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The LiederNet Archive

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Singet nicht in Trauertönen

Language: German (Deutsch)

Singet nicht in Trauertönen
Von der Einsamkeit der Nacht.
Nein, sie ist, o holde Schönen,
Zur Geselligkeit gemacht.

Wie das Weib dem Mann gegeben
Als die schönste Hälfte war,
Ist die Nacht das halbe Leben
Und die schönste Hälfte zwar.

Könnt ihr euch des Tages freuen,
Der nur Freuden unterbricht?
Er ist gut, sich zu zerstreuen;
Zu was anderm taugt er nicht.

Aber wenn in nächt'ger Stunde
Süsser Lampe Dämmrung fließt,
Und vom Mund zum nahen Munde
Scherz und Liebe sich ergießt;

Wenn der rasche, lose Knabe,
Der sonst wild und feurig eilt,
Oft bei einer kleinen Gabe
Unter leichten Spielen weilt;

Wenn die Nachtigall Verliebten
Liebevoll ein Liedchen singt,
Das Gefangnen und Betrübten
Nur wie Ach und Wehe klingt;

Mit wie leichtem Herzensregen
Horchet ihr der Glocke nicht,
Die mit zwölf bedächtgen Schlägen
Ruh und Sicherheit verspricht.

Darum an dem langen Tage,
Merke dir es, liebe Brust;
Jeder Tag hat seine Plage,
Und die Nacht hat ihre Lust.

Translation(s): DUT ENG FRE GRE ITA

List of language codes

R. Schumann sets stanzas 1, 3-8
V. Tomášek sets stanzas 1-4, 7-8

About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Ted Perry


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) , "Zing nu niet in droeve tonen", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Do not sing in mournful tones", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ne chantez pas dans des tons désolés", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GRE Greek (Ελληνικά) [singable] (Christakis Poumbouris) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Non cantate in triste melodia", 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 10:01:30

Line count: 32
Word count: 159

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

Do not sing in mournful tones

Language: English after the German (Deutsch)

 Do not sing in mournful tones
 of the loneliness of Night.
 No; it was, o tender, fair ones,
 made for companionship.
 As woman was given to man
 to be his better half,
 so is Night half of life,
 and certainly the better half.
 Can you delight in the day,
 which only interrupts joy?
 It is good for distraction, 
 but of use for nothing else.
 But when, in that nocturnal hour,
 the sweet lamps' twilight flows,
 and from mouth to neighboring mouth
 pour jests and love;
 when that quick, scampish boy
 who hurries, wild and fiery,
 often toying with a small gift
 in light play to pass the time;
 when the nightingale sings to sweethearts
 a little song full of love,
 which to the imprisoned and troubled
 sounds only like sighs and moans;
 with such a lightly stirring heart
 do you not listen to the bell,
 that, with twelve measured strokes
 promises repose and safety?
 Thus, in the long day,
 mark it well, dear heart:
 every day has its troubles,
 and the night has its pleasure.

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 Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832), appears in Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre DUT FRE GRE ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Victor Emanuel Bendix, Zdenko Antonín Václav Fibich, Cor de Groot, Joseph Klein, Leopold Lenz, Hans Georg Nägeli, Wenzeslaus Rafael Gottfried, Graf von Purgstall, Johann Friedrich Reichardt, Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein, Robert Schumann, Václav Jan Křtitel Tomášek, Alexander Winterberger, Hugo Wolf. Go to the text.


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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:30

Line count: 32
Word count: 176