Vakht Oyf!

Wake Up!
װאַכט אױף!

Text by David Edelstadt. (See note to In Kamf, on page 80; Mayn Tsavoe on page 92).

Illustration of musical notes from the books


How long, oh how long will you remain slaves
and bear degrading chains?
How long will you create gleaming riches
for those who rob you of your bread?

How long will you stand, with your backs bent,
humiliated, homeless, and weakened?
It is daybreak, wake up and open your eyes,
feel your iron strength!

Ring the bells of freedom everywhere!
Gather the suffering slaves,
and fight enthusiastically, fight unafraid
for your holy rights!

Everything will live, and love, and blossom,
in the free and golden May!
Brothers, enough kneeling before tyrants,
swear that you must become free!

Vi lang, o vi lang vet ir blaybn nokh shklafn
Un trogn di shendlekhe keyt?
Vi lang vet ir glentsnde raykhtimer shafn
Far dem, vos baroybt ayer broyt?

Vi lang vet ir shteyn, ayer rukn geboygn,
Derniderikt, heymloz, farshmakht?
Es togt shoyn, vakht oyf, un tseefnt di oygn,
Derfilt ayer ayzerne makht!

Klingt umetum in di frayheyts-glokn!
Farzamlt di laydnde knekht!
Un kemft bagaystert, un kemft umdershrokn
Far ayere heylike rekht!

Un ales vet lebn, un libn, un blien,
In frayen, in goldenem may!
Brider, genug far tiranen tsu knien,
Shvert, az ir muzt vern fray!

װי לאַנג, אָ װי לאַנג װעט איר בלײַבן נאָך שקלאַפֿן
און טראָגן די שענדלעכע קײט?
װי לאַנג װעט איר גלענצנדע רײַכטימער שאַפֿן
פֿאַר דעם, װאָס באַרױבט אײַער ברױט?

װי לאַנג װעט איר שטײן, אײַער רוקן געבױגן,
דערנידעריקט, הײמלאָז, פֿאַרשמאַכט?
עס טאָגט שױן, װאַכט אױף, און צעעפֿנט די אױגן,
דערפֿילט אײַער אײַזערנע מאַכט!

קלינגט אומעטום אין די פֿרײַהײטס-גלאַקן!
פֿאַרזאַמלט די לײַדנדע קנעכט!
און קעמפֿט באַגײַסטערט און קעמפֿט אומדערשראָקן
פֿאַר אײַערע הײליקע רעכט!

און אַלעס װעט לעבן, און ליבן, און בליען,
אין פֿרײַען, אין גאָלדענעם מײַ!
ברידער, גענוג פֿאַר טיראַנען צו קניִען,
שװערט, אַז איר מוזט װערן פֿרײַ!

Song Title: Vakht Oyf!

Composer: Unknown
Composer’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Lyricist: David Edelstadt
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: דוד עדעלשטאַדט
Time Period:19th 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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