I Never Saw Another Butterfly

by Dana Sandler

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Dear Pavel 03:17
The Butterfly -Pavel Friedmann The last, the very last, So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow. Perhaps if the sun’s tears would sing against a white stone…. Such, such a yellow Is carried lightly ‘way up high. It went away I’m sure because it wished to kiss the world good-bye. For seven weeks I’ve lived in here, Penned up inside this ghetto. But I have found what I love here. The dandelions call to me And the white chestnut branches in the court. Only I never saw another butterfly. That butterfly was the last one. Butterflies don’t live in here, in the ghetto.
Dear Franta 00:32
Home -Franta Bass I look, I look into the wide world, into the wide, distant world. I look to the southeast, I look, I look toward my home. I look toward my home, the city where I was born. City, my city, I will gladly return to you. --- The Old House -Franta Bass Deserted here, the old house stands in silence, asleep. The old house used to be so nice, before, standing there, it was so nice. Now it is deserted, rotting in silence- What a waste of houses, a waste of hours.
The Garden 01:47
The Garden -Franta Bass A little garden, Fragrant and full of roses, The path is narrow And a little boy walks along it. A little boy, a sweet boy, Like that growing blossom. When the blossom comes to bloom, The little boy will be no more.
Dear Alena 01:50
Untitled 02:59
Untitled -Alena Synkova I’ve met enough people. Seldom a human being. Therefore, I will wait— until my life’s purpose is fulfilled and you will come. Though there is anguish deep in my soul— what if I must search for you forever?— I must not lose faith, I must not lose hope.
I’d Like To Go Alone -Alena Synkova I’d like to go away alone Where there are other, nicer people, Somewhere into the far unknown, There, where no one kills another. Maybe more of us, A thousand Strong, Will reach this goal Before too long. --- Ani Ma’amin (ןימאמ ינא) Ani ma’amin (3x) Be’emuna sch’lema B’viat hamashiach B’viat hamashiach Ani ma’amin (2x)  (Translation: I believe with complete faithin the coming of the Messiah, I believe)
Tears 03:30
Tears -Alena Synkova And thereafter come… tears, without them there is no life. Tears—
On a Sunny Evening -1944 anonymous On a purple, sun-shot evening Under wide-flowering chestnut trees Upon the threshold full of dust Yesterday, today, the days are all like these. Trees flower forth in beauty, Lovely too, their very wood all gnarled and old That I’m half afraid to peer Into their crowns of green and gold. The sun has made a veil of gold So lovely that my body aches. Above, the heavens shriek with blue Convinced I’ve smiled by some mistake. The world’s abloom and seems to smile. I want to fly but where, how high? If in barbed wire, things can bloom Why couldn’t I? I will not die!
Birdsong 1941, anonymous He doesn’t know the world at all Who stays in his nest and doesn’t go out. He doesn’t know what birds know best Nor what I want to sing about, That the world is full of loveliness. When dewdrops sparkle in the grass And earth’s aflood with morning light, A blackbird sings upon a bush To greet the dawning after night. Then I know how fine it is to live. Hey, try to open up your heart To beauty; go to the woods someday And weave a wreath of memory there. Then if the tears obscure your way You’ll know how wonderful it is To be alive.


DANA SANDLER’s debut CD, I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY, set for release on Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), April 21, 2020, is a moving tribute to the youngest victims of the Holocaust. Sandler got the inspiration for this project from the book of the same title.

Originally published in 1959, I Never Saw Another Butterfly is a collection of poetry and art created by the Jewish children in the Terezin concentration camp in what is now the Czech Republic. The camp held around 144,000 prisoners including Jewish scholars, musicians, and artists. Sandler dedicates her album to Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, an Austrian artist and educator who organized secret art classes for the children of Terezin. Dicker-Brandeis collected 4,500 children’s drawings and poems in two suitcases before she was sent to Auschwitz in 1944. Fifteen thousand children passed through Terezin. Fewer than 100 survived.

Sandler composed I NEVER SAW ANOTHER BUTTERFLY as a song-cycle that highlights poets in the Terezin Concentration Camp -- Pavel Friedmann, Franta Bass, and Alena Synkova-Munkova, who was one of the few children to survive the camp, as well as additional unknown young poets.

Sandler’s music is captivating, and her voice is a sensitive, emotive instrument. The topic of the album is heart-wrenching, but Sandler never gives in to maudlin tropes. Instead, she pays great respect to these young people and their suffering, hopes, and youthful insights through her sensitive interpretations with the hope that no other child will ever have to endure these horrors again.


released April 21, 2020

Dana Sandler: voice
Carmen Staaf: piano
Jorge Roeder: bass
Austin McMahon: drums, percussion, voice (track 8)
Peter Kenagy: trumpet, flugelhorn
Rick Stone: alto saxophone, clarinet
Michael Winograd: clarinet (track 8)
Rory Sandler McMahon: voice (tracks 4 & 8)

Produced by Austin McMahon & Dana Sandler
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Peter Kontrimas at PBS Studios, Westwood, MA
Photos by Isabel Roeder: zazaroeder@gmail.com
Illustrations by Rory Sandler McMahon
Graphic design and CD layout by Austin McMahon

Poems from the collection I Never Saw Another Butterfly © 1993 Schocken Books Inc., used with permission granted by the Jewish Museum in Prague, with the exception of: Unititled, Tears, I’d Like To Go Alone used with permission granted by DILIA, copyright © Alena Munková - heirs

All compositions by Dana Sandler copyright © 2020 Dana Sandler Music ASCAP except Ani Ma’amin by Azriel David Fastag


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Dana Sandler Boston, Massachusetts

Dana Sandler is a vocalist and composer based in Boston, MA. Her debut as a bandleader, I Never Saw Another Butterfly is a chamber jazz song-cycle comprised of 3 instrumentals and 9 musical settings highlighting poetry written by young prisoners in Terezín Concentration Camp (1942-44). “Sandler proves a master melodic alchemist, mixing emotion and history.” – C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz ... more

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