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German Folk Songs

23 Oct 02 - 01:40 PM (#809443)
Subject: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Roberto Campo

I'd like to ask Wolfgang, or any other person who has a knowledge about that, to point to me a number of CDs of German Folk Songs that are worth knowing. The only recordings of German traditional songs I've got are the two by Roth, Folkways, beginning with the songs of the peasants' war. Are there other recordings of early German songs?
Thank you. Roberto Campo

23 Oct 02 - 01:41 PM (#809447)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Kim C

I'd like to know too!

23 Oct 02 - 02:16 PM (#809473)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Guest

Elvis Presley, doing "Muss Ich Denn" (=Wooden Heart).... :)

23 Oct 02 - 02:34 PM (#809483)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

I don't think I'll have time to post tomorrow and the next time would be Monday. So just a few lines without checking.

Well, I have more CDs from, e.g., Martin Carthy or Christy Moore than I have from German folk. So you may safely guess I don't know much.

Older groups that I consider worth buying are: Zupfgeigenhansel, Fidel Michel, Ougenweide, Elster Silberflug.

I hardly know the younger scene.


23 Oct 02 - 03:07 PM (#809502)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: dermod in salisbury

The King's Singers - an unlikely folk group - recorded two discs of German folksongs in 1978, including the beautiful, simple song Annchen von Tharau. According to their website,these are now permanently out of the catalogue. Pity. As a resource, there are the worlds of a large number of German folktunes, and those of other countries, with synthetic renditions of tunes on the website    You probably already know that site. I will be in Berlin early November. If I see anything suitable, I'll let you know. Unfortunately, I won't have much time.

23 Oct 02 - 06:31 PM (#809618)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

This thread might help: German folk music. Can't think why it didn't show up in that great new feature, 'related threads'! (Also, this has reminded me I promised to add some info there. Soon!)

23 Oct 02 - 06:39 PM (#809626)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

I'll second Zupfgeigenhansel's beautiful album of Yiddish songs and Ougenweide. I haven't often heard German traditional music performed other than at medieval markets. Hannes Waader is a good singer and player, but for my taste he does a lot of stuff which is little more than translated Irish Pub sets. Most of the "folk music" on German TV is completely fake. It's basically custom written "Germany for tourists" junk with the credibility level of "Dallas". However, that issue has already been done to death on previous threads, which also contain some excellent input from Susanne and Wolfgang. They both know more about UK folk than I do - let alone German music! So I am going to tread softly on this thread! My own favourite singer here is the very volatile but brilliant Klaus der Geiger, whom I have mentioned before. He is in his sixties now, but he barks out his words (which are often very funny) while simultaneously playing the most extraordinary fiddle that you have ever heard. If you speak some German and fancy looking up his site, I believe it
If you want to find out more and you can't get through, PM me and I'll send you a link.

23 Oct 02 - 06:50 PM (#809635)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Joe Offer

I'm afraid that the German songs I've heard in the U.S. are drinking songs, along with hymns and Lieder. I have some great German songbooks that prove there is a wide and interesting variety of German traditional music - but I can't find recordings of those wonderful songs.

-Joe Offer-

Aside to Susanne - those cross-links don't show up automatically. Pene made easy to do, but it still takes research. I'll get to it, I promise...
Wanna send me a list of the numbers for threads that should be crosslinked to this one? Thread numbers only, separated by commas without spaces. Jim Dixon does that for me on a regular basis, and makes it REALLY easy for me.

23 Oct 02 - 07:30 PM (#809669)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Jeanie

These people are worth listening to: Liederjan
Details and list of their recordings on

They sing the kind of songs I think you are looking for - i.e. it is *not* the kitschy "Germany for tourists" type of "Volksmusik", but something more earthy and authentic.

- jeanie

23 Oct 02 - 07:38 PM (#809681)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Bat Goddess

There was a double LP set of German field recordings from Wisconsin that came out in 1986. It's not available on CD, but the LPs are still available from the Folklore Program at the University of Wisconsin.

I got this information last year from Jim Leary, Professor of Folklore and Scandinavian Studies and Director of the Folklore Program when I inquired about whether it was available on CD:   "When the old Wisconsin Folklife Center/Wisconsin Folk Museum went out of existence, the Folklore Program at the University of WI bought the rights to all sound recordings productions, including ACH YA! We still have lots of the LPs and hope eventually to reissue the whole business on CD but haven't gotten to it yet. There will, however, be a book/CD project on German American music coming out in the next year, published by the Max Kade Institute for German American Studies at the University of Wisconsin ( It's title will be LAND WITHOUT NIGHTENGALES, ed. by Philip Bohlman and Otto Holzapfel. Both Phil and I worked on the old ACH YA! project and we both have essays in the book, which will be distributed by the University of Wisconsin Press."

