Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Oyfn Veg Shteyt a Boym

Yiddish Music & Poetry

Itzhak Perlman, who was born in Tel Aviv, in 1945, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Dov Seltzer, perform “Oif’n Weyg steyt a Boim” (“On the Road Stands a Tree” or “A Tree is On the Road”), the seventh track on Traditions (1987). In accordance with YIVO spelling rules, it would be “Oyfn Veg Shteyt a Boym,” a slight variation that does not alter at all the poem’s inner meaning nor on how the piece is played and enjoyed.
Via: Youtube


The song is based on the poem by famous Yiddish poet, Itzik Manger, who reads the poem below.  The poem’s meaning is clear enough: a child’s wish to be as free as a bird.

Oyfn Veg Shteyt a Boym by Itzik Manger, who was born in Czernowitz (then the capital of  Bucovina; now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), in 1901, is here recorded reading his poem in New York City’s Central park in the 1950s.
Via: Youtube


David “Dudu” Fisher, who was born in Petah Tikvah, Israel, in 1951, performs the same song, the 14th track on Golden Yiddish Favorites (2014).
Via: Youtube


Nechama Lifshitz, who was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1927, performs here as well in another beautiful rendition. She showed much courage in the face of government opposition, The Forward writes: “[Lifshitz] defied the censors by singing in Yiddish and Hebrew throughout the Soviet Union, serving as a deep inspiration for the so-called Jews of Silence under Communist rule.”
Via: Youtube

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