Kitka & Davka in Concert: The words of the songs from the television program with an English translation and additional information.

Yeirusholayim Slavnyi Gorod - Listen to a sample

Russian Ukrainian Traditional, Sung in Russian and Hebrew (Kitka)


Yeirusholayim slavnyi gorod

//Lyudi govorili//

//Yeirusholayim slavnyi gorod

Lyudi pochvalili//

Ech ty, Chava, nasha mat!

//tshom ty yela z’eitz hadas?//

//Yeslib nye yela z’eitz hadas

to nye bylo by smert za nas//

Russia traditional, from Michael Alpert

A joyful and humorous song.  The refrain has nothing to do with the verses and was probably added at a later date.  “Jerusalem is a beautiful city, the people say.  Mother Eve!  Why did you eat from the Tree of Knowledge?    Had you not eaten from that tree, Death would not have power over us.  Dear old Abraham!  Why do you worry?  You led your son to the sacrificial altar, but your labor was all in vain…”

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Hubava Milka

Bulgaria, Arranged by Nikolai Kaufman, Sung in Bulgarian (Kitka)

Milkina mama Milka faleshe:

Hej, Kulade le, moj Kulade le!

“Muri, tvurde j’rabotna, mnogo j’skoposna!”

Hej, Kulade le, moj Kulade le, muri, Kulade le, Kulade le!

Chula se Milka, muri, chak v Carigrada

Hej, Kulade le, mŭri, moj Kulade le!

Chak v Carigrada, muri, chak v charsijata.

Hej, Kulade le, mŭri, moj Kulade le!

Hej, Kulade le le le, moj Kulade le, moj le Kulade le le le,

Chak v charsijata.

Otde ja zachu Marko turgovec,

Hej, Kulade le, moj Kulade le!

Muri, chi kupi Marko sjakakva kupa,

Hej, Kulade le, moj Kulade le, muri, Kulade le, Kulade le!

Kupa kuprina, surma i zlato.

Hej, Kulade le, muri, moj Kulade le!

Če si nat’vari Marko gimijka.

Hej, Kulade le, muri, moj Kulade le!

Hej, Kulade le le le, moj Kulade le, moj le Kulade le le le,

Marko gimijka.

Chi stupa Milka, Milka v gimijka

Hej, Kulade le, moj Kulade le!

Muri, da si kupuva tunka kuprina.

Hej, Kulade le, moj Kulade le, muri, Kulade le, Kulade le!

Zatvori Marko, Marko gimijka,

Hej, Kulade le, muri, moj Kulade le!

Chi si otnese hubava Milka!

Hej, Kulade le, muri, moj Kulade le!

Hej, Kulade le le le, moj Kulade le, moj le Kulade le le le,

Hubava Milka!

Bulgaria, from Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, Dora Hristova, conductor, and Tatiana Sarbinska, arr. Nikolai Kaufman

Milka’s mother boasted about her: “She is so industrious, and very stylish too!” Milka’s fame spread all the way to Istanbul to the marketplace. When Marko the merchant heard about her, he loaded his boat with silk, silver thread and gold. When Milka stepped aboard to buy silk, Marko battened down the hatches and carried off beautiful Milka.

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Ma navu - Listen to a sample

Israel, Written by Yoseph Spivak, Arranged by Shira Cion, Courtesy of ACUM.
Sung in Hebrew (Kitka)

Ma navu al heharim

rag’ley hamevaser. (2x)

Mash’mia yeshua,

mash’mia shalom.  (2x)

Israel, melody by Yossi Spivak, arr. Shira Cion, inspired by a setting for harps by Therese Schroeder-Sheker

“How pleasant on the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, proclaiming salvation, proclaiming peace.”

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A la Una Yo Naci

Sephardic Traditional, Arranged by Briget Boyle, Sung in Ladino (Kitka)

A la una yo naci

A las dos m’engrandeci

/A las tres tomi amante

A las quatro me kazhi/

/Alma, vida y corason/

Dime ninña donde vienes

Que te quiero conocer

/Si tu no tienes amante

Yo tiare defender/

/Alma, vida y corason/

Yendo a la Guerra

Dos bezo al aire di

/El uno es para mi madre

Y el otro para ti/

/Alma, vida y corason/

Sephardic traditional, sung in Ladino, from Polly Tapia Ferber, lyrics by Joaquin Diaz, arr. Briget Boyle

“At 1, I was born; at 2, I grew up; at 3, I took a lover; at 4, I married into the world, soul, life and heart.  Tell me, where do you come from?  Because I want to get to know you.  If you have no lover, I will defend you as mine, soul, life and heart.  Going off to war, I throw kisses into the air.  One is for my mother, the other is for you, soul, life and heart.”

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Mayn Rue-Platz

United States, Written by Morris Rosenfield, Arranged by Ethel Raim,
Sung in Yiddish (Kitka)

Nit zukh mikh, vu di mirtn grinen!

Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats;

Vu lebns velkn bay mashinen

Dortn iz mayn rue-platz.

Nit zukh mikh, vu di feygl zingen!

Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats;

A shklaf bin ikh, vu keytn klingen,

Dortn iz mayn rue-platz.

Nit zukh mikh, vu fontanen shpristn!

Gefinst mikh dortn nit, mayn shats;

Vu trern rinen, tseyner kritsn,

Dortn iz mayn rue-platz.

Un libstu mikh mit varer libe,

To kum tsu mir, mayn guter shats;

Un hayter oyf mayn harts dos tribe,

Un makh mir zis mayn rue-platz.

United States, melody and Yiddish text by Morris Rosenfeld, arr. Ethel Raim

“Don’t look for me where the myrtles grow, you will not find me there, my love.  Where lives wither at machines – that is my resting place.  Don’t look for me where birds sing, you will not find me there, my love.  I am a slave, and where chains ring – that is my resting place.  Not where fountains splash, but where tears flow and teeth gnash – that is my resting place.  And if you love me truly, come lighten my hears and sweeten my resting place.”

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Tsomo Lekho Nafshi

Lithuania/Belarus, Arranged by Janet Kutulas, Sung in Hebrew (Kitka)

Tsomo l’kho nafshi

Koma l’kho bsori

B’erets tsiyo ve’oyeyf

Bli moyim

Kayn bakeydesh khazisikho

Lireys uzkho ukhveydekho

Ama, ma ma ma…

Lithuania/Belarus, Hasidic tradition, text from Psalms 63:2/3, from Shneur Zalmen of Lyadi and Michael Alpert, arr. Janet Kutulas

“My soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you, in a dry and weary land without water.  Thus, I look for you in the sanctuary to see your strength and glory.”

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Yo Hanino, Tu Hanina

Bosnian Sephardic, Arranged by Daniel Hoffman, Achi Ben Shalom & Ljuba Davis, Sung in Ladino (Kitka and Davka)

Yo hanino, tu hanina

Mos tomaremos los dos

Los ijikos ke mos nasen

Aman… Komo la luna i el sol

Bosnian Sephardic, sung in Ladino, arr. Daniel Hoffman

A wedding song.  “I am handsome, you are beautiful, let us marry.  We shall be blessed with children like the moon and the sun.  Aman, like the moon and the sun.”

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El Rey de Francia

Sephardic (from Smyrna) Traditional. Instrumental Arrangement by Davka, Sung in Ladino (Kitka and Davka)

El Rey de Francia

Tres hijas tenia

La una labrava

La otra cuzia

La mas chica de eyas

Bastidor hazia

Labrando, labrando

Sueño le caia

Su madre que la via

Aharrvar la queria

No me aharrvesh mi madre

Ni me ahavariash

Un sueño be soñaba

Bien y algria

Sueño vos soñabash

Yo vo la soltaria

La luna entera

Es la tu suegra

La estreya Diana

Es la tu coñaba

Los tres pasharicos

Son tus coñadicos

Y el pilar de oro

El hijo del rey tu novio

Sephardic from Esmirna, sung in Ladino, from Savinna Yannatou, instr. arr. Davka

“The king of France has three daughters.  One washed, the second sewed.  The youngest embroidered a tapestry, and working stitch by stitch, she fell into a dream.  “I dreamed a dream so fine.”  “A dream you dreamed?  I will tell you what it means.”  “I looked out the door and saw the full moon.  I looked out the window and saw the star of Diana.  I looked into the well and saw a golden pillar with three little birds pecking at the gold.”  “The full moon is your mother-in-law.  Diana’s star is your sister-in-law.  The three birds are your little brothers-in-law.  The pillar of gold is your husband-to-be, the king’s son.”

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Las Esuegras de Agora -
Listen to a sample

Turkish Sephardic, Arranged by Kitka & Davka, Sung in Ladino (Kitka and Davka)

Las esuegras de Agora

Son gusanos de pared

Los malmeten a los hijos

Que los hacen depiedrer

No maldigash la mi mama

No maldigash sin razon

Ella cuand era moza

Hijo l’amor con mi señor

Yo hize l’amor con tu padre

Salio vero y me tomo

Los mansevicos d’agora

La deshan con la dolor

Turkish Sephardic, Black Sea Coast, sung in Ladino, from Bienvenido Aguado, arr. Kitka and Davka

“The mothers-in-law of today are like worms in the wall.  They mistreat their sons-in-law and make them go crazy.  Don’t speak badly about my mother… when she was young she made love to my father.  I made love to your father.  He left and took me with him.  But the lovers of today leave the woman with pain.”