Here's the information on the LPs:

© 1985, Folklore Village Farm, Inc.
Producer: Philip Martin
Liner Notes: Philip Martin & James Leary
Project Researchers: James Leary Philip Martin, Philip Bohlman & Lewis Koch

Collected & Compiled by the Wisconsin Folklife Center with the support of the Max Cade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Documentary fieldwork and record production made possible with support from National endowment for the Arts, The Kohler Foundation, M&I Banks, Wisconsin Arts Board, etc.

To order (the records were $14.00 postpaid, believe it or not):
Wisconsin Folklife Center, Folklore Village, Route 3, Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533 [1986 info; this no longer exists]


Ach Ya! Folk Songs and Dance Melodies
Traditional German-American Music from Wisconsin

"It should come as no surprise to find considerable diversity in the Wisconsin German folk music tradition. The field recordings and reissues from 78s and LPs which appear on this record reveal a number of dialects of language and musical style. This diversity is in part a reflection of the ethnic backgrounds of the German settlers who came to Wisconsin beginning in the 1840s. these immagrant families came not from a single unified country but from what was (until the latter part of the 19th century) aloose confederation of many proivinces, principalities, duchies and city-states. The speech and customs of a North German from one of the Baltic Sea states of Pommerania, Prussia, Mecklenburg or Holstein contrasted sharply with the dialect of language, song and dance style of a South German from the Alpine regions of Austria or Bavaria. Add to that a mix of German-speaking immagrants from the Volga River in Russia, from Moravia and Sudentenland in Czechoslovakia, from Switzerland, and from other German-speaking areas of Europe -- not to mention the historic split between German Catholics and German Lutherans -- and it is reasonable to expect a rich variety in German folk music in Wisconsin.

Despite the many differences, however, in America the Germans found themselves grouped together by non-Germans and German-American institutions alike. Ther German-American churches, schools, and newspapers especially served as vehicles to unite the separate ethnic groups into a common awareness of _Deutschtum_ or "German-ness." Folk singing was seen as an expression of the 19th century Romantic national spirit and was part of an active movement to set an overlay of pan-German culture (in the written language of _Hochdeutsch_) on top of the splintered regional backgrounds. Song books for singing societies, church congregations, and home use (like the popular _Liederperlen_, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO) spread a combination of religious hymns, secular songs, children's ditties, and american popular tunes throughout the German-american communities."

I hope this helps you!


24 Oct 02 - 12:08 AM (#809845)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Joe Offer

I see we have problems with German lyrics in the Digital Tradition. The umlauts get swallowed up, and disappear. Guess I'll have to talk with Dick about that.
-Joe Offer-

24 Oct 02 - 05:26 AM (#809932)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

As alanabit says: Never listen to Volksmusik in the German TV, except for a laugh.

Old Songs New Songs stocks most of German folk (and more). They have a fine search function which can find you all groups/individuals mentioned in this and the other threads.


24 Oct 02 - 08:54 AM (#810046)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: boldreynard

If you are looking for lyrics & the occasional MIDI of traditional German songs, many can be found here:

24 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM (#810288)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Roberto Campo

I thank you all very much. I've started looking for FIDEL MICHEL, OUGENWEIDE, ELSTER SILBERFLUG, ZUPFGEIGENHANSEL, KLAUS DER GEIGER and LIEDERJAN. But I'd like to avoid new songs. Only traditional. Do all these musicians play and sing traditional songs and tunes? Please, one more answer. Thank you. Roberto Campo

24 Oct 02 - 09:26 PM (#810646)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

The early Liederjan recordings (going back 25 years!) consisted mainly of trad. songs. They've been reissued on CD (four of them) and are (or used to be) available at a bargain price from >2001.

Another band worth checking out is the Leipzig Folk Session Band, a loose formation of up to fifteen folk musicians old an young from Leipzig. They play mostly traditional songs in a refreshingly un-traditional manner. Their first CD consists of songs from the 1848 revolution in Germany, the second one gathers songs about poachers and highwaymen. The third one has more modern material, and my impression is the formula is beginning to wear thin. However, the first two are absolute crackers. Should be available through OldSongsNewSongs (see Wolfgang's link above).

BTW, where has toadfrog got to? I sent him a selection of German CDs last year, and I'd like to know how far he's gotlistening to them. He may have some further suggestions.

