Mayne Khaveyrim

My Comrades
מײַנע חבֿרים

Words by Joseph Mlotek (Yosl Mlotek) (b. 1918) in 1936; music by Jacob Glatstein, director of the chorus of the Tsukunft Youth Organization of the Bund in Warsaw. Submitted by Sara Rosenfeld and Chana Gonshar, Montreal, members of the Tsukunft chorus.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


My comrades – mere working-lads,
with hard and callused hands,
live out their days in darkness in workshops,
where day is transformed into night.

My comrades, boys barely eighteen,
weave themselves dreams of happiness.
Now the dreams of my comrades are
ground into the dust of the factories.

That’s why our crew leaves the factory
right for the club, for the union;
And there, they meet with working people
with their brothers in poverty and pain.

And they join their difficult fates together,
with their brothers from far and near;
And sow hatred of those who grind down
their youth so prematurely.

That’s why our crew has sworn an oath,
a life-and-death oath.
That’s why they have turned their gazes
towards tomorrow, which shines bright red.

Mayne khaveyrim – bloyz arbeter-yatn,
Mit hent fun mazoles un hart,
Fintstern op zey’re teg in varshtatn,
Vu tog vert farbitn oyf nakht.

Mayne khaveyrim, koym yinglekh fun akhtsn,
Gevebt zikh khaloymes fun glik.
ltst vern di troymen fun mayne khaveyrim
Tsemoln oyf shtoyb fun fabrik.

Derfar geyen khevre avek fun fabrikn,
Glaykh inem klub, in fareyn;
Un trefn zikh dortn mit mentshn fun arbet,
Mit brider fun noyt un fun payn.

Un bindn tsunoyf zeyer goyrl dem shvern,
Mit brider fun nont un fun vayt;
Un zeyen a has kegn di vos farshmakhtn
A yugnt aza far der tsayt.

Derfar hobn khevre a shvue geshvoyrn,
A shvue oyf lebn un toyt.
Derfar hobn khevre zey’re blikn gevondn
Tsum morgn, vos shaynt oyf hel-royt.

מײַנע חברים – בלױז אַרבעטער-יאַטן,
מיט הענט פֿון מאַזאַלעס און האַרט,
פֿינצטערן אַפּ זײ׳רע טעג אין װאַרשטאַטן,
װוּ טאָג װערט פֿאַרביטן אױף נאַכט.

מײנע חברים, קױם ייִנגלעך פֿון אַכצן,
געװעבט זיך חלומות פֿון גליק,
איצט װערן די טרױמען פֿון מײַנע חבֿרים
צעמאָלן אױף שטױב פֿון פֿאַבריק.

דערפֿאַר גײען חברה אַװעק פֿון פֿאַבריקן
גלײַך אינעם קלוב, אין פֿאַראײן;
און טרעפֿן זיך דאָרטן מיט מענטשן פֿון אַרבעט,
מיט ברידער פֿון נױט און פֿון פּײַן.

און בינדן צונױף זײער גורל דעס שװערן,
מיט ברידער פֿון נאָנט און פֿון װײַט;
און זײען אַ האָס קעגן די װאָס פֿאַרשמאַכטן
אַ יוגנט אַזאַ פֿאַר דער צײַט.

דערפֿאַר האָבן חבֿרה אַ שבֿועה געשװױרן,
אַ שבֿועה אױף לעבן און טױט,
דערפֿאַר האָבן חברה זײ׳רע בליקן געוואָנדן
צום מאָרגן, װאָס שײַנט אױף העל רױט.

Song Title: Mayne Khaveyrim

Composer: Jacob Glatstein
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Yosl Mlotek
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: יאָסל מלאָטעק
Time Period:1936

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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