by Robert Reinick (1805 - 1852)
Translation © by Sharon Krebs

Es waren einmal drei Käferknaben
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT ENG FRE
Es waren [einmal]1 drei [Käferknaben]2,
Die täten mit Gebrumm brumm brumm
     In Tau ihr Schnäblein tunken,
     Und wurden so betrunken,
     Als wär's ein Faß mit Rum.
 
Da haben sie getroffen an
Eine wunderschöne Blum Blum Blum,
     Da wurden die jungen Käfer
     Alle drei verliebte Schäfer
     Und flogen um sie herum.
 
Die Blume, die sie kommen sah,
War grade auch nicht dumm dumm dumm.
     Sie war von schlauem Sinne
     Und rief die Base Spinne:
     "Spinn' mir ein Netzlein um!"
 
Die Base Spinne kroch heran
Und macht' die Beine krumm krumm krumm;
     Sie spann ein Netz so feine
     Und setzte sich dareine,
     Und saß da mäuschenstumm.
 
Und als die Käfer [kommen]3 an
Mit zärtlichem Gesumm summ summ,
     Sind sie hinein geflogen,
     Und wurden ausgesogen,
     Half ihnen kein Gebrumm.
 
Das Blümlein aber lachend sprach,
Und kümmert' sich nicht drum drum drum:
     So geht's, ihr lieben Käfer,
     So geht's, ihr lieben Schäfer,
     Trotz allem Summ und Brumm!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with [Robert Reinick], Lieder eines Malers mit Randzeichnungen seiner Freunde, München: Verlag Rösl u. Cir, [1919], pages 25-26.

1 Blumner: " 'mal"; further changes may exist not shown above.
2 Reissiger: "Käferlein"
3 Reissiger: "kamen"

Authorship

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):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Sharon Krebs) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , "Chant du scarabée", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


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

This text was added to the website: 2009-03-22
Line count: 30
Word count: 153

Once there were three beetle‑boys
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
Once there were three beetle-boys,
And with a buzzing buzz buzz they 
     Dunked their little proboscides in dew,
     And got as drunk 
     As if it were a cask of rum.

Then they came across
A wondrously lovely flow'r flow'r flow'r,
     At which all three of the young beetles 
     Turned into lovelorn shepherds
     And flew about the flower.

The flower, who saw them coming,
Was not exactly dumb dumb dumb either.
     She had a clever mind
     And summoned Cousin Spider:
     "Spin a little net about me!"

Cousin Spider crept near
And made her legs crooked crooked crooked;
     She spun a net so fine
     And sat herself in it,
     And sat there mute as a mouse.

And when the beetles arrived
With a tender humming hum hum,
     They flew into the net,
     And were sucked dry,
     No amount of buzzing could help them.

The flower, however, spoke laughingly,
And did not care a jot jot jot:
     That's how it goes, you dear beetles,
     That's how it goes, you dear shepherds,
     Despite all the humming and buzzing!

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Die drei Käferknaben" = "The three beetle boys"
"Die Käferknaben" = "The beetle boys"
"Käferlied" = "Beetle song"


Authorship

  • 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.
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Based on

 

This text was added to the website: 2020-04-01
Line count: 30
Word count: 174