BTWBTW, alanabit - stop slagging Hannes Wader! "Translated Irish pub sets" would be the last thing I'd associate his music with. He writes most of his material himself, but as he said recently, quite often he'll find that what he wants to say has already been said better by someone else, so he'll use that song. For some reason, most of these songs are in English, so he writes German lyrics for the tunes - not simple translations, but German songs in their own right. (You'll notice I'm a fan, and I'll be off to listen to him, and Liederjan, and Helmut Debus, a very good writer of songs in East Frisian Platt, next Saturday.)

25 Oct 02 - 09:03 AM (#810976)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

I should have known I'd get a telling off from either Susanne or Wolfgang over that one! I admire Waader's singing and picking - and it's been some time since I last heard him, so maybe I'd better try again... Why has nobody mentioned the wonderful Bläck Fööß? "Mer losse d'r Dom en Kölle..."

25 Oct 02 - 05:59 PM (#811432)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

No hard feelings, alanabit! It's mainly a matter of taste, although I should think it indisputable that Wader's lyrics fit nowhere less than in a pub. Now, Bläck Fööß - good musicians, no doubt, but the Ruhrpott dialect makes my ears curdle ...

26 Oct 02 - 07:44 AM (#811806)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

Suwat krittest do nit met...? Actually it's not really Ruhrpott but Kölsch. I'm told it sounds different to someone from round here. Fööß are easy to understand - they sing the way some of the older folks talk. The modern Südstadt Kölsch is something else! I guess it's not for everyone though.

28 Oct 02 - 03:03 AM (#812930)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Joe - no problem with the Umlauts: use the old forms ae, oe, ue instead. And the so called Es-Zet ß you may subsitute with its old form ss. It is not a letter for itself, but originally a ligature of long s and round s in handwriting.


28 Oct 02 - 09:49 AM (#813100)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

I'd like to avoid new songs. Only traditional. Do all these musicians play and sing traditional songs and tunes? (Roberto)

That's a tough one. Like in many Irish groups they mix old and new material and quite often the newer CDs include newer material.

Take Zupfgeigenhansel: they play traditional songs (that they have dug out and nobody did sing before them), They play recent songs (that everybody knows and sings), they took an old poem/song (they didn't know whether it was a song) and wrote a modern tune, they play songs from 150 years ago with a known writer...

If folksongs is what is sung by the people then you have to add 'Mr losse den Dom in Kö:lle' as one of the most popular songs since decades in Cologne. (Sing just one line in a pub and you have all of them singing with you).

As a rough guide: Zupfgeigenhansel (the older the LP, the more traditional the material); Ougenweide (most is old, but not popular in the sense of still sung; they are digging out songs, not playing the songs actually sung); of Hannes Wader look for 'Hannes Wader Volkssänger' and nothing else (that's no judgement of quality, I like him, only an advice in the context of this thread), the first two of the Leipzig folk session band also fit your wish.

Of the other groups I just don#t know enough.


07 Nov 02 - 10:24 AM (#820733)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Roberto Campo

I thank you very much. I've just bought the two CDs by the Leipziger Folk Sessions, and I like them. Do you know where I can find the lyrics of those songs? THank you. Roberto

07 Nov 02 - 11:54 AM (#820798)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

Hi Roberto,

if the lyrics are not at Frank Petersohn' they are probably not on the web.

However, most if not all of them will be at Frank's place, though of course with slight variants.

If they are not at that place, ask here and you'll get the lyrics. One of us (Susanne, Wilfried, Andreas...) will have them and post them.


07 Nov 02 - 05:01 PM (#821066)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

Seconded! Nice to know you like them, Roberto ...

08 Nov 02 - 10:22 AM (#821436)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Pinetop Slim

At risk of thread creep -- can anyone point to German influences on American folk music? At the end of the revolutionary war, I've read, 30 percent of the US population was of German extraction. They had to have had an effect on the music.

29 Nov 03 - 04:20 PM (#1062926)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

There's a lot of good information here, but can anyone suggest specific traditional songs that would be
a)suitable for my women's a capella chorus and
b)something that would be appreciated by Germans, should we visit the country next summer, as we hope to do

Why Germany? The local city of Keene, NH, has a partner city: Einbeck, Germany. There are local businesses eager to give us money to go (but we don't know if it will be enough money...)

29 Nov 03 - 05:59 PM (#1062963)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

Einbeck is not that far from where I live - only about three hours, I think. Please let us know whether you'll actually be coming over! And I'll go looking for suitable songs. Maybe you could PM me with the songs you've already got, and we'll take it from there.

