Audio

Barynya


Sung by Sue Broudy, harmony by Maggie Jo Shapiro
03/02/2014
© Sue Broudy

Story

Barynya*, which is Russian for “barn dance” and “sudarnya” for “young lady”, is a song about my grandmother Charna, who emigrated from Odessa, Russia to Ellis Island, NY, then made her way to South Carolina to start her life over after an Odessa pogrom**. 

*The violin intro and inspiration for writing the song Barynya is taken from the intro to Czardas, written by Italian composer Vittorio Monti in 1904.

**A pogrom is a violent massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group, particularly one aimed at Jews.  The term, a Yiddish variation on a Russian word meaning "thunder", originally entered the English language to describe 19th and 20th-century attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire.

Lyrics

                                                                    

The streets were filled with broken glass                                      

And mama says close your eyes and dream at last

Mama says, to close your eyes

Close your eyes, and dream

 

You knew this was a place that you couldn’t stay

Where life was brutal and cold every day

Deep down you knew

You couldn’t stay

         

Ai-yi yi yi yi Barynya                       

Barynya  sudarynya, barynya                    

Ai-yi yi yi // Barynya

 

Passage on the S.S. Majestic was paid

And you sailed so far away

You sailed

So far away

 

You landed on free soil in the land of liberty

Greeted by the brave and the free

In the land

Of liberty

Ai-yi yi yi yi Barynya                       

Barynya  sudarynya, barynya                    

Ai-yi yi yi // Barynya

Then you traveled by rail to the South Carolines

Where the heat was like fruit off the vine     

You kissed the land and said
Ple-e-e-e-ease, be mine

Ai-yi yi yi yi Barynya                       

Barynya  sudarynya, barynya                    

Ai-yi yi yi // Barynya

Now the streets are filled with children and games

Although you still dream of glass you know your life’s not the same

Thank God.

It’s not the same 

 

Ai-yi yi yi yi Barynya                       

Barynya  sudarynya, barynya                    

Ai-yi yi yi // Barynya

 

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