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Der graue Gesell

Language: German (Deutsch)

Hat sich ein Kerl an mich gehängt,
Der gar nicht los zu werden,
Auf Schritt und Tritt sich zu mir drängt
Mit äffenden Geberden.
Er hat mit mir stets einen Weg,
Ist auch kein Mädchenhasser,
Doch geht es über schmalen Steg,
Fällt lautlos er ins Wasser.

Ist ein geschmeidiger Gesell
In dunkelgrauem Kleide,
Leichtfüßig und gedankenschnell
Und thut mir nichts zu Leide.
Er treibt sich rings um mich herum
Und setzt sich mit mir nieder,
Wenn ich ihn grüße, dankt er stumm,
Droh' ich ihm, droht er wieder.

Im Vollmond und im Sonnenschein
Kommt er, wo ich mich zeige,
Ein Spielmann aber muß er sein,
Oft seh' ich seine Geige.
Hat auch den echten Spielmannszug,
Den freudigen, gelenken,
Hebt stets mit mir zugleich den Krug
Und winkt mit mir dem Schenken.

Gut scheint er mit dem Wirth zu stehn,
Der muß mit Kreide malen,
Denn trinken hab' ich ihn wohl sehn,
Allein noch niemals zahlen.
Das ist nun zwar das Schlimmste nicht,
Was ich ihm schelten müßte,
Wenn ich nur von dem grauen Wicht
Sonst noch was Gutes wüßte.

Translation(s): ENG

List of language codes

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "The grey companion", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2010-02-25 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:35

Line count: 32
Word count: 179

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The grey companion

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

A fellow has foisted himself upon me,
He’s not to be gotten rid of,
With every step I take he clusters round me
With mocking gestures.
Always he has but one thing in mind for me,
He is also not a woman hater,
But if my way leads over a narrow bridge,
He falls into the water without a sound.

He is a sleek fellow
In his dark grey clothing,
Light-footed and quick-witted,
And he does nothing to harm me.
He hovers about me
And sits down with me me,
When I greet him, he thanks me mutely,
If I threaten him, he reciprocates.

In the light of the full moon and in the sunshine
He comes wherever I show myself,
But he must be a musician,
Often I see his violin.
He also has the true features of a musician,
The happy, supple [features].
He always lifts the jug at the same time I do
And beckons the publican with me.

He seems to be on good terms with the publican,
Who must keep a tally in chalk,
For I have seen him drinking,
But I’ve never seen him pay.
That is, however, not the worst
For which I must chide him,
If I only knew something else good
Of the grey scoundrel.

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.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 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.


    licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
    (licenses at lieder dot net)

Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-05-19 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:33

Line count: 32
Word count: 214