by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Es war ein alter König
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Es war ein alter König,
sein Herz war schwer, sein [Haupt]1 war grau;
der arme alte König,
er nahm eine junge Frau.

Es war ein [schöner]2 Page,
blond war sein Haupt, leicht war sein Sinn;
er trug die seid'ne Schleppe
der jungen Königin.

Kennst du das alte Liedchen?
Es klingt so süß, es klingt so trüb!
Sie mußten beide sterben,
sie hatten sich viel zu lieb.

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Diepenbrock: "Haar"
2 Zemlinsky: "junger"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, a translation by R. W. Fullerton ; composed by A. L. Eigher.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker (1845 - 1904) , "Es war ein alter König", appears in Poems Selected from Heinrich Heine, ed. by Kate Freiligrath Kroeker, London: Walter Scott, Limited, page 197, first published 1887 ; composed by George Frederick Boyle.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Nicolae Bretan.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Frank E. Down.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Aaron Kramer ; composed by Eugene Glickman.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Alfred Heller.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Helen Hopekirk.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Frederick W. Bancroft ; composed by George W. Marston.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Louis Napoleon Parker (b. 1852) ; composed by Louis Napoleon Parker.
  • Also set in English, a translation by Theodore Martin, Sir, KCB KCVO (1816 - 1909) ; composed by George Rochberg.
  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Robert Caby.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov.
  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Bernardino Zendrini (1839 - 1879) , "Paggio e regina: Ballata" ; composed by Francesco Paolo Frontini, Giovanni Sgambati.
  • Also set in Polish (Polski), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Michael Hertz.
  • Also set in Romanian (Română), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Nicolae Bretan.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Aleksey Nikolayevich Pleshcheyev (1825 - 1893) , written 1845 ; composed by Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov.
  • Also set in Ukrainian (Українська), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Borys Mykolayovych Lyatoshynsky.

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

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "There was an old king", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Il était un vieux roi", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-12-03 22:24:01
Line count: 12
Word count: 66

Il était un vieux roi
Language: French (Français)  after the German (Deutsch) 
Il était un vieux roi,
son cœur était lourd, sa tête était grise ;
le pauvre vieux roi,
il prit une jeune femme.

Il y avait un très beau page,
blonde était sa tête, légère étaient ses manières,
il porta la traîne en soie
de la jeune reine.

Connais-tu la vieille chanson ?
Elle sonne si doux, elle sonne si triste !
Ils durent mourir tous les deux,
ils avaient trop d'amour l'un pour l'autre.

Authorship

  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to French (Français) copyright © 2008 by Guy Laffaille, (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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Based on

 

Text added to the website: 2008-04-23 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:41
Line count: 12
Word count: 75