Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Unter Dayn Vayse Shtern

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Unter Dayn Vayse Shter'n

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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