Eich nishpachim palgei sheichar kan
uneharot mashkeh kolchim!
Avatichim kehor hahar kan
al yad giv’ot hatapuchim.
Hashoshanim yafot pi sheva
me’achorei duchan hap’ri
aval anachnu mul hashefa
kan yechefim k’mo sandlarim.


Al ken shato ve’echol, usmach bayayin
Hayom tza’ir atah, machar tazkin.
Hen rack hayom bezol,
‘Al hasakin! Al Hasakin!’

Hashuk machlif tzva’im b’li heref
aval kvu’im bo ham’chirim.
Ksheharochlim yotz’im lateref
az ein chochmot ve’ein shkarim.
Eleinu bo vehithalech po
bemaklecha uvesalcha.
Gadol hashuk, ein ish molech bo
Kulo shelcha, kulo shelcha.


Kach nesalsel bim’lo groneinu
bacharuzim hamazhirim
ach lechem oni zeh chelkeinu
ki ein sachar lam’shorerim.
Ukshenamut kivru otanu
kan bein chavit uvein bakbuk.
Hen rak etmol lashuk higanu
ukvar higi’a sof pasuk.



Oh, how the streams of liquor are poured here
And rivers of beverages flow
Watermelons are piled mountain-high here
With hills of apples just below.
The roses are prettier by sevenfold
Behind the fruit stand counter
But we watch this plenty unfold
As barefoot as the proverbial cobbler.


Therefore drink, eat, and revel in the wine
Today you are young, tomorrow you will decline
For today’s bargain is once in a life
And the day after tomorrow…
On the knife! On the knife! *

The market’s colors are constantly remixed
But the prices in it are fixed
When the vendors are hunting their prey
There are no tricks or lies, just pay.
Come see us and walk around a bit
With a basket and a cane follow your course
The market is big, no one rules over it
It’s all yours, all yours. I


Thus we trill at the top of our throat
In the brilliant rhymes here we gloat **
But the poor man’s bread is our lot
For poets a livelihood have not.
And when we die, lay us to rest this way
With the barrels and bottles put our hearse
Though we came to the market but yesterday
It’s already the end of the verse.


Photo of Artist & Hebrew words

* i.e., cut open to show ripeness: the cry of the watermelon vendors
** a pun – same word can mean rhymes or beads

Naomi Shemer
Naomi Shemer
Avi Toledano
Shlishiat Gesher Hayarkon
Gary Eckstein
Chen Beniyan

Words transliterated and translated by Danny Kolker of Los Angeles, California, USA.
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