by Oscar Panizza (1853 - 1921)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Es wohnt ein kleines Vögelein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Es wohnt ein kleines Vögelein
Auf grünem Baum, im grünen Licht,
Daß es die schöne Nachtigall,
Das Vöglein, es weiß es nicht.

Es wohnt ein schneeweiß Mägdelein
Im vierten Stock beim Himmelslicht,
Daß es das schönste Kind der Stadt,
Das schöne Kind, es weiß es nicht.

Sie wissen's nicht, und unten tief
Geht einer, dem das Herz zerbricht,
Zum Mädchen und zur Nachtigall
Schluchzt er hinauf, sie wissen's nicht.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Oskar Panizza, Düstre Lieder, Leipzig: Albert Unflad, 1886. Appears in Verschiedenes, page 99.


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) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Ils ne le savent pas", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Alberto Pedrotti , Melanie Trumbull

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 69

A little bird lives
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A little bird lives
Upon a green tree, in green light;
The little bird, it does not know
That it is the beautiful nightingale.

A snow-white maiden lives
In the fourth storey near the light of heaven;
That beautiful child, she does not know
That she is the most beautiful child in the city.

They know it not, and far down below
Walks a man whose heart is breaking;
His sobs rise up to the maiden and the nightingale.
They know it not.

About the headline (FAQ)

English song title (Saar): Maiden and Nightingale
English song title (Strauss): They know it not


  • 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: 2014-04-23
Line count: 12
Word count: 83