Translation: "Over there, over the water, over the bridge, you chased me all over this land, and I longed for you. Help me GD in heaven! This is not good! For 3 years we played with love, and this love will never come to fruition. Your eyes are like black cherries, your lips are soft like rose paper, your fingers - like ink and feather. I pray you use them to write to me often" - 1901, S. Ginsberg & P. Marek (from Mir Trogn a Gezang; Mlotek)
Translation: Rasins & Almonds. English lyrics follow the Yiddish. English translation taken from "The Yiddish Songbook" (Silverman). - Song by Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1906)
Translation: "On the way stands a bent, lonely tree that was abandonned by all it's birds. Until a little boy came along and told his mother 'I'm going to become a bird and keep the tree company.' But the mother became very concerned that he would freeze to death so she piled on the winter clothes until he could no longer fly." This song alludes to the Jews' abandonment of Yiddish culture upon leaving Europe - Itzik Manger (from Mir Trogn a Gezang; Mlotek)
Translation: "Once upon a time there was a king who had a queen. The queen had a vineyard with a tree and a bird nesting in its branches. But the king died and the queen became desolate, the branches broke and the bird flew away..." This song uses the king and queen in referring to a wife & husband in keeing with Shabbes tradition - 1901, S. Ginsberg & P. Marek (from Mir Trogn a Gezang; Mlotek)
Cigarettes (from Yiddish Theater): "A cold night, misty and dark, an orphan boy stands lonely and looks around. Only a wall protects him from the rain. He holds a little basket in his hand and his eyes beg everyone siltently "I've no more strength..please buy my cigarettes! They're dry and not wet from the rain" - 1932, Herman Yablokoff (from Pearls of Yiddish Song; Mlotek)
I wrote this song when I was studying Talmud at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. It tells the story of the ancient Choni the circle-maker who created circles in order to sit at the center of them and pray for rain. He was a mysterious and controversial character in the Talmud, as prayer for/against rain bordered on pagan practice. But Choni was given special privileges by his Rabbi to do what he did for some reason. Choni went to sleep and woke up 70 years later only to learn the hard lesson that life without loved ones is too lonely to keep on living.