Tutejsi - The Locals

by Minsker Kapelye

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about

“This is exquisite, intricate klezmer music and Yiddish song introducing an unfamiliar klezmer sound… It is touches like the rap, and the occasional interjection of the Minsk streetscape that help make this recording special. It is traditional music, yes, but traditional music as I enjoy it best—lovingly sung in the here and now.” - KlezmerShack.com

"The music and the CD booklet are beautiful. We hope to play more of it in coming months and years." -Yiddish Voice radio, Boston.

"Di Ortike CD is great. The liner notes are awesome and the performances are first rate." - Jewish Sound Archive, University of Pennsylvania

credits

released July 1, 2009

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about

Minsker Kapelye Minsk, Belarus

Minsker Kapelye is a klezmer trio (Dmitri Slepovitch, Hanna Kharchanka, Tatsiana Kukel. The band performs rare pieces of the Litvak Jewish tradition. The band's instrumentation combines cimbalom, clarinet, and cello.
Besides their 3 albums, the band is featured on the award-winning album Kalykhanki (Lullabies, 2007). The band worked with Paul Brody, Michael Alpert, Frank London, to name a few.
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Track Name: Vitebsk Nign I
(Yiddish followed by English)

Mayn neshome iz aroysgefloygn
In der vinterdik-opkilndike nakht
Tsu a kholem vos kh’hob nit gezen,
Tsu an epes vos kh’hob oysgetrakht.

Tsi to dayne oygn, tsi to shtern –
Laykhtn mit milyonen shtraln.
Un ikh ken a nign hern
Vos di shtern zingen bes zey faln.

Un der tsarter nign iz arayngefloygn,
S’hot geshtralt di velt mit zayne tonen.
Un ikh plutsling hob derzen
Mayn shtot in a blaser likht fun der levone.

* * *
My soul flew away
In a winter-freezing night
To a dream which I’d never seen,
To something I imagined.

Your eyes… or the stars –
They shine with millions of rays,
And I can hear a tune
Which the stars sing while they are falling.

And the tender tune flew back inside,
It rayed up the world with its tones.
And all of a sudden I saw
My home town in the withered moonlight.
Track Name: Forshpil (Introduction)
(Yiddish followed by English)

Mir betn ayer vnimanye!
Di drayartike kompanye
Kumt af der bine
af a kurtse vayl, af a sho.
Mir veln shpiln far der gantser gmine
Mit nito keyn zoyre mine,
Glaykh biz ir filt zikh khorosho.

Mir zaynen a draytl, zelbe-drite,
A drayekh, nit a greyse grupe.
Nor di mekhayedike litvishe negines
Ken makhn a palats fun der posheter khalupe.

Sheyn visn gute mentshn,
Mit freyd zey zaynen fule
(Genug sheyn brider yentshn!),
S’vet kumen undz ge’ule.

Vos shteystu vi a geylem?
Vos makhstu zikh aleyn?
S’iz simkhe af dem eylem.
Shmeykhlt zhe, lakht zhe, greys un kleyn!

To klap zhe klezmer af zayn tsimbl,
Kneyp di strunes afn bas,
Shpil klarnetl, bloyz mayn tayer,
Freyt zikh yidn, tants zhe gas.

* * *
May we have your attention please?
A company of three is coming onto stage
For a short while, just for an hour.

We’ll play for the whole community
With no sour expression on our faces,
Until you feel really good.

We are a trio, a triad,
A three-piece band, not a big group,
But the delightful Litvakian tunes
Can even make a palace out of a shack.

All good people know already,
They are full of joy,
Enough weeping, brothers,
The redemption will come soon.

Why are you standng like an idiot?
What are doing over there alone?
It’s a celebration all over the universe.
Smile, laugh ye, great and small ones!

So, musician, strike at your dulcimer,
Pinch the strings on the bass,
Play, the clarinet, blow, my dear,
Cheer up, people, dance on the street!
Track Name: Baranovich
(Yiddish followed by English)

Ven ikh derze a ketsele vos drapet zikh un kratst,
Ven ikh derze a mikve vu der kesl iz geplatst,
Ven ikh derze reb Berelen der kop mit hele herelekh,
Dermon ikh zikh mir bald

Refrain:
Baranovich, oy oy Baranovich, oy oy oy
Shtetele sheyninke, kleyninke shtetele,
Bist’ a shtetele far zikh.
Du bist sheyn, mayn shtetele, mit der blote vos es ligt far undzer hoyz.
Du bist kleyn vi a fesele, nor in mayne oygn bistu groys.
Baranovich, oy oy Baranovich, oy oy oy
Du der mil, du di shiln,
Du der park, du der mark,
Bist’ a shtetele far zikh.
Baranovich… Vos zhe meynt men – „Baranovich“?
Me leygt es oys: “Ba-ra-no-vich”.
Un ineynem makht azoy: “Baranovich”.

