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Curriculum vitae

Language: German (Deutsch)

Im Graben geboren, mit Püffen gewiegt,
Um Vater und Mutter betrogen,
Im Zaune versteckt, an Dornen geschmiegt,
Zum Betteln und Hungern erzogen,
Bei Seite gestoßen, geduckt und gehöhnt,
Um's Beste gebracht, an's Ärgste gewohnt,
So mußt' ich in frühesten Tagen
Durch's lumpige Leben mich schlagen.

Ich hab' mich gewunden, geschunden, gedreht
Und mich an das Sprüchlein gehalten,
Daß Unkraut nun und nimmer vergeht,
Und würd' es in Stücke gespalten.
So bin ich, geschubst und geschleudert von All'n,
Doch immer auf meine vier Beine gefall'n
Und bin in der Fahrenden Orden
Ein lustiger Prior geworden.

Bald wuchs mir der Muth und die List und die Kraft,
Ich kannte nicht Fürchten, nicht Wanken,
Und was ich im Leben mir Gutes verschafft,
Sonst Keinem hab' ich es zu danken.
Und hingen mir Trauben zu hoch einmal,
So waren sie sicherlich sauer und schal,
Denn Alles kann ich bezwingen
Mit Fiedeln und Flöten und Singen.

Auf Wanderschaft hab' ich im Rasten und Ruhn
Vielmanches gelernt und getrieben,
Zuweilen auch wußt' ich nichts Bess'res zu thun,
Als minnige Mädchen zu lieben.
Ich habe mit manchem vertrauten Kumpan
Mein Barres und Blankes in Freuden verthan,
Wohin ich die Schritte mag kehren,
Da winken mir Hulden und Ehren.

So hab' ich mich fest auf mich selber gestellt
Und brauche mich nicht zu erniedern,
Hoch aufrecht und frei durchfahr' ich die Welt
Und erobre die Herzen mit Liedern.
Und wenn doch mal endlich beim Kragen mich kriegt
Der älteste Fiedelmann und mich besiegt,
Wird lange noch leben die Märe
Vom listigen Rattenfängäre.

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: "Curriculum vitae", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2010-02-25T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-23T10:02:19
Line count: 40
Word count: 254

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Curriculum vitae

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

Born in a ditch, rocked with blows,
Cheated of a father and mother,
Hidden by a fence, cuddled up to thorns,
Raised to beg and go hungry,
Pushed aside, beaten down and scorned,
Robbed of the best, accustomed to the worst,
Thus in my earliest days
I had to battle my way through this wretched life.

I managed to twist and turn and grind on my way
And I held fast to the maxim
That weeds are everlasting
Though they be chopped into pieces.
Thus am I, pushed around and whirled about by everyone,
But always falling on my four feet
And in the guild of wayfarers
I have become a merry prior.

Soon my courage, my craftiness and my strength grew,
I knew neither fear nor faltering,
And I have no one else to thank for all of the good things
I’ve managed to acquire in life.
And though the grapes sometimes hung high,
Surely they were sour and insipid,
For I can master everything
With fiddling and fluting and singing.

Upon my wanderings, in reposing and resting,
I learned and did many a thing,
Sometimes I could think of nothing better to do
Than to dally with loving maidens.
With many a trusty companion
I frittered away my money in various pleasures;
Wherever I wend my steps,
Adulation and honours beckon to me.

Thus I have firmly depended on myself
And have no need to lower myself;
Upright and free, I travel through the world
And win hearts with songs.
And when someday I am collared and conquered
By the oldest fiddler of all,
Long still shall live the legend
Of the crafty ratcatcher.

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.


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Based on


Text added to the website: 2014-06-23T00:00:00.
Last modified: 2014-06-23T10:02:30
Line count: 40
Word count: 276