“Lindenboym” Performed by Beyle Schaechter Gottesman
Commentary by Itzik Gottesman
This song performed by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman is more commonly sung with different Yiddish words and called “Di verbe – The Willow.”
The text is based on a poem by the Hebrew-Yiddish poet Haim Nakhmen Bialik, written in Hebrew in 1908. Apparently there were several translations of the poem into Yiddish, and in Chernovitz, Romania this is the translation that was used.
Recorded in the Bronx by Itzik Gottesman, 1980s.
Spoken by Beyle:
Bialiks Di verbe hobn mir a bisl andersh gezungen.
We sang Bialik‘s “The Willow‟ a little differently.
Nisht of berg un nisht of nider,
shteyt a lindnboym, a mider.
Ayngeboygn ful mit bleter,
un er zogt vos vet zayn shpeyter.
Not on hills, not down below,
stands a linden tree, exhausted.
Bent over, full of leaves,
and he says what will later be.
Kh‘vel tsum boym mayn kop tsileygn,
un af mayn khusn vel ikh freygn –
Boym, tsi vet er nokh farzamen?
Boym, fun vanen vet er shtamen?
I will lay my head on the tree,
and will ask about my groom –
Tree, will he arrive (too) late?
Tree, from where will he come?
Tsi fun poyln, tsi fun vanen?
Tsi fun Lite, tsi fun danen?
Tsi trugt er perl, gold in pekl?
Tsi an urem tfilin-zekl?
From Poland? From where?
From Lithuania or from here?
Does he carry pearls, gold in his sack?
Or a poor man‘s tfilin-bag?
Un vi vet er zayn, boym ziser?
Tsi a sheyner, tsi a miser?
Tsi a bokher? Tsi a gegeter?
Tsi an alter yid zayn vet er?
And what kind will he be, dear tree?
A beauty or ugly?
Not yet married or divorced?
Or will he be an old Jew?