiness but others find everything forbidden? Who said the world should be laid out this way? 'They' get the boulevards and plazas, I get the ghetto and flowing tears. Why is it written on signs: "Forbidden to go farther!" Why do they get my home and my bed, and my heart is like a stone?"

Ani Mamin (I believe)

"I believe with reassuring faith He will come. I believe Messiah will come, though he may delay..."

Rozhinkes mit Mandlen (Raisins and Almonds)

"Under Yidele's cradle stands a snow-white kid. The kid has been to market. Yidele will be a trader of raisins and almonds. So sleep now, Yidele, sleep."

Nit Keyn Rozhinkes un Nit Keyn Mandlen (No Raisins, No Almonds)

"No more raisins, no more almonds, your father is not away trading. (Go to sleep, my son.) Your father has deserted us: he's away to the end of the world. The owls are crying, the wolf is howling. God, have compassion and help us. Somewhere he is standing watch - and there are lots of raisins and almonds. Surely he'll come - you'll see, my child, my precious crown - but sleep now."

Minutn fun Bitokhn (Minutes of Hope)

"Jews, let's be happy - it won't be long, I hope, till the end of the war. Don't be sad - have faith and patience, our weapons. Dance and caper, butchers: Haman once did that and his fate waits for you too! Let the butchers revel - Jews know hard work and you can't grind them down. You want us to sweep? We'll sweep for you, but it won't make things clean. We'll wash for you, but Cain's bloodstain, that flowed from Abel's heart, you can't wash away. They can chase us from home and cut our beards, but Jews, be happy - we'll see them in the ground!"

Friling (Springtime)

"I wander in the ghetto from alley to alley and can't find rest. My beloved is gone - say something to comfort me! I stand like a beggar in gateways and beg for a little sunshine. Springtime, take my sorrow, bring my love back to me. Springtime, take my heart on your blue wings and bring back my happiness. I go to work and pass our old home. The gate is locked, the flowers are fading - for them too it is night. When I pass in the evening I remember how you waited for me there in the shadows. I can still hear your step - your arms held me tenderly. This year, spring came early and my longing for you bloomed. I remember your arms full of flowers, you came to me joyously. The sun is filling the garden with light, the whole earth is covered in greenery. My love, are you lost forever?

Dolyeh (Fate)

Under the ruins of Poland, a head with blond hair. The head and the holocaust - both are real. Oh, my fate! Oh, my Dolyeh! The guilty Polish nobility ... will not pay for their sin nor be purified until she wakens from her sleep. Over the ruins of Poland the snow falls and falls. The blond head of my maiden pains me to the very core. My pain sits at a desk and writes a long letter - the tears in his eyes are lonely and profound. Over the ruins of Poland flutters a large bird of mourning. He shakes his wings devoutly. The mournful bird sees my downtrodden mood - he carries on his wings my ongoing song of sadness.

Zog Nit Keyn Mol (Never Say - the Partisan's Song)

Never say this is the final road for you,
Though leaden skies may cover over days of blue,
As the hour we longed for is so near,
Our step beats out the message - we are here!

Mir Lebn Eybik (we will live forever)

We'll endure, though the world is burning. We'll endure, without a single penny. And despite our enemies, who want to blacken our faces, we'll live forever - we're here! We will live in every hour, no matter how terrible the season.

Szol a Kakas Mar

The cock is crowing - soon it will be daylight. In a green forest, in a smooth meadow, strolls a bird. What kind of bird is this? Its feet are blue, its wings are green, it's waiting for me. "Wait, bird, wait! If God wills it, I will be yours soon!" But when will that be? When the Holy Temple rises again and Zion is restored - that's when it will be.

Ikh Benk Aheym (I long for home)

Singer looks back on his life and wishes he could see the humble little home, now barred to him, where he grew up.