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Moshe Emet

Traditional Hassidic, Arranged by Daniel Hoffman, Sung in Hebrew (Kitka and Davka)

Moshe emet, Moshe emet v'torato emet

Ai yai, dai de dai de dai dai dai de dai

Translation:  Moses told the truth, the torah is true

“Moshe Emet”

Traditional Hassidic

Arranged by Daniel Hoffman

Sung in Hebrew

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La Rosa Enflorese

Bulgarian Sephardic. Arranged by Nikolai Kaufman, Sung in Ladino (Kitka)

La rosa enflorese o en el mes de mai

Y mi alma s’escurese, firiendose el lunar

Y mi alma s’escurese firiendose el amorLos bilbilicos cantan con suspiros d’amor

Mi alma y mi ventura estan en tu poder

Mas presto ven paloma

Mas presto ven con mi

Mas presto tu mi alma

Que yo me vo morirBulgarian Sephardic, sung in Ladino, arr. Nikolai Kaufman

“The rose blooms in the month of May.  My soul darkens as the moon is obscured, darkening from love.  The nightingales sing with sighs of love.  My soul and my fate are in your power.  Come quickly, dove, come quickly to me, for I may die.”

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Alta, Alta es la Luna

Greek Sephardic. Arranged by Leslie Bonnett, Juliana Graffagna & Davka.
Sung in Ladino (Kitka and Davka)

Alta, alta es la luna

Cuando empesa ‘sclareser

Hija hermoza sin ventura

Nunca llegue a nacer

Los ojos ya me s’incheron

De tanto mirar l’amor

Vapores ya van y vienen

Letra para mi no hay

Mama mia mi querida

Un sueño me soñi

En mi sueño me soñava

Que paxá turco me llevava

Paxaricos chuchulean

En los árvoles de flor

Ay debaxo se asentan

Los que suffren del amor

Greek Sephardic, sung in Ladino, from Savinna Yannatou, arr.  Leslie Bonnett, Juliana Graffagna and Davka

“High is the moon when it begins to shine.  Lovely girl without fortune, better to never have been born.  My eyes are welling with tears, having searched so for love.  The ships come and go, but no letters for me.  Dear mother, I had a dream.  In my dream, a Turkish sultan lifted me up.  The birds chatter in the flowering trees.  Beneath the trees are those who suffer for love.” \

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Szól a Kakas Már

Hungary. Arranged by Lily Storm & Davka, Sung in Hungarian and Hebrew (Kitka and Davka)

Szól a kakas már, majd megvirrad már

Zöld erdöben, sik mezöben, setál egy madár

Micsoda madár? Micsoda madár?

Sárga a labá, kék a szarnya, engem oda vár

Várj, madár, várj, te csak mindig várj

Ha az Isten nékem rendelt, tied leszek már

Mikor lesz az már? Mikor lesz az már?

Jibane hamikdas, ir Cion temale

Akkor lesz az már

Mikor lesz az már? Mikor lesz az már?

Vesam nasir chadas uvir anah naale

Akkor lesz az már

Ideje volna már, ideje volna már

Hungary, sung in Hungarian and Hebrew, from Muszikas, arr. Lily Storm and Davka

“The cock’s crowing soon, the sun’s rising soon.  In the green woods walks a bird, a loon…Wait you bird, you fancy loon!  If God ordered me to be yours, I’ll be yours and soon!  When will that soon be?  When the temple is rebuilt and the City of Zion is filled again.   Then will be that soon.  There we shall sing a new song and we will rise up joyously.”  I can hardly wait for that soon.”

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El Incendio de Salonica

Greek Sephardic Traditional. Arranged by Kitka and Davka, Sung in Ladino (Kitka and Davka)

Dia de Shabbat la tadre, la horica dando dos

/ Huego salió a l’Agua Mueva, a Beyaz Kulé quédo /2

Tanto proves como ricos, todos semos un igual

/ Ya quedimos arrastrando por campoz y por kishlas /2

Mos dieron unos chadires que del aire se bolan

/ Mos dieron pan amargo ni con agua no se va / 2

Mos estamos sikleano, mos vamos ande el Inglés

/ Por tres grushicos al dia y un pan para comer /2

Dio del cielo, Dio del cielo, no topates que fazer

/ Mos deshates arrastrando sin camiza para meter / 2

Greek Sephardic, sung in Ladino, from David Saltiel-Jewish Songs of Thessaloniki, Polly Tapia Ferber and Brenna MacCrimmon.

“It was near the Shabbat evening, about 2:00.  Fire broke out near Agua Mueva, it spread up to the White Tower.  Rich and poor alike, we all became one.  We were left out in the fields and barracks.  They gave us tents that the wind could blow away.  They offered us bitter bread that water wouldn’t wash down.  We complain to the English, we beg for three pennies and a bit of bread to eat.  Oh, God of the Heavens, what have you done to us?  You’ve abandoned us even without a change of clothes.”

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