01 Dec 03 - 04:22 AM (#1063497)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

I presume that you don't plan an entire concert with German traditional songs, but only a few ones complimentary. I shall ask the leader of our local women's choir for sheet music as soon as I can.


01 Dec 03 - 05:45 AM (#1063532)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Have a look at the results of a Google search, Deutschland. I recommend Drei poppige Volkslieder. 1: Let youth have their way. 2: The thoughts are free. 3: Kisten, what is coming in from outside (a good song to start a program). Poppig means in pop style soundig like a good contrast to the usual compositions in the traditional way.
Another wuestion is the season of your performance.
Spring: Der Mai ist gekommen = May is come, Geh aus mein Herz und suche Freud = Go out, my heart, and look for joy, a well known folksong by a Lutheran minister of the 17th century.
A drinking song: Und keiner soll sagen (Trinklied) = And nobody should say that drinking is bad
A parting song: Nun ade, du mein lieb Heimatland (Westfalen) = Good by, my dear home country
I should be glad to send you sheet music about 20 bucks' worth, so you could pay my IOU to NicoleC.


01 Dec 03 - 05:47 AM (#1063533)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Correction: instead of Kisten read Listen.

01 Dec 03 - 05:59 AM (#1063534)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

These look great. Let me look at the websites, etc., and I'll let you know soon, Wilfried.
If we come, it will be in July or August.
We try to sing songs with a positive message, peace, love, justice, freedom, children, seasons, the earth, friendship.

The only songs I have tentatively chosen are two rounds: Lachen und Aber die musici.

And I only need one or two more songs. The rest will be from the American folk tradition, possibly a few from Africa if our drummers can come with their percussion!

Thanks again for your help!

01 Dec 03 - 07:44 AM (#1063569)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: NH Dave

Some years ago, Deutche Gramaphon(sp??) issued a series of Folk Music From WXYZ records, and I was able to pick up songs of Italy, Austria, and Germany. I have no idea if these were even moved onto CDs but they seemed to include a representative sampling from around the country being featured.

IIRC some of the songs on the German record included Mus I Denn, Swabish Isenbahn, The Reeperbahn, Where the North Sea Rolls - this one correct enough to bring tears to the eyes of a German man from the north west of Germany, when I was whistling it idly one day at Wiesbaden AB, in south central Germany - a landler, a Schuplatler, etc.. All in all a great sampler, and one I'd really like to see on a CD.


02 Dec 03 - 11:09 AM (#1064466)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Dave - Deutsche Grammophon. Muß i denn. Schwäbsche Eisebahne. Auf der Reeperbahn (not a folksong, sung by the famous actor Hans Albers in a film). Wo die Nordseewellen schlagen an den Strand.


02 Dec 03 - 11:30 AM (#1064477)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

"Auf der Reeperbahn nacht's um halb eins, ob du ein Mädchen hast oder keins..." I can't imagine a polite ladies' choir from America singing that one. It is about the joys of cruising up and down a red light area! It is a great song from a great melancholy film though (Große Freiheit Nummer 7, I believe). However, like some of the excellent Friedrich Holländer songs from Blaue Engel, I can see it becoming a folk song in time Wilfried.

02 Dec 03 - 01:30 PM (#1064534)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

Die Gedanken sind frei would be a fine choice.

Or sing Lily Marleen and mix German and English lyrics.


02 Dec 03 - 02:10 PM (#1064585)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: The Borchester Echo

As a student in Germany some 25 years ago I had great fun disentangling the Kolsch dialect and learning some of the songs of BAP. Nor traditional, I know but I could imagine 'Jeraaduss', 'Kristallnacht' , Eins fur Carmen un en Insel' and 'Jupp' becoming regarded as such.

And how wonderful to hear once more of Fidel Michel - they were around in London even before this time on a tour organised, I believe, by Gordon McCulloch.

02 Dec 03 - 06:01 PM (#1064715)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

NH Dave, 'Wo de Nordseewellen trecken an den Strand' is a Low German song and was quite able to bring tears to the eyes of my grandmother, who was born on the North Frisian island of Pellworm. Only much later did I learn that in its first incarnation the song was from Pomerania and had actually referred to the Baltic (Ostsee). I also seem to remember it was not a folk song as such but written by a local poet. I have to admit it's rather sentimental, but I like it (though perhaps not with choral harmonies)!

