Di Beryozkele

The Birch Tree
די בעריאָזקעלע

Words by David Einhorn (1886-1973); published by M. Kipnis in 1918. The song was popular in Poland in the 1930’s. It is a favorite in the repertoire of Soviet Yiddish singer Emil Gorovets.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Softly, softly she shakes her curly green head
my little white birch, and davens [prays] endlessly.
Every, every little leaf of hers whispers a quiet prayer.
Little birch tree, pray for me, too…

I came here alone from far away,
The God of this place is strange to me and strange is his language,
He will not see my sorrow and will not understand my prayer,
though I will pray, I will pray a lot.

From far away in the West, a soft rosy sunbeam has
stolen sadly into your thin branches,
and gently kissed your leaves, your little ones,
as they dreamily listened to the nightingale.

From the broad fields, a breeze has come
and told the leaves countless legends.
Something deep in my heart has begun yearning.
Pray, little birch tree, pray for me, too.

Ruik, ruik, shoklt ir gelokte, grine kepi
Mayn vaysinke beryozkele un davnt on a shir,
Yedes, yedes bletele irs sheptshet shtil a tfile.
Zay shoyn, kleyn beryozkele, mispalel oykh far mir!

lkh bin do an elnter gekumen fun der vaytn,
Fremd iz mir der got fun dan un fremd iz mir zayn shprakh,
Nisht er vet mayn troyer zen un nisht farshteyh mayn tfile,
Khotsh ikh vel mispalel zayn, mispalel zayn a sakh.

Fun dem vaytn mayrev hot zikh troyerik farganvet
In di dine tsvaygelekh a rozer, tsarter shtral
Un a laykhtn kush geton di bletlekh, di kleyne,
Velkhe hobn, dremlendik, gehorkht dem nakhtigal.

Fun di breyte felder iz a vintele gekumen
Un dertseylt di bletlekh legendn on a shir,
Epes .hot in hartsn tit bay mir genumen benken:
Zay shoyn, kleyn beryozkele, mispalel oykh far mir!

רויִק, רויִק, שאָקלט איר געלאָקטע, גרינע קעפּל
מײן װײַסינקע בעריאָזקעלע און דאַװנט אָן אַ שיעור,
יעדעס, יעדעס בלעטעלע אירס שעפּטשעט שטיל אַ תּפֿילה
זײַ שױן, קלײן בעריאָזקעלע, מתפּלל אױך פֿאַר מיר!. . .

איך בין דאָ אַן עלנטער געקומען פֿון דער װײַטן,
פֿרעמד איז מיר דער גאָט פֿון דאַן און פֿרעמד איז מיר זײַן שפּראַך,
נישט ער װעט מײן טרױער זען און נישט פֿאַרשטײן מײַן תּפֿילה,
כאָטש איך װעל מתפּלל זײַן, מתפּלל זײַן אַ סך.

פֿון דעם װײַטן מערבֿ האָט זיך טרױעריק פֿאַרגנבֿעט
אין די דינע צװײַגעלעך אַ ראָזער, צאַרטער שטראַל,
און אַ לײַכטן קוש געטאָן די בלעטלעך, די קלײנע,
װעלכע האָבן, דרעמלענדיק, געהאָרכט דעם נאַכטיגאַל.

פֿון די ברײטע פֿעלדער איז אַ װינטעלע געקומען
און דערצײלט די בלעטלעך לעגענדן אָן אַ שיעור,
עפּעס האָט אין האַרצן טיף בײַ מיר גענומען בענקען:
זע שױן, קלײן בעריאָזקעלע, מתפּלל אױך פֿאַר מיר!

Song Title: Di Beryozkele

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: David Einhorn
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: דוד אײַנהאָרן
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.”

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