Arik Einstein Translated

Here are some songs made famous by the great Arik Einstein, with my own translation of the lyrics.

I chose to stay close to a literal translation in order to match the Hebrew text line-by-line, so that it could be used in a sing-along situation. I did not try to emulate meter or rhyme, except where it came naturally. I originally translated “אני ואתה” as “me and you” instead of “you and I”, but eventually I stayed with the more correct English form.

Enjoy!

רוח סתיו – Autumn Wind – Halfi/Zarai

Don’t be ashamed, to feel sadness.
Don’t be sorry, if you feel sorrow.
It’s this kind of season, buddy,
it’s just the fall and then it passes.

Feel lonely in the heart of the city,
look to the sky, search for a star,
it’s ok, even for a young guy,
to feel a little old in autumn time.

It’s the autumn with its clouds
and with its winds howling about,
and even if you’re a cynical guy,
it still has to touch your heart.

When you are in such a mood
you can’t just say to your girl:
“hey, babe, come on and dance” –
but rather: “look it’s an autumn night…”

You laugh it off: “nothing to it”.
You’re feeling nervous, “oh, no way…”
Then why did you send the girl
a bouquet of autumn flowers?

It’s the autumn with its clouds…

A tear, don’t blush, my friend,
she isn’t going to hurt you.
You say: “it’s nothing, just the rain”,
but we both know better.

It’s the autumn with its clouds…

זמר נוגה – Melancholy Song / Rachel

Will you hear my voice, my faraway,
will you hear my voice, wherever you are –
a voice calling strong, a voice shedding a tear
and beyond time demanding a blessing?

The world is wide with full of paths,
crossing briefly, parting forever.
A person seeks, but his legs give way,
he cannot find that which is lost.

The last of my days may be close,
close may be the day for parting tears,
I will wait for you until my life extinguishes,
as Rachel awaits her loved one.

יצאנו אט – We Left Slowly (Chefer/Zehavi)

We left slowly, pale was the night,
in the distance lights were flickering
and you were so beautiful, as your eyes
tried to contain their tears.

The jackal howled, you went into the vineyard,
your tear flowing down like tree sap,
as you recalled the hours before
we left on the narrow path to battle.

You recalled our laughter flowing like a stream,
and you recalled a dance and a harmonica,
and you recalled a stack of hay,
and the caress of your special one…

And if you remain enveloped by loneliness
walking slowly through the vineyards,
you will have to wait it out so silently
we parted and smiled with a gaze.

אבשלום – Absalom – Einstein/Chanoch

One day, one day,
born there to wander the woods,
with a gown of golden threads, a young price,
a stepmother and a white horse.

One day, one day,
a small house, and the gate opens…
a tired princess falls asleep on a ray of light,
an guest on a black horse arrives.

Why not, why not now,
what surely will come tomorrow.
Why not, why not now,
what surely will come tomorrow.

Never was, never was,
a white horse, a princess in the woods,
legends never happen, just in dreams,
not happy ever after, just ever after
never was, never was – peace.

Why not, why not now…

Absalom, Absalom,
Like a dream, like a mid-summer dream,
why not, why not, why not now,
what surely will come tomorrow.

אני ואתה – You and I – Einstein/Gavrielov

You and I will change the world,
you and I, then everyone will follow,
it’s been said before, before my time,
never mind – you and I will change the world.

You and I will try to start over,
we’ll have it rough, but that doesn’t matter,
it’s been said before, before my time,
never mind, you and I will change the world.

You and I will change the world,
you and I, then everyone will follow,
it’s been said before, before my time,
never mind – you and I will change the world.

שיר אחרי מלחמה – A Post-War Song (A. Einstein)

An ancient song, a song of soldiers
returning after battle
A song of a loved one, waiting for you –
someone sang it before

This is post-war song
it always fills me with hope
she is waiting, her lover will soon return
this is the song that comes after the war

He writes a letter, she responds with three
that’s how it always goes
he sends a poem, she wipes a tear,
someone sang it before

This is a post-war song…

The whole block cheers, and throws bouquets
how good that peace has come.
Here they come back, may they be healthy –
someone sang it before

This is a post-war song…

An ancient song, a song of soldiers
returning after battle.

