by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Auf dem Land und in der Stadt
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): ENG
 Auf dem Land und in der Stadt
 Hat man eitel Plagen,
 Muß ums Bißchen, was man hat,
 Sich mit'm Nachbar schlagen.
 Rings auf Gottes Erde weit
 Ist nur Hunger, Kummer, Neid,
 Dich hinauszutreiben.

 Erdennoth ist keine Noth
 Als dem Feig- und Matten.
 Arbeit schafft Dir täglich Brod,
 Dach und Fach und Schatten.
 Rings, wo Gottes Sonne scheint,
 Findst ein Mädchen, findst einen Freund,
 Lass' uns immer bleiben!

About the headline (FAQ)

Confirmed with Goethe's Werke nach den vorzüglichsten Quellen revidirte Ausgabe, Dritter Theil, Gedichte, herausgegeben und mit Anmerkungen begleitet von Dr. Fr. Strehlke, Berlin, Gustav Hempel, 1868, pages 71-72.

Modernized spelling would change "Erdennoth" to "Erden Not" and "Noth" to "Not"


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 (Emily Ezust) , "In the country and the city", copyright ©

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 16
Word count: 69

In the country and the city
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
In the country and the city
one is plagued by futility!
For the little that one has
One must struggle with one's neighbours.
All around God's earth
is hunger, toil, and envy,
enough to drive one out.

Yet earthly torment is no torment
but to the cowardly and dull;
work gives us our daily bread,
our roof and plot and shade.
All around where God's sun shines,
you find a maiden, you find a friend;
let us remain here forever!


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © by Emily Ezust

    Emily Ezust permits her translations to be reproduced without prior permission for printed (not online) programs to free-admission concerts only, provided the following credit is given:

    Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
    from the LiederNet Archive --

    For any other purpose, please write to the e-mail address below to request permission and discuss possible fees.

Based on


This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 80