7/3/14

The Star Spangled Banner... in Yiddish (1943)

It's the 4th of July this week and time for us to sing again the Star Spangled Banner in Yiddish courtesy of Jack Balkin.

1943 translation of the Star Spangled Banner into Yiddish by Dr. Abraham Asen, described as "the foremost Yiddish adapter of English poetry," and proudly presented in commemoration of the anniversary of the death of Francis Scott Key.

O'zog, kenstu sehn, wen bagin licht dervacht,
Vos mir hoben bagrist in farnachtigen glihen?
Die shtreifen un shtern, durch shreklicher nacht,
Oif festung zich hoiben galant un zich tsein?
Yeder blitz fun rocket, yeder knal fun kanon,
Hot bawizen durch nacht: az mir halten die Fohn!
O, zog, tzi der "Star Spangled Banner" flatert in roim,
Ueber land fun die freie, fun brave die heim!



2 comments:

swurgle said...

My dad used to recite this one:

Sis geven erev krismess, und shtill is in heizel,
Kein nefeshel rirt zich, afileh kein meizel;
Beim oiveleh zeinen die zocken gehangen,
Mit hofnung as bald vet der yuntif onfangen.
Die kinderlach liegen ferdekt in die betlach,
Und zieseh choloimes bei zey tantzen in keplach;
Die veib in fatcheleh, und ich in mein yarmel—
Keh, hoben zich tzugelegt choppen ah dremil....

(From Marie B. Jaffe's "Gut Yuntif Gut Yohr", probably no longer in print...)

John D. Enright said...

I want to nominate Dr. Asen for the "American Hall of Fame." See my other comment here.