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The LiederNet Archive

Much of our material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission.
Printing texts or translations without the name of the author or translator is also illegal.
You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.

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's war einer, dem's zu Herzen ging

Language: German (Deutsch)

's war einer, dem's zu Herzen ging,
Daß ihm der Zopf nach hinten hing,
Er wollt es anders haben.

Da denkt er denn, wie fang ich's an?
Ich dreh' mich 'rum, so ist's getan,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Da hat er flink sich umgedreht,
Und wie es stund, es annoch steht:
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Da dreht er schnell sich anders 'rum,
's wird aber noch nicht besser drum,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Er dreht sich links, er dreht sich rechts,
Er tut nichts Guts, er tut nichts Schlechts,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Er dreht sich wie ein Kreisel fort,
Es hilft zu nichts, mit einem Wort -
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Und seht, er dreht sich immer noch
Und denkt, es hilft am Ende doch,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Translation(s): ENG ENG FRE

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

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)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 - 1863) , "A tragic story", appears in Five German Ditties, no. 1 [an adaptation] FRE ; composed by Seymour Barab, Arthur Bergh, Benjamin Britten, Frederic Field Bullard, Ernest Bullock, Sir, George Whitefield Chadwick, Madeleine Dring, J. Bertram Fox, Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert, Ann Hamerton, Harold Noble, George Norman Peterkin, Joseph Roff, David Dick Slater, Peter Andrew Tranchell, Joseph Wardale.

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "There once was a man who took it amiss", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Histoire tragique", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:23

Line count: 21
Word count: 142

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

Histoire tragique

Language: French (Français) after the German (Deutsch)

Il y en avait un qui avait le cœur brisé
D'avoir sa queue de cheval derrière lui.
Il voulut changer ça.

Alors pensa-t-il, comment commencer ?
Je fais demi-tour et c'est fait ;
La queue de cheval pend derrière lui.

Après avoir prestement tourné sur lui-même,
Quand il revient en place, elle est pareil :
La queue de cheval pend derrière lui.

Alors il pivote vite d'une autre façon
Mais cela n'améliore rien,
La queue de cheval pend derrière lui.

Il se tourne à gauche, il se tourne à droite,
Ça ne fait rien de bien, ça ne fait rien de mal,
La queue de cheval pend derrière lui.

Il tourne comme une toupie,
Ça ne mène à rien, en bref,
La queue de cheval pend derrière lui.

Et voyez, il tourne encore et toujours,
Et pense qu'à la fin il y arrivera,
La queue de cheval pend derrière lui.

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 French (Français) copyright © 2010 by Pierre Mathé, (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
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Adelbert von Chamisso (1781 - 1838), "Tragische Geschichte", appears in Lieder und lyrisch epische Gedichte ENG ENG
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Eduard Franz Carl Hubert Hartenfels, Friedrich Wilhelm Jähns, Lorenz Lehmann, Hans Erich Pfitzner, Joseph Rheinberger, Franz Ries, James Rothstein, Gustav Thudichum, Johann Vesque von Püttlingen. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2010-07-14 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:51

Line count: 21
Word count: 150