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about

The poem put to music in this song is the one by the Belarusian Yiddish poet Moyshe Kulbak (1896–1937). It is part of his 1922 epic Raysn (Belarus), a series of poetic sketches on multiethnic life in a village on Nieman river. Antoshe is an elderly peasant, the father of Nastassia, with whom the Jewish guy falls in love. In this song the listensiners are asking Antosha to g a song about the legendary times.

lyrics

Hey, hey, hey, hey!
Hey Antoshe, tu a zung.
Tu a klung af der bandure
Shure, bure, mure, ture.
Ot azey, hey, hey!

S’iz geven der krever Dukes
Vays vi shney, vays vi shney,
Hot er kinderlekh in palats,
Tekhter tsvey, tekhter tsvey.
Nor bam Dukes ba di ferd
Hot gedint Dmitruk Skarulya
Mitn nomen Shalopay…

Hey, hey, hey, hey,
Hey, Antoshe, tu a zung,
Tu a klung af der bandure,
Shure-bure-mure-ture!
Ot azey, hey, hey, ot azey, hey, hey.

S’iz gekumen vesne-tsayt,
Brengt der boym di naye tsvayglakh.
Brengt di shval dos shvebele,
Un di tsoyg – di tsaygele,
Un di ku – dos kelbele… Muuu…
S’iz gekumen vesne-tsayt,
Far di tekhterlekh di tsvey,
Brengen zey aheym tsum Dukes,
Inem fartekh tsu baystrukes… Vey, vey, vey, vey…
Ot azey, hey, hey, ot azey, hey, hey.

Khapt der Dukes zikh tsum shverd
Heyst der Dukes shpanen ferd,
Un fun Kreve biz Mazhir,
Un fun Zhetl biz Damir
Yogn rayter un karetn,
Leyfn lafer un shtafetn…
S’iz in ergets nit geven,
Nit tsu zen
Dem rotseyakh Shalopay…

Hey, hey…

In di velder fun Krivitsh
Voynt der gazlen Shalopay,
Un der elter krever Dukes,
Vays vi shney,
Vays vi shney,
Fort aleyn iber di pleynen,
In dem riterlekhn prakht.
Un er klingt mit di kley-zayen
In der nakht, in der nakht…
Hey, hey…
Ot azey, hey, hey, ot azey hey, hey...

Hey, hey, hey,
Hey, Antoshe, sing to us, play to us
On the bandura,
Ture-bure-shure-mure
That’s the way, hey, hey!

There was a nobleman Dukes [‘doo-kes] of the Krevers,
As white as snow,
He had children in his palace,
Two daughters, two daughters.
But in Dukes’s stable
Served a guy, Dmitruk Skarulya,
By the nickname Shalopay*.

The beautiful springtime came.
The tree brings new twigs,
The swallow brings a yellow-beaked nestling,
The dog brings home her puppies,
And the cow brings a calf.
The beautiful springtime came,
For the daughters, two of them,
So they’re bringing home to Dukes
In the apron
A couple bastards.
Woe, woe, woe, woe!

The Dukes grabs his sharp sword,
And he orders to harness horses.
And from Krivia till Mazyr,
And from Dziatlava till Damir,
Hasting are the knights and carriages,
And the messengers are running.
No one has seen anywhere
That bastard Shalopay.

In the woods of Krivich
There lives the bastard Shalopay.
And the elderly Dukes of the Krevers,
With his hair white as snow,
Is riding alone over the valleys,
All dressed up in his knightly hauberk,
And he’s clinking with his weapon
In the night, in the night.
Hey, hey…
That’s the way, hey, hey!
___
*Shalopay — Scapegrace

credits

from Raysn: The Music of Jewish Belarus, released October 29, 2014
Music and arrangement: Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch, Lyrics: Moyshe Kulbak

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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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