Girl, Don’t Cross the Street Alone with Your Flowing Hair

Yarkon Bridge Trio - Shlishiat Gesher HayarkonOn the road last week, an old song by Israeli band Yarkon Bridge Trio was being played on the radio, and it got me thinking about how cultural norms change over time, and how songs can be time capsules, storing the essence of en era. In this particular case the era of Israel in the 1960’s, when all the men were ‘men’, all the women were ‘girls’, and all acts of blatant sexual harassment were considered acceptable foreplay. This particular song was not only extremely popular at the time, but was considered a praise for womankind.

As always, in my translation of the lyrics to English I tried to adhere to the meaning, the tempo and the rhymes, to the best of my ability, but as always, unless you can read the original Hebrew lyrics, you can only get the general gist of it. As Israel’s national poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik put it: reading a work of art in translation is like kissing somebody through a handkerchief.

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Don’t Cross the Street Alone – Yarkon Bridge Trio – lyrics:

Stanza 1:
   Girl, don’t cross the street alone
   With your flowing hair
   Girl, don’t cross the street alone
   You will set it aflare
 
Stanza 2:
   Each and every man will stare at you
   With a look of lust
   Each and every man will stare at you
   With a killer glance
 
Stanza 3:
   Hey listen,
   What if one of them will suddenly break
   Your tender heart
   He will forever tie you to his bed
   Why would you go for that
 
Repeat stanza 1
 
Stanza 4:
   Each and every man will stare at you
   Looking lost and forlorn
   Each and every man will stare at you
   Each and every one
 
Repeat stanza 3
 
Repeat stanza 1
 
Stanza 5:
   Each and every man will stare at you
   With a hungry glance
   Each and every man will stare at you
   With coyote eyes
 
Repeat stanza 3
בית 1:
   אל תעברי לבד ילדה ברחוב
   בשיער גולש
   אל תעברי לבד ילדה ברחוב
   זה משחק באש
 
בית 2:
   כל הגברים כולם יביטו בך
   במבט עורג
   כל הגברים כולם יביטו בך
   במבט הורג
 
בית 3:
   הקשיבי
   מה יהיה אם אחד פתאום ישבור
   את לבך הרך
   אל מיטתו לעד אותך יקשור
   למה, למה לך
 
חוזר בית 1
 
בית 4:
   כל הגברים כולם יביטו בך
   במבט אבוד
   כל הגברים כולם יביטו בך
   כל אחד לחוד
 
חוזר בית 3
 
חוזר בית 1
 
בית 5:
   כל הגברים כולם יביטו בך
   במבט רעב
   כל הגברים כולם יביטו בך
   בעיני זאב
 
חוזר בית 3

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