Words by Vilna poet-partisan Shmerke Kaczerginsky (1908-1954), written in 1926. The song was popular in Europe and the U.S. in the 1930s. It was published as an anonymous song by A. Bitter in 1940. In the Memorial Book for S. Kaczerginski (Shmerke Katsherginski-ondenk-bukh), 1955, writer Moishe Knapheis describes in his article “Di freydik lid” (The Joyful Song), how the song “rolled through the Jewish towns of Poland like a golden coin from all the poor homes and workers’ locals, cellars and garrets, from everywhere, the joyful singing spread, trilled out by young, thin little voices.”

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Fathers, mothers, and little children
Are building barricades.
Patrolling the streets
Are worker brigades.

Father left the house early
To go to the factory,
Back to the house
He will not come today.

Father’s in the street today,
Busy with his gun.

Mother’s gone away as well
To sell her apples in the street.
Standing in the kitchen like orphans
Are all the pots and dishes:

— “There won’t be any supper”
says Khanele to the boys,
“for mother’s gone
To help out father. . .”

Suddenly—bang! A bullet
Enters the little house,
Flies past Khanele,
And buries itself in the wall.

“In that case,” says Khanele,
“children, come with me!
Motye, take the big basket,
Meyer, get the door!”

“We’ll take the dresser drawers
And an old barrel,
And put up a barricade
In the middle of the street.”

The barricade is up,
Nobody’s at home;
Police run past,
The children throw stones.

Who cares about supper
(When) cannons thunder;
The children from the little house
Are helping mother and father.

Tates, mames, kinderlekh
Boyen barikadn,
Oyf di gasn geyen arum

S’iz der tate fri fun shtub
Avek oyf der fabrik,
Vet er shoyn in shtibele
Nit kumen haynt tsurik.

S’veysn gut di kinderlekh,
Der tate vet nit kumen,
S’iz der tate haynt in gas
Mit zayn biks farnumen.

S’iz di mame oykh avek
In gas farkoyfn epl,
Shteyen in kikh faryosemte
Di teler mitn tepl.

— S’vet nit zayn keyn vetshere –
Zogt Khanele di yatn, –
Vayl di mame iz avek
Tsuhelfn dem tatn. . .

Plutsling—trakh! a pule iz
Arayn in kleynem shtibl,
Farbaygefloygn Khanelen,
Gemakht in vant a gribl.

– Oyb azoy—zogt Khanele –
– Kinder, kumt mit mir!
Motye, nem di groyse korb,
Meyerke—di tir.

Di shuflodn fun kamod,
Mit an altn fas,
A barikade shteln mir
Oyf in mitn gas.

Di barikade oyfgeshtelt,
In shtibl nito keyner,
Loyfn politsey farbay,
Di kinder varfn shteyner.

Vos mir, ven mir vetshere,
Es dunern harmatn,
Di kinderlekh fun shtibele
Helfn mamen-tatn. . .

Tates, mames, kinderlekh
Boyen barikadn,
Oyf di gasn geyen arum

טאַטעס, מאַמעס, קינדערלעך
בױען באַריקאַדן,
אױף די גאַסן גײען אַרום

ס’איז דער טאַטע פֿרי פֿון שטוב
אַװעק אױף דער פֿאַבריק,
װעט ער שױן אין שטיבעלע
ניט קומען הײַנט צוריק.

ס’װײסן גוט די קינדערלעך,
דער טאַטע װעט ניט קומען,
סיאיז דער טאַטע הײַנט אין גאַס
מיט זײַן ביקס פֿאַרנומען.

ס’איז די מאַמע אױך אַװעק
אין גאַס פֿאַרקױפֿן עפּל,
שטײען אין קיך פֿאַריתומטע
די טעלער מיטן טעפּל.

— ס’װעט ניט זײַן קײן װעטשערע –
זאָגט חנהלע די יאַטן, –
װײַל די מאַמֶע איזּ אַװעק
צוהעלפֿן דעם טאַטן. . .

פּלוצלינג – טראָך! אַ פּולע איז
אַרײַן אין קלײנעם שטיבל,
פֿאַרבײַגעפֿלױגן חנהלען,
געמאַכט אין װאַנט אַ גריבל.

— אױב אַזױ – זאָגט חנהלע –
— קינדער, קומט מיט מיר!
מאָטיע, נעם די גרױסע קאָרב,
מאירקע – די טיר.

די שופֿלאָדן פֿון קאַמאָד,
מיט אַן אַלטן פֿאַס,
אַ באַריקאַדע שטעלן מיר
אױף אין מיטן גאַס.

די באַריקאַדע אױפֿגעשטעלט,
אין שטיבל ניטאָ קײנער,
לױפֿן פּאָליצײ פֿאַרבײַ,
די קינדער װאַרפֿן שטײנער.

װאָס מיר, װען מיר װעטשערע,
עס דונערן האַרמאַטן,
די קינדערלעך פֿון שטיבעלע
העלפֿן מאַמען-טאַטן. . .

טאַטעס, מאַמעס, קינדערלעך
בױען באַריקאַדן,
אױף די גאַסן גײען אַרום

Song Title: Barikadn

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Shmerke Kaczerginski
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: שמערקע קאַטשערגינסקי
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Song

The Songs of Generations: New Pearls of Yiddish Song anthology comprises songs that were either never printed before or appeared in rare and inaccessible publications — sometimes in different versions and without proper sources. Most of the songs in this book were submitted by readers of Chana and Yosl’s column “Perl fun der yidisher poezye” (Pearls of Yiddish Poetry) in the Yiddish newspaper Der Forverts (The Forward), initiated in October, 1970. Over 25 years, thousands of songs were collected in correspondence and on cassettes from readers throughout the world, and they represent a veritable national Yiddish song archive. Chana Mlotek, in her introduction, writes, “In the course of years the inquiries, contributions and enthusiasm of these readers have kept our own interest unflagging and have reinforced our dedication to this effort. And in recent years our participants have also been augmented by new readers from the former Soviet Russia, who receive our newspaper there or from newly-arrived immigrants in this country and Israel.”

Browse the Collection
Enter your email to download free sheet music for ​Barikadn