by Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856)
Translation © by Emily Ezust

Der Hans und die Grete tanzen herum
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE ITA SPA
Der Hans und die Grete tanzen herum,
Und jauchzen vor lauter Freude.
Der Peter steht so still und [stumm]1,
Und ist so blaß wie Kreide.

Der Hans und die Grete sind Bräut'gam und Braut,
Und blitzen im Hochzeitgeschmeide.
Der arme Peter die Nägel kaut
Und geht im Werkeltagskleide.

Der Peter spricht leise vor sich her,
Und [schaut]2 betrübet auf Beide:
« Ach! wenn ich nicht gar zu vernünftig wär',
Ich [thät']3 mir was zu Leide.»

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)

Confirmed with Buch der Lieder von Heinrich Heine, zweiundfünfzigste Auflage (52nd edition), Hamburg, Hoffmann und Campe, 1882, page 52.

1 Schumann: "so stumm"
2 Schumann: "schauet"
3 Schumann: "thäte"; modernized spelling would be "täte"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

This text (or a part of it) is used in a work
  • by Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856), "Der arme Peter", op. 53 (Romanzen und Balladen für Singstimme und Klavier (Heft 3)) no. 3 (1840), published 1845 [ voice and piano ], Leipzig, Whistling

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in French (Français), a translation by Maurice Dufresne (d. 1953) ; composed by Tibor Harsányi.
  • Also set in Italian (Italiano), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Amilcare Ponchielli.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by P. Karaban ; composed by Valery Gavrilin.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • CAT Catalan (Català) (Salvador Pila) , copyright © 2021, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Arme Peter I -- Zie, Hans en Margreetje dansen in 't rond", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Emily Ezust) , "Hans and Grete dance around", copyright ©
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Hans et Grete tournent et dansent", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Maurice Dufresne)
  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Amelia Maria Imbarrato) , "Gianni e Rita danzano in cerchio", copyright © 2006, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Saúl Botero Restrepo) , copyright © 2016, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 12
Word count: 75

Hans and Grete dance around
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
 Hans and Grete dance around
 and cheer with loud joy.
 Peter stands so still and mute,
 and is as pale as chalk.
 Hans and Grete are bride and groom,
 flashing in their wedding clothes.
 Poor Peter bites his nails
 and goes about in workday clothes.
 Peter speaks softly to himself,
 gazing gloomily at the pair:
 Ah, if I weren't so sensible,
 I might do myself harm.


  • 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: 12
Word count: 67