Unter Dayn Vayse Shter'n (text, Avraham Sutskever; melody, Abraham Brudno) Yiddish: Unter dayne vayse shtern Shtrek tsu mir dayn vayse hant. Mayne verter zaynen trern Viln ruen in dayn hant. Ze, es tunklt zeyer finkl In mayn kelerdikn blik. Un ikh hob gornit keyn vinkl Zey tsu shenken dir tsurik. Un ikh vil dokh, got getrayer Dir fartroyen mayn farmeg. Vayl es mont in mir a fayer Un in fayer-mayne teg. Nor in kelern un lekher Veynt di merderishe ru. Loyf ikh hekher, ibqer dekher Un ikh zukh: vu bistu, vu? Nemen yogn mikh meshune Trep un hoyfin mit gevoy. Heng ikh a geplaste strune Un ikh zing tsu dir azoy: Unter dayne vayse shtern Shtrek tsu mir dayn vayse hant. Mayne verter zaynen trern Viln ruen in dayn hant. English (literal translation) Under Your white stars Stretch to me Your white hand. My words are tears, Wanting to rest in Your hand. See, they twinkle very darkly In my cellar-beaten view; And I have no place How to send them back to You. And I will, dear God, Confide in you these of mine While in me a fire grows And on fire are my days. But in cellars and holes Cries the murderous quiet I fly higher, over rooftops And I search: Where are You? Where? Something strange hunts me Stairs and courtyards are on chase I hang as a broken bow-string And I sing to You this way: Under Your white stars Stretch to me Your white hand. My words are tears, Wanting to rest in Your hand. English (free translation) Who are you that in your hands is my death and is my life? Listen, my voice breaks toward you and you are deaf to me. See, my day ends, expires, and darkness falls. My soul, no-one knows. Would you know it? A silence rises to you from streets and houses. All my life explodes in strength for my life is filled with dead. And only graves know quiet here in this valley of tears Would you dare to hear? A dead city mutes lamentation. And silently pursuing me, all my city who've been slaughtered And your silence strangles me. How can I carry my prayer to you? Who are you that in your hands is my death and is my life? Listen, my voice breaks toward you and you are deaf to me. Note: (from Mlotek and other sources) This song was written in the Vilno ghetto, words by Avraham Sutskever (1913-); music by Abraham Brudno (?-1944). It was first presented in the ghetto theater in the play " Di Yogenish in Fas" (the hunt in the barrel, a pun on Diogenes in a barrel.) It was first sung by Zlate Katcherginsky. After the liquidation of the ghetto, Suskever joined the partisan fighters. He survived the war and lives in Israel where he edits the literary quarterly "Di Goldene Keyt". The composer, Abraham Brudno, following the liquidation of the ghetto, was deported to a German concentration camp in Estonia, where he died. YW YW
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