Ven ikh derze a shtibele mit lekher in der vand,
Ven ikh derze mayn betele mit roytem betgevant,
Ven ikh derze reb Nisele mit shtivelekh tserisene,
Dermon ikh zikh mir bald

Baranovich… (Refrain)

* * *
When I see a kitten that scratches and scrabbles,
When I see a mikva with a broken kettle,
When I see Mr. Berl’s head with yellowed hair,
I instantly recollect

Refrain:
Baranovich, oy oy Baranovich, oy oy oy
A nice shtetl, a small shtetl,
You’re just a town for oneself.
You’re beautiful, my dear town, with the swamp just in front of our house,
You’re as small as a barrel, but in my eyes you are large.
Baranovich, oy oy Baranovich, oy oy oy
You’re the mill, you’re the synagogues,
You’re the marketplace, you’re the park,
You are a town for oneself
Baranovich, what do they mean – “Baranovich”?
They break it down into syllables: “Ba-ra-no-vich”,
And together they say, “Baranovich”.

When I see a shack with holes in the wall,
When I see a small bed with red bedding.
When I see Mr. Nisele with his ragged boots,
I instantly recollect

Refrain:
Baranovich…
Track Name: Ot azey! (That's the Way)
(Yiddish followed by English)

Ot azey, ot azey, di khasene iz gekumen.
Ot azey, ot azey, di tsores zaynen farshvumen.
Ot azey, ot azey, tantsn yidn in koles,
Ot azey, ot azey, bald avek iz goles.

Ot azey, ot azey, kumt arayn di meydl.
Ot azey, ot azey, zi dreyt zikh vi a dreydl.
Ot azey, ot azey, take sheyn iz kale,
Ot azey, ot azey, zingen, tantsn ale!

Ot azey, ot azey, lekhayim, mekhutonim!
Ot azey, ot azey, shmeykhl zhe dayn ponim.
Ot azey, ot azey, zing ikh aykh atsinder,
Ot azey, ot azey, lebn zol di kinder.

* * *
That’s the way, that’s the way, the wedding has come.
That’s the way, that’s the way, the sorrows have flown away.
That’s the way, that’s the way, people are dancing in rounds,
That’s the way, that’s the way, soon the exile will end.

That’s the way, that’s the way, the girl comes in,
That’s the way, that’s the way, she spins like a whirligig.
That’s the way, that’s the way, the bride is beautiful,
That’s the way, that’s the way, everyone is singing and dancing.

That’s the way, that’s the way, your health, in-laws!
That’s the way, that’s the way, so smile your face.
That’s the way, that’s the way, I am singing to you now,
That’s the way, that’s the way, let the children live.
Track Name: Mendl-Parikmakher
(Russian/ Yiddish followed by English translation)

Yest’ yevreyskoe mestechko vozle shtot Bobruisk
Mnogo muzykantov fun der shtetele aroys.
Skazhet vam lyuboy yevrey, chto kapelloyu svoyey
Slavitsia Mendl-parikmakher.

Vsekh razveselit’ umeyet Mendele-spivak!
Bez nevo nelzya zhenitsya: ne splyasat’ nikak.
Zaigrayet, zapayot – v plyas puskayetsia narod.
Yidn! A khasene sevodnia!

Tantsn yidn, tantsn vayber, plyashet ves’ narod.
Svoim detyam-muzykantam Mendl temp dayot:
“Reyzl, ne stuchi nogoy! Frumele, sledi za mnoy.
Leyka, kakaya ty dubina!”

Tantsn i hopak, i freylekhs Nokhem I Stepan,
Tyotya Dvoyra s Akulinoy, Leyzer i Ivan...
Tantsn kroyvim, tantsn gest, kazhdyi plyashet, pyot i yest.
Yidn! A khasene sevodnia!

