Oyfn Pripetshik In the Woodstove Burns a Little Fire words and music by Mark Warshawksy

In this song, rebe refers to a humble teacher of young children. For over 100 years, a song that already gave a nostalgic image when it was written has moved people, conjuring up a picture of little boys restless and warm by the woodstove as their teacher patiently drills them in the Hebrew alphabet. The power of the song is in the power of the letters and the memories.

 

Oyfn pripetshik                                         In the woodstove

Brent a fayerl                                             Burns a little fire

Un in shtub iz heys                                    And in the building it's warm

Un der rebe lernt kleyne kinderlekh           And the teacher teaches little children

Dem alef-beys                                           The Hebrew alphabet

Un der rebe lernt kleyne kinderlekh

Dem alef-beys

Zet zhe kinderlekh                                     See, little children

Gedenkt zhe tayere                                    Remember, dear ones

Vos ir lernt do                                             What you learn here

Zogt zhe nokh a mol                                   Say one more time

Un take nokh a mol                                      And even one more time

Komets-alef: “o”                                         Aleph with a komets vowel -- "o"

Zogt zhe nokh a mol un take nokh a mol

Komets-alef: “o”

Az ir vet, kinder,                                          When you, children, come to

Dem goles shlepn                                        Carry the weight of exile

Oys-gemutshet zayn                                   You will be weary

Zolt ir fun di oysyes koyekh shepn               You must draw strength from the letters

Kukt in zey arayn                                          Look into them

Zolt ir fun di oysyes koyekh shepn

Kukt in zey arayn

Zet zhe kinderlekh...