The Shoat Statements

Random musings by the multiple voices inside my head.

The second song on a tape of English children's songs we owned (as far as I know, the only kids tape we had in English), it remained etched in my mind from the time I heard it. Maybe it was the haunting music, maybe something in the lyrics...I don't know.

It remained buried at the back of my mind, until I heard the tune today, being played on a guitar by a man near the subway.

Many hours and several Internet pages later, I find out that the song was written as "Dana Dana" in Yiddish for a musical and was translated later into English in 1941.

Don't let the surface value of the words fool you; it was not intended as a paean to vegetarianism, but had a deeper political meaning behind it. For me, it rings just as true today, as it did when it was written.

Dona Dona

On a wagon bound and helpless
Lies a calf, who is doomed to die.
High above him flies a swallow
Soaring gaily through the sky.

The winds laughs in the cornfield
Laughs with all his might
Laughs and laughs the whole day through
An half way through the night
Dona, dona, dona...

Now the calf is softly crying
"Tell me wind, why do you laugh?"
Why can't I fly like the swallow
Why did I have to be a calf,


Calves are born and soon are slaughtered
With no hope of being saved.
Only those with wings like swallow
Will not ever be enslaved.


- words by Aaron Zeitlin, music by Sholom Secunda

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Be true to your heart, and true to your conscience.

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