Translation © by Emily Ezust

Es wohnet ein Fiedler zu Frankfurt am...
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Es wohnet ein Fiedler zu Frankfurt am Main,
der kehret von lustiger Zeche heim;
und er trat auf den Markt, was schaut er dort?
Der schönen Frauen schmausten gar viel' an dem Ort.

"Du bucklichter Fiedler, nun fiedle uns auf,
wir wollen dir zahlen des Lohnes vollauf!
Einen feinen Tanz, behende gegeigt,
Walpurgis Nacht wir heuer gefeir't!"

Der Geiger strich einen fröhlichen Tanz,
die Frauen tanzten den Rosenkranz,
und die erste sprach: "mein lieber Sohn,
du geigtest so frisch, hab' nun deinen Lohn!"

Sie griff ihm behend' unter's Wams sofort,
und nahm ihm den Höcker vom Rücken fort:
"so gehe nun hin, mein schlanker Gesell,
dich nimmt nun jedwede Jungfrau zur Stell'."

About the headline (FAQ)


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, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , title 1: "There once lived a fiddler in Frankfurt-am-Main", copyright ©
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 112

There once lived a fiddler in Frankfurt‑am‑Main
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
There once lived a fiddler in Frankfurt-am-Main,
who was on his way home from a merry celebration;
he arrived at the market, and what did he see?
Fair women feasting - there were so many in that place.

"You! Hunchbacked fiddler, if you fiddle for us now
we will pay you a handsome reward!
Fiddle nimbly a fine dance,
for we celebrate Walpurgis Night tonight!"

The fiddler scratched out a vivacious dance,
and the ladies danced the Rose-Wreath1,
and then the first one spoke: "My dear son,
you play so merrily - have now your reward!"

At once she grasped him agilely under his jerkin
and removed the hump from his back:
"Go forth now, my tall young man,
now any maiden would take you on the spot!"

View original text (without footnotes)
1 "Rosenkranz" refers to a witches' dance, with rose symbolizing the devil, according to Jacob Grimm in Teutonic Mythology, translated from the Fourth Edition with Notes and Appendix by James Steven Stallybrass, Volume IV, London: George Bell & Sons, 1888, page 1621.


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 128