Ladino

Los Bilbilicos Cantan
Kun sospiros de amor;
Mi neshama mi ventura,
Estan en tu poder.

La rosa enflorese
En el mes de mai;
Mi neshama s’escurese,
Sufriendo del amor.

Mas presto ven palomba,
Mas presto ven con mi,
Mas presto ven querida,
Corre y salvame.

English

The nightingales are singing
With breaths of love;
My soul, my fortune,
Are in your power.

The rose blooms
In the month of May;
My soul withers away
Suffering from love.

Come more quickly, dove,
More quickly come to me.
Come quickly, my beloved,
Run and save me.

Description

Also known as “La Rosa Enflorese,” this is one of the best-known and widely performed Sephardic songs. Its exact origin is unknown, but most likely it comes from one of the Sephardic communities in the Balkans. Like the vast majority of songs in the traditional Sephardic repertoire, this song is probably not of ancient origin (as some like to think); most likely it was composed in the 19th or early 20th century. Some listeners may recall a song called “The Swallow,” by Richard Fariña, which was written and recorded by his wife Mimi in duet with her sister, Joan Baez, in 1964. The melody to Fariña’s version is identical to that of “Los Bilbilicos” but his lyrics are original, not a translation from Ladino.

Source: Because of its popularity, this song can be found in many sources, including Isaac Levy’s Chants Judeo Espagnols (see #3 above) and The Nico Castel Ladino Song Book (Cedarhurst, NY: Tara Publications, 1981).