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Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.

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ALTEH BUCK
BORSCHT CIRCUIT WHOOPIE
DREMLEN FEYGL (Drowsing Birds)
MAYN RUE PLATS
MAYN RU'E PLATZ
UNTER DAYN VAYSE SHTER'N


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GUEST,Abraham Diner 03 Oct 04 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Abraham Diner 03 Oct 04 - 10:14 AM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 04 - 12:03 PM
Rabbi-Sol 03 Oct 04 - 12:58 PM
mg 03 Oct 04 - 03:26 PM
Mark Cohen 03 Oct 04 - 04:31 PM
Gorgeous Gary 03 Oct 04 - 04:33 PM
Jeanie 03 Oct 04 - 05:25 PM
Jack The Lad 03 Oct 04 - 05:42 PM
DonMeixner 03 Oct 04 - 06:06 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 04 - 07:18 PM
Rabbi-Sol 03 Oct 04 - 09:19 PM
GUEST,Abraham Diner 04 Oct 04 - 06:47 AM
Alonzo M. Zilch (inactive) 04 Oct 04 - 10:11 AM
Bill Hahn//\\ 04 Oct 04 - 02:29 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 04 Oct 04 - 02:49 PM
Alonzo M. Zilch (inactive) 04 Oct 04 - 05:47 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 04 Oct 04 - 06:10 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 04 Oct 04 - 06:25 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 Oct 04 - 06:26 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 04 Oct 04 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Abraham Diner 05 Oct 04 - 12:37 AM
Joe Offer 05 Oct 04 - 02:21 AM
Mark Cohen 05 Oct 04 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 05 Oct 04 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Abraham Diner 05 Oct 04 - 09:01 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 04 - 02:30 AM
GUEST,wealhtheow 06 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM
Gorgeous Gary 06 Oct 04 - 10:04 PM
Jeanie 07 Oct 04 - 04:52 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 22 Jan 08 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Gerry 22 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 22 Jan 08 - 05:01 PM
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John on the Sunset Coast 24 Jan 08 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,Gerry 27 Jan 08 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 27 Jan 08 - 08:10 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 08 - 06:33 PM
Wolfgang 19 Feb 08 - 02:23 PM
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Subject: BS: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Abraham Diner
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:10 AM

Starting a list of songs which relate to the holocaust tragedy
in memory of those who suffered/ and/or died in this period.
Here are some songs I considered. Please add any you may have:
1) Where is the Village? ( Vi iz dus gesele) bilingual yiddish/english song by Jay and the Americans in their LP
TRY SOME OF THIS. Sung in perfect yiddish by Howie Kane.
2) El Diario de Ana Frank.- song about Ann Frank sung in Spanish by Italian singer Mino Reitano. Also sung in the original Italian
version.
3) Es Brennt.- Many versions of this holocaust song by Gebirtig.
in yiddish.
4) Zog nit kein mol.- yiddish partisan song of the holocaust period.
Many versions, but one very interesting one by Paul Robeson, sung
live in moscow in the 1940's ( in yiddish)
Please add more songs this list. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: Vu Iz Dos Gesele
From: GUEST,Abraham Diner
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:14 AM

I started a new Thread: HOLOCAUST/SONGS IN MEMORY.
hOW DO i JOIN THE MENTIONED THREAD TO THE JEWISH
SONGS THREAD ALREADY IN EXISTENCE? pLEASE LET ME KNOW,
OR MAYBE YOU CAN DO IT,= tHANK YOU.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:03 PM

We haven't had a thread directly about Holocaust songs, although you'll find many Holocaust songs posted in the threads crosslinked at the top of this page. It certainly would be nice to post a few songs. It takes some work to see if the songs have already been posted, since varieties of transliteration make searching difficult.

I recently bought a Tara Publications songbook and CD called Songs Never Silenced, by Velvel Pasternak (published in 2003). It's a nice book, but I think it's better to get the three Eleanor & Joseph Mlotek songbooks from Workmen's Circle first: Pearls of Yiddish Song, Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Song, and Mir Trogn a Gesang: Favorite Yiddish Songs. The Mloteks cover Holocaust songs well, but also have many other songs. Workmen's Circle has CD's for sale, but I don't see songbooks just now. You can get all the Mlotek and Pasternak songbooks and others at http://www.jewishmusic.com.

