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Cradle Songs, Grave Songs

by Brivele

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    Thanks so much for your extra support! As a token of our gratitude we'll send you a limited edition "Cradle Songs, Grave Songs" sticker along with the full album on CD, featuring album art by the band on a multi-panel fold-out card case with song translations and attributions.

    Stickers have major axis length 3.23" and an eccentricity of 0.843.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Cradle Songs, Grave Songs via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Zumertsayt 02:37
Zumertsayt un dos lebn iz poshet Di fishlekh shpringen un der bavl iz hoikh Oy, dayn tate iz raykh un dayn mame, a sheyne Sha-shtil ziskayt mayne, veynt zikh nisht Eyner frimorgn vestu shteyen oyf zingen Vest oysshpreyten di fliglen un in himl aroys Biz es kumt der frimorgn gornisht zol dir farshatn Mit tate un mame bay dayn zayt
2.
There will be no hunting season this year All our debts have been forgiven And our names cleared And in the cities we have found All the banks are closed down The squatters all keep their homes And the landlords do something else with their lives And in the suburbs and the towns Midwives have burned the prisons to the ground The highways are overgrown The mountains are still made of ice and stone And if you lie down by the roadside Leave some kind of sign By the roadside There will be no borders to cross this year All the people move freely and the walls have disappeared Vi lang, o vi lang ver ir blaybn nokh shklafn Un trogn di shendlekhe keyt? Vi lang vet ir glentsnde raykhtimer shafn Far dem, vos baroybt ayer broyt? Zol Zayn, az ikh boy In der luft mayne shleser Zol Zayn, az mayn got iz in gantsn nito In troym iz mir heler In troym iz mir beser In kholem der himl iz bloyer fun blo Translation: How long will you remain slaves And wear degrading chains? How long will you produce riches For those who rob you of your bread? Maybe I am building castles in the sky Maybe my God does not really exist But in my dream things are brighter and better And the sky is bluer than blue
3.
Oyfn Ganikl 04:50
Ikh gey aroys oyfn ganikl Dos shtetele bakukn Kumt tsu flien a kleyn feygele Un tut zikh tsu mir bukn Nisht azoy dos kleyne feygele Vi dos sheyne flien Es varft arop mir a kleyn brivele Tu ikh far dem knien Ikh leyen iber dos ershte shurele “Der gelibter iz fardorbn” Ikh leyen iber dos tsveyte shurele “Der gelibter iz geshtorbn!” Klaybt tsunoyf ale mayne khavertes Alemen in eynem Ver s’hot nor a libe gefirt Zol mir helfn veynen Translation: I go out onto the balcony and look upon the city A little bird flies over and delivers a message to me “Your beloved has gone ill Your beloved has died” Friends, anyone who has ever loved Help me weep
4.
Beltz 01:43
Nothin’ but the dead and dyin’ In mayn shtetele Beltz Oy, oy, oy Beltz, mayn shtetele Beltz Mayn heymele, vu ikh hob Mayne kindershe yorn farbrakht Oy, oy, oy Beltz, mayn shtetele Beltz In oremen shtibele Mit ale kinderlekh dort gelakht Oy oy oy Beltz, mayn shtetele Beltz Mayn heymele, vu kh'hob gehat Di sheyne khaloymes a sakh Oy, yedn shabes fleg ikh loyfn Mit ale kinder tzuglaykh Tzu zitzn unter dem grinem beymele Leynen bay dem taykh Translation: Beltz, my little town! My childhood home, the place where I used to laugh and had so many fine dreams! Every Shabbes I would play with other kids under a tree by the river.
5.
Barbasol 00:27
Barbasol, barbasol Ir darf keyn rosh keyn zeysik neyn Shpreyts er likhn zikh aleyn Barbasol, barbasol Yaaaaaaaaa Barbasol Translation: Barbasol, you don't need a brush or cup, it lathers up by itself
6.
Bay mir bistu sheyn Bay mir hostu kheyn Bay mir bistu ayner af der velt Fil sheyne meydlekh hobn shoyn gevolt nemen mikh Un fun zey ale oysgeklibn hob ikh nor dikh Bay mir bistu git Bay mir hostu “it” Bay mir bistu tayerer fun gelt Electric Lady, get way down ‘Cause tonight, gonna do what we want Ooh, you shock it, shake it, baby Electric lady, you're a star You got that classic kind of crazy But you know just who you are You got the look the gods agree they wanna see All the birds and the bees Dancing with the freaks in the trees Watch the water turn to wine Outer space and out your mind Ooh, shock me one good time Translation: To me, you are beautiful You are charming, you are one of a kind To me, you are good, you’ve got “it” You are more precious than money Many pretty girls wanted me But I only want you
7.
