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

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Ihr Freunde und du goldner Wein!
Versüsset mir das Leben:
Von euch getrennt und krank zu seyn! -
Dieß Denken macht mich beben.
"Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein
Mag ich nicht im Leben seyn."

Wer Tausende in Kisten schließt,
Nach Mehreren nur trachtet,
Der Freunde Noth und sich vergießt -
Sey reich! von uns verachtet.
"Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein
Mag ein Andrer reicher seyn!"

Ohn' allem Freund, was ist der Held?
Was sind des Reichs Magnaten?
Was ist ein Herr der ganzen Welt? -
Sind alle schlecht berathen!
"Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein,
Mag ich selbst nicht Kaiser seyn!"

Und muß einst an der Zukunft Port
Dem Leib die Seel' entschweben:
So wink' mir aus der Sel'gen Hort
Ein Freund und Saft der Reben:
"Sonst mag ohne Freund und Wein,
Ich auch nicht im Himmel seyn."

Confirmed with Nachgelassene Gedichte von Alois Zettler. Mit einer Vorrede herausgegeben von Chr. Kuffner. Wien. Bei Schmidl's Witwe und Ig. Klang, 1836, pages 113-114.

This is a version of Zettler's roundelay Freundschaft und Wein which has been published posthumously. For the version published in 1814 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)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Set in a modified version by Franz Peter Schubert.

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

  • ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "Drinking song", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2017-06-01
Line count: 24
Word count: 134

Drinking song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
You friends and you, golden wine,
Make life sweet for me;
Being separated from you and sick! - 
The very thought makes me shudder.
"Without friends, without wine,
I would not like to be alive."

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 us.
"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!
Without friends, without wine,
I wouldn't even want to be the Emperor.

And if a time has to come at the gateway of the future
When the soul has to leave the body,
Then beckoning to me from the refuge of the saints will be
A friend and the juice of the grape.
Otherwise without a friend and wine I don't
Even want to be in heaven.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2017 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: 2017-07-09
Line count: 24
Word count: 165