I think the Holocaust song that strikes me most is Tsen Brider. It's an old song, but it applies so well to the horrible loss that took place in the Holocaust.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 12:58 PM

The Hebrew song "Ani Maamin" (I believe), is the last song that the Jews sang as they marched into the gas chambers at Auschwitz. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: mg
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 03:26 PM

Is Die Gidanzen Sind Frie?? specific to the Holocaust? I know someone used to sing it in their honor at a workshop. Also peatbog soldiers???? mg


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 04:31 PM

I have a book published by the Workmen's Circle in 1983 called "Mir Zaynen Do: Lider Fun Di Getos Un Lageren (We Are Here: Songs of the Holocaust [literal translation: Songs of the Ghettos and Camps])," compiled by Eleanor Mlotek and Malke Gottlieb, with 43 songs in Yiddish, transliterated Yiddish, and English. It appears to be out of print, though. But Jerry Silverman has a new book (2001) called Undying Flame: Ballads and Songs of the Holocaust, with 110 songs in 16 languages. That would be a good place to start.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: SBADD: through a Child's Eyes (Gary Ehrlich)
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 04:33 PM

Are you looking specifically for Yiddush or period songs or are you open to more contemporary songs? If the latter, a personal favorite of mine is Fred Small's "Denmark 1943". There's also my own setting of Anne Frank's story:

Through A Child's Eyes
by: Gary Ehrlich 7/95

Through a child's eyes, a tale of hope against despair.
Through a child's eyes, a tale of lives cut short.
The doors that will not slam shut, the walls that won't close in.
The good that lies within the heart, that won't let evil win.
The horrors brought by people who let hatred rule their lives
I see the fires burn through a child's eyes.

Through a child's eyes, I see her words take flight again.
Through a child's eyes, The fam-'lies live once more.
Across the years her story will briefly take the stage.
Their joys and terrors passing by, a diary's turning page.
While heroes from the outside try and help them to survive.
I see them live again through a child's eyes.

Through a child's eyes, I see the tears are falling down.
Through a child's eyes, I see the shock and pain.
A soul is deeply moved by a young girl's tragic fate.
A mind has learned from history what happens when we hate.
I feel hope that the millions will not once more have to die.
And see the future born through a child's eyes.
I see the future born through a child's eyes.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Jeanie
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 05:25 PM

What a wonderful song, Gary. Is there any way you can let us have the melody ? I find your song particularly moving because I am right now in the middle of running a series of improvised drama sessions on Anne Frank with a class of 10/11 year olds. For most of the children, all that they are learning is new to them, and I have seen in them all the responses you describe in your song as the occupants of the secret Annexe, Miep Gies and the other helpers "live again", as in your song. A story that needs to be retold for each new generation, and related to their present-day world, for the future.

Tom Bliss (of Napper and Bliss)has written a poignant song, 'The Violin', tracing the history of his violin made in Salzburg in the 1930s, whose "silence sings loudest of all". Lyrics here.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Jack The Lad
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 05:42 PM

For me, Mayn Shvester Khaye sung by Chava Alberstein on her excellent Cd The Well, is the most poignant and moving Holocaust song I've ever heard. It is a poem by Binem Heller set to music by Chava Alberstein, arranged by The Klezmatics.
The whole CD is excellent, and is not by any means a CD of Holocaust songs- it is simply a joy of Yiddish poems set to music.
Jack The Lad


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 06:06 PM

Would "Rubenstein Remembers" fall into this bin? A very touching song.

Don


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:18 PM

Lots of good songs listed here. I've gone through the messages above and made clickable links to the lyrics we have. I underlined the lyrics we don't have. If you have them, please post them in this thread.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:19 PM

Complying with Joe Offer's request, here are the words to the song Ani Maamin.
    "Ani Maamin beemunah shelaymah, bevias Hamashiach.
    Veaf al pi sheyismomayah, im kol zeh, Ani Maamin"
English Translation (non-singable)
    "I believe with complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may delay, nevertheless I believe."

The words were written by the 11th century sage, Rabbi Moses Miamonides as part of his 13 principles of faith. This one is #12.

The haunting melody has been around for at least 200 years and has been passed down from generation to generation.

