Quando el Rey Nimrod

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Quando el Rey Nimrod (Judaeo-Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkwando el rei nimˈroð], or [nimˈrod] modern Spanish spelling: Cuando el Rey Nimrod; "When King Nimrod") is a Sephardic folk song. It is sung in Judaeo-Spanish, the Jewish-Spanish language, and tells the story of the birth of Abraham, the biblical prophet. Opposite to most of the Ladino repertoire, this song comes from North Africa and not from the former Ottoman Empire.

Interpretations[edit]

Anachronistically, Abraham — who in the Bible is the very first Jew and the ancestor of all who followed, hence his appellation "Avinu" (Our Father)—is in the Judaeo-Spanish song already born, in the juderia (modern Spanish: judería, Judaeo-Spanish: djudería), the Jewish quarter. This makes Terach and his wife into Jews, as are the parents of other babies killed by Nimrod. Abraham in the Bible is the very first man to be circumcised and perform circumcision.

In essence, unlike its biblical model, the song is about a Jewish community persecuted by a cruel king and witnessing the birth of a miraculous saviour—a subject of obvious interest and attraction to the Jewish people who composed and sang it in Medieval Spain before they were expelled in 1492.

The song attributes to Abraham elements from the story of Moses's birth (the cruel king killing innocent babies, with the midwives ordered to kill them) and from the careers of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who emerged unscathed from the fiery furnace. Nimrod is thus made to conflate the roles and attributes of two archetypal cruel and persecuting kings—Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh. For more information, see Nimrod.

It is also suggested that the song borrows from the Christian nativity story. For example, the miraculous light that signaled the birth, the birth in a manger, and the massacre of the innocents ordered by the cruel king Herod.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

Auto-da-fé held at Valladolid Spain May 5, 1559
Ladino original English translation
Quando el Rey Nimrod al campo salia
mirava en el cielo y en la estrelleria
vido una luz santa en la juderia
que havia de nascer Avraham Avinu.
When King Nimrod was going out to the fields
He was looking at heaven and at the stars
He saw a holy light above the Jewish quarter
[A sign] that Abraham, our father, must have been born.
chorus:
(Avraham Avinu, Padre querido
Padre bendicho, luz de Yisrael) (x2).
chorus:
(Abraham Avinu [our Father], dear father
Blessed Father, Light of Israel) (x2).
Luego a las comadres encomendava
que toda mujer que prenyada quedasse (or quedara)
si no pariera al punto, la matasse (or matara)
que havia de nascer Avraham Avinu.
Then he was telling all the midwives
That every pregnant woman
Who did not give birth at once was going to be killed
because Abraham our father was going to born.
(chorus) (chorus)
La mujer de Terach quedó prenyada
y de dia en dia (el) le preguntava (or demandava)
"¿De que teneix la cara tan demudada?"
Ella ya savia el bien que tenia.
Terach's wife was pregnant
and each day he would ask her
"Why do you look so distraught?"
She already knew the blessing that she had.
(chorus) (chorus)
En fin de nueve meses parir queria
iva caminando por campos y vinyas,
a su marido tal ni le descubria
topó una meara, alli lo pariria
At the end of nine months she was determined to give birth,
She walked through the fields and vineyards
She didn't tell her husband anything,
She found a manger [cave]; there, she would give birth.
(chorus) (chorus)
En aquella hora el nascido avlava:
"Anda-vos, la mi madre, de la meara,
yo ya topó quien m'alechará,
Malakh de cielo me accompanyará
porque so criado del Dio bendicho."
At that time the newborn spoke:
"Get away from the manger [cave], my mother
I have already found someone who will remove me.
An angel from heaven will accompany me
Because I am a child of the Blessed God."
(chorus) (chorus)
En fin de veinte dias lo fue a visitar,
lo vido d'enfrente, mancevo saltar,
mirando al cielo y bien atinar,
para conocer el Dio de la verdad.
After twenty days she went to visit him.
She saw in front of her a young man leaping,
Looking at the sky, aiming to understand,
In order to know the God of Truth.
(chorus) (chorus)
"Madre, la mi madre, que buscaix aqui?
Un hijo preciado pari yo aqui.
Vine a buscar-lo, si se topa aqui,
si está bivo me consolaré yo."
"Mother, my mother, what are you looking for here?"
"I gave birth to a precious son here.
I came to look for him here.
If he is alive I will be consoled."
(chorus) (chorus)
"Madre, la mi madre, que avlaix?
Un hijo preciado, como lo dexaix?
A fin de veinte dias, como lo visitaix?
¡Yo so vuestro hijo preciado!"
"Mother, my mother, what are you saying?
How could you leave your precious son?
After twenty days how is it that you're visiting him?
I am your precious son!
(chorus) (chorus)
Mirad la mi madre, que el Dio es uno,
el crio los cielos uno per uno.
Dized-le a Nimrod que perdio su tino
porque no quiere creer en el Verdadero.
"Look, mother: God is one,
He created the heavens one by one.
Tell Nimrod that he has lost his common sense
Because he does not want to believe in the True One."
(chorus) (chorus)
Lo alcanzó a saver el rey Nimrod esto,
"¡dixo que lo traigan aina y presto
antes que desreinen a todo el resto
y dexen a mi y crean en el Verdadero!"
King Nimrod did not manage to learn.
"Bring him here immediately
Before they cause a rebellion
And encourage others to believe in the True One!"
(chorus) (chorus)
Ya me lo truxeron con grande albon
y el travó de la silla un buen travon.
"¿Di, raxa—por que te tienes tu por Dio?
¿Por que no quieres creer en el Verdadero?"
They brought him in great humility.
He strongly seized the throne.
"Tell me, evil one: why do you think you are God?"
Why do you not wish to believe in the True One?"
(chorus) (chorus)
"¡Acendiendo un horno, bien acendido,
echad-lo presto qu'es entendido!
Llevad-lo con trabucos, qu'es agudo,
si d'aqui el Dio lo escapa, es el Verdadero."
"Light a fiery furnace,
Throw him in immediately!
Protect yourself from him because he is clever.
If God allows him to escape, then He is real."
(chorus) (chorus)
Echando-lo al horno, iva caminando,
con los malakhim iva paseando,
y todos los lenyos fruto ivan dando;
d'aqui conocemos al Dio verdadero.
He was thrown into the furnace. Wherever he walked
He walked with the angels.
The trees gave forth fruit,
And that is how we know about the true God.
(chorus) (chorus)
Grande zekhut tiene el senyor Avraham,
que por el conocemos el Dio de la verdad.
Grande zekhut tiene el senyor parido,
que afirma la mitsva de Avraham Avinu.
Great merit has honorable Abraham
Because of him we recognize the true God.
Great merit has the father of the newborn
Who fulfills the commandment of Abraham our father (circumcision).
(chorus) (chorus)
Saludemos agora al senyor parido,
que le sea besiman-tov este nacido,
qu'Eliahu Hanavi mos sea aparecido,
y daremos loores al Verdadero.
We wish to greet the father of the newborn
We wish mazel tov (good luck) to the newborn.
Because Elijah the Prophet appeared
And we give praises to the True One.
(chorus) (chorus)
Saludemos agora al compadre [sandak] y tambien al mohel
que por su Zehut mos venga
el Goel y Rahma a todo Yisrael,
cierto loaremos al Verdadero.
We greet the godfather and the circumciser,
Because of his merit the Redeemer and Merciful One [God] will come to all Israel,
And we give praises to the True One.
(chorus) (chorus)

References[edit]