Dona, dona

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Oyfn furl ligt dos kelbl,
Ligt gebundn mit a shtrik.
Hoykh in himl flit dos shvelbl,
Freyt zikh, dreyt zikh hin un tsrik.
Lakht der vint in korn,
Lakht un lakht un lakht,
Lakht er op a tog a gantsn
Mit a halber nakht.
Dona, dona, dona, dona
Dona, dona, dona, dona
Dona, dona, dona, dona
Dona, dona, dona, da
Shrayt dos kelbl, zogt der poyer:
Ver zhe heyst dikh zayn a kalb?
Volst gekent dokh zayn a foygl,
Volst gekent dokh zayn a shvalb.
Bidne kelber tut men bindn
Un men shlept zey un men shekht,
Ver s'hot fligl, flit aroyftsu,
Iz bay keynem nit keyn knekht.


On a wagon bound for market
There's a calf with a mournful eye.
High above him there's a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky.
How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summer's night.
Dona, dona, dona...
"Stop complaining," said the farmer,
"Who told you a calf to be?
Why don't you have wings to fly with
Like the swallow so proud and free?"
Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why.
But whoever treasures freedom,
Like the swallow has learned to fly.

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  • Bratsch : 1990 "Sans Domicile Fixe"
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