The song has been recorded by Avraham Fried on his album "No Jew Will Be Left Behind", which is dstributed by Holyland Records. It is available in most Jewish book stores. SOL ZELLER


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Abraham Diner
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:47 AM

Thank you for all this great information.
The song Eli, Eli, as sung in Yiddish by Connie Francis
is very good, although I consider the audio recording quality
as poor. Another song, also by chance called Eli,Eli, about
Hannah Schennes(?) who parachuted into occupied nazi
territory during the holocaust period to save jews, is a very
nice song in hebrew. I once bought an LP by Israeli actor
TOPOL, and he included that song in the LP.
So there are two songs called ELI,ELI, which could be considered
as songs in memory of the holocaust.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Alonzo M. Zilch (inactive)
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 10:11 AM

Train for Auschwitz by Tom Paxton on The Best of Broadside.

Schtille Di Nacht, sung by Pete Seeger on We Shall Overcome: The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert.

Di Nakht, sung by June Tabor on Aleyn.

The Partisan, sung by Leonard Cohen on Songs From A Room and Joan Baez on Come From the Shadows.

The Partisan's Song, sung by Chava Alberstein on The Best of Yiddish Songs (click?).

Mayn Shvester Khaye, sung by Chava Alberstein & the Klezmatics on The Well.

Ghetto Tango by Adrienne Cooper & Zalmen Mlotek is an entire album of songs sung during the Holocause.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:29 PM

Not only about Holocaust but about that and also other things that stem from such bigotry (for want of a better word)---

Bob Franke's    Krystalnacht is Coming (On his Heart of the Flower CD)


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 02:49 PM

Mary Garvey: Die Gedanken Sind Frei (Literal translation: The Thoughts are Free) is not specific to Holocaust---made famous by Pete Seeger. Peat Bog Soldiers is, supposedly, Holocaust specific and yet there were versions sung during the Spanish Civil War. One of the most beautiful versions of this piece is by Paul Robeson---but then what is not beautiful that he sang.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Alonzo M. Zilch (inactive)
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 05:47 PM

Bill Hahn,

Peat Bog Soldiers originated, in 1933, in a Nazi concentration camp. This was in the years leading up to the actual Holocaust. The song was brought to Spain by Jewish German volunteers for the anti-Fascist Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:10 PM

A Zilch: Thanks for the clarification on that.   Having been born in Austria around that time I did not know that in 1933 there were yet camps in Germany. I do find that hard to understand since the Spanish Civil War was, among other things, a training field for the German military tactics.
          I appreciate the information and will research it some more. I do know that the song was sung in both sad places as I wrote previously.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:25 PM

Thanks for the input---I looked all this up and was surprised to learn about the earlier camps that were situated in Germany proper. Brutal ones.   

I do not know how to refer anyone to the site of this information but will say that it talks of the authors of the song, one of whom was quite involved with Bertold Brecht/Kurt Weill and for a time in later years taught at a Univ. in Calif.

In any case---a moving song and I appreciate the historical revelation to me.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:26 PM

Peat Bog Soldiers is not about the holocaust but, as Alonzo points out, it is about the early concentration camps - where political prisoners (Communists, Socialists and left wing intellectuals in general) were held. See this thread for more info.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 06:30 PM

This is the link that gives a very good history of the song and the people involved.

http://learning.dada.at/res/pdf/EA005PRO.PDF

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Abraham Diner
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 12:37 AM

For those of you who want to listen and download some interesting
songs check out his web page of israeli singer ESTHER OFARIM:
www.esther-ofarim.de. This Israeli singer has become a very big
personality in Germany. And she sings beautiful. Among the Holocaust
songs you can download here are:
               UNTER DEYNE WAYSE STERRNEN
               FRUHLING
               
Many songs in french, English, german, hebrew


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Subject: ADD: Train for Auschwitz (Tom Paxton)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 02:21 AM

Train for Auschwitz
Tom Paxton, 1963

This train is bound for Auschwitz
Like many another one,
The passengers condemned to die,
But no crime have they done.

They are jaimued into the boxcars
So tight against the wall
And in those cars the dead men stand,
There is no room to fall.

Now the reason they are dying
I will explain to you,
Adolf Hitler has decided
To exterminate the Jew.

He ships them off to Auschwitz
The train unloads them there,
And standing by the railroad track
They take their last breath of fresh air.

The S.S. troopers herd them
Right down a well worn path
Into a hail where they are told
They are to take a bath.

When they're undressed they're led inside
A giant shower room.
The door is sealed behind them,
And it also seals their doom.

Inside the room there drops a bomb
Of Nazi poison gas,
And not one soul is left alive
When fifteen minutes pass.

