by Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Eine Stimme singt in der Nacht
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Eine Stimme singt in der Nacht,
Nacht, die ihr bange macht,
Singt ihre Angst, ihren Mut;
Singen bezwingt die Nacht.
Singen ist gut.

Eine zweite hebt an und geht mit,
Hält mit der andern Schritt,
Gibt ihr Antwort und lacht,
Weil zu zwein in der Nacht
Singen ihr Freude macht.

Dritte Stimme fällt ein,
Tanzt und schreitet im Reihn
Mit in der Nacht. Und die drei
Werden zu Sternenschein
Und Zauberei.

Fangen sich, lassen sich,
Meiden sich, fassen sich,
Weil Singen in der Nacht
Liebe weckt, Freude macht,

Zaubern ein Sternenzelt,
Drin eins das andre halt,
Zeigen sich, verstecken sich,
Trösten sich, necken sich...

Nacht wär und Angst die Welt
Ohne dich, ohne mich, ohne dich.

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Hermann Hesse, Sämtliche Werke, herausgegeben von Volker Michels, Band 10 Die Gedichte, bearbeitet von Peter Huber, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2002, page 327.


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):

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-04-30
Line count: 25
Word count: 116

A voice sings in the night
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
A voice sings in the night,
The night, which makes it afraid,
Sings of its fear, its courage;
Singing conquers the night.
Singing is good.

A second [voice] begins and sings along,
Keeping pace with the other,
Gives it answer and laughs,
Because to sing as a twosome in the night
Makes it happy.

A third voice joins in,
Dances and moves in the night
With [the others]. And the three
Become radiance of the stars
And magic.

They catch each other, separate,
Avoid each other, hold each other,
Because singing in the night
Wakens love, creates happiness,

They conjure up a canopy of stars
In which one holds the other,
They reveal themselves, hide themselves,
Comfort each other, tease each other . . .

The world would be night and fear
Without you, without me, without you.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Stimmen in der Nacht" = "Voices in the night"
"Dreistimmige Musik" = "Three-part music"
"Intermezzo" = "Intermezzo "


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2018 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: 2018-03-10
Line count: 25
Word count: 138