Oyfn Veg Shteyt a Boym (By the Road Stands a Tree)

from by Inna Barmash

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lyrics

Oyfn veg shteyt a boym, shteyt er ayngeboygn,
Ale feygl funem boym zaynen zikh tsefloygn.
Dray keyn mayrev, dray keyn mizrekh,
Un der resht - keyn dorem,
Un dem boym gelozt aleyn hefker far dem shturem.

Zog ikh tsu der mamen: -her, zolst mir nor nit shtern,
Vel ikh, mame, eyns un tsvey, bald a foygl vern.
Ikh vel zitsn oyfn boym un vel im farvign
Ibern vinter mit a treyst mit a sheynem nign.

Zogt di mame: - nite, kind, un zi veynt mit trern -
Vest kholile oyfn boym mir far froyrn vern.
Zog ikh: -mame, s'iz a shod dayne sheyne oygn
Un eyder vos un eyder ven, bin ikh mir a foygl.

Veynt di mame: - ltsik, kroyn, ze, um gotes viln,
Nem zikh mit a shalikl, kenst zikh nokh farkiln.
Di kaloshn tu zikh on, s'geyt a sharfer vinter
Un di kutshme nem oykh mit - Vey iz mir un vind mir...

- Un dos vinter-laybl nem, tu es on, du shovte,
Oyb du vilst nit zayn keyn gast tsvishn ale toyte...
Kh'heyb di fligl, s'iz mir shver, tsu fil, tsu fil zakhn,
Hot di mame ongeton ir feygele, dem shvakhn.

Kuk ikh troyerik mir arayn in mayn mames oygn,
S'hot ir libshaft nit gelozt vern mir a foygl...

Oyfn veg shteyt a boym, shteyt her ayngebogen,
Ale feygl funem boym zaynen zikh tsefloygn...

TRANSLATION:
By the wayside stands a bent tree;
All the birds have flown away from the tree.
Turn toward the west, turn toward the east,
And the rest--turn toward the south,
And the tree is abandoned to the storm.

I say to mama--"Listen, If you don't stand in my way,
Then, one--two, I'll quickly become a bird.
I'll sit in the tree and lull it during the winter,
Comfort with a lovely tune."

And mama says, "No, child," and weeps bitter tears.
"G-d forbid, you might freeze in the tree."
So I say, "Mama, it's a waste of your lovely eyes,
Because before you know it, I'll be a bird."

And mama cries, "Itzik, my Crown, as G-d would want, Take a scarf with you, lest you catch cold.
"Put on your galoshes, It will be a severe winter.
And take your fur hat, too. Woe is me!

"And wear you warm underwear, foolish child,
Lest you become a guest of the dead."
I lift my wing, but it's hard...too many things…
That mama put on her weak little fledgling.

I look sadly into my mama's eyes;
Her love did not allow me to become a bird.

By the wayside stands a bent tree.
All the birds have flown away, deserting the tree…

credits

from Yiddish Lullabies & Love Songs, released November 27, 2013
Inna Barmash (vocals), Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch (clarinet/bass clarinet), Shoko Nagai (piano/accordion), Dmitry Ishenko (bass), Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin (viola/fadolin)
Recorded and engineered by Ljova.
Mixed and mastered by Don Godwin. Artwork by Irina Sheynfeld. Photography by Mark Gurevich.

The recording project is made possible through a grant by the BluePrint Fellowship project of COJECO, funded by the UJA-Federation of New York and Genesis Philanthropy Group.

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Inna Barmash New York, New York

NY-based folk singer of Yiddish, Russian and other Eastern European languages and rootsy new American music. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, Inna is the vocalist of the gypsy party band Romashka, the chamber folk ensemble Ljova & the Kontraband and a new project, Yiddish Lullabies & Love Songs. ... more

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