Thank you to all the generous supporters who helped us raise $15,792 for our site-renewal project! We can't wait for you to see what we're building! Your ongoing donations are essential for The LiederNet Archive to continue in its mission of providing this unique resource to the world, so if you didn't get a chance to contribute during the overhaul drive, your help in any amount is still valuable.

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.

For more information, contact us at the following address:
licenses (AT) lieder (DOT) net
Please read the instructions below the translations before writing!
In your e-mail, always include the names of the translators if you wish to reprint something.

Der Knabe

Language: German (Deutsch)

Wenn ich nur ein Vöglein wäre,
Ach wie wollt' ich lustig fliegen,
Alle Vögel weit besiegen.

Wenn ich so ein Vogel bin,
Darf ich alles alles haschen,
Und die höchsten Kirschen naschen,
Fliege dann zur Mutter hin.
Ist sie bös' in ihrem Sinn,
Kann ich lieb mich an sie schmiegen,
Ihren Ernst gar bald besiegen.

Bunte Federn, leichte Flügel,
Dürft' ich in der Sonne schwingen,
Daß die Lüfte laut erklingen,
Weiß nichts mehr von Band und Zügel.
Wär ich über jene Hügel,
Ach dann wollt' ich lustig fliegen,
Alle Vögel weit besiegen.

Translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA

List of language codes

Confirmed with Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Herausgegeben von A. W. Schlegel und L. Tieck. Tübingen, in der Cotta'schen Buchhandlung, 1802, page 136; and with Friedrich Schlegel's sämmtliche Werke. Erster Band. Gedichte. Berlin, bei Julius Eduard Hitzig, 1809, page 15.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator] 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) , "El noi", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "De jongen", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "The boy", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Le garçon", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Il fanciullo", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2017-10-06 14:12:50

Line count: 17
Word count: 92

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

Le garçon

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

Si seulement j'étais un oiseau,
Ah, comme je volerais joyeusement,
Comme je surpasserais tous les oiseaux.

Si j'étais un tel oiseau,
Je pourrais attraper tout, tout,
Et je grignoterais les plus hautes cerises ;
Puis je volerais vers la mère.
Si elle était de mauvaise humeur,
Je pourrais me blottir contre elle tendrement
Et bientôt vaincre sa sévérité.

Plumes colorées, ailes légères,
Je pourrais vous agiter au soleil,
Pour que l'air résonne fort.
Je ne connaîtrais plus de liens ni de freins.
Si j'étais au-dessus de cette colline,
Ah, alors je volerais joyeusement,
Et je surpasserais tous les oiseaux.

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 © 2011 by Guy Laffaille, (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


Text added to the website: 2011-05-22 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2017-10-06 14:14:14

Line count: 17
Word count: 99