Yisrolik, Kum Aheym!

Yisrolik, Come Home!
קום ישׂראָליק, אַהײם

Words by Louis Gilrod (1897-1930); music by David Meyerowitz (1867-1943). Sung by the famous actor and director Boris Thomashefsky in the play Tate-mames-tsores (The Troubles of Father and Mother), staged in 1908.

The song was published anonymously in Ost und West (July, 1918) and was often erroneously attributed to Abraham Goldfaden and others. However, the song sheet published in 1932 carried the names of the actual author and composer.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Tell me, little Jew, my brother, let me understand,
When will there be an end to the exile, an end to the bloodshed and tears?
Everyone agrees that a people like you deserves respect, the return of your land and happiness, and being considered a nation.

Don’t sleep anymore, little Jew.
Open your eyes and let’s put an end to the song of exile.

Oh come, Yisrolik, come home.
Come to your beautiful, beloved land.
Come quickly and don’t think much about it and be a nation equal among nations.
Dear Yisrolik, come home quickly!

Just remember Israel, your nation, your ancient pride and honor.
After all, you once had a kingdom, a House of David.
Have you forgotten those days when you too were joyous in your own land, with your own sword and your own king?

So, hear, Yisrolik, what I’m about to tell you.
Let Amalek go to hell and come home to me.

Who can remain silent now and not send a thousand curses on the Russian peasant who torments the Jew in his exile?
Despotic power, oh black night, you went too far.
A time will come when the Jew will see you broken and crushed.
By then the little Jew will have achieved his goal.
Now sing the song with me and come home with me!

Zog mir, yidl, bruder mayn,
Gib mir tsu derklern,
Ven vet der sof fun goles zayn,
Der sof fun blut un trern,
Es git dokh yeder tsu
Az aza folk vi du
Iz vert az men zol akhtn,
Dir gebn tsurik
Dayn land un dayn glik,
Dikh far a folk batrakhtn.

Nu, shlof mer nit, yidele
Makh dayne oygn oyf,
Un fun dem goles-lidele
Zol shoyn zayn a sof!

Oy, kum, Yisrolik. kum aheym,
Kum in dayn sheynem libn land,
Nu, kum zhe shnel un kler keyn sakh
Un zay a folk mit felker glaykh,
Yisrolik, tate, shneler kum aheym!

Dermon zikh nor, dayn folk yisrol
Dayn altn shtolts un koved,
Du host dokh oykh gehat a mol
A melukhe, a beys-dovid,
Tsi hostu den, zog, fargesn dem tog,
Az geven bistu oykh freylekh,
Dayn eygene erd, dayn eygene shverd
Un oykh dayn eygenem meylekh.

Derum her, Yisrolik, yetst
Vos ikh zog tsu dir.
In d’rerd hob dem amolek yetst
Un kum aheym mit mir!

Ver ken yetst den blaybn shtil,
Nit shikn toyznt kloles,
Oyf dem katsap, vos plogt ‘zoy fil
Dem yidn in zayn goles,
Despotishe makht,
O fintstere nakht,
Tsu hoykh hostu gekletert,
Es vet kumen di tsayt,
Ven der yid vet fun vayt
Dikh zen tseklapt, tseshmetert.
Ober dan vet dos yidl shoyn
Hobn erraykht zayn tsil.
Yetst zingt mit mir dos lidl shoyn
Un kumt aheym mit mir!

זאָג מיר, ייִדל, ברודער מײַן,
גיב מיר צו דערקלערן,
װען װעט דער סוף פֿון גלות זײַן,
דער סוף פֿון בלוט און טרערן?
עס גיט דאָך יעדער צו
אַז אַזאַ פֿאָלק װי דו
איז װערט אַז מען זאָל אַכטן,
דיר געבן צוריק
דײַן לאַנד און דײַן גליק,
דיך פֿאַר אַ פֿאָלק באַטראַכטן.

נו, שלאָף מער ניט, ייִדעלע,
מאַך דײַנע אױגן אױף,
און פֿון דעם גלות־לידעלע
זאָל שױן זײַן אַ סוף!

אױ, קום, ישׂראָליק, קום אַהײם,
קום אין דײַן שײנעם ליבן לאַנד,
נו, קום זשע שנעל און קלער קײן סך
און זײַ אַ פֿאָלק מיט פֿעלקער גלײַך,
ישׂראָליק, טאַטע, שנעלער קום אַהײם!

דערמאָן זיך נאָר, מײַן פֿאָלק ישׂראָל,
דײַן אַלטן שטאָלץ און כּבֿוד,
דו האָסט דאָך אױך געהאַט אַ מאָל
אַ מלוכה, אַ בית־דוד,
צי האָסטו דען, זאָג, פֿאַרגעסן דעם טאָג,
אַז געװען ביסטו אױך פֿרײלעך,
דײַן אײגענע ערד, דײַן אײגענע שװערד
און אױך דײַן אײגענעם מלך.

דערום הער, ישׂראָליק, יעצט
װאָס איך זאָג צו דיר,
אין דר’ערד האָב דעם עמלק יעצט
און קום אַהײם מיט מיר!

ער קען יעצט דען בלײַבן שטיל,
ניט שיקן טױזנט קללות,
אױף דעם קאַצאַפּ, װאָס פּלאָגט ‘זױ פֿיל
דעם ייִדן אין זײַן גלות.
דעספּאָטישע מאַכט,
אָ פֿינצטערע נאַכט,
צו הױך האָסטו געקלעטערט,
עס װעט קומען די צײַט,
װען דער ייִד װעט פֿון װײַט
דיך זען צעקלאַפּט, צעשמעטערט,
אָבער דאַן װעט דאָס ייִדל שױן
האָבן עררײַכט זײַן ציל.
יעצט זינגט מיט מיר דאָס לידל שױן
און קומט אַהײם מיט מיר!

Song Title: Yisrolik, Kum Aheym!

Composer: David Meyerowitz
Composer’s Yiddish Name: דוד מײעראָװיץ
Lyricist: Louis Gilrod
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: לאױס גילראָד
Time Period: Unspecified

This Song is Part of a Collection

Pearls of Yiddish Song Cover with Illustration of musicians playing instruments

Pearls of Yiddish Song

First published in 1988 as Pearls of Yiddish Song: Favorite Folk, Art and Theatre Songs, this anthology contains 115 songs. Some material had never been published, while others, included in rare song collections or sheet music, were largely inaccessible. The songs presented reflect Jewish life in Eastern Europe and the United States and depict childhood, love, family celebrations, poverty, work and struggle. There are also songs from the Hasidic and Maskilic movements, songs of Zion and of America, as well as songs from the Yiddish theater.

The title of this anthology derives from the weekly two-page feature column “Pearls of Yiddish Poetry,” which the compilers Yosl and Chana Mlotek initiated in 1970 in the Yiddish newspaper Der Forvertz (the Yiddish Daily Forward). Hundreds of readers from around the world — including authors, composers, singers, actors — became co-participants in this collective folk project and recalled melodies, lines, fragments, stanzas and their variants of songs, poems, and plays which they had heard in their youth. At first, readers sent in only written material. Later, they also taped songs on cassettes, many of whose melodies had, until then, never been recorded. They also identified and supplied missing information regarding lyricists, poets, and composers and described the circumstances surrounding the songs’ origins, their dissemination, diffusion and impact.

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