03 Dec 03 - 02:40 PM (#1064941)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

BAP didn't really get going until the early eighties. I think "Iradeuss" ("Gerade Aus")and "Krystallnaach" are from "vun Drimme noh Drusse", which is about the third album. I like the songs too though. I was lucky enough to have one of their early producers (Manes Werr) do some stuff for me back in the early eighties. As a surprise Christmas present, some of my students gave me a ticket to a BAP concert a couple of years ago - and it was a good gig too.
      Getting back to folk songs, I agree with Wolfgang that Die Gedanken Sind Frei - one of the best known German folk songs - is always a good choice. It has the added advantage for a ladies' choir of harmonising well.

03 Dec 03 - 02:49 PM (#1064952)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

That should have read "back in the early nineties". (As if it really matters!)

03 Dec 03 - 03:40 PM (#1064984)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: The Borchester Echo

Hi Alanabit

So glad to come across someone who knows about BAP! I have a tape "Fur Usszeschnigge" which was sent to me in 1981 when I was back in London doing finals. It has Jeraaduss and Jupp, also the wonderful Verdamp lang her and Musli Man. I think the album "Vun drinne noh drusse" came later. I saw the band live in 1978 at the Loreleifelsen, when I don't think they had recorded at all. I learned the songs from transcriptions, helped by a fellow student who was a Koln native.

When walking on the Isle of Skye a couple of years ago I met someone who had been involved in the production of their early recordings but who now lives in a croft and his heavily into Hebridean music.

03 Dec 03 - 03:52 PM (#1064992)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

Even Germans from outside of Koeln can't transcribe BAP.


04 Dec 03 - 04:14 AM (#1065317)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

And a few in it too Wolfgang! It is a very different sound from the Kölsch of Bläck Fööß, which the older people speak. In fact, in Köln it is fun if you understand a bit of Kölsch, but you never really need it. It's not like Bayern, where they often think they are speaking German when in fact they are speaking Bayerisch. There really are Bavarians who would not be understood anywhere else in the German speaking world. Most Kölner can do a passable imitation of German.

04 Dec 03 - 04:36 AM (#1065327)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

That's true but understandable. A Kölner has to travel only a few miles outside of his town to be forced to speak German in order to be understood, a Bavarian can travel for hours and still be in his dialect region.

Or it is the mentality. Köln is one of the most welconing German towns for foreigners. Must be the high percentage of non-German blood in their veins.


01 Jan 04 - 07:25 AM (#1083783)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

What about Brahms' lullabye? Or is that too sentimental?
(I know it isn't folk, I'm just trying to think what to teach my women that will be meaningful and not too difficult for them!)


02 Jan 04 - 08:11 AM (#1084471)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Not at the beginning - or the listeners will doze off and miss a lot of the program. Maybe at the end.
Sentimental? Depends on the auditory. Lots of mommies and grannies: no, sing it. Their teen and twen offspring: forget it.


10 Jun 04 - 08:17 AM (#1204260)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,

I am getting married in September, and have been searching for weeks for a particular song, I beleive it's spelled, "Ein Schone Tag" but am not quite sure. My parents danced to this song when they married and i would like to dance to it with my father. I have found a similar titled song, but it was not the correct song. Where can I find this? What title CD? How can i purchase it? Thank you! kerry

10 Jun 04 - 11:36 AM (#1204372)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

It was used as a commercial for margerine or something. I don't know who did it originally. It may well have been written as an advertising jingle. Still, let's keep the thread up so we can see if Wolfgang or Susanne or possibly Wilfried can come up with anything.

10 Jun 04 - 12:47 PM (#1204429)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: *#1 PEASANT*

I have just put together a hymnal of sorts for traditional Bavarian folk, oktoberefest songs.
Lyrics some with notation.
You can order a copy here

also via pay pal here

Conrad Bladey

10 Jun 04 - 01:15 PM (#1204449)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: MudGuard

"Ein schöner Tag"?

The song from Diebels Alt (beer) advertising?
says the lyrics are:

Ein schöner Tag,
die Welt steht still,
ein schöner Tag.
Komm Welt lass dich umarmen,
welch ein Tag.
-Welch ein Tag, mit freundlichem Diebels.-

I don't think this is a traditional song.

Could it be "So ein Tag, so wunderschön wie heute"?

here are the lyrics for "So ein Tag, so wunderschön wie heute" - there is a link "Melodie" on that page which will play the tune (it is usually played/sung a tiny bit ;-) faster)

10 Jun 04 - 05:40 PM (#1204646)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

So it was Diebels Alt! I bet you don't drink much of that down in München! Come to think of it, we don't use too much of the stuff here in Köln either...