On this day, we the people In order to form a more perfect union On this day, we the people We shall not be governed by tyrants In order to uphold justice We will engage in civil disobedience It would be naive to depend on the courts Or to depend on the Constitution Workers, queers, women, people of color: Our rights come only when we organize No Supreme Court will stop the wars Or establish free health care for all Or redistribute the wealth of this country Or end mass incarceration The law is not the same as justice "Equal Justice Before the Law" Has always been a sham Don’t despair about the Supreme Court Don’t despair about the President These are not our only choices Political leadership, be damned We the people have the power To bring democracy by organizing We all have to shake the system up In order to uphold justice We the people will protest demonstrate, strike, boycott Rebel, violate the law, and cause such a commotion In order to uphold justice On this day, we the people In order to uphold justice On this day, we the people
8.
The bats are in the belfry Shlof-zhe, lu-lu-lu. Where are the arms that held me? Shlof-zhe, shlof lu-lu In Amerike iz der tate Dayner, zunenyu Bay dayn vigl zits dayn mame Shlof-zhe, shlof lu-lu And it's such a sad old feeling The fields are soft and green And it's memories that I'm stealing But you're innocent when you dream We were running through the graveyard And we laughed, my friends and I We swore we'd be together Until the day we died Az du mayn kind, vest elter vern Vestu vern mit laytn glaykh Demolst vestu gevoyre vern Vos heyst orem un vos heyst raykh I made a golden promise That we would never part I gave my love a locket And then I broke her heart And it's such a sad old feeling The palace built so fine But the hands that built it will never live inside You're innocent when you dream Translation: While your daddy’s in America Your mama sits by your cradle Go to sleep, little one And when you grow older, my child You will be like the rest of us That’s when you will find out What it means to be rich or poor
9.
Ven mir kumen on marshirn In a sheynem heln tog Kikhn tunkele milyonen A toyznt shaps oyf shtok Baputst vern mit shtraln Ven di zun’s aroys-geshprungen Vayl di mentshn hern zingen “Broyt un royzn, broyt un blumen” Ven mir kumen on marshirn Far mener oykh kemft men Vayl froyens zin un brider Mames zaynen mir geven S’vet fun undz keyn shveys nit rinen Fun geburt biz ende lebn Hertzer hungern, oykh kerper: Git undz broyt, un git undz blumen Ven mir geyen marshirn Brengen mir besere teg Vayl vos shtarker mir di froyen Vert alts shtarker oykh di velt On shklaferay, on leydik geyers Arbetn tsen, genist nor eyner Teylt zikh mit dem guts fun lebn Broyt un royzn! Broyt un blumen! As we go marching, marching In the beauty of the day A million darkened kitchens A thousand mill lofts gray Are touched with all the radiance That a sudden sun discloses For the people hear us singing “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!” As we go marching, marching, We battle too for men For patriarchy hurts us all And it has got to end Our lives shall not be sweated From birth until life closes Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us bread, but give us roses As we go marching, marching Unnumbered women dead Go crying through our singing Their ancient call for bread Small art and love and beauty Their drudging spirits knew Yes it is bread we fight for But we fight for roses, too! As we go marching, marching The people hear our call: The rising of the women Means the rising of us all No more the drudge and idler Ten that toil where one reposes But a sharing of life’s glories Bread and roses! Bread and roses!
10.
A personal friend of the Czar was I A personal friend of the great Nikolai Why we practically shlept in the same double bed With him at the foot, and me at the head But all that seems distant and all that seems far From those wonderful nights At the palace of the Czar Hey hey hey I was shootin' with Rasputin Ate farina with Czarina Blintzes with the princes of the Czar Hey hey hey We were sharing tea and herring Dipped banana in smetana Borscht and vorscht around the samovar Hey hey! A friend of the Czar All his glorious life I was also a friend of his Pretty young wife Why we practically shlept in the same double bed But the Czar kicked me out and he shlept there instead One bloody day a revolution broke out So I packed up my bags and I peaced the fuck out My driver was ready, I hopped in the car I counted my tips and I threw out the jar I have to admit, things seemed pretty bad I had nothing but a bachelor’s degree and a loan from my dad But a position was open and I had a plan: Say hello to Amerika’s new right-hand man Ra-Ra-Rasputin Lover of the Russian queen They didn’t quit, they wanted his head Ra-Ra-Rasputin Russia’s greatest love machine And so they shot him until he was dead
