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When thou commandest me to sing

Language: English after the Bangla (Bengali)

When thou commandest me to sing 
it seems that my heart would break with pride; 
and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life 
melts into one sweet harmony - 
and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird 
on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. 
I know that only as a singer 
I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far-spreading wing 
of my song thy feet 
which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself 
and call thee friend who art my lord.


List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Based on

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG FRE GER ; composed by Aleidus Coenen, Albert De Klerk.
  • Also set in Dutch (Nederlands), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG FRE GER ; composed by Jan Pouwels.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG GER ; composed by Domingo Santa Cruz Wilson.
  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ENG FRE GER ; composed by Dino Menichetti.
  • Also set in Swedish (Svenska), a translation by Andrea Butenschön (1866 - 1948) , first published 1915 ENG FRE GER ; composed by Edvin Kallstenius.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist)
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Quand tu m'ordonnes de chanter", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2010-11-03 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:05

Line count: 15
Word count: 115

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Gebietest du zu singen mir

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

Gebietest du zu singen mir,
scheint mir das Herz vor Stolz zu bersten;
ich schaue dich und Tränen steigen in die Augen mir.

Und jede Rauheit, jeder Missklang meines Seins
löst auf sich in vollkommner Harmonie -
und meine grenzenlose Liebe breitet ihre Schwingen wie ein Vogel,
der glücklich, unbeschwert fliegt übers Meer.

Ich weiß, dass du dich meines Sangs erfreust.
Ich weiß, dass singend nur
ich vor dich treten darf.

Und mein beflügelt Lied reicht weit,
rührt bis an deinen Fuß,
den zu erreichen, ich wohl nie erstreben konnte.

In meinem freudetrunknen Sange nenne ich,
ganz selbstvergessen, Freund dich, der du bist mein Herr.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The material directly above is protected by copyright and appears here by special permission. If you wish to copy it and distribute it, you must obtain permission or you will be breaking the law. Once you have permission, you must give credit to the author and display the copyright symbol ©. Copyright infringement is a criminal offense under international law.

About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2014 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann. Contact:
    <BKottmann (AT)>

    If you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on
  • a text in English by Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941), no title, appears in Gitanjali, no. 2, first published 1912 ENG FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Philip Frederick Wright James, Peter Pieters, Raymond Murray Schafer, Naresh Sohal, Rick Sowash. Go to the text.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-03-31 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:31

Line count: 15
Word count: 105