Tsi Kenstu Dos Land?

Do You Know the Land?
צי קענסטו דאָס לאַנד?

Words by Simon S. Frug (1860-1916), printed in Sholem Aleichem’s Di yidishe folks-biblyotek, 1891; published with the music in A. Bulkin and L. Efron, 1917. The song echoes the opening lines of the famous poem Mignon by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen bluhn?” Musicologist Jack Gottlieb informs that Goethe’s poem was set to music by numerous composers like Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Hugo Wolf, Tschaikovsky, Rubinstein, Liszt and others, but the Yiddish song does not resemble any of them.

Mendele Moykher Sforim also quotes a parody of Goethe’s song about Cherson in his story “Di alte mayse”: “Hot ir gehert dos land kherson,/ Nit vayt funem feter lshmoel” (Did you hear of the land Cherson, not far from Uncle Ishmael?).

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Do you know the land where the esrogs (citrons) bloom,
where the goats eat carob instead of grass?
Roast geese and ducks are flying,
and raisin wine flows endlessly, endlessly.

The roofs are thatched with lulavs, with lulavs,
and almonds, almonds grow on every stick.

Oh, there, there, there!
Oy der Rabbi, help, help!
I want to go away, away, away–
and right now!

Do you know the land where the Messiah, our righteous one
will come on a pure white horse?
And he will blow a great shofar blast
and the dead will rise from the earth!

And then our people Israel will travel, will travel
to our land, to our land, to our Uncle Ishmael!

Tsi kenstu dos land vu esroygimlekh blien,
Vu tsign esn bokser anshtot groz, anshtot groz;
Gebrotene gendzelekh, katshkelekh flien,
Tsemukim-vayn tut flisn on a mos, on a mos.

Mit lulovim, mit lulovim tut men dekher dekn,
Un mandlen, un mandlen vaksn oyf yeder shtekn.

Oy ahin; ahin, ahin!
Oy, rebenyu, gevald; gevald!
Volt ikh mir avek, avek, avek!
Oy, take bald!

Tsi kenstu dos land vu Meshiekh tsidkeynu
Vet kumen oyf a vaysn, vaysn ferd,
Un vet blozn a tkiye gdule,
Un oyfvekn di meysim fun der erd!

Un vet firn, un vet firn undzer folk Yisroel
In undzer land, in undzer land, tsum feter Yishmoel!

צי קענסטו דאָס לאַנד?

צי קענסטו דאָס לאַנד װוּ אתרוגימלעך בליִען,
װוּ ציגן עסן באָקסער אַנשטאָט גראָז, אַנשטאָט גראָז,
געבראָטענע גענדזעלעך, קאַטשקעלעך פֿליִען,
צמוקים־װײַן טוט פֿליסן אָן אַ מאָס, אָן אַ מאָס.

מיט לולבֿים, מיט לולבֿים טוט מען דעכער דעקן,
און מאַנדלען, און מאַנדלען װאַקסן אױף יעדער שטעקן.

אױ אַהין, אַהין, אַהין!
אױ, רביניו, געװאַלד, געװאַלד!
װאָלט איך מיר אַװעק, אַװעק, אַװעק!
אױ, טאַקע באַלד!

צי קענסטו דאָס לאַנד, װוּ משיח־צידקנו
װעט קומען אױף אַ װײַסן, װײַסן פֿערד,
און װעט בלאָזן אַ תּקיעה גדולה,
און אױפֿװעקן די מתים פֿון דער ערד!

און װעט פֿירן, און װעט פֿירן אונדזער פֿאָלק ישׂראל,
אין אונדזער לאַנד, אין אונדזער לאַנד, צום פֿעטער ישמעאל!

Song Title: Tsi Kenstu Dos Land?

Composer: A. Bulkin
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Simon S. Frug
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: שמעון שמואל פֿרוג
Time Period: Unspecified
Additional Composer: L. Efron

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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