Tunkl Brent A Fayer

A Fire Burns Dimly
טונקל ברענט אַ פֿײַער

Song of an agune (deserted wife) was submitted to the Perl by Jacob Gorelik. The music of the song is found among the manuscripts of YIVO’s pre-war Ethnographic Committee in Vilna. Another version by Sara Benjamin was also cited in which the wife is told that her husband in America has married another woman. Other agune songs were treated by compiler in her paper, “America in East European Yiddish Folksong,” 1954.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


A fire burns dimly
in quiet rage, pale,
there is sorrow upon the house,
sorrow upon the street.

The wind, the evil wind,
tears at us with an angry feeling;
Here it knocks louder and louder,
there, quieter and quieter.

Good evening, Sister Dvoyre,
It is not good that I come here.
Your husband in America
is sending you divorce papers.

He does not want to see you,
he does not want to know you;
Your husband in America
is sending you divorce papers.

Tunkl brent a fayer
In shtiln tsorn, blas,
An umet oyf der hayzl,
An umet oyfn gas.

Der vint, der vint, der beyzer,
Er rayst mit beyz gefil;
Do klapt imer shtarker,
Do klapt imer shtil.

Gut-ovnt, shvester Dvoyre,
Mayn kumen iz nit gut.
Dayn man fun amerike
Shikt dir op a get.

Er vil dikh nit kenen,
Er vil dikh nit visn;
Dayn man fun amerike
Shikt dir op a get.

טונקל ברענט אַ פֿײַער
אין שטילן צאָרן, בלאַס,
אַן אומעט אױף דער הײַזל,
אַן אומעט אױפֿן גאַס.

דער װינט, דער װײנט, דער בײזער,
ער רײַסט מיט בײז געפֿילן
דאָ קלאַפּט אימער שטאַרקער,
דאָ קלאַפּט אימער שטיל.

— גוט אָװנט, שװעסטער דבֿורה,
מײַן קומען איז ניט גוט,
דײַן מאַן פֿון אַמעריקע
שיקט דיר אָפּ אַ גט,

ער װיל דיך ניט קענען,
ער װיל דיך ניט װיסן;
דײַן מאַן פֿון אַמעריקע
שיקט דיר אָפּ אַ גט.

Song Title: Tunkl Brent A Fayer

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: Unknown
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Time Period: Unspecified

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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