The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59461   Message #949097
Posted By: Mark Cohen
09-May-03 - 12:05 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Yiddish Partisan Song (Zog Nit Keyn Mol)
Subject: RE: Need Lyrics Yiddish Partisan Song
It's not just German folksongs that have their titles changed by the folk process, Wolfgang. Eric Bogle's song "No Man's Land" is commonly called either "The Green Fields of France" or "Willie McBride." Archie Fisher's "Dear Dark Eyes" was recorded by Stan Rogers with the title "Dark Eyed Molly." And many people know the Joni Mitchell song "Both Sides Now" as "Clouds".

The translation of "Shtil di Nacht" that Joe posted is fairly literal. The book I mentioned above gives a different singable translation, credited to Roslyn Bresnick-Perry. I think each translation has its strong points and its less than strong points:

Still the night, and full of starlight,
And the frost - burned on the land;
Do you still remember how I taught you
To hold a revolver in your hand?

A girl, a sheepskin and a beret,
In her hands she holds a gun,
A girl with her face as smooth as velvet
Keeps watch of the enemy's caravan.

An aim, a shot right on the target,
Her small pistol had reached its mark,
An auto filled high with ammunition
Her shot had stopped it in the dark.

At dawn she crept out of the woodland,
With snowy garlands in her hair,
Encouraged by her little victory
For our future freer heirs.

Aloha,
Mark