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possibly by Wernher[r] von Tegernsee (flourished 1172) and from Volkslieder (Folksongs)
Translation © by Laura Prichard

Ich armes Käuzlein kleine
Language: German (Deutsch) 
Available translation(s): CAT DUT ENG FRE
Ich armes Käuzlein kleine,
Wo soll ich fliegen aus,
Bei Nacht so gar alleine,
Bringt mir so manchen Graus
Das macht der Eulen Ungestalt
Ihr Trauern mannigfalt.

Ich wills Gefieder schwingen,
Gen Holz in grünen Wald,
Die Vögel hören singen,
In mancherlei Gestalt
Vor allen lieb' ich Nachtigall,
Vor allen liebt' mich Nachtigall.

Die Kinder unten glauben,
Ich deute Böses an,
Sie wollen mich vertreiben
Das ich nicht schreien kann
Wenn ich was deute tut's mir leid,
Und was ich schrei' ist keine Freud'.

Mein Ast ist mir entwichen,
Darauf ich ruhen sollt',
Sein Blättlein all' verblichen,
Frau Nachtigall geholt
Das schafft der Eulen falsche Tück,
Die störet all mein Glück.

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: the catalog from Kistner of 1894 indicates the author of this text is Wernher von Tegernsee.


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 © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Lau Kanen) , "Uiltje", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • ENG English (Laura Prichard) , copyright © 2020, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , "Moi, pauvre petite hulotte", copyright © 2013, (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: 24
Word count: 111

I'm a poor little owl
Language: English  after the German (Deutsch) 
I'm a poor little owl,
Where should I fly to
At night, being so alone,
Brings me such horror
That I imagine the shape of a Great Owl:
My fear made manifest.

I want to brandish my plumage,
To fly towards another green wood,
Where the birds are heard singing,
All different kinds of them.
Best of all, I love the nightingale,
Best of all, the nightingale loves me.

Those children below believe,
I bring evil spirits,
They want to force me to leave
So I can't hoot at them:
And I'm sorry that they think that of me,
And that my hooting brings them no joy.

My branch can't support me anymore,
The one I like to rest on,
Its little leaves have all withered,
And Mrs. Nightingale went away:
Its the fault of that Great Owl,
He disturbs any joy I have.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Ich armes Käuzlein kleine" = "I'm a poor little owl"
"Ich armes Käuzlein " = "I'm a poor little owl"
"Käuzlein" = "Little Owl"


  • Translation from German (Deutsch) to English copyright © 2020 by Laura Prichard, (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: 2020-01-03
Line count: 24
Word count: 144