Zog Nit Keyn Mol Never Say text Hirsh Glik set to a melody by Dmitri Pokras

Zog nit keyn mol text Hirsh Glik set to a melody by Dmitri and Daniel Pokras

Partisan and poet Shmerke Kascerginski tells how this song was inspired by the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, as quoted by Ruth Rubin in Voices of a People, The Story of Yiddish Folk Song:

The news of the uprising lifted our spirits and made us proud...our hearts became winged...Hirshke began to sing it softly, but full of excitement...Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho...The hour we yearn for will come... His voice became firmer. He tapped out the rhythm with his foot, as if he were marching...The partisan staff in the Vilna Ghetto decided that the song should become the hymn of its fighters. But the people did not wait for this decision, and the song had already spread to the ghettos, the concentration and labor camps, and into the woods to other partisan brigades.

Zog nit keyn mol az du geyst dem letstn veg             Never say that you are walking the last road

Khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg                Although leaden skies hide days of blue

Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho                  Our longed for hour will arrive

S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot -- mir zaynen do           Our steps make a drumbeat -- we are here

Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho

S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot -- mir zaynen do

Fun grinem palmen-land                                             From the land of green palms

Biz vaysn land fun shney                                             To the white land of snow

Mir kumen on mit undzer payn, mit undzer vey          We come onward with our pain, with our woe

Un vu gefaln s'iz a shprits fun undzer blut                  And where a splash of our blood falls

Shprotsn vet dort undzer gvure, undzer mut               There will sprout our strength, our courage

Un vu gefaln s'iz a shprits fun undzer blut

Shprotsn vet dort undzer gvure, undzer mut

S'vet di morgn-zun bagildn undz dem haynt                The morning sun lights up today like gold

Un der nekhtn vet farshvindn mitn faynt                  And yesterday disappears with our hated enemies

Nor oyb farzamen vet di zun in dem kayor                  And if the sun is delayed in this dawn

Vi a parol zol geyn dos lid                                     Like a watchword (or fight song) this song must go

Fun dor tsu dor                                                            From generation to generation

Nor oyb far-zamen vet di zun in dem kayor

Vi a parol zol geyn dos lid fun dor tsu dor

Dos lid geshribn iz mit blut un nit mit blay               This song is written with blood and not with lead

S'iz nit keyn lidl fun a foygl oyf der fray                     It's not a little song from a little bird flying free

Dos hot a folk tsvishn falndike vent                          A people, between falling walls,

Dos lid gezungen mit naganes in di hent                   Sang this song with rifles in their hands

Dos hot a folk tsvishn faln-dike vent

Dos lid ge-zungen mit naganes in di hent

To zog nit keyn mol az du geyst dem letstn veg           So never say that you are walking the last road

Khotsh himlen blayene far-shteln bloye teg

Kumen vet nokh undzer oys-ge-benkte sho

S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot -- mir zaynen do

Kumen vet nokh undzer oys-ge-benkte sho

S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot -- mir zaynen do                   We are here

Internet tidbit: "The Pokras brothers later revealed that they had based their socialist marching song on the old Yiddish tune Oyfn Pripetchik." h2g2.com