by Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787 - 1862)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

In der hohen Hall' saß König Sifrid
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE ITA
In der hohen Hall' saß König [Sifrid]1:
"Ihr Harfner, wer weiß mir das schönste Lied?"
Und ein Jüngling trat aus der Schar behende,
Die Harf' in der Hand, das Schwert an der Lende:

"Drei Lieder weiß ich; den ersten Sang,
Den hast du ja wohl vergessen schon lang:
Meinen Bruder hast du meuchlings erstochen,
Und aber, hast ihn meuchlings erstochen!

Das andre Lied, das hab' ich erdacht
In einer finstern und stürmischen Nacht:
Mußt mit mir fechten auf Leben und Sterben,
Und aber, mußt fechten auf Leben und Sterben!"

Da lehnt er die Harfe wohl an den Tisch,
Und sie zogen beide die Schwerter frisch
Und fochten lange mit wildem Schalle,
Bis der König sank in der hohen Halle.

"Nun sing' ich das dritte und schönste Lied,
Das werd' ich nimmer zu singen müd':
König Sifrid liegt in [seim]2 rotem Blute,
Und aber, liegt in seim roten Blute!"

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Loewe: "Siegfried", passim.
2 Loewe: "sein'm" (set to one note), passim.; "seim" is an archaic form of "seinem"


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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The three songs", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Dans la haute salle siégeait le roi Sifrid", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Ballata", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Melanie Trumbull

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 20
Word count: 148

The three songs
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
King Sifrid sat in the high hall:
"You harpers, which of you knows the most beautiful song?"
And a youth stepped nimbly forth from the throng,
His harp in his hand, his sword at his side:

"I know three songs; the first song
You have likely already forgotten long:
You stabbed and killed my brother in a dastardly fashion,
And again [I say]: you stabbed and killed him in a dastardly fashion!

The second song, that one I made up
In a dark and stormy night:
You must fight with me in mortal combat,
And again [I say]: must fight in mortal combat!"

Then he leaned the harp up against the table,
And they both briskly drew their swords
And fought long with wild clangs,
Till the king sank down in the high hall.

"Now I shall sing the third and most beautiful song,
One that I shall never grow tired of singing:
King Sifrid lies in his red blood,
And again [I say]: lies in his red blood!"


  • 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: 2014-05-23
Line count: 20
Word count: 169