Now the men who did these awful crimes
They wish they'd murdered more,
The only thing they sorry for
Is that they lost the war.

And hundreds of these murderers
Still walk the earth today
Just hoping for a chance to kill
The ones that got away.


from Broadside: Songs of our times from the pages of Broadside Magazine, Volume 1, Oak Publications, 1964

I'll post the tune if somebody requests it.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 03:12 AM

I think everybody should listen to Chava Alberstein sing. She has a voice like liquid chocolate. (Unless you don't like chocolate, of course. Then pick something else rich and heavenly, like liquid gold.) I first heard her on the Putumayo recording, "A Jewish Odyssey."

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 07:16 AM

Not strictly holocaust, but one of the many moving Yiddish songs is Papirossen. Lucy Skeaping (Burning Bush) sings it in English on one of their CDs, it's totally heartbreaking. At the New Mills session, the tune is played upbeat, and having heard the song, I can't do it that way any more.

And holocaust, but not about it, the Ladino song 'The Trees Cry for rain': apparently sung by the Jews of Cos (?) as they embarked on the ships that took them away forever...


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Abraham Diner
Date: 05 Oct 04 - 09:01 AM

As far as instrumental music to be considered. I would select
the Theme from Schindler's List as played by violinist Itzhak
Perlman in the original soundtrack.
As far as classical recordings, I would consider KOL NIDRE by
composer Max BRUCH., as played on the cello by Jacqueline du Pre.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 02:30 AM

This is a song about the concentration camp just outside Prague which was used for propaganda purposes by the nazis to show the red cross how well treated the people were in concentration camps. Schaechter taught the inmates to sing Verdi's Requiem as a protest - because it was in Latin the nazis didnt understand its meaning and relevance.Friedl taught the children to paint to escape their fears. The children's paintings and poems are in the museum there.

Vadens visit to Terezienstadt

The taxi drew up at a place close to Prague
The Bell Tower tall and dark in the gloom
In the war many thousands herded through its gates
In the spring the chestnut trees bloom
A boy wanted to run from his bed in the dirt
From this place where no butterfly flew
A ghetto 'approved' where in secret they sang
Strength grew as barbed wire flowers grew

Ch.                Sing All men Sing
What you cant say you must sing
Sing out a requiem
Sing songs of hope
But sing all men sing

Musicians and artists and leaders of men
To confuse and deceive made a show
Children whose paintings and poems tell all
If you look with your hearts you will know
A fantastic illusion of shops filled with goods
Tears fell as the trucks filled with men
Cos its off to the east when your number is up
Then you'll not see your kinsmen again

From the hunger sprang passion
From the pain sprang a pride
A defiance kept spirits alive
Schaecter taught requiem Freidl her art
6,000 pictures survived
A broken harmonium rang out the tunes
The defiant then taken away
A hearse took the dead by the light of the moon
And delivered the bread in the day


87,000 from here were sent east
Of these 83,000 died
Murdered or tortured or perished on route
Of the children a handful survived
Some try to deny that it happened at all
Soon those that survived will be gone
They defied the oppressors with poems and art
And their spirits live on in our songs

9th August 2003
S.Haithwaite


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,wealhtheow
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM

We always sang "Dona Dona" during Holocaust Memorial Week in college--not sure of the origins of the song. Here are the lyrics:

On a wagon bound for market
There's a calf with a mournful eye.
High above him there's a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky.

CHORUS
How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summer's night.

Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona down
Dona dona dona dona
Dona dona dona don

2. "Stop complaining," said the farmer
"Who told you a calf to be;
Why don't you have wings to fly away
Like the swallow so proud and free?"

3. Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why.
But whoever treasures freedom,
Like the swallow must learn to fly


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:04 PM

Jeanie - I do have a personal recording or two lurking around; I'll try and get it (or at least part of it) converted to an MP3 or something. Might take a couple of days though, depending on my schedule (I'm getting ready to go away to Toronto for the weekend) and how well my computer behaves (and/or my brain...I'm not that experienced at sound-file making).

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Jeanie
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 04:52 AM

Many thanks, Gary, it would be lovely to hear it. I'm sure others would be interested, too. And congratulations on writing such a good song.

Wealhtheow: You might be interested in this thread discussing the origins and meaning of "Dona, Dona". It was the tradition for a family I used to spend Passover with to sing this song during the Seder meal, as well as the more usual songs like "Dayeinu".