11.
Mir veln zey iberlebn (We will outlive them) Zog nit keyn mol az du geyst dem letstn veg Khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot — Mir zaynen do! Fun grinem palmenland biz vaysn land fun shney Mir kumen on mit undzer payn Mit undzer vey Un vu gefaln s'iz a shprits fun undzer blut Shprotsn vet dort undzer gvure undzer mut S'vet di morgnzun bagildn undz dem haynt Un der nekhtn vet farshvindn mitn faynt Nor oyb farzamen vet di zun in dem kayor Vi a parol zol geyn dos lid Fun dor tsu dor This song was written with our blood and not with lead It's not a song of free birds overhead But our people amidst collapsing barricades We sang this song with rifles and grenades Zog nit keyn mol az du geyst dem letstn veg Khotsh himlen blayene farshteln bloye teg Kumen vet nokh undzer oysgebenkte sho S'vet a poyk ton undzer trot — Mir zaynen do! Translation: Never say that you are going your last way Though lead-filled skies above blot out the blue day The hour for which we long will certainly appear The earth shall thunder 'neath our tread that we are here! From lands of green palm trees to lands all white with snow We are coming with our pain and with our woe And where'er a spurt of our blood did drop Our courage will again sprout from that spot For us the morning sun will radiate the day And the enemy and past will fade away But should the dawn delay or sunrise wait too long Then let all future generations sing this song Dos lid geshribn iz mit blut Un nit mit blay S'iz nit keyn lidl fun a foygl oyf der fray Dos hot a folk tsvishn falndike vent Dos lid gezungen mit naganes in di hent Never say that you are going your last way Though lead-filled skies above blot out the blue day The hour for which we long will certainly appear The earth shall thunder 'neath our tread that we are here!
12.
Pak zikh ayn, pak zikh ayn Ver ken nit dos refreyn Dort muz men zayn nisht gelingen Mirn zey dos lidl zingen Pak zikh ayn, pak zikh ayn Pack your things, move along It’s time to sing the same old song We live our lives in many places Braiding together our many faces Pack your things, pack your things Time to go, we sing again Been crossing borders since Eden We will never be confined We carry homeland in our mind Pak zikh ayn, pak zikh ayn Though my voice is wearing thin When it cracks the light gets in So I sing, so I sing In dokh zing ikh, oy oy oy, zing ikh (Yet still I sing) In dokh tantz ikh, oy oy oy, tantz ikh (Yet still I dance) In dokh leyb ikh, oy oy oy, leyb ikh (Yet still I live) The task ahead is incomplete We may not finish, but cannot retreat Remember the Nakba, the key and lock Remember the tea was still hot Pak zikh ayn, pak zikh ayn And though they say I have no home No land on which to rest my bones Mir zaynen do, and still I live Aza yor af mayne sonim Vos fara tam vos fara ponim In mayn vandl af di vegn S’hot mayn lebn, mayn farmegn Pak zikh ayn, pak zikh ayn I wish upon my enemies Stiff arms that cannot bend or swing We will starve ‘til we discover In doykeit we can feed each other Though my body cannot stand Though I have no feet or hands Still I dance, still I dance In dokh tantz ikh, oy oy oy, tantz ikh In dokh zing ikh, oy oy oy, zing ikh In dokh leyb ikh, oy oy oy, leyb ikh With this body full of sorrow Broken bones still hurt tomorrow We’ll fight along side one another Our freedom is bound up with each other So we live, together we live In dokh leyb ikh, oy oy oy, leyb ikh In dokh tantz ikh, oy oy oy, tantz ikh In dokh zing ikh, oy oy oy, zing ikh
13.
S’fayft der vint Durkh unzer dakh Himl tsindt Zikh afdernakht Kind mayns, kind Afgikh shlof ayn Zol der vint Dir zayn vi vayn Vald un feld Der toyt farhilkht Mamen kvelt Nit mer keyn milkh Tate iz In shlakht avek Mame vigt A vig mit shrek Korn, vayts Vart afn shnit Tate shteyt Hinter madrid Shrek zikh nit Mayn tayer kind: Tate hit Madrid fun hint Tate hit Dayn libe shtot Fun fashists Farsmutn trot Kind mayns, kind Afgikh shlof ayn Zol der vint Dir zayn vi vayn Translation: The wind whistles past Our roof, and light Flickers in The sky tonight Child, mayn kind Sleep, child of mine May the wind Be like wine Woods and field Resound with death There's no more milk At Mama's breast Papa's gone Away to war Mama rocks Your crib with fear Rye and wheat Should be harvested Papa's keeping The dogs from Madrid Don't be frightened Child of mine Papa's watching Madrid, from behind Papa's keeping Your city safe From the fascists' Poisoned step Child, mayn kind Sleep, child of mine May the wind Be like wine

