by Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815)
Translation © by Gary Bachlund (b. 1947)

Pasteten hin, Pasteten her
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Pasteten hin, Pasteten her,
  Was kümmern uns Pasteten?
Die Kumme hier ist auch nicht leer
Und schmeckt so gut als bonne chère
  Von Fröschen und von Kröten.

Und viel Pastet und Leckerbrot
  Verdirbt nur Blut und Magen.
Die Köche kochen lauter Not,
Sie kochen uns viel eher tot;
  Ihr Herren, laßt euch sagen!

Schön rötlich die Kartoffeln sind,
  Und weiß wie Alabaster;
Sie dau'n sich lieblich und geschwind
  Und sind für Mann und Weib und Kind,
[Geschweige denn für Schwein und Rind]1
  Ein rechtes Magenpflaster!

J. Zumsteeg sets stanza 3

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View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Matthias Claudius Sämtliche Werke. Gedichte. Prosa. Briefe in Auswahl, Berlin, Darmstadt, Wien: Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, 1958, pages 199-200.

1 omitted by Bachlund.


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 or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Gary Bachlund) , "The potato song", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-03-15
Line count: 16
Word count: 85

The potato song
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Pâtés there, pâtés here,
Shall we care about pâtés?
The bowl here is not empty
and it tastes as good as the fancy foods
which are made by frogs and toads.

And many pastries and tasty breads
only upset one's blood and stomach.
Chefs cook with such a fuss,
and cook us into an early grave;
My friends, let's say it!

Beautifully reddish are potatoes
and white as alabaster!
They're light and sweet and easy to cook,
designed for men and women and child
as a fine cure for the stomach. 


Based on

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-03-15
Line count: 15
Word count: 91