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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
LeTenebreux Needed: question songs (87* d) RE: Needed: question songs 13 Jan 08


I'm glad someone mentioned Tum Balalaika. I believe the received English translation of this song may have gotten mangled through the folk process. Here, I believe, is a correct translation; it was translated by Felix S. Cohen (who wrote the Handbook of Federal Indian Law).

Maiden, maiden tell me plain
What can grow, can grow without rain?
What can burn for endless years?
What can weep, can weep without tears?


Tum Bala, tum bala, tum balalaika

Tum bala, tum bala, tum balalaika

Tum balalaika spiel balalaika

Tum balalaika, freylekh zol zeyn

Foolish child, the answer is plain
Understanding grows without rain
Love can burn for endless years
A heart can weep, can weep without tears


The standard translation is "A stone can grow, can grow without rain"
"Farshteyn" (understanding) might have sounded like "a shteyn" (a stone). The former makes more sense to me since it fits better with "love" and "heart". Besides it scans better into English.

Good luck in your quest.


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