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The LiederNet Archive
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Los bilbilicos cantan en los arbos de la flor

Language: Ladino (Sephardic)

Los bilbilicos cantan en los arbos de la flor.  
Mi neshama mi ventura estan en tu poder.
La rosa enflorese en el mes de mai.
Mi neshama s'escurese, firendose el lunar.
Mas presto ven palomba, mas presto ven con mi.
Mas presto ven querida, corre y salvame.
Mi neshama mi ventura estan en tu poder.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Note (by Laura Stanfield Prichard): After their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula in the 1490s, the Sephardim (Jews of the Spanish and Portuguese rites) brought their culture and language around the Mediterranean, including to the Balkan areas controlled by Turkey (the Ottoman Empire showing more religious tolerance). Ladino is essentially a word-for-word translation, or calque, from Hebrew into Castillian as it was spoken in the fifteenth century on the Iberian peninsula. Traditional Ladino was written in Hebrew script. The everyday spoken and written language was known as Judezmo (influenced by Greek and Turkish), Spaniolit (in the ex-Ottoman areas), and Khaketia (in Northern Morocco).

Bilbilicos are nightingales, a typical Judeo-Spanish mixture of a host language (in this case, Bilbil) and the Spanish diminutive, -icos, yielding Bilbilicos. In medieval times, this bird symbolized the connection between love and death, and became the sound most associated with poetic yearning for love, as it often sings all night.
Submitted by Laura Prichard [Guest Editor]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Manuel Valls i Gorina.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , "The nightingales sing in the flowering trees", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2013-06-09T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-16T10:05:13
Line count: 7
Word count: 55

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The nightingales sing in the flowering trees

Language: English after the Ladino (Sephardic)

The nightingales sing in the flowering trees.
My soul and my fate are in your power.

The rose blooms in the month of May.
My soul obscures itself, and eclipses the moon.

Hurry dove, hurry to me.
Hurry beloved, run and save me.
My soul and my fate are in your power.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.


  • Translation from Ladino (Sephardic) to English copyright © 2013 by Laura Prichard, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
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Based on


Text added to the website: 2013-06-09T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-16T10:05:13
Line count: 7
Word count: 52