Viktor Ullmann
Brezulinka
Three Songs for voice and piano
1. Berjoskele (Little Birch Tree): Text by David Einhorn

Quietly shaking its curly green head 
my pale little birch tree prays without end;
each little leaf rustles a silent prayer;
pray, little birch tree, also for me.

I came here alone from a distant land;
here the god is strange to me as also is his speech;
he will neither see my sadness nor understand my prayer,
even though I pray, and pray a lot.

From the far west a delicate ray of rose-hued light
stole sorrowfully among the slender branches,
and gave a hushed kiss to the small leaves,
which dreamily heard the nightingale.

From the distant field came a gentle breeze
and told the little leaves endless stories;
a great longing overcame my heart.
Pray, little birch tree, pray also for me. 
 

 

2. Trala-la-lo (Daisies): Text by Salman Schneour

In the little meadow, by the brook, there they grew.
Daisies small and lonesome, like little rays of sun with beams of white,
all singing trala-la-la.

Along came Chavele dreamily walking, her golden plaits fluttering in the wind.
Her throat was bare as she was humming
a little tune: trala-la-la.

A gangly youth approached her, his locks as black as coal.
With eyes like fire he answered her gaily
with her own little tune: trala-la-la.

What are you looking for, girl, what have you lost, what do you wish to find in the grass?
Iím looking for daisies, blushed Chavele, 
she blushed: trala-la-la.

Are you still looking? I have already found the most beautiful daisy in the meadow,
a daisy with braids and with eyes of sapphire,
with little eyes: trala-la-la.

Oh, leave me, itís not permitted, mother says one shouldnít!
My mother is old and mean . . .
Where mother? Who mother? Here are just trees,
just little bushes, trala-la-la.

Do you love me? -I love you. Are you embarrassed? - Iím embarrassed.
Oh, love me, be ashamed of yourself and be still,
And see how the black curls tangle
with the gold: trala-la-la!

The sun has set, the boy has vanished, yet
Chavele still sits in the meadow.
Her eyes fill with tears and longing as she murmurs
the little tune: trala-la-la.

 
3. A Maydle in di Yorn (I am a Maiden - No Longer Young)
Popular Melody

I am already a maiden in my late years, why do you confuse me?
For some time I have been a bride and I feel that my wedding has passed.
You promised to marry me.
I have waited for a long time.
Why do you, my soul, put me to shame or are you disappointed in me?
Would you like to know my lineage?
My grandfather was a rabbi.
So letís celebrate our wedding, and weíll reach a happy ending.
But maybe you have another girl,
another prettier and better than me?
Then God should grant her success in love, but in the end she shall suffer like me.