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Shlof mayn kind (1892)

Shlof mayn kind

Shlof mayn kind, mayn treyst mayn sheyner
Shlof zhe, lyu-lyu-lyu!
Shlof mayn lebn, mayn kadish eyner,
Shlof zhe, zunenyu.
Bay dayn vigl zitst dayn mame,
Zingt a lid un veynt.
Vest a mol farshteyn mistome
Vos zi hot gemeynt
In Amerike iz der tate
Dayner zunenyu,
Du bist nokh a kind lesate,
Shlof zhe, shlof, lyu-lyu.
Dos Amerike is far yedn,
zogt men gor a glik,
Un far Yidn a gan-eydn,
Epes an antik.
Dortn est men in der vokhn
Khale, zunenyu.
Yaykhelekh vel ikh dir kokhn,
Shlof zhe, shlof, lyu-lyu.
Er vet shikn tsvantsik dolar,
zayn portret dertsu,
Un vet nemen, lebn zol er,
Undz ahintsutsu.
Biz es kumt dos gute kvitl,
Shlof zhe zunenyu,
Slofn iz a tayer mitl,
Shlof zhe, shlof lyu-lyu.

Sleep My Child

Sleep my lovely child, my comfort,
Sleep, lyu-lyu-lyu!
Sleep, my life, my kadish
Sleep little son.
Your mother sits at your cradle,
Sings a song and weeps.
One day you will understand her weeping
And what she thought.
Your father little son
Is in America
Meanwhile you are still a child
Sleep, sleep, lyu-lyu.
They say that America is
a joy for everyone.
And for Jews it’s a paradise
Something of a rarity.
There, during the week
They eat khale-bread little son.
I will cook you broths there,
Sleep, sleep, lyu-lyu.
Your father will send twenty dollars
and his photo as well,
And he will bring us there,
Long may he live.
Until the good things come,
Sleep little son,
Sleep is a god remedy,
Sleep, sleep lyu-lyu.


Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, better known under his pen name Sholem Aleichem, was a leading Yiddish author and playwright. 

The musical Fiddler on the Roof, based on his stories about Tevye the Dairyman, was the first commercially successful English-language stage production about Jewish life in Eastern Europe.

His pen name, Sholem Aleichem, literally means "[May] peace [be] upon you!", and is a greeting in traditional Hebrew and Yiddish.

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