I lie

  • Composer: David Lang 
  • Canadian Work: No
  • Duration: 5:00

Composer / Arranger Notes:

From composer David Lang: “I lie was commissioned by the California vocal ensemble Kitka, in part with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. I have a long history with this ensemble, having worked with them on music for the American Conservatory Theater’s production of the play Hecuba, directed by Carey Perloff and starring Olympia Dukakis. Kitka is an all woman group and it concentrates on music that comes out of the various folk traditions of Eastern Europe, so when they asked me to write a kind of ‘‘modern folk song’ it seemed natural to me to take the text of an old Yiddish song and give it new music. I chose this particular text because it has a darkly expectant feeling about it. It isn’t about being happy or sad or miserable or redeemed; rather, it is about waiting for happiness or sadness or misery or redemption. As is the case in many Yiddish songs, something as ordinary as a girl waiting for her lover can cast many darker, more deeply beautiful shadows.”


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.




by Joseph Rolnick, translated by David Millard

Leyg ikh mir in bet arayn
Un lesh mir oys dos fayer
Kumen vet er haynt tsu mir
Der vos iz mire tayer

Banen loyfn tsvey a tog
Eyne kumt in ovnt
Kh’her dos klingen – glin glin glon
Yo, er iz shoyn noent

Shtundn hot di nakht gor fil
Eyns der tsveyter triber
Eyne iz a fraye nor
Ven es kumt mayn liber

Ikh her men geyt, men klapt in tir,
Men ruft mikh on baym nomen
Ikh loyf arop a borvese
Yo! er iz gekumen!


I lay myself down in bed
And put out the flame;
He will come to me today,
The one who is dear to me.

Trains run twice a day;
One comes in the evening.
I hear the bell ring – ding ding dong
Yes, he is already near.

The night has a great many hours:
Each drearier than the last.
One only is a cheerful one:
When my beloved comes.

I hear someone come, someone knocks on the door,
Someone calls me by name.
I run downstairs barefoot—
Yes! He has come!