The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #60045   Message #959596
Posted By: Joe Offer
27-May-03 - 02:56 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Un du Akerst (Yiddish Worksong)
Subject: translation: Un du Akerst Yiddish Worksong
Rubin's Treasury of Jewish Folksong has a singable translation of the Yiddish song:

1 You are the plowmen and you sow,
You are the farmers and you mow,
And you toil with might and main:
What, my people, is your gain?

Kling klang, kling klang,
The hammer beats relentlessly.
Kling klang, kling klang,
Break the bonds of slavery.

2 Day and night you weave on the loom,
Dig out metals in the gloom.
Reap the harvest in due time.
Flowing horn of bread and wine.

3 But what feasts have you to share?
And what festive clothes to wear?
Where, my people, is your sharp sword?
Where, oh where is your reward?

Here are Rubin's notes:

In 1864, Georges Herwegh, following the theme of Shelley's "Song to the Men of England," wrote a hymn for the German Workingmen's Federation.
The Yiddish text given here is a translation of Herwegh's poem by Chaim Zhitlowsky.