Ladino

Una tarde de verano
Pasi por la moreriya
I vi una Mora lavando
Al pie de unafuentefria.

Yo le dishe, “Mora linda,”
Yo le dishe, “Mora beya,
Desha bever a miskavayos
Esasaquaskristalinas?”

“No soy Mora, el kavaljero,
Ke soy de Espanya nasida,
Ke me kautivaron Moros
Dia de Paskua florida.”

“Si kerej venir konmigo
A Espanya te yevariya.”
“Porke yoras, ninya beya,
Porke yoras, ninya linda?”

“Yoro porke en estos kampos
Mi padre a kasar veniya
Kon mi ermaniko, Aleksandro,
I toda su companiya.”

“Avrej puertas i ventanas,
Balkones I galeriyas,
Ke por trayer una espoza,
Vos trygo una ermana miya.”

English

One afternoon in summer
While passing through the Moorish quarter
I saw a Moorish girl washing
At the foot of a cold fountain.

I said, “Pretty Moorish girl,”
I said, “Beautiful Moorish girl,
May my I water my horses
From these crystal waters?”

“I am not Moorish, Knight,
For I was born in Spain;
“I was captured by the Moors
At the time of Passover.”

“If you want to come with me,
I will take you to Spain.”
Why are you crying, beautiful girl,
Why are you crying, lovely girl?”

Because in these fields
My father used to hunt
With my little brother, Alexander,
And all his company.”

“Open the doors and windows,
Balconies and galleries;
For I am not bringing a wife;
I am bringing back my sister!”

Description

credit: http://www.lonelyplanet.com
credit: http://www.lonelyplanet.com

This popular romansa may be one of the earliest songs in the Sephardic repertoire, and one that may have come from Spain with the Jewish exiles. The story itself, some believe, relates to a 13th-century German epic named “Kudrun,” which in turn may have been inspired by a much earlier song of Arabian origin. Very little of this can be reliably documented, however. That said, the text heard on our recording certainly refers to a time when Jews and Arabs, or the Moorish rulers in Andalusia, lived in close contact on the Iberian Peninsula. But we don’t know whether the song comes from the pre-expulsion time or was composed after the exile. Susan learned this song from Flory Jagoda, and I have been unable to locate a reliable printed source.