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 04:41 PM

"Another song, also by chance called Eli,Eli, about
Hannah Schennes(?) who parachuted into occupied nazi
territory during the holocaust period to save jews, is a very
nice song in hebrew. I once bought an LP by Israeli actor
TOPOL, and he included that song in the LP.
So there are two songs called ELI,ELI, which could be considered
as songs in memory of the holocaust."

The actual title of "Eli, Eli" (My God, My God), is "Halicha le'Keisaria" (Walking to Caesarea, or, the walk to Caesarea), a poem written before the war by Hannah Szenes. It has no direct relation to the Holocaust, but is sung not only in her memory, but also in memory of Holocaust victims, and as a general lament. The music is by David Zehavi.

, ,





Eli, Eli, shelo igamer le'olam
hachol vehayam
rishrush shel hamayim
barak hashamayim
tfilat he'adam.

My God, my God, may it never cease to be
the sand and the sea
the rustle of the waters
the lightning of the skies
the prayer of man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sqSwV-DER8 A very moving rendition by Habreira Hativ'it. About 4 minutes in, the song starts.

She was an amazing person by all accounts, and very sensitive, some say naive. She enlisted in the British army and joined the SOE, as a radio operator, IIRC. She made a drop into Croatia, joined the partisans, and to cut a long story short, fell into the hands of the Nazis, who beat and tortured her. A little before her capture, she wrote a beautiful poem, which I don't think has been set to music.

,

.

?

.

Ashrey hagafrur shenisraf vehetzit lehavot.
Ashrey halehava sheba'ara besitrey levavot.
Ashrey halevavot sheyad'u lachdol bekavod...
Ashrey hagafrur shenisraf vehitzit lehavot.

Blessed be the match which is burnt but started flames.
Blessed be the flame burning in the secret chambers of the hearts.
Blessed be the hearts which knew how to cease with dignity.
Blessed be the match which is burnt but started a flame.

She was only 23 or so when they executed her.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 04:54 PM

I think I can get the lyrics to Es Brent and to Mayn Shvester Khaye if they're still needed.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 22 Jan 08 - 05:01 PM

Please.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 05:50 PM

Mayn Shvester Khaye
Poem by Binem Heller (1906-1998)
Set to music by Chava Alberstein
Recorded by Alberstein and the Klezmatics on the album, The Well.
English translation by Michael Wex
Also recorded by Australian band, Klezmania

Mayn shvester Khaye mit di grine oygen,
Mayn shvester Khaye mit di shvartse tsep---
Di shvester Khaye, vos hot mikh dertsoygn
Oyf smotshe-gas, in hoyz mit krume trep.

Di mame iz avek fun shtub baginen,
Ven oyfn himl hot ersht koym gehelt.
Zi iz avek in krom arayn fardinen
Dos bidne-drobne groshedike gelt.

Un Khaye iz geblibn mit di brider,
Un zi hot zey gekormet un gehit,
Un zi flegt zingen zey di sheyne lider,
Far nakht, ven kleyne kinder vern mid.

Mayn shvester Khaye mit di grine oygen,
Mayn shvester Khaye mit di lange hor---
Di shvester Khaye, vos hot mikh dertsoygn,
Iz nokh nisht alt geven keyn tsendling yor.

Zi hot geroymt, gekokht, derlangt dos esn,
Zi hot getsvogn undz di kleyne kep,
Nor shpiln zikh mit undz hot zi fargesn---
Di shvester Khaye mit di shvartse tsep.

Mayn shvester Khaye mit di grine oygen,
A daytsh hot in treblinke zi farbrent.
Un ikh bin in der yidishe medine
Der same letster, vos hos zi gekent.

Far ir shrayb ikh oyf yidish mayne lider
In teg di shreklekhe fun undzer tsayt.
Bay got aleyn iz zi a bas-yekhide---
In himl zitst zi bay zayn rekhter zayt.

My sister Khaye, her eyes were green,
My sister Khaye, her braids were black---
Sister Khaye, it was she who raised me
In the house on Smotshe Street with tumble-down steps.

Mother left the house at dawn
When the sky had hardly lightened.
She went off to the shop, to earn
A wretched penny's worth of change.

And Khaye stayed with the boys,
She fed them and watched over them.
And at evening, when little kids get tired,
She'd sing them pretty songs.

