Mamele

Lyrics and music by Percy Haid, Kaunas, Lithuania

copyright 1969 by Musical Gems Publ. Co. 64 E. Van Buren Str. Chicago, Ill. 60605

Tango Yona’s source: Sheet music courtesy of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum/Percy Haid and Spnja Haid Greene Collection

translated by Jane Enkin and Justin Lewis

Zitst an alte mamele un trakht,

es iz shoyn shpet bay nakht.

Do zitst zi baym fentster,

troyert un vart ir kind.

Vayt ligst du tsurik, du sheyne tsayt.

Es dukht an eybikayt,

dokh hofn muzt du,

du heldisher yidn-folk.

 

Geto lid,

klingt durkh di nakht

Veynt dort an altinke yidishe mame un vakht

 

Vu iz mayn kind?

Shikzal in vind,

vayz er amol vu’z mayn kind!

Mamele du,

host gor keyn ru,

zest ales shvarts,

layd un payn brekht dayn harts, mamele

 

Dokh hob nor mut, es vet zayn gut,

kumt oykh der tog

du vest zayn fray,

fray fun dem shreklikhn yokh.

An dear old mama sits and thinks,

it is already late at night.

Here she sits by the window

sorrowing, waiting for her child

Far in the past you lie, you beautiful times

It seems like an eternity

You must hope,

you brave Jewish people

Ghetto song

rings through the night

There weeps an old Jewish mama

and waits

Where is my child?

Fate and misfortune,

Show me at once, where is my child?

Dear mama

you have no rest

All is dark,

suffering and pain break your heart,

mamele

Have courage, it will be good

The day, also, is coming

You will be free

Free from the frightening yoke