Dona Dona Music by Sholom Secunda Lyric by Aaron Zeitlin

Dona Dona Music by Sholom Secunda Lyric by Aaron Zeitlin

Oyfn firl ligt dos kelbl                       On a wagon lies a little calf

Ligt gebundn mit a shtrik                  Lies bound with a rope

Hoykh in himl flit dos shvelbl           High in the heavens flies a little swallow

Freyt zikh, dreyt zikh hin un krik     Happily wheeling to and fro


Lakht der vint in korn                         The wind laughs in the grain

Lakht un lakht un lakht                       Laughs and laughs and laughs

Lakht er op a tog a gantsn                 Laughs a whole day through

Mit a halber nakht                             And half the night

Dona, dona…

Shrayt dos kelbl, zogt der poyer           The little calf cries out. The farmer says,

Ver zhe heyst dir zayn a kalb?               “Who told you to be a calf?

Volst gekert tsu zayn a foygl                After all, you would have made a good bird

Volst gekert tsu zayn a shvalb               You could have become a swallow


Bidne kelber tut men bindn                     Poor calves people bind,

Un men shlept zey, un men shekht         And transport, and slaughter

Ver s’hot fligl, flit aroyf-tsu                    The one who has wings flies high

Iz bay keynem nit keyn knekht                 And is a slave to no one.