My sister Khaye, her eyes were green,
My sister Khaye, her hair was long---
Sister Khaye, it was she who raised me,
She wasn't even ten years old.

She cleaned and cooked and served the food,
She washed our little heads,
All she forgot was to play with us---
Sister Khaye, her braids were black.

My sister Khaye with her eyes of green
Was burnt by a German in Treblinka.
And I am in the Jewish state,
The very last one who knew her.

It's for her that I write my poems in Yiddish
In these terrible days of our times.
To God Himself she's an only daughter,
She sits in heaven at His right hand.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:07 PM

Es Brent
Also called Undzer Shtetl Brent (Our shtetl burns)
By M. Gebirtig
Accompanying notes say it was written in 1939.
Translation by Rae Mandelbaum
Recorded by Australian band Spielazoi on their album, Shtetl.

Es brent briderlekh, s'brent
Oy undzer orem shtetl nebech brent
Beyze vintn mit yirgozn
Raysn brechn un tseblozn
Shtarker noch di vilde flamen
Altz arum shoin brent

Un ir shteyt un kukt azoi zich
Mit farlegte hent
Un ir shteyt un kukt azoi zich
Undzer shtetl brent

Es brent briderlekh, es brent
Di hilf iz nor in aich aleyn gevendt
Oyb dos shtetl iz aich tayer
Nemt di keylim lesht dos fayer!
Lesht mit ayer eygn blut
Bavayzt, az ir dos kent

Shteyt nit brider ot azoy zich
Mit farlegte hent
Shteyt nit brider lesht dos fayer
Undzer shtetl brent.

It burns brothers, it burns
Our poor unfortunate shtetl burns.
Raging winds are fanning the wild flames
Tearing, breaking and scattering everything
Stronger still are the raging flames
Everything around is burning.

And you stand by and you watch
with folded arms.
You stand and look on passively
while our town is burning.

It burns brothers, it burns.
Help depends on you alone
and if the shtetl is dear to you
take the utensils and extinguish the fire!
Put it out with your own blood,
show that you can do it.

Brothers, don't stand there like this
With folded arms.
Don't just stand brothers, put out the fire!
Our shtetl burns!


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:20 PM

Ikh Vill Tzu Gayn Amol (Sometimes I Want To Go Up)
Poem by Rachel Korn
Set to music by Yale Strom
English translation by Seymour Mayne
Recorded by Yale Strom on the album, Garden of Yidn
Recorded in Yiddish, but the liner notes have only the English translation,
and my Yiddish is not up to the task of transcribing from the recording.

Editorial comment: the vocalist, Elizabeth Schwartz (Yale Strom's wife),
is absolutely top-notch, in a league with Chava Alberstein.

Sometimes I want to go up
on tip toe
to a strange house
and feel the walls with my hands -
what kind of clay baked in the bricks,
what kind of wood is in the door,
what kind of god has pitched his tent here,
to guard it from misfortune and ruin?

What kind of swallow under the roof
has built its nest from straw and earth,
and what kind of angels disguised as men
came here as guests?

What holy men came up to meet them
bringing them basins of water
to wash the dust from their feet,
the dust of earthly roads?

And what blessings did they have
the children - from big to small,
that it could protect and guard them
from Belzec, Maidanek, Treblinka?

From just such a house,
Fenced in with a painted railing,
in the middle of trees and blooming flowerbeds,
blue, gold flame
there came out - the murderer of my people,
Of my mother
Of my mother


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:29 PM

Mention should be made here of the album, Partisans of Vilna, The Songs of World War II Jewish Resistance, Flying Fish FF 70450. Here's a track listing:

1. S'Iz Geven A Zumertog (It Was a Summer Day)
2. Yisrolik
3. Unter Dayn Vayse Shtern (Under Your White Stars)
4. Yid, Du Partizaner (You Jewish Partisan)
5. Blayene Platn (Lead Printing Plates)
6. Itzik Vitnberg
7. Shtiler, Shtiler (Quiet, Quiet)
8. Zemlyanka (Dugout)
9. Tsu Eyns, Tsvey, Dray (It's One, Two, Three)
10. Dos Meydl fun Vald (The Girl from the Forest)
11. Shtil Di Nakht (A Quiet Night)
12. Zog Nit Keynmol (Never Say)

The recordings are in Yiddish, the liner notes give only the English translations.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 09:29 PM

For some years I have had an album which I have listened to only once. I cannot bear to hear it again.
The LP (from 1966)is "SONGS OF THE GHETTO", 'Years of Despair ' sung in Yiddish by Sarah Gorby - Philips PCC 221. The album contains songs cover the years 1939 - 1945.

