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Das Fischergewerbe

Language: German (Deutsch)

Das Fischergewerbe
[Giebt]1 rüstigen Muth!
Wir haben zum Erbe
Die Güter der Fluth.
Wir graben nicht Schätze,
Wir pflügen kein Feld;
Wir erndten im Netze,
Wir angeln uns Geld.

Wir heben die Reusen
Den Schilfbach entlang,
Und ruhn bei den Schleusen,
Zu sondern den Fang.
Goldweiden beschatten
Das moosige Dach;
Wir schlummern auf Matten
Im kühlen Gemach.

Mit rothen Korallen
Prangt Spiegel und Wand,
Den Estrich der Hallen
Deckt silberner Sand.
Das Gärtchen daneben
Grünt ländlich umzäunt
Von kreutzenden Stäben
Mit Baste vereint.

Im Antlitz der Buben
Lacht muthiger Sinn;
Sie meiden die Stuben
Bei Tagesbeginn;
Sie tauchen und schwimmen
Im eisigen See,
Und barfuß erklimmen
Sie Klippen voll Schnee.

Die Töchter [ergötzen]2
Sich Abends bei Licht,
[Wann]3 alles an Netzen
Und Maschenwerk flicht.
Oft wird mit Gelächter
Durchmustert das Dorf;
Die Mutter, als Wächter,
Schürt nickend den Torf.

Oft rudern wir ferne
Im wiegenden Kahn;
Dann blinken die Sterne
So freundlich uns an;
Der Mond [aus]4 den Höhen,
Der Mond [aus]4 dem Bach,
So schnell wir entflöhen,
Sie gleiten uns nach.

Wir trotzen dem Wetter,
Das finster uns droht,
[Wann]3 schöpfende Bretter
Kaum hemmen den Tod.
Wir trotzen auch Wogen
Auf krachendem Schiff,
In Tiefen gezogen,
Geschleudert ans Riff!

Der Herr, der in Stürmen
Der Mitternacht blitzt,
Vermag uns zu schirmen,
Und kennt, was uns nützt.
Gleich unter dem Flügel
Des Ewigen ruht
Der [Rasengruft Hügel]5,
Das Grab in der Fluth.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG ENG FRE

List of language codes

F. Schubert sets stanzas 1-2 in (at least) one setting - see below for more information
J. Lang sets stanzas 1, 3, 6

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Gedichte von J. G. von Salis. Gesammelt durch seinen Freund Friedrich Matthisson. Zürich, bey Orell, Gessner, Füssli und Compagnie. 1793, pages 71-74; with Gedichte von J.G. von Salis. Neue Auflage. Zürich, bey Orell Füßli und Compagnie. 1808, pages 59-62; and with Gedichte von J. G. von Salis. Neueste Auflage. Wien 1815. Bey B. Ph. Bauer, pages 54-56.

First published in Musen-Almanach für 1792. Herausgegeben von Joh. Heinr. Voß. Hamburg, bey C. E. Bohn, pages 96-99.

1 Lang: "bringt"
2 Salis (1792 and Wien 1815 edition), and Schubert: "ergetzen"
3 Salis (Wien 1815 edition), and Schubert: "Wenn"
4 Salis (1792 and 1793 editions), and Lang: "auf"
5 Salis (1792 edition): "Rasengrufthügel"

Note: Schubert (in his first setting, D. 351) terminates each stanza with the refrain "Tra la la la la la, tra la la la la".

Submitted by Richard Morris and Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor] and Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]


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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Visserslied", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , copyright ©
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "L'activité du pêcheur", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2003-10-13 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2019-05-30 12:23:53

Line count: 64
Word count: 232

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The fishing business

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The fishing business
Keeps you active and courageous!
As our inheritance we have
The goods of the flood.
We do not dig for treasures,
We do not plough any fields;
We harvest in nets,
We angle for our money.

We pull up the fish traps
Along the stream with reeds growing in it,
And sit by the locks
To sort the catch.
Golden willows shade
The moss-covered roof;
We sleep on mats
In a cool apartment.

With their red corals
The mirrors and the wall are resplendent,
The screed of the hall
Is covered in silver sand.
The little garden nearby
Turns a rural green, fenced off
By crossed poles
Tied up with bast.

On the lads' faces
There smiles a courageous attitude.
They avoid parlours
At the beginning of the day;
They dive and swim
In the ice-cold lake,
And, barefoot, they clamber up
Snow-covered rocks.

Our daughters take delight
In the light at evening time,
When everyone is working on the nets
Or weaving the meshing.
Often, to the sound of laughter,
The village is inspected;
The mother, as warden,
Dozes off as she pokes the peat fire.

We often row into the distance
In our swaying boat;
Then the stars twinkle
Down on us in such a friendly way;
The moon from the heights,
The moon out of the stream,
No sooner do we get away
Than they glide towards us.

We defy the weather,
Darkness threatens us,
When the paddles for scooping out water
Barely hold off death.
We also defy waves
On the creaking ship,
Pulled towards the depths
And flung on to the reef!

The Lord, who in storms
Strikes lightning at midnight,
Is able to protect us
And knows what we need.
We are equally under the wing
Of the eternal one, resting there,
Whether under a turf mound
Or in a grave under water.

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)

Translations of title(s):
"Das Fischergewerbe" = "The fishing business"
"Fischer Chor" = "Fishermen's chorus"
"Fischerlied" = "Fisherman's song"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 by Malcolm Wren, (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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Gaudenz Freiherr von Salis-Seewis (1762 - 1834), "Fischerlied", written 1791, first published 1792 CAT DUT FRE
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Josephine Lang, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe, Georg Wilhelm Rauchenecker, Vincenzo Righini, Franz Peter Schubert. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2017-07-15 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2017-07-15 12:42:56

Line count: 64
Word count: 312