Yiddish Poetry & Music
Ikh Un Di Velt (“The World and I”) is here played and sung by Roman Grinberg [born in 1962 in Belz, Moldova] based on a poem by Avrom Reyzen (also spelled Avraham Reisin).
Avrom Reyzen [born in 1876 in Koidanov, eastern Belorussia–died in 1953 in New York City] was a Yiddish writer, poet and editor. This is one of his best-known poems. As the Milken Archive of Jewish Music says: “[The poem] places the speaker at one with a suffering world. Neither he nor the entire world can help each other; neither has happiness to offer: “as we both suffer, the world has nowhere to come; and I have nowhere to go.” Ven di gantse velt volt laydn, mir aleyn zol gut zayn bloyz. For more, go [here] and [here].
Ikh Un Di Velt
Poem by Avrom Reyzen
Music by Roman Grinberg
Were the entire world to suffer,
And only I were well,
I would then invite the entire world into my home.
I would comfort her and caress her,
And say, “World, do not worry,”
Until she would come back to herself,
And stand on her own again.
Were the world happy,
And I alone laden with sorrow,
Then I would go over to her
And demand, “Give me happiness!”...
But as we both suffer,
Both the world and I,
The world has nowhere to come,
And I have nowhere to go….