Text and music by Mark Markovich Warshawsky (see note to Oyfn Pripetshik), which he dedicated to the Jewish State’s founders. In the 1905 revolutionary period, the first stanza was parodied: “Sisters, brothers, we sing songs about ourselves.”
Great God! We sing hymns to you –
you alone are our help;
gather together the sheaves, brothers,
until the sun goes down.
Let the sun burn us, roast us,
it’s lucky it shone on us;
See how well our bread turned out,
children, we are never turning back.
May our children know
a decent life on this world,
where the bread, every bite of it,
is from our own field.
Groyser got! mir zingen lider —
Undzer hilf bistu aleyn;
Nemt tsunoyf di snopes, brider,
Biz di zun vet untergeyn.
Zol di zun undz brien, brotn,
Zi hot undz geshaynt tsum glik;
Zet dos broyt iz undz gerotn,
Kinder, keyn mol nit tsurik.
Zoln undzere kinder visn
Fun a lebn oyf der velt,
Az dos broyt, un yeder bisn
lz fun undzer eygn feld.
גרױסער גאָט! מיר זינגען לידער —
אונדזער הילף ביסטו אַלײן;
נעמט צונױף די סנאָפּעס, ברידער,
ביז די זון װעט אונטערגײן.
זאָל די זון אונדז בריען, בראָטן,
זי האָט אונדז געשײַנט צום גליק;
זעט דאָס ברױט איז אונדז געראָטן,
קינדער, קײן מאָל ניט צוריק.
זאָלן אונדזערע קינדער װיסן
פֿון אַ לעבן אױף דער װעלט,
אַז דאָס ברױט און יעדער ביסן
איז פֿון אונדזער אײגן פֿעלד.
Song Title: Dos Lid Fun Broyt
First published in 1972, Mir Trogn A Gezang: Favorite Yiddish Songs was reprinted six more times (in 1977, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000) due to popular demand. The songs in this anthology represent a sampling of beloved folk and well-known Yiddish songs, many of which are scattered in various song collections; some appear in very rare and inaccessible collections; and some were never before published. Folk songs comprise about a third of this volume and were selected mainly on the basis of popularity and sometimes for their historic significance. Needless to say, they are only representative of the vast, rich treasure of Yiddish folk material. The selection was made not only on the basis of personal preference, but in the knowledge they are favorites of many who sing these songs. Most of the songs represent the repertoire that was sung at Yiddish summer camps, May 1st demonstrations and at social gatherings. Many songs were introduced to American Jewry by Jewish immigrants who came to the United States after World War II, for whom these songs had been favorites in Poland and other East European communities destroyed by the Nazis.