Childhood Years
Illustration of musical notes from the books


Childhood years, sweet childhood years,
you remain forever present* in my memory;
when I think of your time,
I grow so sad and empty –
oh, how quickly I have grown old.

I can still picture the little house,
where I was born and raised,
and I see my cradle there,
still standing on the same spot –
like a dream it has all flown away.

And my mother, oh, how I loved her,
though she drove me into kheyder;
Every pinch of her hand
I still know so well –
though no sign of them remains on me.

I can still see you, Feygele, you beauty,
I still kiss your red cheeks,
your eyes full of charm
pierce my heart.
I thought one day you would be mine.

Childhood years, beautiful young flowers!
You will not come back to me again;
Sad, old years,
cold, melancholy ones
have occupied your lovely place.

Childhood years, I have lost you,
lost my my faithful mother, too.
There is no sign of the house
and Feygele is also gone,
oh, how quickly I have grown old.


*literally, ‘awake’.

Kinder-yorn, zise kinder-yorn,
Eybik blaybt ir vakh in mayn zikorn;­
Ven ikh trakht fun ayer tsayt,
Vert mir azoy bang un leyd-
Oy, vi shnel biri ikh shoyn alt gevorn.

Nokh shteyt mir dos shtibl far di oygn,
Vu ikh bin geboyrn, oyfgetsoygn,
Oykh mayn vigl, ze ikh dort,
Shteyt nokh oyf dem zelbn ort —
Vi a kholem iz dos alts farfloygn.

Un mayn mame, akh, vi kh’fleg zi libn,
Khotsh zi hot in kheyder mikh getribn;
Yeder knip iz fun ir hant
Mir nokh azoy gut —
Khotsh keyn tseykhn iz mir nisht farblibn.

Nokh ze ikh dikh, Feygele, du sheyne,
Nokh kush ikh di royte beklekh dayne,
Dayne oygn ful mit kheyn
Dringen in mayn harts arayn,
Kh’hob gemeynt, du vest a mol zayn mayne.

Kinder-yorn, yunge sheyne blumen!
Ts’rik tsu mir vet ir shoyn mer nisht kumen;
Yorn alte, troyerike,
Kalte, more-shkhoyredike,
Hobn ayer sheynem plats farnumen.

Kinder-yorn, kh’hob aykh ongevoyrn,
Mayn getraye mamen oykh farloyrn,
Fun der shtub nishto keyn flek,
Feygele iz oykh avek,
Oy, vi shnel bin ikh shoyn alt gevorn.

קינדער-יאָרן, זיסע קינדער-יאָרן,
אײביק בלײַבט איר װאַך אין מײַן זיכּרון;
װען איך טראַכט פֿון אײַער צײַט,
װערט מיר אַזױ באַנג און לײד —
אױ, װי שנעל בין איך שױן אַלט געװאָרן.

נאָך שטײט מיר דאָס שטיבל פֿאַר די אױגן,
װוּ איך בין געבױרן, אױפֿגעצױגן,
אױך מײַן װיגל זע איך דאָרט,
שטײט נאָך אױף דעם זעלבן אָרט —
װי אַ חלום איז דאָס אַלץ פֿאַרפֿלױגן.

און מײַן מאַמע, אַך, װי כ’פֿלעג זי ליבן,
כאָטש זי האָט אין חדר מיך געטריבן;
יעדער קניפ איז פֿון איר האַנט
מיר נאָך אַזױ גום באַקאַנט —
כאָטש קײן צײכן איז מיר נישט פֿאַרבליבן.

נאָך זע איך דיך, פֿײגעלע, דו שײנע,
נאָך קוש איך די רױטע בעקלער דײַנע,
דײַנע אױגן פֿול מיט חן
דרינגען אין מײַן האַרץ אַרײַן,
כ’האָב געמײנט, דו װעסט אַ מאָל זײַן מײַנע.

קינדער-יאָרן, יונגע שײנע בלומען!
צ’ריק צו מיר װעט איר שױן מער נישט קומען;
יאָרן אַלטע, טרױעריקע,
קאַלטע, מרה–שחורהדיקע
האָבן אײַער שײנעם פּלאַץ פֿאַרנומען.

קינדער-יאָרן, כ’האָב אײַך אָנגעװױרן,
מײַן געטרײַע מאַמען אױך פֿאַרלױרן,
פֿון דער שטוב נישטאָ קײן פֿלעק,
פֿײגעלע איז אױך אװעק,
אױ, װי שנעל בין איך שױן אַלט געװאָרן.

Song Title: Kinder-Yorn

Composer: Mordkhe Gebirtig
Composer’s Yiddish Name: מרדכי געבירטיג
Lyricist: Mordkhe Gebirtig
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: מרדכי געבירטיג
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

Mir Trogn Song Book Cover with Illustrations

Mir Trogn A Gezang: Favorite Yiddish Songs

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.

Browse the Collection
Enter your email to download free sheet music for ​Kinder-Yorn