Undzer Friling

[Our Springtime]

by Mordechai Gebirtig

(Translated by Miryam Breitman)

See Lecture: The Seasons

Friling oyf beymer, Spring's on the tree tops
  in feld un in vald,   in woods and in fields
Nor do in geto But here in the ghetto
  iz harbstik un kalt.   cold autumn we feel,
Nor do in geto The ghetto is gray,
  iz harbstik un trib,   full of sadness and grief
Vi bay an ovl in shtub. We're sitting here silent, bereaved.
Friling! In droysn Oh, springtime is out there
  shoyn felder farzeyte,   where fields have been sown,
Do arum undz But here only hopelessness
  hot zikh yeush farshpreyt,   spreads out its thorns,
Do arum undz And here guards surround us
  shteyen moyern bavakht,   above on the walls
Vi far der tfise baynakht. As night in our prison yard falls.
Friling - shoyn friling -  Springtime, it's springtime,
  bald kumt on der may,   soon May will be here,
Nor in der luft  So leaden and dense
  filt zikh pulver un blay,   feels the air circling near,
S'akert der talyen The hangman is ploughing
  mit zayn blutike shverd   with his bloody sword
Eyn groys beys-oylem - di erd.  One bitter graveyard - the earth.

Source:  Leichter, Sinai. Anthology of Yiddish Folksongs. Vol. 5: The Mordechai Gebirtig volume. Jerusalem, Hebrew University, 2000