Recent Updates

[09/28/2013] Pnina's "Beauty is Before Me" will be performed by a massed choir on Oct. 5 in St. Catharines and Oct. 6 in Lewiston, NY. Three choirs will perform together. Other Niagara composers will also be featured. Details are available here.

[05/29/2013] A video of Pnina's Niggun, for violin, flute and harp, performed by members of the Niagara Youth Orchestra on Sunday, May 12, at the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara. is available here.

Lyrics of Vocal Works on the CD

  1. Gey Ikh Mir Shpatsieren (I Go Out Walking)

  2. Gey ikh meer shpatseeren – tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la!
    Gey ikh meer shpatseeren – tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la!
    Do treft mikh un a bocher – a-ha!
    Do treft mikh un a bocher – a-ha!

    Er zugt er vet mikh nemen– tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la! [Repeat line]
    Nor er leygt es op oif zumer –aha! [Repeat line]

    Der zumer ist gekumen– tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la! [Repeat line]
    Ober er hot mikh nit genumen – aha!
    Nayner hot mikh nit genumen – aha!

    I go out walking - tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la
    I go out walking - tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la
    When lo! I meet a fellow, a-ha!
    When lo! I meet a fellow, a-ha!

    He says he will marry me, tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la [Repeat line]
    Only he put it off for the summer, a-ha![Repeat line]

    Summer did come at last- tra-la-la-la, la-la-la, la [Repeat line]
    But he did not marry me, a-ha!
    No! He did not marry me - aha! aha!

  3. Shlof Mayn Kind (Sleep, My Child)
  4. Text by the great Yiddish writer, Shalom Aleichem, in 1892. Other tunes exist to this text, but this is an outstanding version.

    Shlof, mayn kind, mayn treyst, mayn sheyner,
    Shlofzhe, zunenyu.,
    Shlof mayn leben, mayn kaddish ayner,
    Lulinke lu-lu
    Shlof mayn leben, mayn kaddish ayner,
    Lulinke lu-lu

    Bay dayn veegl sitzt dayne mame,
    Zingt a leed un veynt
    Vest amol farsteyn mistame,
    Vos zee hot gemeynt
    Vest amol farsteyn mistame,
    Vos zee hot gemeynt

    In Amerika iz der tate –
    Dayner, zunenyu
    Du bist nokh a kind, les ate,
    Shlofzhe, shlof, lu-lu
    Du bist nokh a kind, les ate,
    Shlofzhe, shlof, lu-lu

    Biz er kumt der guter kvitl,
    Shlofzhe, zunenyu
    Shlofn iz a tayer mitl,
    Lulinke, lu-lu
    Shlofn iz a tayer mitl,
    Lulinke, lu-lu
    Sleep, my child, my comfort, my beauty,
    Sleep, my darling one,
    Sleep, my life, my only kaddish,
    Lulinke lu-lu, [Repeat last 2 lines]

    By your cradle sits your mama,
    Sings a song and weeps,
    You’ll understand some day perhaps
    What is on her mind

    In America lives your papa,
    Yours – my darling one
    You’re still a child at present,
    So sleep, sleep, lu-lu.

    ‘Til we get the happy letter,
    Sleep, my darling one
    Sleeping is a precious help,
    Lulinke, lu-lu [Repeat last 2 lines]

  5. Der Filozof (The Philosopher)
  6. The humorous song (originally titled Dos Gute Kepl) by Velvl Zbarzher, (1826?-1883) is a satire upon the alleged miracles of the wonder working Rabbi, or, it can also be interpreted as a scathing criticism of the arrogance of the secular scientific mindset.

    Kum aher, du filozof,
    Mit dayn katsishn moykhl,
    Kum aher tsum rebns tish
    Un lern dort zikh seykhl. 

    A luft ballon hos tu oysgetrakht,
    Un maynst du bist a khorutz,
    Der rebbe shpot, der rebbe lakht,
    Er darf dos oyf kapores

    Tsu veystu, vos der rebb tut,
    Beys er zitst beyikhides?
    In ayn minut in himl fleet,
    Un est dort shalosh sudes.

    Come here, you philosopher
    With your little cat’s brain;
    Come sit at the rabbi’s table
    And learn some sense.

    An air balloon you did invent
    And think yourself a genius;
    The rabbi mocks, the rabbi laughs,
    He has no earthly need of it.

    Have you any idea what he does
    When he sits all alone?
    In one moment he flies to heaven,
    And eats there the third Sabbath meal.

  7. Di Goldene Pave (The Golden Peacock)
  8. The golden peacock became a symbol of a free messenger, one who could carry greetings to loved ones. It was adapted by many poets and song writers.

    Es kumt tsu fleein dee goldene pave
    Fun a fremdn land – fun a fremdn land,
    Hot zi farloren dem gildenem feder
    Mit a groysn shand.

    Vee es iz biter, mayn leebe muter,
    A feygele oyf dem yam - A feygele oyf dem yam,
    Azoy is biter, mayn leebe muter
    Bay a shlekhtn man.
    A golden peacock came flying
    From a foreign land – from a foreign land,
    And she lost her golden feather
    In burning shame

    Just as ‘tis bitter, my dear mother,
    For a little bird on the sea [Repeat line]
    So it is bitter, my dear mother,
    To put up with a cruel husband.

