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Der Spielmann

Language: German (Deutsch)

Beim Weidenbaum, im kühlen Tann,
da flattern die Dohlen und Raben,
da liegt ein blonder Rittersmann
unter Blättern und Blüten begraben.
Dort ist's so lind und voll von Duft,
als ging ein Weinen durch die Luft!
O Leide, weh! O Leide!

Ein Spielmann zog einst des Weges daher,
da sah er ein Knöchlein blitzen;
er hob es auf, als wär's ein Rohr,
wollt' sich eine Flöte draus schnitzen.
O Spielmann, lieber Spielmann mein,
das wird ein seltsam Spielen sein!
O Leide, weh! O Leide!

Der Spielmann setzt die Flöte an
und läßt sie laut erklingen:
O Wunder, was nun da begann,
welch seltsam traurig Singen!
Es klingt so traurig und doch so schön,
wer's hört, der möcht' vor Leid vergehn!
O Leide, Leide!

"Ach, Spielmann, lieber Spielmann mein!
Das muß ich dir nun klagen:
Um ein schönfarbig Blümelein
hat mich mein Bruder erschlagen!
Im Walde bleicht mein junger Leib,
mein Bruder freit ein wonnig Weib!"
O Leide, Leide, weh!

Der Spielmann ziehet in die Weit',
läßt' überall erklingen,
Ach weh, ach weh, ihr lieben Leut',
was soll denn euch mein Singen?
Hinauf muß ich zu des Königs Saal,
hinauf zu des Königs holdem Gemahl!
O Leide, weh, o Leide!

Translation(s): ENG FRE ITA

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 (Ahmed E. Ismail) , title 1: "The minstrel", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Il menestrello", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Le ménestrel", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:40
Line count: 35
Word count: 199

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The minstrel

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

By the willow tree, among cool firs,
Where jackdaws and ravens flutter,
There lay a blond knight
Buried under leaves and flowers.
There it is so calm and fragrant,
As if tears wafter through the air!
O sorrow, woe! O sorrow!

One day a minstrel came that way
And saw a little bone gleaming;
He lifted it up, as if it were a reed,
And began to carve it into a flute.
O minstrel, my dear minstrel,
What strange tales it will tell!
O sorrow, woe! O sorrow!

The minstrel set the flute to his lips
And let it resound:
O miracle, what now began,
What a curious and mournful song!
Its song was so doleful and yet so lovely,
That hearing it might cause one to die!
O sorrow, sorrow!

"Oh minstrel, my dear minstrel
This must I now lament to you:
For a beautifully-colored little flower
Has my brother struck me dead!
In the wood were my young bones bleached,
While my brother courted a lovely wife!"
O sorrow, sorrow, woe!

The minstrel traveled far and wide,
Everywhere playing his song.
"Ah me, ah me, my dear friends,
What will you make of my song?
Up must I go, to the king's hall,
Up to the king's lovely bride!
O sorrow, woe! O sorrow!"

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 © 2006 by Ahmed E. Ismail, (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: 2006-03-30.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:18
Line count: 35
Word count: 216