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

Der stille Trinker
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
Sie schwenkten die Kannen
Und priesen die Mädchen,
Marien und Annen,
Lieschen  und Kätchen.
Nur einer sass in der Ecke allein,
Stumm, beim Wein;
Der [musste]1 wohl ohne Liebchen sein. 

Die Wächter riefen
Und bliesen Zwei;
Die Zecher schliefen
Auf Stroh und Heu. 
Der stille Trinker allein nicht schlief,
Stand auf und lief --
Wohin? -- Weiss [ich's]2? -- Stille Wasser sind tief!

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Rudolf Baumbach, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Leipzig: Verlag von A. G. Liebeskind, 1882, page 32.

1 Sinigaglia: "musst' "
2 Sinigaglia: "ich"


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 quiet drinker", copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Research team for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor] , Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2009-04-28
Line count: 14
Word count: 60

The quiet drinker
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
They swung the jugs
And praised the maidens,
Maria and Anna,
Lizzie and Kate.
Only one man sat alone in the corner,
Mute, drinking wine;
He had to be the one without a beloved.

The watchmen called out
And blew "two o'clock";
The carousers were sleeping
Upon straw and hay.
Only the quiet drinker was not sleeping,
He rose up and ran --
Whither? -- How should I know? -- Still waters run deep!


  • 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: 2020-09-23
Line count: 14
Word count: 71