Yeder Ruft Mikh Zhamele

They All Call Me Zhamele
יעדער רופֿט מיך זשאַמעלע

Sung by an 8 year old boy in an orphan asylum in Lublin in 1945. Author unknown, music by Bernardo Feuer.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


They all call me Zhamele,
Oh, it’s hard for me;
I once had a mother dear.
Who knows where she can be?
I once had a father dear,
His love for me was true,
Now I’m just a little rag
Because I am a Jew.

I once had a sister dear,
She is here no more;
Where are you, my Esther dear,
In this hour so sore?
Somewhere near a little tree,
Somewhere near a gate
Sleeps my brother Shloymele,
Killed by German hate.

I once had a little home,
Now I feel despair.
Like a little calf I moan
When slaughtered without care.
God, you look down from the sky
On your earth below,
Have you seen your flowers die,
Cut down by brutal foe?

Yeder ruft mikh Zhamele,
Ay, vi mir iz shver.
Kh’hob gehat a mamele,
Kh’hob zi shoyn nit mer.
Kh’hob gehat a tatele,
Hot er mikh gehit;
ltst bin ikh a shmatele,
Vayl ikh bin a yid.

Kh’hob gehat a shvesterl,
lz zi mer nisht,
Akh, vu bistu, Esterl.
In der shverer sho?
Ergets bay a beymele,
Ergets bay a ployt —
Ligt mayn bruder Shloymele,
Fun a daytsh getoyt.

Kh’hob gehat a heymele,
ltster iz mir shlekht;
lkh bin vi a baheymele,
Vos der talyen shekht.
Got, du kuk fun himele,
Af dayn erd arop,
Kuk tsu vi dayn blimele
Rayst der talyen op. . .

יעדער רופֿט מיך זשאַמעלע,
אײַ, װי מיר איז שװער.
כ׳האָב געהאַט אַ מאַמעלע,
כ׳האָב זי שױן ניט מער.
כ׳האָב געהאַט אַ טאַטעלע,
האָט ער מיך געהיט,
איצט בין איך אַ שמאַטעלע,
װײַל איך בין אַ ייִד.

כ׳האָב געהאַט אַ שװעסטערל,
איז זי מער נישטאָ.
אַך, װוּ ביסטו, אסתּרל,
אין דער שװערער שעה?
ערגעץ בײַ אַ בײמעלע,
ערגעץ בײַ אַ פּלױט, —
ליגט מײַן ברודער שלמהלע,
פֿון אַ דײַטש געטױט.

כ׳האָב געהאַט אַ הײמעלע,
איצטער איז מיר שלעכט.
איך בין װי אַ בהמהלע,
װאָס דער תּלין שעכט.
גאָט, דו קוק פֿון הימעלע
אױף דײַן ערד אַראָפּ,
קוק צו װי דײַן בלימעלע,
רײַסט דער תּלין אָפּ. . .

Song Title: Yeder Ruft Mikh Zhamele

Composer: Bernardo Feuer
Composer’s Yiddish Name: בעראַרדאָ פֿױער
Lyricist: Unknown
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: Unknown
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

We Are Here Book Cover with Illustrations of a red rising sun

We Are Here: Songs of the Holocaust

Compiled by sisters Malke Gottleib and Chana Mlotek, this collection of 40 songs, issued on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, reflects the suffering, despair, longing, as well as the strength, hope and courage that led the last remnant of enfeebled Jews to take up arms against the mammoth Nazi war-machine. Save for five songs, this compilation comprises songs that were actually written or sung in the ghettos and concentration camps. Four exceptions written after the war: “Babi Yar,” “Moyshelekh un Shloymelekh,” “Kadish,” and “Mayn mame hot gevolt zayn oyf mayn khasene” are often presented at commemorative gatherings and were therefore included. The fifth song “Am Yisroel Khay” was written in a D.P. camp and is an affirmation of the will of the survivors to build new lives for themselves, holding high their belief in the endurance of the Jewish people. To enable readers and singers not conversant with the Yiddish alphabet to utilize this collection, We Are Here! Songs of the Holocaust provides parallel transliterations and singable English translations by Roslyn Bresnick Perry.

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