10 Jun 04 - 06:00 PM (#1204654)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: MudGuard

You are right, Alan, I don't drink any Diebels.
But then, I am not a beer drinker at all (except when there is a good Guinness around...) - I usually prefer (red) wine ;-)

11 Jun 04 - 01:13 AM (#1204864)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: alanabit

Strange that, isn't it? Germany is famous for its white whines, but it produces many good red ones too. We are quite keen on Dornfelder. Sorry about the thread drift folks!

11 Jun 04 - 03:51 AM (#1204911)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

There is not enough information to answer the question unambiguously.

Two more candidates:

Ein schöner Tag (to the tune of either Amazing grace or Should ould aquaintance)
Ein schöner Tag (popsong by Lena Valeitis (sp?))

Andy, how you can prefer Guinness to wine undistinctively is a puzzle to me. The Irish Guinness tastes great to me, the same name brew they sell in Britain and in most Irish pubs in Germany is far worse.

As for German wines, I think there should be a law to forbid wine growing in Germany north of what in France is Alsace, at least not to be used for human consumption.

And in the very same law they should forbid beer production South of that line, but now I better run off (grin)


11 Jun 04 - 04:11 AM (#1204924)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: MudGuard

I wrote:
I am not a beer drinker at all (except when there is a good Guinness around...) - I usually prefer (red) wine ;-)

Wolfgang wrote:
Andy, how you can prefer Guinness to wine undistinctively is a puzzle to me.

1. "good Guinness" is not undistinctively.
2. I did not say anything about my preference of (good) Guinness over wine. I said that I don't drink beer unless it is good Guinness.
3. I said that I usually prefer wine.

How can you construct from these that I undistinctively prefer Guinness to wine? THAT puzzles me! ;-)

Wolfgang wrote:
the same name brew they sell [...] in most Irish pubs in Germany is far worse.

In most Irish pubs in Germany I have visited you only get bottled or canned Guinness...

Wolfgang wrote:
As for German wines, I think there should be a law to forbid wine growing in Germany north of what in France is Alsace, at least not to be used for human consumption.

Objection - vinegar is for human consumption... ;-)

20 Jun 04 - 09:38 PM (#1211204)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,

Can't thank you enough! That's the one, So ein Tag, so wunderschon wie heute! Now...where can i order that CD?! ...(i have it on a Medley but would prefer a clearer version...aka not Oktoberfest recording...)

21 Jun 04 - 03:01 AM (#1211259)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

ksimon - this song was made known all over the Republic by the yearly transmissions of the Combined Carnival Session in Mainz. There the song is sung by the "Mainzer Hofsänger" (the Mainz Court Singers) at the end of the session.
So you find it at the end of two CDs from Mainz:

The choir version:Mainzer Carneval-Verein
--> Service --> Musiktitel
Die Mainzer Hofsänger ... nur vom Feinsten (online order possible) € 15.-

A solo version by the late famous singer Ernst Neger, also from the MCV:
EAN/UPC : 4007192603930
Fecha de salida : 07.05.1998
Artistindex Identnr: 264287-1-201006-NEGER, ERNST GROSSE STIMMUNGSPARADE

There are some other CDs, but mostly popular versions (not folk!) by singers like Freddy Quinn, Heino, an edition from the Hofbräuhaus (Oktoberfest style!), songs of the mountains (!) and else.

Having heard the song performed in Mainz during my long gone student days in Mainz, and having knonwn some of the artists, I should not recommend any other version than these two.

21 Jun 04 - 09:21 AM (#1211382)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wilfried Schaum

Both CDs ara also available from amazon's German Branch (

Mainzer Hofsänger € 16,99

Ernst Neger € 6.99

22 Jun 04 - 11:22 AM (#1212137)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Wolfgang

Mainzer Hofsänger it has to be! Only them did the real version.
Ernst Neger is known for other songs and him singing this doesn't feel right.

But E. Neger is still a better choice than all others mentioned.


03 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM (#1218895)
Subject: Das Wandern ist des Muellers Lust Text

