Ikh Un Di Velt

The World and I
איך און סי װעלט

Poem by Avrom Reyzen (1875-1953); melodies by Maurice Rauch (1910-1944) and Sidor Belarsky (1900-1975) are both presented.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


If the whole world suffered
and things were good only for me,
then I would invite the world,
all of it, into my house.

I would comfort it and caress it,
and say, “Don’t worry, world!”
Until it recovered,
and got back on its feet.

If the world were happy,
and only I was suffering,
then I would go to the world
and demand, “Give me happiness!”

But since we are both suffering,
both the world and I myself,
The world has no one to come to,
and I have nowhere to go.

Ven di gantse velt volt laydn,
Mir aleyn zol gut zayn bloyz,
Volt ikh dan di velt di gantse
Ayngeladn in mayn hoyz.

lkh volt treystn zi un tsertlen
Un gezogt: Nit zorg zikh, velt!
Biz zi volt tsu zikh gekumen
Un zikh oyf di fis geshtelt.

Ven di velt geven volt gliklekh,
lkh aleyn bloyz ful mit leyd,
Volt ikh dan tsu ir gekumen
Un gefodert: Gib mir freyd!

Ober az mir laydn beyde,
I di velt i ikh aleyn,
Hot di velt nit vu tsu kumen
Un ikh hob nit vu tsu geyn.

װען די גאַנצע װעלט װאָלט לײַדן,
מיר אַלײן זאָל גוט זײַן בלױז,
װאָלט איך דאַן די װעלט די גאַנצע
אײַנגעלאַדן אין מײַן הױז.

איך װאָלט טרײסטן זי און צערטלען
און געזאָגט: — ניט זאָרג זיך, װעלט!
ביז זי װאָלט צו זיך געקומען
און זיך אױף די פֿיס געשטעלט.

װען די װעלט געװען װאָלט גליקלעך,
איך אַלײן בלױז פֿול מיט לײד,
װאָלט דיך דאַן צו איר געקומען
און געפֿאָדערט: גיב מיר פֿרײד!

אָבער אַז מיר לײַדן בײדע,
אי די װעלט אי איך אַלײן,
האָט די װעלט ניט װוּ צו קומען
און איך האָב ניט װוּ צו גײן.

Song Title: Ikh Un Di Velt

Composer: Maurice Rauch
Composer’s Yiddish Name: משה ראַוך און סידאָר בעלאַרסקי
Lyricist: Avrom Reyzen
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: אַבֿרהם רײזען
Time Period: Unspecified
Additional Composer: Sidor Belarsky

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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