It's been 3 years since our last fund-raising drive. Help us keep the Archive free to the public. Your donation will fund the ongoing development of the world's oldest and largest online database of vocal texts and translations.

by Rudolph Baumbach (1840 - 1905)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Das schwatzhafte Wasser
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
  Am Himmel hing das Silberhorn,
Und linde Mailuft wehte. 
Da sass der Hans am Waldesborn
Und herzte seine Grete. 
Das bunte Volk der Vögel schlief, 
Kein Lauscher war darunter, 
Die alten Tannen träumten tief, 
Der Bach allein war munter, 
Und lustig lachend sang die Fluth: 
"Der Hansel ist der Gretel gut."

  Der Waldbach kam nach kurzer Frist 
Zum goldnen Stern geschwommen. 
Dort sprach der Wirth mit arger List: 
"Ei, Bächlein, schön willkommen!" 
Und goss die Wasserfluth alsbald 
In's Weinfass unverfroren; 
So kam die neue Mär vom Wald 
Den Durstigen zu Ohren. 
Da raunten sie im goldnen Stern: 
"Der Hansel hat die Gretel gern."

  Die Grete wünschte gute Nacht 
Und liess den Hans alleine, 
Und weil das Küssen durstig macht, 
So ging der Hans zum Weine. 
Am Zechtisch sass er untenan 
Und trank mit tiefen Zügen; 
Da drängte sich der Schwärm heran 
Mit frischgefüllten Krügen, 
Sie stiessen an und riefen laut: 
„Der Hansel hoch und seine Braut!"

Confirmed with Rudolpf Baumbach Krug und Tintenfass, Leipzig: Verlag von A.G. Liebeskind, 1887, pages 18-19.


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 (Sharon Krebs) , "The gossipy waters", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Bertram Kottmann , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2020-01-13
Line count: 30
Word count: 157

The gossipy waters
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
  The silver horn hung in the sky,
And gentle May breezes blew.
Hans sat at the forest stream
And embraced his Grete.
The colourful bird-folk slept,
No eavesdropper was amongst them,
The old fir trees were deep in dreams,
Only the stream was awake,
And, laughing merrily, the waters sang:
"Hansel is fond of Gretel."

  After a little while the forest stream
Came flowing up to the Golden Star.
There, the tavernkeeper said with cunning guile:
"Hey, brooklet, welcome!"
And unabashedly immediately poured 
The stream's water into the wine keg.
Thus the recent news from the forest
Came to the ears of the thirsty ones.
Thereupon they murmered in the Golden Star:
"Hansel is fond of Gretel."

  Gretel wished Hansel a good night
And left him alone;
And since kissing makes one thirsty,
Hans took himself off to drink wine.
He sat at the foot of the tavern table
And drank in deep draughts;
The throng surged forward around him
With freshly-filled jugs,
They clinked their glasses and called loudly:
"A toast to Hansel and his fiancée!"


  • 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: 2020-01-13
Line count: 30
Word count: 178