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©Music and Lyrics by Mrs. Dina Storch


Foreign Lands

My shtetele, my shtetele - The only place I knew
Pinsk, my little shtetel - Where I was born and grew
My shtetele, my shtetel - It’s been so long since
I’m gone Yet those pleasant memories of my shtetel still live on
Something warm about it, the simchos that we shared
We laughed and cried together, we kept so close we cared
And that is why my shtetele as small as it may be
Warms my heart forever and means so much to me

I remember Mama as she led me down the street
Her hands so warm and gentle, her voice so soft and sweet
Mama reassured me that the learning won’t be tough
She promised I’d be smarter and the Rebbe won’t be rough

He greeted me so warmly, he taught me with a song
He told me happy stories, he kept me oh, so strong!
And Papa was so proud of me, I brought him so much joy
He called me Talmid Chacham, no more little boy!

I used to be so helpful, I’d fix things when they’d tear
I’d patch my brothers’ trousers when they had no more to wear
I spent the afternoon with friends washing all the clothes
We scrubbed and rinsed together, we laughed and splashed our toes.

At home it wasn’t over, I did the household chores
I wore the same two dresses, although I wanted more
And Mama kept me close to her, and taught me all she knew
I dreamed I’d grow to be like her, my husband like Papa, too

The questions that the children asked would often make me cry
They saw their Mama smiling, and wanted to know why
For Papa was away from us, the bread was only crust
On frosty nights we shivered, but I taught them how to trust.

I promised they’d be happy, I taught them many songs
I showed them how to daven, and soon they sang along
We learned to smile like rich men, we pitied all the poor
I fed them and they thanked me, they never asked for more

My shtetele, my shtetele, I hate to leave you so
Pinsk, my little shtetel, no matter where I go
The memories and melodies of all my shtetel days
Linger on no matter where, or how far away!

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