by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Peter Palmer

Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Liebe sprach zum Gott der Lieder,
Sie verlange Sicherheiten,
Ehe sie sich ganz ergebe,
Denn es wären schlechte Zeiten.

Lachend gab der Gott zur Antwort:
Ja, die Zeiten sich verändern,
Und du sprichst jetzt wie ein alter
Wuchrer, welcher leiht auf Pfändern.

Ach, ich hab nur eine Leier,
Doch sie ist von gutem Golde.
Wieviel Küsse willst du borgen
Mir darauf, o meine Holde?


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 [singable] (Peter Palmer) , title 1: "Sound business", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-10-27
Line count: 12
Word count: 64

Sound business
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Venus told the god of lyrics
She would want a large donation
Prior to complete submission
As a way to beat inflation.

Chuckling, he replied to Venus:
Yes, the times demand some cover,
But you talk now like a grizzled
Lender rather than a lover.

Ah, I've nought here but a lyre,
Though the gold is highly graded.
How much kissing may I borrow
In return, o sweetest lady?

Note: this is a revised American version of the one published with the David Blake setting.


  • Singable translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2009 by Peter Palmer, (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: 2009-06-10
Line count: 12
Word count: 69