"On The Plains of Negev": A translation of "בערבות הנגב"

On the plains of Negev, the dew is sparkling well,

On the plains of Negev, a defender fell.

The youth has ceased his breathing, and his heart has stopped,

A gentle breeze caresses the fallen hero's locks.

 

Beaten down with sorrow, and horrid agony,

An aging mother stood there and to her son spoke she:

“The tears are freely streaming from your mother's eyes.

“A leaden bullet plowed through your heart and made you die.”

 

“My eldest child I buried in the deep blue sea

“And then I raised you up, son, to keep our people free.

“They will never break us, in agony and thrall,

“They won't uproot and take us, son, despite it all.”

 

Then a tall youth forward marched and made reply:

“Mother,” said he, “Please don't... There's no need to cry.

“Our boys are at your service, obeying your appeal.

“Against all those who hate us, we're a wall of steel.

 

“Against bloodthirsty robbers and kings with hostile guns,

“Let me serve you, mother, let me be your son.”

In the plains of Negev, he went and shook her hand,

No, it's not a legend, if you want, my friends.

 

 

Copyright in the translation 2011 Aya Katz

Original Copyright is retained by the author רפאל קלצ'קין

This is an equimetrical transaltion of the lyrics to an Israeli song. The original lyrics can be found here.

For further discussion on the meaning of this song, read the article on PubWages.