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Herr Bacchus ist ein braver Mann

Language: German (Deutsch)

Herr Bacchus ist ein braver Mann,
Das kann ich euch versichern;
Mehr, als Apoll, der Leyermann,
Mit seinen Notenbüchern.

Des Armen ganzer Reichthum ist
[Der Klingklang seiner]1 Leyer,
Von der er prahlet, wie ihr wißt,
Sie sey entsetzlich theuer.

Doch borgt ihm auf sein Instrument
Kein Kluger einen Heller. 
Denn [frohere]2 Musik ertönt
[Aus]3 Vater Evans Keller.

[Obgleich Apollo sich voran]4
Mit seiner Dichtkunst blähet:
So ist doch Bacchus auch ein Mann,
Der seinen Vers verstehet.

Wie mag am waldigen Parnaß
Wohl sein Diskant gefallen?
Hier sollte [Bacchus]5 Kantorbaß
[Fürwahr weit]6 besser schallen.

Auf, laßt uns ihn für den Apoll
Zum Dichtergott erbitten!
Denn er ist gar vortreflich wohl
Bey großen Herrn gelitten.

[Apoll muß tief]7 gebückt und krumm
In Fürstensäle schleichen;
Allein mit Bacchus gehn sie um,
Als wie mit ihres Gleichen.

Dann wollen wir auf den Parnaß,
Vor allen andern Dingen,
Das große Heidelberger Faß
Voll Nierensteiner bringen.

Statt [Lorbeerbäume]8 wollen wir
Dort [Rebenstöcke]9 pflanzen,
Und [rings um volle]10 Tonnen, schier
Wie die Bacchanten tanzen.

Man lebte so nach altem Brauch
Bisher dort allzunüchtern. 
D'rum blieben die neun Jungfern auch
Von je und je so schüchtern.

Ha! zapften sie sich ihren Trank
Aus Bacchus Nektartonnen,
Sie jagten Blödigkeit und Zwang
[Ins Kloster]11 zu den Nonnen.

Fürwahr! sie ließen nicht mit Müh'
Zur kleinsten Gunst sich zwingen,
Und ungerufen würden sie
Uns in die Arme springen.

Translation(s): ENG

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Confirmed with Gedichte von Gottfried August Bürger. Erster Theil. Mit Churf. Sächsisch gnädigst. Privilegium. Göttingen, bey Johann Christian Dieterich, 1789, pages 52-55; with Gedichte von Gottfried August Bürger. Mit Churfürstl. Sächs. gnädigstem Privilegio. Göttingen gedruckt und in Kommission bei Johann Christian Dieterich 1778, pages 51-54; and with Poetische Blumenlese auf das Jahr 1771. Göttingen und Gotha, bey Johann Christian Dieterich, pages 101-103.

First anonymously published in Göttinger Musen-Almanach with the title Trinklied and "U." as the author's name, and with a setting by Kellner.

1 Bürger (1771 and 1778 editions): "Die goldbemalte"
2 Bürger (1771 edition): "schönere"
3 Bürger (1771 edition): "In"
4 Bürger (1771 edition): "Und ob sich Phöbus gleich vornan"; Bürger (1778 edition): "Und ob Apoll sich gleich voran"
5 Bürger (1771 edition): "Libers"
6 Bürger (1771 edition): "Gewißlich"
7 Bürger (1771 edition): "Apollo muß"
8 Bürger (1771 edition): "Lorbeerhaynen"
9 Bürger (1771 edition): "Rebenberge"
10 Bürger (1771 edition): "um gefüllte"
11 Bürger (1771 and 1778 editions): "In Klöster"

Submitted by Sharon Krebs and Peter Rastl


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2008-10-04.
Last modified: 2018-01-23 13:38:13
Line count: 48
Word count: 227

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Lord Bacchus is a good man

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Lord Bacchus is a good man,
Of that I can assure you;
Better than Apollo, the man of the lyre,
With his music books.

The whole estate of a poor man is
[The jangling of his lyre]1,
Of which he brags, as you know,
That it is horrendously expensive.

But no wise person would lend him a penny
With his instrument as collateral.
For [more joyful]2 music sounds
[From out of]3 Bacchus’ cellar.

[Although Apollo]4 comes forward first
To puff himself up over his poetic artistry:
Bacchus, too, is a certainly a man
Who understands how to make verses.

By the forested Parnassus, how can
[Apollo’s] descant be pleasing?
Here the cantor-like bass of [Bacchus]5
Should [truly resound far]6 better.

Arise, let us ask for him as the god of poetry
In Apollo’s stead!
For he is very well tolerated
By great lords.

[Deeply bowed]7 down and stooped, Apollo must
Creep into the halls of princes;
With Bacchus, however, they consort 
As they do with their equals.

Then up to Mount Parnassus
Let us, before all else, bring
The great Heidelberg tun
Full of Nierenstein wine.

Instead of laurel [trees]8 let us
Plant [grapevines]9 there,
And [round about full]10 vats, 
[Let us] dance just like bacchants.

After the old customs one had lived
There far too soberly until now.
Hence the nine virgins also
Forever remained so shy.

Ha! would they draw their libations
From the nectar vats of Bacchus,
They would chase weakness and duress
[Into the cloister]11 where the nuns are.

Truly! it would not require great pains
To move them to dispense the smallest of favours,
And unasked they would
Leap into our arms.

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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Translations of title(s):
"Herr Bacchus" = "Lord Bacchus"
"Trinklied" = "Drinking song"
"Herr Bachus" = "Lord Bacchus"

1 Bürger (1771 and 1778 editions): "The lyre decorated with gold"
2 Bürger (1771 edition): "more beautiful"
3 Bürger (1771 edition): "In"
4 Bürger (1771 edition): "And although Phoebus immediately"; Bürger (1778 edition): "And although Apollo immediately"
5 Bürger (1771 edition): "Liber Pater’s"
6 Bürger (1771 edition): "Certainly resound"
7 Bürger (1771 edition): "Bowed"
8 Bürger (1771 edition): "groves"
9 Bürger (1771 edition): "vineyards"
10 Bürger (1771 edition): "around filled"
11 Bürger (1771 and 1778 editions): "Into cloisters"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 by Sharon Krebs, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Gottfried August Bürger (1747 - 1794), "Herr Bacchus", written 1770, first published 1771
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): J. J. Grünwald, Friedrich Wilhelm Rust, Franz Peter Schubert, Johann Abraham Peter Schulz. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2018-03-03.
Last modified: 2018-03-03 16:22:40
Line count: 48
Word count: 277