by Adelbert von Chamisso (1781 - 1838)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

's war einer, dem's zu Herzen ging
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG FRE
's war einer, dem's zu Herzen ging,
Daß ihm der Zopf nach hinten hing,
Er wollt es anders haben.

Da denkt er denn, wie fang ich's an?
Ich dreh' mich 'rum, so ist's getan,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Da hat er flink sich umgedreht,
Und wie es stund, es annoch steht:
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Da dreht er schnell sich anders 'rum,
's wird aber noch nicht besser drum,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Er dreht sich links, er dreht sich rechts,
Er tut nichts Guts, er tut nichts Schlechts,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Er dreht sich wie ein Kreisel fort,
Es hilft zu nichts, mit einem Wort -
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

Und seht, er dreht sich immer noch
Und denkt, es hilft am Ende doch,
Der Zopf, der hängt ihm hinten.

About the headline (FAQ)

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 William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 - 1863) , "A tragic story", appears in Five German Ditties, no. 1 [an adaptation] FRE ; composed by Seymour Barab, Arthur Bergh, Benjamin Britten, Frederic Field Bullard, Ernest Bullock, Sir, George Whitefield Chadwick, Madeleine Dring, J. Bertram Fox, Henry Franklin Belknap Gilbert, Ann Hamerton, Harold Noble, George Norman Peterkin, Joseph Roff, David Dick Slater, Peter Andrew Tranchell, Joseph Wardale.

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

  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "There once was a man who took it amiss", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Histoire tragique", copyright © 2010, (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: 2014-06-16 10:01:23
Line count: 21
Word count: 142

There once was a man who took it amiss
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 There once was a man who took it amiss
 that his ponytail hung behind him:
 he wanted a change.
 
 He thinks, then, where shall I begin?
 I'll turn myself around, and that's how it'll be done;
 but the ponytail hangs behind him.
 
 He turned about suddenly,
 and as it was, it still remains:
 the ponytail hangs behind him.
 
 He turns quickly the other way,
 but it does no better for it:
 the ponytail hangs behind him.
 
 He turns left, he turns right,
 but he does neither good nor harm:
 the ponytail hangs behind him.
 
 He spins around like a top,
 but it does not help: in short -
 the ponytail hangs behind him.
 
 And look: he's still turning!
 he thinks it will help in the end;
 yet the ponytail still hangs behind him.

Authorship

  • 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 -- https://www.lieder.net/

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


Based on

 

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:23
Line count: 21
Word count: 134