by Wilhelm Häring (1798 - 1871), as Willibald Alexis
Translation © by Lawrence Snyder

Liebe Mutter, heut' Nacht heulte Regen...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE ITA
"Liebe Mutter, heut' Nacht heulte Regen und Wind."--
""['s ist heute]1 der erste Mai, liebes Kind!""

"Liebe Mutter, es donnerte auf dem Brocken [oben]2!"--
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, es waren die Hexen [droben]4.""--

"Liebe Mutter, ich möcht' keine Hexen sehn."
""[Lieb's]3  Kind, es ist wohl schon oft geschehn.""

"Liebe Mutter, ob wohl im Dorf' Hexen sind?"--
""Sie sind Dir wohl näher, mein liebes Kind.""--

"[Ach]5 Mutter, worauf fliegen die Hexen zum Berg?"
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, auf dem Rauche von [glühendem]6 Werg.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, worauf reiten die Hexen zum Spiel?"
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, sie reiten auf 'nem Besenstiel.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, ['s standen]7 gestern im Dorf' viel Besen!"
""Es sind auch viel Hexen auf'm Brocken gewesen. ""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, [die Nacht hat's]8 im Schornstein geraucht!"
""[Lieb's]3 Kind, es hat einer das Werg gebraucht.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, [die]9 Nacht war Dein Besen nicht zu Haus!"
""[Lieb's]3, so war er zum Blocksberg hinaus.""

"[Ach]5 Mutter, Dein Bett war leer in der Nacht!"
""Deine Mutter hat oben [auf'm Brocken]10 gewacht.""

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Willibald Alexis, "Über Balladenpoesie", in Hermes oder kritisches Jahrbuch der Literatur , Erstes Stück für das Jahr 1824, Volume XXI, Leipzig: F.A. Brockhaus, 1824, pages 107-108.

1 Loewe: "Ist heute"
2 Loewe: "droben"
3 Loewe: "Liebes"
4 Loewe: "oben"
5 Loewe: "Ach"
6 Loewe: "heissem"
7 Loewe: "ich sah"
8 Loewe: " 's hat gestern"
9 Loewe: "in der"
10 Loewe: "auf dem Blocksberg"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Johannes Brahms.

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

  • ENG English (Lawrence Snyder) , "Walpurgis Night", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Nuit de Walpurgis", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Notte di Valpurga", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Research team for this text: Lawrence Snyder , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 160

Walpurgis Night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
"Dear Mother, the wind and rain howls tonight," -
"It is the first of May, my child..." 

"Dear Mother, there's thunder over the Brocken." -
"Dear child, there are witches up there."

"Dear Mother, I don't want to see any witches." -
"Dear Child, they are seen often enough."

"Dear Mother, but even in town?" -
"They're even closer, my child." 

"Dear Mother, how do they fly up to the mountain?" -
"Dear Child, on the smoke from glowing flax."

"Dear Mother, how do they ride to their gatherings?" -
"Dear Child, they ride on broomsticks."

"Dear Mother, yesterday I saw many brooms in the village." -
"Here are also many witches on the Brocken."

"Dear Mother, the chimney was smoking yesterday." -
"Dear Child, someone needed to burn flax."

"Dear Mother, last night your broom was missing." -
"Dear Child, it was over the Blocksberg."

"Dear Mother, your bed was empty last night." -
"Your Mother was awake over the Blocksberg."

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Lawrence Snyder, (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

 

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 162