ערב מול הגלעד – Evening Facing The Gilead – Goldberg/Gavrielov

The trees are so heavy,
fruits weigh down their branches,
this is the relaxing time of evening,
when the children fall asleep.

Into the valley from the Gilead,
a black and tender lamb descends,
a sheep is crying in the pen –
it’s her young baby that was lost.

The lamb returns to his mother’s side,
lying in the pen to sleep,
and the sheep kisses him
and gives him a name.

The night hides above the branches,
and the prophet from Gilead
descends silently into the valley
to watch over the sleeping children.

The lamb returns…

פגישה לאין קץ – Eternal Meeting – Alterman/Shemer

You took me by storm, I will play your song forever
I cannot fence you in, I cannot put up gates!
My passion is yours and your garden is mine
my body dizzies, my hands go limp!

In my book, you are the sin and the judge.
Sudden forever, my eyes transfixed on you,
fighting in streets, bleeding raspberry sunsets,
you collect me into your bundles.

Do not plead with those who retreat from you.
Alone I will be a wanderer in your lands.
My prayer does not ask for anything,
my prayer is one, and it says: here, take it!

To the ends of sorrow, to the eyes of night,
in empty winding streets of steel,
my God commanded me to bring your children,
from my poverty, almonds and raisins.

Good thing your hand still entraps our heart,
don’t feel sorry for its weariness from running,
don’t let it go dark like a room
that shutters the stars outside.

There a moon shines like the kiss of a chef,
there a damp sky thunders its cough,
there a tree drops a branch like a handkerchief
and I bow down, and pick her up.

And I know that to the beating of drums,
in a bustling city full of silence and pain,
I will one day fall with an injured head
to pick up our smile from among the chariots.

עין גדי – Ein Gedi – Peretz/Aharoni

The dead blue sea slowly flows
while a small cloud sails above.
The grove tree silently sways
and every line in the sand is beautifully carved.
The earth turns yellow under the scorching sun
and a whiff of suffocating dirt flies high
but Ein Gedi will not dry up and wither,
within it, green and brown will prevail.

Ein Gedi, Ein Gedi,
how you blossom in the sun
Ein Gedi, Ein Gedi
how your streams flow through the wilderness
Ein Gedi, Ein Gedi
beauty raises its head within you
and our hearts ponder and crave you
and our hearts ponder and crave you.

The dead blue sea slowly flows
and every mountain around holds its head high.
Nahal Arugot, that well known river,
flows directly into the sea.
The earth turns yellow under the scorching sun
but Ein Gedi is a desert oasis
each new day, different from the one before
and tomorrow will bring a bright future.

Ein Gedi, Ein Gedi…

מה עושות האיילות – What Do Deer Do – Goldberg/Rechter

[hebrew uses female deer, so it should be: what do the does do?]
What do deer do at night?
they shut their big eyes.
They cross their light-footed legs,
the deer sleep at night.

Who keeps an eye on their sweet dreams?
The distant white moon.
He shines on the garden and smiles
and scolds the jackals: stay away and hush!

What do the deer dream at night?
They dream that the big elephants
played marbles with them,
and the deer won the whole lot.

Who wakes them at the crack of dawn?
Not the elephant, nor the monkey, nor the jackal,
not the bunny, nor the rooster, nor the rabbit,
it’s their “dear” friend, the morning star,
who wakes them every morning from their sleep.

עטור מצחך – Laced is Your Forehead – Chalfi/Rechter

Laced is your forehead in black gold,
(I don’t recall if it’s been written in a song)
your forehead rhymes with eyes and light,
(I don’t recall if it’s been rhymed in a song)
but whoever wins you over,
his life will be full of song.

Your pink robe is wooly and light.
You wrap yourself inside it every night.
I would not want to be your brother,
nor a monk praying to a vision of an angel
seeing dark dreams of holiness
when in front of him, you stand as a woman…

You like to be
sad and silent
listening to a story of near, of far,
and I, occasionally staring at you quietly,
with no voice or words,
forget about everyone else.
My soul resides within the walls of your home
trapped inside your walls
you departed from me
while I, in body, depart from you.

