In Mayn Gortn

In My Garden
אין מײַן גאָרטן

Part of a poem by Chaim Nachmen Bialik (1873-1934). This is one of his charming folk themes written originally in Hebrew “Yesh Li Gan,” and translated into Yiddish by I. Ma Yofis. Published in M. Gelbart, Lomir zingen, 1938-1939. Albert Bitter also wrote music to the poem.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


In my garden, there is
a well with a bucket,
And there, every Shabes,
my love comes to drink water.

Like my heart, the bucket watches,
its gold peacefully dripping into the well;
A pearl drops, and another –
Here he comes, here he comes!

Shh, I think it’s the sound of footsteps…
Is that him? – or maybe not?
Quicker, quicker, come my hansdome one,
I am alone and no one else is around…

We are sitting here by the wall,
head on his shoulder, hand in hand…
“I want to ask you a couple of things,
but I beg you not to laugh.”

“Speak, but why is there pain,
gnawing at your heart like a worm?”
“My mother heard someone say
that you wanted to leave me.”

“Go on! Don’t be silly,” says my love,
“Only enemies talk like that.
In another year, God willing,
we will get married…”


Note: The fifth stanza reads like a dialog to me, but in the prior translation it all comes from her.

In mayn gortn hot a brunem
Mit an emer zikh gefunen,
Ale shabes kumt deriber,
Trinken vaser dort mayn liber.

Vi mayn harts, der emer vakht,
Trift zayn gold in brunem zakht;
Trift a perl, trift a tsveyter
Ot-o geyt er, ot-o geyt er!

Sha, mir dukht es klingen trit. . .
lz dos er?-un efsher nit?
Gikher, gikher, kum, mayn sheyner!
Kh’bin aleyn un vayter keyner. . .

Zetsn mir zikh do baym vant,
Kop tsu aksl, hant in hant. . .
– Kh’vel dikh fregn a por zakhn,
Zolst, ikh bet dikh, nor nit lakhn.

Zog, fun vanen kumt der shmarts,
Vi a vorem nogt dos harts? –
S’hot gehert mayn mame reydn,
Az du vilst mit mir zikh sheydn.

Zogt mayn liber: Gey shoyn, gey,
Sonim zogn dos azoy,
Nokh a yor, az got vet veln,
Veln mir a khupe shteln. . .

אין מײַן גאָרטן האָט אַ ברונעם
מיט אָן עמער זיך געפֿונען,
אַלע שבת קומט דעריבער
טרינקען װאַסער דאָרט מײַן ליבער.

װי מײַן האָרץ, דער עמער װאַכט,
טריפֿט זײַן גאָלד אין ברונעם זאַכט;
טריפֿט אַ פּערל, טריפֿט אַ צװײטער —
אָט-אָ גײט ער, אָט-אָ גײט ער!

שאַ, מיר דוכט עס קלינגען טריט. . .
איז דאָס ער? — און אפֿשר ניט!
גיכער, גיכער! קום, מײַן שײנער!
כ׳בין אַלײן און װײַטער קײנער. . .

זעצן מיר זיך דאָ בײַם װאַנט,
קאָפּ צו אַקסל, האַנט אין האַנט. . .
— כיװעל דיך פֿרעגן א פּאַר זאַכן,
זאָלסט, איך בעט דיך, נאָר ניט לאַכן.

זאָג, פֿון װאַנען קומט דער שמאַרץ,
ױ אַ װאָרעם נאָגט דאָס האַרץ?–
סיהאָט געהערט מײַן מאַמע רײדן,
אַז דו װאָלסט מיט מיר זיך שײדן,

זאָגט מײַן ליבער: – גײ שױן, גײ,
שׂונאים זאָגן דאָס אַזױ, —
נאָך אַ יאָר, אָז גאָט װעט װעלן,
װועלן מיר אַ חופֿה שטעלן. . .

Song Title: In Mayn Gortn

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: I. Ma Yofis
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: חײם נחמן ביאַליק
Time Period: Unspecified
Additional Composer: Albert Bitter
Additional Lyricist: Chaim Nachmen Bialik

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
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