by Alois Zettler (1778 - 1828)
Translation © by Malcolm Wren

Freundschaft und Wein
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Ihr, Freunde, und du, goldner Wein!
Versüßet mir das Leben;
Ohn' euch Beglücker wäre fein
Ich stets in Angst und Beben.
Chor. Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein
Möcht' ich nicht im Leben seyn!

Wie Manchen seh' ich nach dem Kuß
Des spröden Liebchens streben;
Doch folget nicht auch Überdruß
Dem Wechsel-Küssegeben?
Chor. Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein
Mag ich nicht bey Mädchen seyn!

Wer Tausende in Kisten schließt,
Nach mehreren noch trachtet,
Der Freunde Noth, und sich vergißt,
Sey reich, von mir verachtet!
Chor. Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein
Mag ein Andrer reicher seyn!

Ohn' allen Freund, was ist der Held?
Was sind des Reichs Magnaten?
Was wär' ein Herr der ganzen Welt?
Sind alle schlecht berathen!
Chor. Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein
Möcht' ich selbst kein Kaiser seyn!

Und soll es in der Zukunft Port
Der Freuden höchste geben:
So winke mir schon an der Pfort
Ein Freund und Saft der Reben!
Chor. Sonst will ohne Freund und Wein,
Ich selbst nicht im Himmel seyn.

Confirmed with Selam. Ein Almanach für Freunde des Mannigfaltigen. Herausgegeben von I.F.Castelli. Dritter Jahrgang 1814. Wien, gedruckt und im Verlage bey Anton Strauß, pages 222-223.

Note: A different version of this poem (i.a. without the second stanza) has been published with the title Trinklied in Nachgelassene Gedichte von Alois Zettler, Wien 1936 - see below.


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

Another version of this text exists in the database.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Drinking song", copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chanson à boire", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 30
Word count: 162

Drinking song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You friends and you, golden wine,
Make life sweet for me;
Without you, happiness makers, I would truly be
Always in a state of anxiety and agitation.
Chorus: Without friends, without wine,
I would not like to be alive.

How many people I see that want a kiss
And struggle to get one from their coy beloved;
Yet don't you think you can have too much of
Exchanging kisses with each other?
Chorus: Without friends, without wine,
I would not want to be with girls!

Whoever locks thousands in cases
Striving only for more and more,
Is forgetting the needs of his friend and himself.
Be rich but scorned by me.
Chorus: Without friends, without wine
Let someone else be rich!

Without all his friends, what is the hero?
What are the magnates of the Empire?
What is a Lord of the whole world?
They are all badly advised!
Chorus: Without friends, without wine,
I wouldn't even want to be the Emperor!

And if it comes to the gateway of the future
And we have to give up the highest joys,
Then beckoning to me at the doorway will be
A friend and the juice of the grape!
Chorus: Otherwise without a friend and wine I don't
Even want to be in heaven.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2016 by Malcolm Wren, (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: 2016-09-10
Line count: 30
Word count: 213