Ale tsu dem khosn-kale shrayen ”Mazl-tov!”,
Muzhyki krichat: ”Lekhaim! Mendl, bud’ zdarov!”
Zakruzhilsia khorovod, Mendl zharu poddayot.
Yidn! A khasene sevodnia!

* * *
There’s a Jewish shtetl close to town of Bobruisk.
There’re plenty of musicians all around the shtetl.
Any Jew will tell you that Mendl the barber
Is so famous for his band.

Mendele the musician can cheer up anyone!
One can’t arrange a wedding, one can’t dance without him.
Once he would play and sing, people would start dancing.
Yidn ! Today is a khasene !

Tantsn yidn, tantsn vayber , everyone is dancing.
Mendl gives the tempo to his daughters musicians:
“Reyzl, don’t stamp your feet! Frumele, follow me!
Leyka, what a dunderhead you are!

Nokhem and Stepan, aunt Dveyre and Akulina,
Leyzer and Ivan – dance both hopak and freylakhs .
Tantsn kreyvim, tantsn gest , everyone is dancing, drinking and eating.
Yidn! Today is a khasene!

Everyone is shouting “Mazl tov!” to the bride and the groom,
The peasant men are shouting, “Mendl, be well”.
The round dance has started, Mendl is revving up…
Yidn! Today is a khasene!
Track Name: A Pastekhl (A Shepherd)
(Yiddish followed by English translation)

Iz geven amol a pastekhl, a pastekh.
Iz ba im farlorn gegangen a shefele, a shefele.
Geyt er, zet er,
Fort a fur mit shteyndelekh mit shteyndelekh.
Hot er gemeynt az dos iz fun shefele di beyndelekh, di beyndelekh.
Zogt er, “Adeyni, Adeyni, oy Adeyni!
Tsi nie bachyu ty, tsi nie vidzieu ty ovtsy moi?”
Makht er: „Niet!”
Bieda, biedu, ovtsy nishto,
A yak zhe ya domoy prydu?
A yak zhe ya domoy prydu?

Geyt er, zet er:
Fort a fur mit dernelekh, mit dernelekh.
Hot er gemeynt az dos iz fun shefele di hernelekh, di hernelekh.
Zogt er, “Adeyni, Adeyni, oy Adeyni!
Tsi nie bachyu ty, tsi nie vidzieu ty ovtsy moi?”
Makht er: „Niet!”
Bieda, biedu, ovtsy nishto,
A yak zhe ya domoy prydu?
A yak zhe ya domoy prydu?

Der pastekh hot geplachet, gedavnt un geveynt,
A por rikhtike t’hilim hot er geley’nt.
Ot basof hert er bas-kol mi-shomaim:
„Vos makhstu do in goles? Leyf keyn Yerusholaim!

Du bist an “ortiker” yid, vi di mentshn ale,
S’iz an andere bataytung vi ba Yanken Kupalen.
Dayn yidisher foter Yankev hot gegangen fun Ber-Sheve
”Vaifga ba-mokem”. Ha-mokem iz keydesh.

Di ort iz ha-mokem, Ha-mokem iz dayn Beyre,
Nor far dayn Beyre zolstu hobm a meyre.
Lernen di Gemeyre, libn dayn vaybl Dveyre.
Kukn af andere vaybn iz an aveyre.

To leyf zhe gikher, zay nit tamevate,
Am Isroel iz mayn kind un ikh bin ayer tate.
Di mayse mit di shefele iz a midresh far ale,
Far dem rebe mit di rebetzn un yunge khosn-kale.

A talmid-khokhem darfstu nit zayn avade,
Du bist a pastekh, to zay a shoymer far dayn stade.
Entfer shvere frages mit a proste vort
Nu genug sheym tsu reydn, for keyn aeroport!”

Geyt er, zet er:
Fort a fur mit niselekh, mit niselekh.
Hot er gemeynt az dos iz fun shefele di fiselekh, di fislekeh.
Zogt er, “Adeyni, Adeyni, oy Adeyni!
Tsi nie bachyu ty, tsi nie vidzieu ty ovtsy moi?”
Makht er: „Niet!”
Bieda, biedu, ovtsy nishto,
A yak zhe ya domoy prydu?
A yak zhe ya domoy prydu?