  9. Mayn Harts Veynt in Mir (My Heart, My Soul Cries Aloud)
  10. Mayn harts, mayn harts, veynt in meer,
    Az ikh darf mikh sheydn yetzt mit deer
    Mayne gedanken aheen aher, mit deer
    tseysheydn iz mir shver [repeat 2 lines]

    Vu foors tu, mayn zis leben,
    Vu foors tu fun meer avek?
    Vu vel ikh dikh darfen zukhn,
    Zogzhe meer oyf velkhn veg?[repeat 2 lines]

    Vest kumen tsu a vasserl,
    Zolst du sikh nikht trenken,
    Vest kumen tsu an ander meydele,
    Zols tu mikh gedenken. [repeat 2 lines]
    My heart, my soul cries aloud,
    As I must bid a sad farewell to you
    My thoughts grow somber as far they wander,
    To part from you, I cannot bear[repeat 2 lines]

    Where are you now, my own sweet life,
    Why do you wander from your own true love?
    Where can I find you, in what far land,
    Tell me, on what far shore? [repeat 2 lines]

    If you should cross a flowing brook,
    Do not drown your dear self there,
    Should you find another pretty girl,
    Think of me, remember me. [repeat 2 lines]

  11. Eli, Eli (My God, My God)
  12. Jacob K. Sandler, arr. M. Schalit. A heartfelt and defiant lament from the play Brokhe (Prayer), 1896.

    Eyli, Eyli,
    Lomo asavtoni [Repeat 2 lines]
    Mit fayer un flam hot men uns gebrent,
    Eeberal hot men uns, gemakht tsu shand, tsu spot
    Obzutreyten fun uns hot dokh kayner nit gewagt.
    Fun unser heyliger toyre,
    Fun unser Gebot
    Eyli, Eyli
    Lomo asavtoni [Repeat 2 lines]

    Tog un nakht,
    Nor ikh trakht
    Un ikh beyt
    Ikh hit mit moyre unser Toyre,

    Un ikh beyt
    Reyte uns – reyte uns amol
    Far unsere Avos,
    Avos Avoseynu
    Her tsu mayn gebeyt,
    Un mayn geveyn
    Vayl helfen kenst du,
    Nor Got aleyn
    Vayl Shma Yisroel –
    Adoshem Elokeynu,
    Adoshem Ekhad!
    My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    In fire and flames we have been burnt
    Everywhere they shamed and mocked us

    But no one could turn us away
    From you my God
    And from your Holy Torah
    From your commandments
    My god.

    Day and night, I only think
    Of you, my God.
    I keep with awe
    Your Torah and your commandments.

    Save me, oh save me from danger
    Like once you saved our fathers from an angry czar.

    Only you can help.
    Listen, Israel, God our Lord
    Is one.

  13. Tu Madre Cuando Te Pario (Your Mother When She Bore You)
  14. Folktune arr. By Richard J. Neumann

    Tu madre cuando te pario
    Y te quito al mundo,
    Corason ella no te dio,
    Para amar segundo.

          Adio querida,
          No quero la vida,
          Me l’amargates tu.

    Va, buxcate otro amor,
    Aharva otras puertas,
    Aspera otro ardor
    Que para mi sos muerta.
    Your mother when she bore you,
    And gave you to the world,
    She did not give you a heart,
    To love anyone else.

          Good-bye dearest,
          I don’t want a life,
          You have embittered it.

    Go look for another love,
    Go knock on other doors,
    Wait for another burning love,
    As for me, you are dead.

  15. Respondemos (Answer us)
  16. Folktune arr. Richard J Neumann and adapted by Pnina Blake

    Respondemos, Dio de Abraham
    El que responde en la hora de volundad
    Respondemos, pavor de Yitzhak
    El que responde en hora de angustia
    Respondemos, fuerte de Yaakov
    Respondemos, Dio de la Merkava
    Respondemos, padre piadoso y gracioso
    Answer us, God of Abraham
    The one who answers in the hour of grace,
    Answer us
    Answer us, fright of Isaac
    Answer us
    The one who answers in the hour of anguish
    Answer us, strong one of Jacob
    Answer us, God of the Merkavah
    Answer us, piteous and merciful Father

  17. Durme Hermozo Hijico (Sleep, Beautiful Son)
  18. Arr. Richard J. Neumann

    Durme, durme, hermozo hijico
    Durme durme, con savor
    Cerra tus luzios ojicos
    Durme durme, con savor

    A la scola tu te iras
    Y la Ley t’ambezaras
    Sleep Sleep, beautiful son
    Sleep with pleasure
    Close your shining eyes
    And sleep with pleasure

    You will go to school
    And you will learn the law.

  19. El Dio Alto (The Lord on High)
  20. Arr. Richard J. Neumann

    El Dio alto con su gracia
    Mos mande muncha ganansia,
    No veamos mal ni ansia
    A nos i a todo Israel

    Venid todos agiuntemos
    Su nombre bendeziremos
    I de El demanderemos
    La bendicion de Israel.
    The Lord on high in His Grace
    May he send us many rewards.
    May we not see evil nor trouble
    We and all children of Israel.

    Come let us gather
    And bless His name
    And from Him we will ask
    The blessings for all Israel.

  21. L'Cha Dodi (Come to Meet the Sabbath Bride}
  22. L’cha dodi likrat kala,
    P’nei Shabbat n’kabela.

    Shamor v’zachor bedibur echad,
    Hismianu Eil ham’yuchad,
    Adonai echad ushemo echad,
    L’shem ul’tiferat v’l’t’hila.
    Beloved, come to meet the bride;
    Come to greet Shabbat.

    Keep and Remember; a single command
    The One God caused us to hear;
    The Eternal is One, His name is One;
    To Him are due all honour and glory and praise.