In tune with the season, Der Yiddish-Vinkldevotes its column this week to the ever-uplifting subject of Hanukkah. What follows are two poems (songs) about this joyful holiday. The transliterations are by Goldie A Gold; the English versions are by Gus Tyler.
The first piece is by M. Rivesman.
Khanike, Oy, Khanike
Khanike, oy, Khanike, a yontif, a sheyner
A lustiker, a freylekher, nito nokh azoyner
Ale nakht in dredl shpiln mir
Zudik heyse latkes esn mir.
Geshvinder, tsindt kinder
Di dininke likhtilekh on
Zogt “Al ha nisim”
Loybt Got far di nisim
Un komt, lomir tantsn in kont.
Yehuda hot fartribn dem soyne, dem rotseyakh
Un hot in Beysamigdesh gezungen “Lamnatseyakh”
Di shtot Yerushalaym hot vider oyfgelebt
Un tsu a nayem lebn hot yederer geshtrebt.
Deriber, dem giber
Yehuda Makabi loybt hoykh!
Zol yeder bazunder, bazingen di vunder
Un libn dos folk zolt ir oykh.
Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah
Hanukkah, oh, Hanukkah, a holiday, a beauty
A lusty one, a happy one, to love it is our duty
Through all the night, the dreidel we do spin
While eating red-hot latkes through the din.
Faster, faster, children
See the lengthy candles, turn them on
Unto the marvels we did see now sing
Praise God for all the marvels He brought on
Now join hands in a circle, and let’s swing.
Judah drove the enemy away, that beast
And in the temple said it was a “feast”
Jerusalem came once again to life
And everyone felt part of the great strife.
That is the reason that Judah the great
Is one on the top, we now have to state
Let each of us join to give thanks for his deeds
And also remember the people he leads.
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Here is the second song, with the
words written by Morris Rosenfeld.
O, Ir Kleyne Likhtelekh
O, ir kleyne likhtelekh
Ir dertseylt geshikhtelekh
Mayselekh on a tsol
Ir dertseylt fun blutikayt
Beryeshaft un mutikayt
Vunder fun amol.
Ven ikh ze aykh finklendik
Kumt a kholem finklendik
Redt an alter troym
Yid, du host gekrigt amol
Yid du host gezigt amol,
Akh, dos gloybt zikh koym.
Oh, You Little Candle Lights
Oh, you little candle lights
The stories you can tell
On stories telling all the sights
Forever you could dwell
You could tell of bloody deeds
Of women’s courage in times of pain
Of how they met all earthly needs
And how they kept men sane.
When I see candles twinkle bright
There comes a vision in my sight
Recalling days that came and went
Oh, Jews, at times you really fought
At times you won the things you sought
Has all this now just come to naught?