If I Had Wings (in Yiddish)

December 18, 2007 7:53 AM

If I only had wings, I would fly to you... If I had chains, I would pull you to me... Just open up my heart, you'll see that it's dark and heavy with my love to you... Late last night, we wanted to capture the intimacy and quiet sparkle of this old song ... Hope it brings you a moment of peace and loveliness...

This is a Yiddish folk song from a songbook collected by the great ethnomusicologist Moishe Beregovski. Performed by Inna (voice) & Ljova (viola)

Translation from Yiddish:
If I had wings, I would fly to you
And if I had chains, I would pull you to me

On that side of the river, on that side of the bank
The boughs are bent
There, there stands my sweetheart with tearful eyes

Oh stop weeping, stop wailing
You will accomplish nothing with tears
Open up my heart - you'll see that it's black
You'll know how much I love you

posted by barmaljova (12 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

This just couldn't be any lovelier. The singing is beautiful, and "intimate" is the perfect word to to describe its quality.

I grew up listening to my grandparents speak Yiddish and it's been many years since I got to hear it at any length, so it was also personally moving to me to hear this song, with which I was totally unfamiliar. I would love to get my hands on the songbook you mention so if you know of a link or resource and would post it I'd be grateful.

Thanks so much for posting this.
posted by melissa may at 9:18 AM on December 18, 2007

What mm said, except my grandparents didn't speak Yiddish. This is really beautiful.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:37 AM on December 18, 2007

Yow. Gorgeous.
posted by cortex at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2007

thanks to all! link to the book with Beregovski song collection: Old Jewish Folk Music: The Collections and Writings of Moshe Beregovski at Amazon.com
posted by barmaljova at 11:04 AM on December 18, 2007

What melissa may, sleepy pete and cortex said, plus all sorts of compliments. Beautiful, beautiful song.
posted by micayetoca at 1:21 PM on December 18, 2007

Wow, this is quite beautiful. Please add the NotInEnglish tag please! It needs new languages.
posted by ORthey at 1:44 PM on December 18, 2007

Gorgeous. Thanks to Inna and Ljova, and to melissa may for telling me about it.
posted by languagehat at 2:45 PM on December 18, 2007

Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for posting this!

posted by snsranch at 4:01 PM on December 18, 2007

One question, do you know the name in Yiddish by any chance?
posted by micayetoca at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2007

This is a wonderful vocal performance and recording! And the picked viola is all kinds of awesome too. To my ear it seems technically skilled yet loose and quirky. Really good stuff.
posted by edlundart at 8:45 PM on December 18, 2007

I love your dynamic range in this song...if your voice had wings, it would do exactly what it's doing now: flying round me.

posted by salishsea at 1:24 AM on December 19, 2007

just so beautiful.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:41 PM on December 24, 2007

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