The LiederNet Archive
WARNING. Not all the material on this website is in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net

Bänkelsänger Willie

Language: German (Deutsch) after the Scottish (Scots)

  "O Bänkelsänger Willie!
Du ziehst zum Jahrmarkt aus;
Du willst deine Geige verkaufen;
O Willie, bleibe zu Haus!"
Doch wie man für die Geige
Schon blankes Silber ihm reicht,
Da wird dem armen Willie
Das Auge von Thränen feucht.
  "O Willie, verkauf' deine Geige,
Verkauf' mir die Geige fein!
O Willie, verkauf' deine Geige
Und kauf' dir ein Schöppchen Wein!"
Nein! nimmer verkauf' ich die Geige!
Mich träfe zu harter Schlag:
Ich hatte mit meiner Geige
Schon manchen glücklichen Tag.
  "Jüngst lugt' ich in der Schenke;
Sie saßen um den Tisch,
Und obenan saß Willie,
Und sang und geigte frisch.
Sie lauschten seinen Tönen;
Wie glühte jedes Gesicht! --
O Bänkelsänger Willie,
Verkauf deine Geige nicht!"

Translation(s): DUT ENG

List of language codes

Confirmed with Robert Burns’ Gedichte, deutsch von W. Gerhard, Leipzig: Verlag von Joh. Ambr. Barth., 1840, pages 102-103

Submitted by Dr. Gerrit den Hartogh and Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]


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)

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Kermiszanger Willie", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "Ballad-monger Willie", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-07-04.
Last modified: 2016-11-30 10:05:08
Line count: 24
Word count: 116

Gentle Reminder
This website began in 1995 as a personal project, and I have been working on it full-time without a salary since 2008. Our research has never had any government or institutional funding, so if you found the information here useful, please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated.
     - Emily Ezust

Ballad‑monger Willie

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

  "Oh ballad-monger Willie!
You travel to the fair;
You wish to sell your fiddle;
Oh Willie, stay at home!"
But as they already offer him
Shiny silver for his fiddle,
Poor Willie’s eyes
Fill with tears.
  "Oh Willie, sell your fiddle,
Sell me your fiddle fine!
Oh Willie, sell your fiddle
And buy yourself a beaker of wine!"
No! never shall I sell my fiddle!
It would be too hard a blow:
With my fiddle I have passed
Many a happy day in the past.
  "I recently peered into the tavern;
They were all sitting around the table,
And at their head sat Willie,
And sang and fiddled merrily.
They harkened to his tones,
How every face glowed! --
Oh ballad-monger Willie!
Do not sell your fiddle!"

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 © 2016 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
Based on


Text added to the website: 2016-11-30.
Last modified: 2016-11-30 10:05:34
Line count: 24
Word count: 127