Donna Donna – meaning of a song

Donna Donna, once introduced by Joan Baez: the song was a political statement in Israel during WWII to encourage resistance vs. Nazi racism … read more at
below: me playing the melody on different guitars…

lyrics written by Aaron Zeitlin, translation by Kevess & Schwartz, the music was composed by Sholom Secunda
title=”Auschwitz/Birkenau” – photo by stevieboyuk, click on the picture to enter his galleries on Flickr
Itzhak Katzenelson, who performed the protest song, was killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz 1944. – Lyrics, written by Aaron Zeitlin:
“On a wagon bound for market
There’s a calf with a mournful eye.
High above him there’s a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky.
“Stop complaining,” said the farmer,
“Who told you a calf to be?
Why don’t you have wings to fly with
Like the swallow so proud and free?”
Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why.
But whoever treasures freedom,
Like the swallow has learned to fly.”
this was one of my most visited blog posts in 2012 – and still appearing in the daily SEARCH of my blog
comments there:
1 – anonymous:
Not so much anti-Nazi as anti-passivity. Pro-resistance… or just pro flying the hell out of Germany.
2 – Chris Breebart
I know this song since a camp in 1972. I like it and actually it was one of the first songs I played on guitar. To me it was a bit melancholic but reading about the true story makes me realize there is an extra depth behind the lines.

About frizztext

websites: 1 - my daily wordpress blog "flickrcomments" at FLICKRCOMMENTS, 2 - my own photos at frizztext, 3 - flickr group group: BLOG IT!

10 responses to “Donna Donna – meaning of a song

  1. A most haunting melody.


  2. Being a little history buff myself, it was interesting to hear this. I read in wikipedia she´s played in 6 languages? I like her music, thank´s for introducing her to me.


  3. It’s always a great moment in a Joan Baez concert. Thank you for this choice


  4. Amy

    Thank you, Frizz! You play the best Donna, Donna!


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