Zog Maran

Tell Me, Marrano
זאָג, מאַראַן

Song about Marranos, Spanish Jews forced to convert during the inquisition in the 15th and 16th centuries, who practiced Jewish rituals in secret. Words by Yiddish poet Avrom Reyzen (1875-1953); music by Samuel Bugatch (1889-1984). Printed in sheet music by Mills Music, Inc., N.Y., 1962.

Illustration of musical notes from the books


Tell me, Marrano, my brother,
where your Seder is prepared?
– In a deep cave, in a chamber
I have prepared my Seder there.

Tell me, Marrano, where, from whom
will you get white matsos?
– In the cave, by God’s mercy
– My wife has kneaded the dough.

Tell me, Marrano, can you figure out how
to get a Hagode somewhere?
– In a deep crack in the cave
I have long hidden it.

Tell me, Marrano, what will become of you
if your voice is detected?
If the enemy captures me,
– then I will die singing.

— Zog, maran, du bruder mayner,
Vu iz greyt der seyder dayner?
— In tifer heyl, in a kheyder,
Dort hob ikh gegreyt mayn seyder.

— Zog, maran, mir vu, bay vemen,
Vestu vayse matses nemen?
— In der heyl, oyf gots barotn
Hot mayn vayb dem teyg geknotn.

— Zog, maran, vi vest zikh klign
A hagode vu tsu krign?
— In der heyl, in tife shpaltn,
Hob ikh zi shoyn lang bahaltn.

— Zog, maran, vi vest zikh vern
Ven men vet dayn kol derhern?
— Ven der soyne vet mikh fangen,
Vel ikh shtarbn mit gezangen.

— זאָג, מאַראַן, דו ברודער מײַנער,
װוּ איז גרײט דער סדר דײַנער?
— אין טיפֿער הײל, אין אַ חדר,
דאָרט האָב איך געגרײט מײַן סדר.

— זאָג, מאַראַן, מיר װוּ, בײַ װעמען,
װעסטו װײַסע מצות נעמען?
— אין דער הײל, אױף גאָטס באַראָטן
האָט מײַן װײַב דעם טײג געקנאָטן.

— זאָג, מאַראַן, װי װעסט זיך קליגן
אַ הגדה װוּ צו קריגן?
— אין דער הײל, אין טיפֿע שפּאַלטן,
האָב איך זי שױן לאַנג באַהאַלטן.

— זאָג, מאַראַן, װי װעסט זיך װערן
װען מען װעט דײַן קול דערהערן?
— װען דער שׂונא װעם מיך פֿאַנגען
װעל איך שטאַרבן מיט געזאַנגען.

Song Title: Zog Maran

Composer: Samuel Bugatch
Composer’s Yiddish Name: שמואל בוגאַטש
Lyricist: Avrom Reyzen
Lyricist’s Yiddish Name: אַבֿרהם רײזען
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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