Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Nachtigall, sag, was für Grüß'
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Nachtigall, sag, was für Grüß',
Was ist dein Gesang so süß?
So schaurig, so schaurig!
Bald thut wohl mir dein Gesang,
Und wird's mir im Herzen bang!
So schaurig, so schaurig!

Wie es tönet durch den Wald,
Fließt die Thräne von der Wang'.
So schaurig, so schaurig!
In dem Herzen ringt die Noth
So als wär' es gar der Tod!
So schaurig, so schaurig!

Nachtigall, so wundersam,
Sprich in Jesu Christi Nam':
So schaurig, so schaurig!
Wie solch Singen möglich ist?
Und verkünde, wer du bist!
So schaurig, so schaurig!

Der du bist, das war ich einst,
Meine Sünd' ist nicht die kleinst',
So schaurig, so schaurig!
Wart bis auf den jüngsten Tag
Auf mein Urtheil mit der Klag'.
So schaurig, so schaurig!

Rauschend fliegt der Vogel fort,
Warnt bald hier und warnt bald dort;
So schaurig, so schaurig!
Wer vernommen den Gesang,
Der wird nicht mehr leben lang'.
So schaurig, so schaurig!

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Deutsche Volkslieder mit ihren Original-Weisen, ed. A. Wilh. v. Zuccalmaglio, Zweiter Theil, Berlin: Vereins-Buchhandlung, 1840, pages 140-141.


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Nachtegaal, wat 's dat voor groet?", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , title 1: "Dis, rossignol pourquoi pour un salut", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , title 1: "Nightingale, tell", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 153

Nightingale, tell
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Nightingale, tell, what sort of greetings,
How is your singing so sweet?
So eerie, so eerie!
Now your song does me good
And I become anxious in my heart!
So eerie, so eerie!

As it rings out through the forest,
The tears flow down my cheeks.
So eerily, so eerily!
And within my heart distress struggles
As if it were death!
So eerie, so eerie!

Nightingale, so wondrous,
Speak in the name of Jesus Christ:
So eerie, so eerie!
How is such singing possible?
And tell who you are!
So eerie, so eerie!

Who you are, I once was,
My sin is not the smallest,
So eerie, so eerie!
With lamentation I wait
Until day of the last judgement for my sentence.
So eerie, so eerie!

With a rustle of its wings the bird flies off,
Warns now here and warns now there;
So eerily, so eerily!
He who has heard the singing
Shall not live much longer.
So eerie, so eerie!

English poem title: The enchanted nightingale


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2014 by Sharon Krebs, (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.

Based on


This text was added to the website: 2014-01-23
Line count: 30
Word count: 162