about

Grief-stricken times are so often yoked to beauty. There are the songs that weep out of us, and the songs we breathe over our children when they sleep. There is the tinkering at life that happens in between.

It was the beginning of 2020. We were counting down the days until Hannah would have her baby, expecting that our ability to play shows would be impacted by childbirth and parenthood, never imagining what the subsequent year would entail. Eve arrived in mid-March, almost simultaneously with the pandemic. Songs of comfort and mourning, in all their continuity and contrast, became suddenly more salient. A record with so many dark lullabies began to make more and more sense.

We met on Zoom, then at a park 20 feet apart. The empty parking lot of the closed zoo. We worked on new songs. Stef pretty immediately found “Oyfn Ganikl” as we searched for tunes to help us reckon with the pandemic. The song tells the story of a seemingly normal day that ends as a bereft lover cries out for community to help them weep. Deeper into lockdown, Maia brought us “Zumertsayt” and “Spanish Viglid,” two lullabies sung from the vantage point of hardship; yet, it is a type of hardship that envisions softness and freedom to carry fun dor tsu dor, from generation to generation.

We had recorded half of the album in the last months of 2019, and found a safe way to finish it in December 2020. In all, it has 13 songs recorded over a span of 13 months. Some songs are well-worn and audience-tested, while others we had never performed and had only ever played at a distance, with harmonies filtered through layers of cotton. So, we hear us figuring things out on this album: songs that were fresh and not yet under our skin, and older tunes that feel different without a late night crowd. The world from before is mingled with the one we came to know in quarantine. Maybe you can hear us by I-5 in a pandemic summer, marching in the beauty of the day? Maybe you can hear us picked up by each other’s microphones, crammed shoulder to shoulder in a studio the winter before?

The plague days are in the songs in ways we can hear and ways we have yet to interpret. The songs are dedicated to the folx we’ve lost and the newcomers we are falling in love with; to the defenders and dreamers of justice, so that we may all rest easy together one day.

credits

released May 1, 2021

Brivele is:
Stefanie Brendler on vocals and accordion.
Maia Brown on vocals and banjo.
Hannah Hamavid on vocals, ukulele and violin.

* Tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 recorded by Ross Kirshenbaum in November 2019 at 7 Hills Studio in Seattle, WA.
* Tracks 1, 3, 13 recorded by Brian Lindsay in December 2020 at Scrub Jay Studio in Olympia, WA.
* Track 9 recorded by Brian Lindsay in July 2020 at The 5507 Farm in Seattle, WA.
* Snaps and MIDI bass on track 6 by Brian Lindsay

Mixed by Ross Kirshenbaum and Brian Lindsay. Mastered by Steven Bluestein.

Gratitude:
Brian Lindsay and Ross Kirshenbaum for production assistance. Faith Jones, Wendy Marcus, and Peter Lippman for translation assistance. Amelia Glaser for sending us her book and encouraging us to think of these poems as songs. Geoff Berner for invaluable feedback. Sivan Slapak for facilitating our access to the Yiddish translation of “Bread and Roses.” Jewish Voice for Peace for motivating us to write “In Dokh Zing Ikh.” Sarah Shay for editing the liner notes. KlezKanada for amazing opportunities to learn, connect, and conspire. Anna for childcare. Judith Kolokoff, z"l. Beulah Rollnick, z”l. RBG, z”l.

Find more on our website: www.brivele.com

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Brivele Seattle, Washington

A discontented punky-klezy trio of Yiddishists.

Brivele is:

Stefanie Brendler (accordion, vox, glockenspiel, slide whistle)
Maia Brown (banjo, vox)
Hannah Hamavid (violin, ukulele, vox)
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