My dream is laid as a carpet at your feet
walk, loved one, over its flowers with your footsteps
put on your pink robe at nighttime
and soon I will come to you.

Laced is your forehead with black gold,
it draws to my lips like a rhyme to a song
then I’ll whisper in your ear until the light of dawn
like a drunk…
Laced is your forehead with black gold.

שיר אהבה לים – Love Song to The Sea – Eliaz/Argov

If all is dark and I have no star
and if the sea is angry,
on the flagpole of my ship, mother,
light a rose of fire.

And if the sky pales without a smile
and dawn seems far away,
extend me a warm hand, bless me, mother,
and your heart will strengthen mine.

A dome of gold above
below an abyss of darkness.
Carry me, wave, carry me, wave,
to the land of my dreams.
Carry me wisely
and don’t ask what’s wrong.
A little bird, a little bird,
over the horizon awaits me.

If my bride in her dreams
weaves an outfit for a loved one,
kiss her forehead silently, oh mother,
tell her I will return.

And if she asks you the path I follow at sea,
and what it is I am hunting,
tell her: a magical offering, oh mother,
for the baby we are expecting.

הכניסיני תחת כנפך – Take Me Under Your Wing – Bialik/Gavrielov

Take me under your wing
and be a mother and sister to me
let your embrace be a haven for my head
a vessel for my distant prayers.

In the hour of grace at dusk
listen, I will tell you the secret of my suffering
they say there is youth in the world
where is my youth?

Take me under your wing…

One more secret to you I will confess
my soul burns with fire
they say there is love in the world
what is love…

Take me under your wing…

The stars tricked me
there was a dream but it too has passed
now I have nothing in the world
I have nothing.

Take me under your wing…

שכשנבוא – That When We Arrive – from Greek

Time scares away the years,
and puts some wisdom in our hearts,
but there are things it hasn’t revealed:
will another flower blossom for me?
will an old spark awake in me?
is an answer awaiting me at the end?

And how will we know
if there is any hope
that when we arrive
we will find an answer?

Where do the railroad tracks lead?
where do the prayers go?
who will answer and who will hear me?
who will open their hearts to me?
and if I go, where will I arrive?
is an answer awaiting me at the end?

And how will we know…

It’s just me, and just you
it’s so much, yet so little
how will we know our life wasn’t worthless?
will our life’s work endure?
will our house remain standing?
will love live after us?

And how will we know…

עוף גוזל – Fly, Little Bird (Einstein/Gavrielov)

My little birds have left the nest
spread their wings and flew away
and I, an old bird, remained in the nest
really hoping that everything will be alright.

I always knew the day would come
when we would have to part
but now it came to me so suddenly
so no wonder I’m a little worried.

Fly, little bird
slice the sky
fly to wherever you want
just don’t forget
there’s an eagle in the sky
be careful…

We are now left alone in the nest
but we are together
hold me tight and tell me yes,
don’t worry, it’s fun to grow old together

Fly, little bird…

I know that it’s just nature
and I also left a nest
but now that the moment has arrived
my throat is a little choked up
just a little choked up.

Fly, little bird…

יש בי אהבה – I Have Love inside Me – Arkady Duchin

Between the dark and the hidden
in our bitter world
they say there is still hope
it’s called Love
and we are waiting for it to come.

Between yesterday and the future
between the treasure and the pit
they say there is still hope
it’s called Love
and we are waiting for it to come.

Between confusion and disaster
you know there is an answer
it’s called Love

Between the fake and the true
in the space between life and death
there is Love

I have love inside me
and it will awake and touch
I have love inside me
and it will win

Between sanity and sleep
between childhood and old age
they say there is still hope
it’s called Love
and we are waiting for it to come.

Between yesterday and the future…

גיטרה וכנור – Guitar and Violin – Chanoch

In a small apartment, just a little dark
not too far from here, in a side alley
lives a certain guy with a certain girl
trying to make ends meet
whirling round and round
he, a guitar, she, a violin

Changing strings when the winter comes
she gazes at him, he is into it
and then a hand, a soft caress
a kiss though the air he sends her
whirling round and round
like a guitar and a violin
he by time and she by light.

