Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
Der Tannenbaum steht schweigend, Einsam auf grauer Höh'; Der Knabe schaukelt im Nachen Entlang dem blauen See. Tief in sich selbst versunken Die Tanne steht und sinnt, Der Knabe kos't der Welle, Die schäumend vorüberrinnt. "Du Tannenbaum dort oben, Du alter finstrer Gesell, Was schaust du stets so trübe Auf mich zu dieser Stell'?" Da rühret er mit Trauern Der dunklen Zweige Saum, Und spricht in leisen Schauern, Der alte Tannenbaum: "Daß schon die Axt mich suchet Zu deinem Todenschrein, Das macht mich stets so trübe, Gedenk' ich Knabe, dein."
- by Georg Scheurlin (1802 - 1872) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Alfred Tofft (1865 - 1931), "Der Tannenbaum", op. 5 (Drei Lieder für 1 mittlere Singstimme mit Pianoforte) no. 1, published 1891 [medium voice and piano], Leipzig, W. Hansen [ sung text not verified ]
- by Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883), "Der Tannenbaum", WWV 50 (1838?), published 1875 [voice and piano], from [Vier] Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte, no. 4, Berlin, Fürstner [ sung text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ENG English (Malcolm Wren) , "The fir-tree", copyright © 2005, (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: 20
Word count: 90
The fir-tree stands silent, alone on a grey eminence; the boy sails in a boat across the blue lake. Deeply absorbed in itself the fir-tree stands and thinks, the boy caresses the waves as they foam past. "You fir-tree up there you dark old lad, why do you always look so bitterly on me down here?" Mournfully it moves the edge of its dark branches and with a quiet shudder the old fir-tree says, "Because soon the axe will be looking for me to make your coffin, that's what always makes me so bitter, lad, when I think of you."
- Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2005 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.
This text was added to the website: 2005-04-11
Line count: 20
Word count: 100