"Donna Donna" as written by and Arthur S./schwartz Kevess....
On a wagon bound for market
There's a calf with a mournful eye
High above him there's a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky

How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all the their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summer's night

Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don
Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don

"Stop complaining", said the farmer
Who told you a calf to be
Why don't you have wings to fly with
Like the swallow so proud and free

How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all the their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summer's night

Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don
Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don

Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why
But whoever treasures freedom
Like the swallow has learned to fly

How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all the their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summer's night

Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don
Donna Donna Donna Donna
Donna Donna Donna Don


Lyrics submitted by vphi

"Donna Donna" as written by Arthur Kevess Aaron Zeitlin

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, IMAGEM MUSIC INC

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Donna Donna song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is good but not good enough to account for its over-popularity. There is a lot of translations of this Save-the-calves-from-being-eaten poem, where all the talking does the farmer who thinks that his calf is eyeing him complainingly. In Japan version there is only the road, winds and swallow; the dialogue just do not fit in. In my favorite of the many Russian versions in the end the farmer is giving the calf a pair of wings. In real life, when do we make some meat trees already?
    vphion September 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningI believe Donovan wrote this song as a metaphor of the events of the holocaust. The calf in the wagon represents a Jewish person, the swallow as the non-Jewish Aryan, the wind as the Nazi soldiers, and as a side-note, the farmer is the slave driver sending the calf to the market (gas camps) for slaughter.
    PisH87on July 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrect that, Joan Baez wrote the song originally, oops!
    PisH87on July 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBaez did not write the song, it was written in 1940, a year before Baez was born. The holocaust metaphor is appropriate though.
    realtruthsayeron September 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has been written for Jewish people who were taken to the camps by Germans.
    The calf represents a Jewish person and the swallow represents a freedom that a Jewish does not have.
    Whoscareduon October 20, 2011   Link

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