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DER YIDDISH-VINKL December 19, 2003

Yosl and Chana Mlotek’s classic compilation “Mir Trogn a Gezang” is chock-full of “folk songs.” Like in all such cases, the author is unknown. Yet somehow, these creations are passed on by word of mouth from one generation to the next. And, equally interesting, despite their humble earthy origins, they often address profound questions about the mysteries of life — like love. Although those truly and madly in love know not from where it comes, they do know that there never was another love like theirs and that someday all the world will know it and sing to the glory of the blessed two who knew true love.

Although the Yiddish version in what follows carries no name, the English adaptation does. It’s by Gus Tyler.

Fun Vanen Heybt Zikh On a Libe

Fun vanen heybt zikh on a libe?

Fun reydn, fun shmuesn, fun lakhn?

Undzer libe hot zikh ongeheybn

Gor fun andere zakhn.

Dort geyen zikh porelekh tsvey

Dort geyen zikh porelekh tsvey.

Libn, libn zey zikh zeyer

S’iz nishto keyn glaykhn tsu zey.

— Genug shoyn mit mir tsu reydn,

Genug shoyn mit mir tsu shmuesn;

Fir mikh shoyn op aheym,

Der tate vet di tir farshlisn.

— Aheym, lyubitshe, vel ikh dikh opfirn

Baym glekele vestu onklingen,

A lid vel ikh oys undz beydn makhn

Di gantse velt zol fun undz zingen!

Tell Us How Love Gets Started

Now tell us how does love get started

From talking, laughing or from banter?

Our special love that was full-hearted

It came about in different manner.

We are a couple, just we two

We are a couple, just we two

We love each other very much

There is no other love that’s such.

“Enough, enough of all this patter

For folks in love talk doesn’t matter

Take me home. It’s getting late

Before my father shuts the gate.”

“To home, my lovely, I will take you

And on your doorbell you’ll be ringing

A song about us two I’ll make you

While all the world of us is singing.”

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