by Edward Lear (1812 - 1888)
Translation © by Bertram Kottmann

The Owl and the Pussycat
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER RUS
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful [Pussy]1 you are, 
you are, 
you are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are."

Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl, 
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring [at]2 the end of his nose, 
his nose, 
his nose,
With a ring [at]1 the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, 
the moon, 
the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Harmati: "puss"
2 Wilkinson: "in"


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

The text above (or a part of it) is used in the following settings:

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Eul’ und die Miezekatz", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Совёнок и Кошечка", copyright © 1982, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2004-05-19
Line count: 36
Word count: 225

Der Eul’ und die Miezekatz
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 

Der Eul’ und die Miezekatz fuhr’n zur See
in ´nem erbsgrünen Boot zu zwein,
wickelten flinke viel Honig und Pinke
hinein in ´nen Fünf-Pfund-Schein.
Der Eul’rich sang bei der Sterne Schein
und spielte Gitarre dazu:
„O liebste Mieze! O Miezekatz mein,
keine schönere Mieze als du,
als du,
als du!
Keine schönere Mieze als du.“


Sprach zum Eul’rich die Katz, „Gefiederter Schatz,
dein Lied begeistert mich sehr.
Komm, lasst uns schnell freien, eh’ wir es bereuen,
doch wo kommt der Ehering her?“
Fort ging es dann, wohl ein Jahr so verrann,
die Reise zum Bong-Baum-Land ging:
Im Wald stand allein ein rüssliges Schwein,
an der Nasenspitz’ trug es ´nen Ring,
´nen Ring,
´nen Ring,
an der Nasenspitz’ trug es ´nen Ring.


„Für ein Pfund, bitte sehr, gibst den Ring du uns her?“
„Na klar“, sprach das Schwein, „abgemacht!“
Gab den Ring dann der Braut, und die beiden getraut
hat der Truthahn in selbiger Nacht.
Drauf gab es, ´s ist Sitte, Gehacktes und Quitte,
sie nahmen’s mit Gabellöff ein.
Und Hand in Hand, drunt’ am Strande im Sand
tanzten sie in des Mondes Schein,
im Schein,
im Schein,
tanzten sie in des Mondes Schein.


  • Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2015 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.

    Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT)

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This text was added to the website: 2015-01-26
Line count: 36
Word count: 196