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Yiddish classic of pogrom– ‘Our shtetl is burning’– is adapted to Palestinian experience

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Sung in Yiddish, Hebrew and Arabic. Yonatan Shapira is the lead singer. Female vocalist unidentified. According to Eitan Altman’s Youtube channel:

Lyrics and music written by Mordecai Gebirtig, born in 1877 in Krakow, Poland, was a Yiddish folk poet and songwriter. He wrote “Undzer shtetl brent!” in 1936, following a pogrom in the Polish town of Przytyk

English Language Lyrics:

It’s burning, brothers! It’s burning!
Oh, our poor village, brothers, burns!
Evil winds, full of anger,
Rage and ravage, smash and shatter;
Stronger now that wild flames grow —
All around now burns!
And you stand there looking on
With futile, folded arms
And you stand there looking on —
While our village burns!

It’s burning, brothers! It’s burning!
Oh, our poor village, brothers, burns!
Soon the rabid tongues of fire
Will consume each house entire,
As the wild wind blows and howls —
The whole town’s up in flames!
And you stand there looking on
With futile, folded arms,
And you stand there looking on —
While our village burns!

It’s burning, brothers! Our town is burning!
Oh, God forbid the moment should arrive,
That our town, with us, together,
Should go up in ash and fire,
Leaving when the slaughter’s ended
Charred and empty walls!
And you stand there looking on
With futile, folded arms,
And you stand there looking on —
While our village burns!

It’s burning, brothers! Our town is burning!
And our salvation hands on you alone.
If our town is dear to you,
Grab the buckets, douse the fire!
Show that you know how!
Don’t stand there, brothers, looking on
With futile, folded arms,
Don’t stand there, brothers, douse the fire! —
Our poor village burns!

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OlegR
OlegR

Should have went straight to Auschwitz and Shoa comparisons …
Like he did in Warsaw ghetto.

Elliot

Is this the activist, former IAF pilot, Yonatan Shapira?
Oleg’s attack presages the ADL and all other keepers of the true Holocaust faith.

Citizen
Citizen

The living Chagall is the Arab Idol. He paints with his voice. And the institutionalised “soft” progroms go on each day, today. This will be the historical touch. As with all of contemporary history happening before our eyes, it will only be adequately recognized later, mostly too much later. It’s… Read more »

Elliot

A couple of comments about this highly subversive piece: It sounds like a live – Israeli Jewish – performance with Yonatan encouraging the audience to sing. The whole piece has the feel of “shira tzibbur”, the once popular form of community singing. Nowadays, this style is a niche interest but… Read more »