Blaybt Unz Gezunt

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about

In 1936 upon coming back to Leningrad from his home village of Piasochnaye, a Belarusian poet Adam Rusak wrote a poem celebrating his compatriots’ warmheartedness and the coziness of home left far behind. Almost instantly a Soviet composer of Jewish decent Isaac Luban wrote a folksong-inspired tune to it. On January 1, 1937, this song translated into Russian by Mikhail Isakovskiy appeared in Pravda, the main Soviet paper, claiming that the original lyrics were anonymous. The song gained enormous popularity all over the Soviet Union and got folklorized. Despite the fact that almost immediately after the Pravda publication the Belarusian Writers’ Union found out Rusak’s authorship and sent him an official apology, the poet’s name was long forgotten. Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch translated the original Belarusian text into Yiddish, preserving essentially the same sentiment but bringing it closer to the Jewish cultural realities.

lyrics

Blaybt unz gezunt, lebt zhe raykh on a breg
Mir forn aheyn in a vayt-vaytn veg.
In veldl dem grinem veln mir shlofn un esn
Ekh, ayere laskes keynmol nit fargesn.

Lebn ayer mayontek s’iz a feld un a tol,
Zol blien dos raykhtum ba’ aykh a tsol.
Zoln vasern flisn in ayere taykhn,
Un gendz’lekh zoln gebn aykh feder a vaykhn.

Der korn ongegosener vaksn zol hoykh
Un shmalts af tsu shmirn zolt hobn ir oykh.
In a fesl kapuste zoln grivenes flisn
A shnepsl dertsu shtendik hot ontsugisn.

Un nokh zolt ir hobn dokh gvires in shtibl.
Nit sakh un nit veynik, nor yerlekh a kindl.
S’vet aykh nit arn a bisele merer,
Az Got vet aykh shikn, dokh kinder a tsveyer.

Dem veg tsu aykh kenen mir gut, libe srorem,
Un kumen in gest veln mir oft, kin eyn hore.
Ver af di tnoim, un ver af a khupe,
Me’t firn tsu aykh frishe khales a kupe.

Tak buttsie zdarovy, zhyvitsie bahata,
A my wzho payedziem dadomu, dakhaty.
To zayt unz gezunt, lebt zhe raykh on a breg,
Un mir forn aheym in a vayt-vaytn veg.

Be well, live wealthy without limits,
And we are going to our far away home.
In a green forest we’ll sleep and eat,
And we’ll not forget your kindness.

You have a field and a valley near your estate.
Let your riches grow without limits.
Let the waters flow in your rivers,
Let the geese give you soft feather.

Let the plump grain raise high,
May you always have chicken fat to smear on bread.
Let cracklings float in your barrel of sauerkraut,
May you always have whiskey to fill your glasses.

Let the wealth never leave your house:
Not much and not little, but a child every year.
It won’t even hurt you to have a little more,
God’s willing, two of them.

We know the way to your place well, dear lords,
And, may no one cast an evil eye, we’ll come to visit you often.
Some for engagement, and some to the wedding.
We’ll bring to you a bunch of fresh challahs.

Stay well, live rich,
And we are going home now.
Be well, live wealthy without limits,
And we are going to our far away home.

credits

from Raysn: The Music of Jewish Belarus, released October 29, 2014
Text: Adam Rusak; Yiddish translation: Dmitri Z Slepovitch; Music: Isaac Luban. Arr.: Slepovitch.

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about

Litvakus Brooklyn, New York

Renowned Eastern European clarinetist, pianist, and composer Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch presents a uniquely thrilling klezmer experience with his new quintet Litvakus, which brings to soaring life the often overlooked Belarusian and Litvak (Belarusian-Lithuanian) Jewish musical heritage. Litvakus is reaching out to the modern audiences worldwide, making the old sound new and fresh, meaningful and hip ... more

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