Yiddish Transliteration

Kalt: A lidl fin Lódzer getto 1945
 
Lyrics : Mirian Harel
Melody: Yiddish folksong
 
Verse 1:
Kalt.
In groyzam ligt der vinter nakht,
Ikh gey zikh aynzam un fertrakht,
Dus himl fil mit vulken tribe.
 
Verse 2:
Kalt.
Der kalter vint hot zikh tsulakht,
Es reygnt shoyn di gantse nakht,
Mayn harts geyt oys tsu dir mayn libe.
 
Refrain:
S’gibt aza velt,
Vi mentshn tantsn oyf gelt,
Vi es gist zikh purpur vayn,
In gold, in zilber shayn,
S’gist aza velt…
 
Verse 3:
Kalt.
Vi groyzam iz mayn tifer shrek,
Ven du fin mir bist shoyn avek
Aleyn bin ikh dokh du geblibn.
 
Verse 4:
Kalt.
Ikh zey vagonen tsugemakht
Zey forn shnel di gantse nakht.
Vi hot men dikh avek getribn?
 
Refrain:
S’gibt aza velt…
 
Verse 5:
Kalt.
Es falt a shney du oyf dem gas
Farfroyrn, finster iz un nas,
Vi troyrik s’iz di neshome.
Verse 6:
Kalt.
Tsu vet dokh kumen aza tsayt?
Un efsher iz er nisht gants vayt?
Mir veln nemen a nekume!
 
Refrain:
S’gibt aza velt…

English Translation

Cold
Lyrics: Miriam Harel
Melody: Yiddish folksong  

Verse 1:
Cold.
How ruthless is the winter night,
I walk alone, deep in thought,
The sky is full of dreary clouds.  

Verse 2:
Cold.
The chilly wind begins to laugh,
It will rain all night.
My heart goes out to you, my love.  

Refrain:
This is such a world,
Where people dance on money,
And purple wine is being poured,
In gold and silver goblets,
This is such a world…  

Verse 3:
Cold.
How ruthless is my deep despair,
When you went away from me I was left here alone.  

Verse 4:
Cold.
I see closed railroad cars
Speeding by all through the night.
Where did they take you?  

Refrain:
This is such a world…  

Verse 5:
Cold.
Snow is falling in the street,
It is freezing, dark and wet.
How sad is my soul.  

Verse 6:
Cold.
Will the time ever come?
Perhaps it will come soon?
We shall live to take revenge!  

Refrain:
This is such a world...

Miriam Harel composed this song and sang it to her family in the ghetto.  Her songs express her feelings throughout the four years of her internment.

This song, as well as her earlier Yiddish song, 'Vinter 1942' (Winter 1942) speak of the winter, of cold and darkness outside and inside the ghetto.  This song, however, has some hope in it and also calls for vengeance.  It refers to her entire period in Łódź and its subtitle is 'A lidl fin Łódźer geto, 1945' (A song from the Łódź ghetto, 1945).  It was composed in retrospect, after her deportation to Italy in 1945.

Miriam recalls that the inspiration for the first verse and refrain came from a song her mother used to sing.  Miriam adapted the original song, composing two additional verses.  The earlier song was a Yiddish lullaby 'Vigndik a krank kind' (Soothing a sick child).  Miriam used the song’s mood to express the extremes in her life: though young, she suffered, experienced the loss of family and friends and wished that things could be different.  She wanted to comfort herself, and was longing for normality, and so she says, 'Because it had a sweet melody, I decided to write it.'

The song speaks of her despair and loneliness.  She describes the cold winter which will end soon, and the time ahead, which she hopes will be a time of both freedom and vengeance.