by Karl von Lemcke (1831 - 1913)
Translation © by Linda Godry

Freiwillige her!
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): DUT ENG FRE
Freiwillige her!
Von der Memel bis zum Rhein,
von den Alpen bis zum Meer,
Freiwillige her!
Schwarz, Rot, Gold ist das Panier,
für dich, Deutschland, kämpfen wir!
Freiwillige her!

Freiwillige her!
Nehmt die Büchsen, zielet gut!
Auf zu Ross mit Schwert und Speer,
Freiwillige her!
Schwarz, Rot, Gold ist bedroht.
Vaterland! Sieg oder Tod!
Freiwillige her!

Freiwillige her!
Duldet ihr der Feinde Spott?
Ist der Fluch noch nicht zu schwer?
Freiwillige her!
Dänen, Welsche, wer es sei,
nieder fremde Tyrannei!
Freiwillige her!

Freiwillige her!
Durch das Volk da braust der Sturm:
Einig! Keine Trennung mehr!
Freiwillige her!
Einig! ruft's im Schlachtenrot!
Deutsches Volk, Sieg oder Tod!
Freiwillige her!

Authorship

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 (Linda Godry) , title 1: "Volunteers join the ranks!", copyright © 2007, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Volontaires, en avant !", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , title 1: "Vrijwilligers hier!", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2005-08-29 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:14
Line count: 28
Word count: 108

Volunteers join the ranks!
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Volunteers join the ranks!
From the Memel to the Rhine,
from the Alps to the sea,
Volunteers join the ranks!
Black, red and gold are our colours,
For you, Germany, we fight!
Volunteers join the ranks!

Volunteers join the ranks!
Take your rifles and aim well!
Mount your horses with sword and lance,
Volunteers join the ranks!
Black, red and gold is at risk.
Fatherland! Victory or death!
Volunteers join the ranks!

Volunteers join the ranks!
Will we allow the enemy to sneer at us?
Is our destiny not bad enough as it is?
Volunteers join the ranks!
Danish, French, whoever it is
Down with the tyrannical foreign rule!
Volunteers join the ranks!

Volunteers join the ranks!
There's a storm brewing among the people:
Let's be united! No separation any more!
Volunteers join the ranks!
Let's be united! This calls for the red shine of battle!
German people, victory or death!
Volunteers join the ranks!

Translator's note: The soldiers the poet talks about belonged to the "Freikorps", or "Free Corps", called troups of volunteers who first (and before the poet's time) fought against the napoleonic/french occupation of Europe, and what much later in 1870 became Prussia/Germany and even later against the Danish to free Schleswig-Holstein resp. the French again for instance because of Alsace, a thorn in the side of both countries for years to come. The free-corps commanded by the Baron von Lützow in the napoleonic wars, was the most famous and the first to show the black, red and golden colours, which after 1945 became Germany's new national flag as it already was a symbol of freedom from dictatorship.

The "Freikorps" consisted first of volunteers from the Prussian army and later incorporated volunteers from all German countries, mostly students and other intellectuals such as, for example, the poets Theodor Körner and Joseph von Eichendorff. There even fought nominally "French citizens" from those German countries incorporated into France since 1794 onward like Oldenbourg or the whole left bank of the river Rhine from Mainz to Cleve. The men and even a handful of women in disguise, had to pay for their own equipment; therefore the uniforms were black-tinted civilian clothes with red and gold borders.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2007 by Linda Godry, (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.
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Text added to the website: 2007-06-24 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:24
Line count: 28
Word count: 155