03 Jul 04 - 12:25 PM (#1218925)
Subject: ADD: Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust
From: Joe Offer

               Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust

Text: Wilhelm Müller                         Musik: Karl Friedrich Zöllner

Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust,
das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust, das Wandern.
Das muß ein schlechter Müller sein,
dem niemals fiel das Wandern ein,
dem niemals fiel das Wandern ein, das Wandern.
Vom Wasser haben wir's gelernt,
vom Wasser haben wir's gelernt, vom Wasser.
Das hat nicht Ruh' [Rast] bei Tag und Nacht,
ist stets auf Wanderschaft bedacht,
ist stets auf Wanderschaft bedacht, das Wasser.
Das sehn wir auch den Rädern ab,
Das sehn wir auch den Rädern ab, den Rädern!
Die gar nicht gerne stille stehn,
die sich bei Tag nicht müde drehn,
die sich bei Tag nicht müde drehn, die Räder.
Die Steine selbst, so schwer sie sind,
die Steine selbst, so schwer sie sind, die Steine.
Sie tanzen mit den muntern Reihn,
und wollen gar noch schneller sein,
und wollen gar noch schneller sein, die Steine.
O Wandern, Wandern, meine Lust!
O Wandern, Wandern, meine Lust! O Wandern.
Herr Meister und Frau Meisterin,
laßt mich in Frieden weiter ziehn,
laßt mich in Frieden weiter ziehn, und wandern.

This was one of the first German songs I learned. The teacher's name was Müller, and he really liked this song. He was also head of the music department in my high school, so we learned lots of songs from him. There's a musical setting of "Wandern" by Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828) , "Das Wandern" , op. 25 no. 1, D. 795 no. 1 (1823), from Die schöne Müllerin, no. 1.
I found a translation here (click), so I don't have to work on it...

Wandering is the miller's joy,
He must be a miserable miller,
Who never likes to wander.
We've learned this from the water,
From the water!
It does not rest by day or night,
It's always thinking of its journey,
The water.
We see this also with the wheels,
With the wheels!
They don't like to stand still,
And turn all day without tiring.
The wheels.
The stones themselves, heavy though they are,
The stones!
They join in the cheerful dance,
And want to go yet faster.
The stones!
Oh, wandering, wandering, my joy,
Oh, wandering!
Oh, Master and Mistress,
Let me continue in peace,
And wander!

-Joe Offer-

15 Feb 08 - 01:43 PM (#2263300)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Leadbelly

This older thread seems to be timeless because of its topic and therefore try this (how to make this "blue"? Need your help, Joe)
and you'll find at least 14 popular good, old german songs called Volksmusik plus some drinking songs.

Here's one example only:

Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne

Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne
Schwäne leuchtend weiß und schön.
|: Sing, sing, was geschah?
Keiner ward mehr gesehen, ja! :|
Wuchsen einst fünf junge Birken
grün und frisch am Bachesrand.
|: Sing, sing, was geschah?
Keine in Blüten stand. :|
Zogen einst fünf junge Burschen
stolz und kühn zum Kampf hinaus.
|: Sing, sing, was geschah?
Keiner kehrt nach Haus. :|
Wuchsen einst fünf junge Mädchen
schlank und schön am Memelstrand.
|: Sing, sing, was geschah?
Keines den Brautkranz wand. :|

15 Feb 08 - 07:41 PM (#2263538)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Susanne (skw)

Deutsche Lieder - German Songs

What a mixture! Any page containing the word 'Brauchtum' is suspect as far as I am concerned.

However, I found I remember about 90 per cent of the songs listed from childhood and am still perfectly able to sing them.

Incidentally, the song Manfred quotes above is the German version of what Pete Seeger turned into his great song 'Where have all the flowers gone'. Both go back to a Cossack song quoted in Sholokhov's 'Quiet Flows the Don'.

16 Feb 08 - 05:34 AM (#2263677)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Leadbelly

Susanne, agreed, because I don't like the term "Brauchtum", too. This addition simply was to offer some well known german songs to people interested in this music.


25 Apr 17 - 07:01 PM (#3852435)
Subject: Grad' aus dem Wirthshaus
From: keberoxu

Well, after considering where to post this, I'm going to choose this thread.

Now, this is a curious case.

The lyrics came first, and they were published in 1842 in a book of poems.
The poet is Heinrich von Mühler.

To make a long murky story short and sweet:
this is one of the better-known Oktoberfest Oom - pah - pah tunes.
But the little tune is of Spanish origin, by many accounts, anonymous/folk tune.
Anyway, somebody got the bright idea to fit von Mühler's poem to the Spanish melody, and there you are.

Von Mühler's original title for the poem was:


Grad' aus dem Wirthshaus komm' ich heraus,
Straße, wie wunderlich siehst du mir aus!
Rechter Hand, linker Hand, beides vertauscht --
Straße, ich merke wohl, du bist berauscht.

Was für ein schief Gesicht, Mond, machst denn du?
Ein Auge hat er auf, eins hat er zu.
Du wirst betrunken sein, das seh' ich hell:
Schäme dich, schäme dich, alter Gesell!

Und die Laternen erst, was muß ich sehn!
Die können alle nicht grade mehr stehn.
Wackeln und fackeln die Kreuz und die Quer:
Scheinen betrunken mir allesammt schwer.

