Oyfn Ganikl

On the Balcony
אױפֿן גאַניקל

Folk song, published in 1912 by the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Music. One of the songs in the repertoire of the well-known folk singer Isa Kramer. Here is the familiar international motif of a bird acting as a messenger for lovers.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


I go out onto my balcony
to look at my little town,
and a little bird flies up
and he bows to me.

The little bird doesn’t fly
in a beautiful flight;
He tosses me a letter
and I kneel to take it.

I read the first line through:
My beloved has been poisoned,
I read the second line through:
My beloved has died!

Gather together, all my dear girlfriends,
all together at once,
anyone who has ever loved,
come, help me weep.

Ikh gey aroys oyfn ganikl
Dos shtetele bakukn,
Kumt tsu flien a kleyn feygele
Un tut zikh tsu mir bukn.

Nisht azoy dos kleyne feygele,
Vi dos sheyne flien;
Es varft arop mir a kleyn brivele,
Tu ikh far dem knien.

lkh leyen iber dos ershte shurele:
Der gelibter iz fardorbn,
lkh leyen iber dos tsveyte shurele:
Der gelibter iz geshtorbn!

Klaybt tsunoyf ale mayne khavertes,
Alemen in eynem,
Ver s’hot nor a libe gefirt,
Zol mir helfn veynen.

איך גײ אַרױס אױפֿן גאַניקל,
דאָס שטעטעלע באַקוקן,
קומט צו פֿליִען אַ קלײן פֿײגעלע
און טוט זיך צו מיר בוקן.

נישט אַזױ דאָס שײנע פֿײגעלע,
וױ דאָם שײנע פֿליִען;
עס װאַרפֿט אַראָפּ מיר א קלײן בריװעלע,
טו איך פֿאַר דעם קניִען.

איך לײען איבער דאָס ערשטע שורהלע:
דער געליבטער איז פֿאַרדאָרבן,
איך לײען איבער דאָס צװײטע שורהלע:
דער געליבטער איז געשטאָרבן!

קלײַבט צונױף אַלע מײַנע חבֿרטעס,
אַלעמען אין אײנעם,
װער ס’האָט נאָר א ליבע געפֿירט,
זאָל מיר העלפֿן װײנען!

Song Title: Oyfn Ganikl

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Unknown
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Time Period:20th century

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.

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