On friday eves, on saturday nights
they love a lot, they speak a little
they play a duet and suddenly,
the tones ascend and the heart trembles
whirling round and round
he, a guitar, she, a violin.

When the summer comes they spread their wings
following their autumn dreams
didn’t say when they’ll return
from the mountains of Nepal, or the wilderness of Peru,
wandering there round and round
he by time and she by light
with a guitar and a violin.

In a small apartment, just a little dark,
not too far from here, in a side alley
lives a certain guy with a certain girl…

היא יושבה לחלון – She Sits By The Window – Bialik/Gavrielov

She sits by the window
and combs her hair
in your eyes she is a prostitute
but in mine she is pure

I am bitter, bitter,
my heart aches today
if Rachel is gone
where will I go

People have mouths
and they gossip
but Rachel was made for me
and I am made for her

I am bitter, bitter…

At night as I walk
the path through the fields
if Rachel is not with me
my soul is missing.

I am bitter, bitter…

Wheat, stems
send my regards to Rachel
and if you tell me she is late to answer
I will die on the spot

צא מזה – Leave It Behind – Rothblit/Gavrielov

Uneasy again,
tense and kicking again,
what a difficult age,
everyone goes through this stage,
leave it behind, what’s with you,
your mom is cooking for you.

Restless again,
something is devouring you,
another cup of coffee,
it grips and doesn’t let go,
take a good book now,
it will give you something to think about.

So, maybe if you stop fighting the world,
then maybe you will feel more secure.

Uneasy again,
tense and kicking again,
what a difficult age,
everyone goes through this stage,
leave it behind, what’s with you,
your mom is cooking for you.

So, maybe if you stop fighting the world,
then maybe you will feel more secure.

צליל מכוון – A Sound To Your Ear – Klepter

Come on over, come over here,
I’m sending over a sound to your ear
after years of uncertainty
come on over, come to the words,
to the rhythm, to the sounds,
enough with the dream, turn into reality

When trees blossom in the garden
it doesn’t hurt to fall in love
that’s why I’m standing here and playing

Come on over, come with me,
it’s simplicity and practicality,
let’s go out together, we’ll surely enjoy,
my little heartbreaker
I’m broken beyond repair
and that’s a good enough reason
so come on…

When trees…

Come on over, come over here,
I’m sending over a sound to your ear
after years of uncertainty
my little heartbreaker
I’m broken beyond repair
and that’s a good enough reason
so come on…

סע לאט – Drive Slowly – Einstein/Gavrielov

Driving in the old car,
into the wet night.
The rain gets heavy again,
visibility is bad,
drive slowly.

Tzvi says these rains are bad for crops
and I think how warm it is at home, and the poor soldiers –
who are lying in the mud now.
Drive slowly, drive slowly.

On the radio, a famous skit,
soon it’s time for the news.
Tonight there will be heavy hail,
and my windshield wiper is gone.

Tzvi says his head is cold, close a window.
And I think my team lost again, and the poor fans –
must be eating their hearts out.
Drive slowly, drive slowly.

Let your thoughts go in every direction,
they won’t start without us.
Drive slowly, drive slowly.

Driving in the old car,
into the wet night.
tomorrow I will get up early,
you’ll see it will be all right.

Tzvi says he can’t breathe and he’s out of drops,
and I think of you and how you know how to spoil me,
I love you.
Drive slowly, drive slowly.

Remember how we drove to Eilat,
down to the beach.
We were all in the same mindset,
singing Beatles in harmony.

Driving in the old car,
into the wet night.
The rain gets heavy again,
visibility is bad.

Tzvi says they found a planet that has life,
And I think we’re almost in Gaza – I hope a rocket –
doesn’t fly our way and send us to hell.
Drive slowly, drive slowly.

Let your thoughts go in every direction,
they won’t start without us.
Drive slowly, drive slowly.

Driving in the old car, into the wet night….

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