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Dona Dona


Dona, Dona - Yiddish song




Video Details

Dona, Dona

Artist: Sal Bonavita.

Playing time: 2.58

Words by: Aaron Zeitlin (1889-1973)

Music by: Sholom Secunda (1894-1974)
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The original Yiddish version "Dana Dana" is a very popular American song, that is well known in English as "Dona Dona" It's sung in some countries and has been sung in many Japanese schools for a long time. The original Yiddish song was for the theater piece "Esterke" (1940/41).


Words by: Aaron Zeitlin (1889-1973)

Aaron Zeitlin (or Ahron Tzeitlin) 1889-1973, was born in Russia and lived in Poland.


Music by: Sholom Secunda (1894-1974)

Shalom Secunda or Sholom Secunda) 1894-1974, was born in Ukraine and was educated in America. He worked at a Jewish theater from 1937 to the beginning of the 1940s.


In English

The very popular English translation of "Dana Dana", which is now "Dona Dona" was translated by Arthur Kevess and Teddi Schwartz ca.1956. By the translation, Schwarz changed "Dana" to "Dona" and "Dan" to "Don" or "Down" so it would be pronounced more like the original. The song became very popular, after Joan Baez sang it with her guitar. She didn't notice the spelling changes and sang with different pronunciations.


Source: http://www.ne.jp/asahi/minako/watanabe/Donaenglish.htm



"Dona, Dona"

On a wagon bound for market
There's a calf with a mournful eye.
High above him, there's a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky.

How the winds are laughing.
They laugh with all their might.
Laugh and laugh the whole day through.
And half the summer's night.
Dona, dona, dona
Dona, dona, dona, don
Dona, dona, dona
Dona, dona, dona, don

"Stop complaing," said the farmer.
"Who told you what a calf to be.
"Why don't you have wings to fly
"Like the swallow so proud and free."


Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why.
But whoever treasures freedom
Like the swallow has learned to fly.




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