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May 03, 2006

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner in Spanish?

My grandparents came to this country in the early 20th century. They might have been happy if there had been a version of the Star Spangled Banner in Yiddish, but they knew they needed to learn English. This was America, after all.

Via Jack Balkin, we find out that there is a Yiddish translation, after all, dating from 1943:

O'zog, kenstu sehn, wen bagin licht dervacht,
Vos mir hoben bagrist in farnachtigen glihen?
Die shtreifen un shtern, durch shreklicher nacht,
Oif festung zich hoiben galant un zich tsein?
Yeder blitz fun rocket, yeder knal fun kanon,
Hot bawizen durch nacht: az mir halten die Fohn!
O, zog, tzi der "Star Spangled Banner" flatert in roim,
Ueber land fun die freie, fun brave die heim!
And he gives a link to a photo of the translation. Click for a larger image.

Thanks, Jack!