August 27, 2002

this is why

This is why Ashcroft's raids on the US Constitution bother me so. I grew up on
this stuff, and childhood impressions are strong.

Oyfn furl ligt dos kelbl,

Ligt gebundn mit a shtrik,

Hoykh in himl flit dos shvelbl,

Freyt zikh, dreyt zikh hin un krik.


Lakht der vint in korn,

Lakht un lakht un lakht,

Lakht er op a tog a gantsn

Mit a halber nakht.

Dona, dona, dona, dona...

Shrayt dos kelbl, zogt der poyer:

Ver zhe heyst dikh zayn a kalb?

Volst gekert tsu zayn a foygl,

Volst gekert tsu zayn a shvalb.


Bidne kelber tut men bindn

Un men shlept zey un men shekht,

Ver sÕhot fligl, flit aroyftsu,

Iz bay keynem nit keyn knekht.


And for those of you who don't speak Yiddish (well, all right, me, too -- I just
like the sound of the original):

On a wagon bound for market,

ThereÕs a calf with a mournful eye.

High above him thereÕs a swallow

Winging swiftly through the sky.


How the winds are laughing,

They laugh with all their might,

Laugh and laugh the whole day through,

And half the summerÕs night.

Dona, dona, dona, dona…

"Stop complaining," said the farmer,

"Who told you a calf to be,

Why donÕt you have wings to fly with,

Like the swallow so proud and free?"


Calves are easily bound and slaughtered,

Never knowing the reason why,

But whoever treasures freedom,

Like the swallow has learned to fly.


Posted by dichroic at August 27, 2002 10:59 AM
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