Ladino

Kaminando por la plaza
Enkontre una mujer.
Suz kaveyos ruvios,
Su grasya era de ver.

Por ti mi linda dama
Dare me vida entera;
Por ti, mi korason se me dezespera,

No se loke are
No se loke dire.

Dieziocho anyos tengo,
En la flor de me mansevea;
Me kemates en un fuego
Por la primera vez.

Por ti mi linda dama . . .

English

While I was walking in the plaza
I met a woman;
Her hair was ruby red;
Her gracefulness was something to see.

For you, my beautiful damsel,
I would give my whole life;
For you, my heart is desperate;

I don’t know what to do;
I don’t know how to tell you.

I am eighteen years old,
In the spring of my youth;
You have set me on fire
For the first time.

For you, my beautiful damsel.

Description

credit www.rachelnet.net
credit www.rachelnet.net

Here is another song from the repertoire of Flory Jagoda, in an arrangement made by the vocal trio, Colors of the Flame, among whose members are Flory’s daughter, Lori Jagoda Lowell, and Susan Gaeta. Flory has said that this group “Americanized” her songs, but singing these songs in harmony of at least two parts is a vital part of the tradition that Flory continues and passes on to her many acolytes.

Sources: This song can be found in Isaac Levy’s Chants Judeo-Espagnols (London: World Sephardi Federation, 1959), with a very different melody, and in Algazi’s Chants Sephardis (see #3 above), with a similar melody and several more verses. Sadly, both books are out of print, but can be found in the Library of Congress.