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Vöglein Schwermut

Language: German (Deutsch)

Ein schwarzes Vöglein fliegt über die Welt,
das singt so todestraurig...
[Wer es hört, der hört nichts anderes mehr,]1
wer es hört, der tut sich ein Leides an,
der mag keine Sonne mehr schauen.

Allmitternacht ruht es [sich]2 aus
auf [dem Finger]3 des Tods.
Der streichelt's leis und spricht ihm zu:
"Flieg, mein [Vögelein!]4 flieg, mein [Vögelein!]3"
Und wieder [fliegt's]5 flötend über die Welt.

Translation(s): ENG FRE

List of language codes

View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Petersen.
2 omitted by Wolff
3 Zemlinsky: "den Fingern"
4 Zemlinsky: "Vögelchen!"
5 Wolff: "fliegt's Vögelein"

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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (John H. Campbell) , "Melancholy bird", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Mélancolie du petit oiseau", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

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

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:42
Line count: 10
Word count: 64

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Mélancolie du petit oiseau

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

Au-dessus du monde, vole un petit oiseau noir
qui chante avec une tristesse mortelle ...
Celui qui l'entend n'écoute plus rien d'autre,
celui qui l'entend ressent un mal
et ne peut plus voir aucun soleil.

Au milieu de la nuit il se repose
sur les doigts de la mort.
Elle le caresse doucement et lui dit :
« Vole mon petit oiseau ! vole mon petit oiseau ! »
Et en chantant il repart voler au-dessus du monde.

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  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to French (Français) copyright © 2011 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.


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Based on
  • a text in German (Deutsch) by Christian Morgenstern (1871 - 1914), "Vöglein Schwermut", appears in Auf vielen Wegen, in Vom Tagwerk des Todes ENG
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Hans Gál, Harald Genzmer, Heinz Holliger, Yrjö Henrik Kilpinen, Wilhelm Petersen, Heinz Tiessen, Ernest Vietor, Karl Weigl, Felix Paul Weingartner, Erich J. Wolff, Stefan Wolpe, Erich Zeisl, Alexander Zemlinsky. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2011-07-23.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:29
Line count: 10
Word count: 78