I note that at least one of the songs mentioned a few posts above, 'Es Brent' is on this album as 'S'Brent, Breiderlich'. The English translation of the song on the album, although unattributed, is extremely poetic.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 07:46 PM

Also worth mention in this thread:

The Mauthausen Cantata. This is four poems by Iakovos Kambanellis (in Greek, I assume), set to music by Mikis Theodorakis. The premier performance was by Maria Farantouri in 1965. Her performance of one of the four songs, called The Song of Songs, appears on the CD, The Fig Tree, a musical companion to Arnold Zable's book of the same name. The CD is on the Boite label, www.boite.asn.au I don't know whether the full Farantouri performance is available.

Emma Schaver recorded an album, From the Heart of a People. Side 2 (we're talking vinyl here, folks) is called Songs of the Ghetto, and consists of Ani Maamin, Sleep My Child (Wiglied), Es Brennt, The March of Death (Nirkoda), and Zog Nit Az Du Geist Dem Letzten Veg (Partisanen). Where I give two titles, the first is from the record jacket, the one in parentheses is from the record label. There's no date on the LP, and I don't know whether it has been reissued on CD.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 27 Jan 08 - 08:10 PM

"8. Zemlyanka (Dugout)
11. Shtil Di Nakht (A Quiet Night)"

'Zemlyanka' was a well-known Russian war song, so I wonder if 'A Quiet Night' isn't 'Tyomnaya Noch'.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 08 - 06:33 PM

Volgadon, Zemlyanka is indeed a Russian war song. The liner notes say, "This song was written in Moscow in the winter of 1941-42 when there was an evacuation of women in the face of a threatened German attack. It reflected the gloomy mood of that time and became immediately popular."

I don't know whether A Quiet Night is Tyomnaya Noch. In the liner notes, the name of the song is given as Silence, the Night. It was written by Hirsh Glik, and is about sabotage against the Nazis. "A lass ... holding a pistol tight in her hand ... watches over the enemy's caravan ... she stopped a car ... with one bullet ...."


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Wolfgang
Date: 19 Feb 08 - 02:23 PM

Two different spellings of the name of this remarkable woman are found in this thread. Let me add a third:
Hannah Senesh memorial site

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 25 Jan 10 - 09:15 PM

Thank you for this wonderful list. There are so few songs in English. Add to this Johnny Mathis' rendition of "Where Can I Go," about a refugee without papers. My understanding is that the song was written in Yiddish by Leo Fuld, who reportedly got the lyrics from a Warsaw Ghetto survivor.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 08:57 AM

Here are the Yiddish words for Dona, Dona

DOS KELBL

Ojfn Forel ligt a Kelbl,
(or Oyfn Vogn ligt a Kelbl,)
Ligt gebundn mit a Schtrik.
Hojch in Himl fligt a Fojgl,
Flit and drejt sich hin an zurik.

Lacht der Wind in Korn,
Lacht un lacht un lacht,
Lacht er op a Tag a ganzn
Un a halbe Nacht.
Donaj, donaj, donaj, donaj,
Donaj, donaj, donaj, daj.
Donaj, donaj, donaj, donaj,
Donaj, donaj, donaj, daj.

Schrait dos Kelbl, sogt der Pojer,
"Wer she hejst dich sajn a Kalb?
Wolst gekent doch sajn a Fojgl,
Wolst gekent doch sajn a Schwalb!"

Bidne Kelbiech tut men bindn,
Un men schlept sej un men schecht.
Wer's hat fligl flit, arojf zu
Un is baj kejnem nicht kejn Knecht.


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Subject: RE: Holocaust/shoa songs. In memory.
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 12:58 PM

This isn't a song relating something specific about the Shoa, like many of those above, but it looks at the tragedies of the early 20th century --especially the Shoa to which he gives the most ink-- from the point of view of the author's feelings about trains. He starts with happy associations of Thomas the Tank Engine, but when he learns about the 1st World War, and then the Shoa, it forever changes his sanguine view of trains. It ends with him riding the Amtrak on the east coast of the USA but finding himself unable to shake off the mental image of trains bringing Jews to the camps in Poland. I find it very powerful.

Trains by Al Stewart

O..O
=o=


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