Mein Shtetele Belz
Copyright © 2017 Martin Davis
When I recall my childhood, I feel like I am having a dream. how does the little house look, which used to sparkle with lights? Does the little tree grow which I planted long ago? Refrain: Beltz, my little town! The little house where I spent my childhood! The poor little room where I used to laugh with other children! Every Shabes I would run to the river bank to play with other children under a little green tree. Belz, my little town! My little town where I had so many fine dreams! Az ikh tu mir dermonen Mayne kindershe yorn, Punkt vi a kholem Zet dos mir oys. Vi zet oys dos hayzele, Vos hot amol geglantzt, Tzi vakst nokh dos beymele, Vos ikh hob farflantzt? Refrain: Oy, oy, oy Beltz, mayn shtetele Belz, Mayn heymele, vu ikh hob Mayne kindershe yorn farbrakht. Beltz, mayn shtetele Belz, In ormen shtibele, Mit ale kinderlekh dort gelakht. Oy, eden Shabes fleg ikh loyfn Mit ale inglekh tzuglaykh Tzu zitzn unter dem grinem beymele, Leynen bay dem taikh Oy oy oy Belz, Mayn shtetele Belz, Mayn heymele, vu kh'hob gehat Di sheyne khaloymes a sakh.
The song Mein Shtetle Belz, expresses the longing for Jewish life in Bălţi, Bessarabia. The words were written by the actor Jacob Jacobs (1892-1972), and the melody composed by Alexander Olshanetsky (1892-1946). The song was written in 1928 for the play Ghetto Song apparently as a tribute to the famous singer (’zingerin’) Isa Kremer, born in Bălţi. This recording is probably from circa 1934 and sung by Seymour Rexit.
YouTube video featuring the Yiddish song Mein Shtetele Belz, with images of the town and its former Jewish community