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Der Kehraus

Language: German (Deutsch)

Es fiedeln die Geigen, 
Da tritt in den Reigen 
Ein seltsamer Gast; 
Kennt keiner den Dürren, 
Galant aus dem Schwirren 
Die Braut er sich faßt. 

Hebt an, sich zu schwenken 
In allen Gelenken. 
[Das]1 Fräulein im Kranz:
«Euch knacken die Beine -- »
«Bald rasseln auch deine, 
Frisch auf spielt zum Tanz!»

Die Spröde hinterm Fächer, 
Der Zecher vom Becher, 
Der Dichter so lind. 
Muß auch mit zum Tanze, 
Daß die Lorbeern vom Kranze 
Fliegen im Wind.

So schnurret der Reigen 
Zum Saal 'raus ins Schweigen 
Der prächtigen Nacht; 
Die Klänge verwehen, 
Die Hähne schon krähen, 
Da verstieben sie sacht. --

So [gings schon]2 [vor Zeiten]3 
[Und]4 geht es noch heute, 
Und [hörest]5 du hell 
Aufspielen zum Reigen, 
Wer weiß, wem sie geigen, --
[Hüt]6 dich, Gesell !

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Schreiter: "Spricht's"
2 Herzogenberg: "ging es"
3 Schreiter, Wetzel: "vorzeiten"
4 Schreiter: "So"
5 Wetzel: "hörst"
6 Herzogenberg: "Hüte"

Submitted by John H. Campbell and Andrew Schneider [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):

  • ENG English (John H. Campbell) , title 1: "Dance of Death", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Dernière danse", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-07-12 14:07:30
Line count: 30
Word count: 125

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Dance of Death

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

The fiddles are playing;
into the round dance there steps
a strange guest.
No one knows this gaunt one,
gallantly from the crowd
he grasps the bride herself.

He lifts her swinging around
the dance floor.
The young woman remarks:
"Your legs are rattling ...
And your joints are creaking,
as we move to the dance!"

The shy one behind her fan,
the reveler in his cups,
the poet so gentle.
Must likewise join in the dance,
as laurel leaves from the wreath
fly off in the wind.

So the round dance whirls on
through the hall out into the silence
of the splendid night;
the sounds fade away,
the cock already crows,
as all whirls away in a cloud of dust.

So, as it has always been
and as it still is today,
when you hear the bright
sounds of the round dance,
who knows, for whom it plays,
be on guard, friend!

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 © by John H. Campbell, (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 between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:27
Line count: 30
Word count: 154