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Es war eine Ratt' im Kellernest

Language: German (Deutsch)

Es war eine Ratt' im Kellernest,
Lebte nur von Fett und Butter,
[Hatte]1 sich ein Ränzlein angemäst't,
Als wie der Doctor Luther.
Die Köchin hatt' ihr Gift gestellt;
Da ward's so eng' ihr in der Welt,
Als [hätte]2 sie Lieb' im Leibe.

Sie fuhr herum, sie fuhr heraus
Und soff aus allen Pfützen,
Zernagt', zerkratzt' das ganze Haus,
[Wollt']3 nichts ihr Wüten nützen;
Sie tät' gar manchen Ängstesprung,
Bald [hatte]1 das arme Tier genung
Als hätt' [es]4 Lieb' im Leibe.

Sie kam [für]5 Angst am hellen Tag
Der Küche zugelaufen,
Fiel an den Herd und zuckt' und lag,
Und tät erbärmlich schnaufen.
Da lachte die [Vergifterinn]6 noch:
Ha! sie pfeift auf dem letzten Loch,
Als [hätte]2 sie Lieb' im Leibe.


Translation(s): ENG FRE IRI ITA

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "Hatt' "
2 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "hätt' "
3 Radziwill: "Wollte"
4 Busoni, Kreutzer, Wagner: "sie"
5 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "vor"
6 Busoni, Kreutzer, Wagner: "Vergift'rin"

Submitted by Emily Ezust

Authorship


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


This text (or a part of it) is used in a work

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Gérard Labrunie) , no title, from Le Faust de Goethe [an adaptation]
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Cantina di Auerbach a Lipsia", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • IRI Irish (Gaelic) [singable] (Gabriel Rosenstock) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-12-17 16:57:58
Line count: 21
Word count: 120

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There once was a rat nesting in a cellar

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

There once was a rat nesting in a cellar,
Who lived only on lard and butter,
Who had a paunch on it,
As fat as Doctor Luther.
The cook laid out poison for it;
It seemed as though, in all the world,
As if love had [consumed] its body.

It ran hither, it ran thither,
And lapped at all the puddles,
Gnawed, scratched around the whole house,
But there was no use for its madness;
It leapt all over in pain,
Soon the poor creature had ached
As if love [had consumed its] body.

It made it [in spite of]1 pain until the break of day
Running into the kitchen,
Fell on the hearth and twitched and lay prone,
And wheezed pitifully.
Then [she] laughed, the poisoner:
"Ha! it is on his last legs,
As if love had [consumed] its body."


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About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Busoni, Kreutzer, Radziwill, Wagner: "from"
Note: the other textual variants do not affect the translation.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Laura Prichard, (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: 2016-02-01.
Last modified: 2016-02-01 12:17:46
Line count: 21
Word count: 141