* * *
Once upon a time there lived a shepherd.
It happened once that he lost a sheep.
Off he went and saw a wagon with stones.
It seemed to him they were his sheep’s bones.
He says, “My Lord, my Lord, my Lord!
Have you seen, have caught sight of my sheep?”
God says, “No!”
“Woe is me! My sheep is gone.
How shall I come back home?”

Off he went and saw a wagon with turf.
It seemed to him these were his sheep’s horns.
He says, “My Lord, my Lord, my Lord!
Have you seen, have caught sight of my sheep?”
God says, “No!”
“Woe is me! My sheep is gone.
How shall I come back home?”

(Rapping)
The shepherd cried, prayed and sobbed,
A couple of appropriate Psalms he read.
Finally, he hears a voice from heaven saying,
“What are you doing here in exile? Go to Jerusalem!

You are a “local” Jew, like all the people here.
It’s a different meaning from what Yanka Kupala meant.
Your Jewish Father Yankev [Jacob] was going to Beer-Sheva
And he “came upon the place” . The Place is holy.

The location is The Place . The Place is your Creator.
Only before your Creator you should have fear,
Learn the Gemara, love your wife Dveyre [Deborah].
To look at other wives is evil.

So go quicker, don’t be a fool,
The person of Israel is my child and I am your Father.
The story with the sheep is a parable for everyone,
For the rabbi with his wife and young newly-weds.

You are not obliged to be a sage, of course,
You are a shepherd, so be a proper guard for your flock.
Answer tricky questions with a simple word.
Nu, enough talking, go to the airport!”

(Refrain)
“Woe is me! My sheep is gone.
How shall I come back home?”

Off he went and saw a wagon with nuts.
It seemed to him these were his sheep’s hoofs.
He says, “My Lord, my Lord, my Lord!
Have you seen, have caught sight of my sheep?”
God says, “No!”
“Woe is me! My sheep is gone.
How shall I come back home?”
Track Name: Lullaby
(Russian and Yiddish followed by English translation)

Spi, mladenets moy prekrasnyi, bayushki-bayu,
Tikho svetit mesiats yasnyi v kolybel’ tvoyu.
Stanu skazyvat’ ya skazki, pesenku spoyu,
Spi, dremli, zakryvshi glazki , bayushki-bayu.

Unter tokhterkes vigele
Steyt a vayse tsigele
Di tsigele vet forn handlen,
Brengen rozhinkes mit mandlen
Ay-le lyu-le lyulin’ke, mazl dir afulin’ke

* * *
Sleep my beautiful baby, lullaby,
The bright moon shines calmly into your cradle.
I will be telling you fairytales, I will sing you a song.
Sleep, slumber, close your eyes, lullaby.

Under a daughter’s cradle
A white goat stands.
The goat will go to the market
And bring you raisins and almonds.
Lullaby, lullaby, and be happy so much.
Track Name: Vitebsk Nign II
(Yiddish followed by English translation)

Ikh blondzhe iber gasn fun der geto…
In yeder fenster zest rak penimer fun zorim.
Dokh klingen lider fun fargangene poetn,
Dokh zingen strunes fun farshvundene klezmorim.

Dos naye vert geboyrn do af griber,
Der krakh mekt oys di letste blase shpurn
Un naye doyres leydn zikh fun libe-fiber
Un zingen vi di alte trubadurn.

Ikh fir mayn veg tsu nit dershpilte notn,
Tsu nit derzogte mayses vos zey tsaygn.
Ikh ken shoyn zen dem zeydenyus fayfyolke... Shotn!...
Nor shotns klingen in dem griltsndikn shvaygn.

Ikh blondzhe iber gasn fun der geto…
Dort, oyser ir, moderne hayzer, naye mentshn.
Un do, in’veynik, lebt mayn yikhes, di poetn
Vos tuen undz mit lider klanglos bentshn.

* * *
I am strolling on the streets of the ghetto.
In every window there I can see the strangers’ faces.
And there sound the poems of the gone poets
And there sing the strings of the vanished musicians.

The new would be born here on graves,
The city wipes out the last pale traces.
And new generations involve themselves into the love fever
And sing like those old troubadours.

I am paving my way to snubbed tones,
To the unfinished stories which are still telling us something.
I can already see my Grandpa’s fife… Shadow!..
Just shadows sound in the strident silence.

I am strolling on the streets of the ghetto.
Over there, there are modern houses and new people.
And here inside and under my feet, there lives my lineage, the poets,
Who bless us with their soundless verses and songs.