Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Die Zigeunerin singt:
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Alter Mann, grauser Mann,
Schneide mich, brenne mich!
Fest bin ich, fürchte nicht
Feuer noch Messerstich.

Ja, ich hasse Dich, Greis!
Bin zum Hohne Dein Weib --
Einen Andern lieb' ich
Mit Seele und Leib!

Schneide mich, brenne mich!
Soll mir kein Wort entfliehn: 
Alter Mann, grauser Mann! 
Nimmer entdeckst du ihn!

Wie ein Sommertag heiß,
Ist er frischer als Mai --
O, wie jung er und frisch!
Und wie lieb' ich ihn treu!

O, wie herzt' ich ihn wild
In der Stille der Nacht,
Und wie haben wir da
Ueber dich, Greis, gelacht!

Confirmed with Friedrich Bodenstedt, Alte und neue Gedichte, Erster Band, Berlin: Verlag der Königlichen Geheimen Ober-Hofbuchdruckerei (R.v.Decker), 1867, page 138.


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

  • by Heinrich August Marschner (1795 - 1861), "Die Zigeunerin singt:", op. 163 (Friedrich Bodenstedts Lieder für eine Sopran oder Tenorstimme am Piano zu singen), Heft 1 no. 2, published 1853 [ soprano or tenor and piano ], Berlin: Ed. Bote und G. Bock [sung text checked 1 time]

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

  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , "The gypsy woman sings:", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2020-07-27
Line count: 20
Word count: 92

The gypsy woman sings:
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Old man, horrible man,
Cut me, burn me!
I stand firm, fear neither
Fire nor the stab of the knife.

Yes, I hate you, old man!
I am your wife in mockery [of you] --
I love another
With body and soul!

Cut me, burn me!
Not a word shall escape my lips:
Old man, horrible man,
You shall never discover him!

He is as hot as a summer day,
Is fresher than May --
Oh, how young he is and fresh!
And how faithfully I love him!

Oh how wildly I embraced him
In the quiet of the night,
And how we laughed,
Old man, at you!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Sharon Krebs, (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.

Based on:


This text was added to the website: 2020-07-27
Line count: 20
Word count: 106