Alles im Sturme rings, großes und klein,
Wag' ich darunter mich, nüchtern allein?
Das scheint bedenklich mir, ein Wagestück --
Da geh' ich lieber ins Wirthshaus zurück.

26 Apr 17 - 11:20 AM (#3852543)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Leadbelly

That's a poem about a drunk man leaving his pub and walked around. In the end he returns to his pub again. Manfred

27 Apr 17 - 05:42 AM (#3852684)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Eddie1 (Cookie lost forever)

I like Bettina Wegner .
Wolfgang - you mentioned "Die Gedanken Sind Frei". Hate to try to tell you this and not trying to be clever but it is actually a Swiss song although admittedly Deutsch is one of the languages of the Swiss.

28 Apr 17 - 02:22 PM (#3852912)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: keberoxu

From the nineteenth century -- and thus, in the public domain --
an English translation of "Grad' aus dem Wirthshaus."


Just from the inn my departure I took;
Street, thou hast surely a marvelous look!
Right side and left side are both out of place;
Street, thou art tipsy! -- a very clear case.

Moon, what a comical face thou dost make,
One of thine eyes asleep, t' other awake!
Thou, too, art tipsy, I plainly can see;
Shame, my old comrade, oh shame upon thee!

Look at the lampposts too, here is a sight,
Not one among them can now stand upright;   
Flickering and flackering to right and to left,
Sure they all seem of their sense bereft.

All things around me are whirling about,
One sober man alone, dare I come out?
That seems too venturesome, almost a sin --
Think I had better go back to the inn.

English translation by Henry William Dulcken.   Pages 113 - 114,
The Book of German Songs.

21 Nov 17 - 10:34 PM (#3889686)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Max

Hey Joe:

Bläck Fööß


I think I figured it out. Special characters are back in play.

21 Nov 17 - 10:42 PM (#3889687)
Subject: RE: Quiz: Sugar and spice . . .
From: Stilly River Sage


22 Nov 17 - 02:20 AM (#3889692)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: Joe Offer

Thank you very much, Max. Umlauts are very important to me.

22 Nov 17 - 12:28 PM (#3889772)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,keberoxu

I'm gonna stick with hypertext markup language code, thanks.

    That's always the best way to do it (and it's what I do 😉), but it's too difficult for many.

22 Nov 17 - 11:36 PM (#3889885)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,keberoxu

But, Joe, if I can do it, anybody can ...

    Don't put yourself down, keberoxu. You're smarter than the average bear. 😄

23 Nov 17 - 02:45 PM (#3890013)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Grishka

The problem of non-English characters has been discussed here for many years ("ad nauseam", to quote Artful Codger). The current "solution" has some advantages and drawbacks, as stated many times. If it is guaranteed to be in force till the end of our days, postings in German, French, Spanish and Italian are safe.

Most other languages miss out, even if based on Latin characters such as Polish. Their users are not any worse off than they used to be, though, if they do the right thing using HTML escapes. However, those who sinned earlier will now no longer be able to read their own old postings correctly, and those of their compatriots (in terms of codepage).

The same applies to genuinely "special" characters such as ♫. (I produced this by entering "♫"; if I enter the character directly it still results in: ?.) This notably includes the automatically prettified apostrophes from some "smart"phones. From this point of view, switching to UTF-8 (as Max tried out and rejected before) was a better idea.

For other ideas see those old threads such as 135626.

23 Nov 17 - 04:12 PM (#3890018)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: GUEST,Grishka

Max, I just researched about "accept-charset" (- as you noticed, I am not an expert). It may well work as you expect, and indeed seems to do so within the Preview page, but not from the normal thread page. With some more twisting of the script, you may succeed after all! Good luck!

23 Nov 17 - 04:17 PM (#3890019)
Subject: RE: German Folk Songs
From: DaveRo

There are currently differences between the way the thread page and the preview page work with non-ASCII characters. I let Max know earlier today.

11 Mar 18 - 12:19 PM (#3910503)
Subject: Lyr Add: Sie können es nehmen, wie sie wollen
From: keberoxu

Well, I don't know of a tune for this one.
But it comes from the venerable anthology,
"Des Knaben Wunderhorn."

We have satirical/nonsense lyrics like this in English on the Mudcat,
but how many German lyrics do we have in this vein?
Anybody want to work out an English translation to this one,
be my guest.


Ein Mägdlein jung gefällt mir wohl,
Von Jahren alt, weiß wie ein Kohl,
Schön wie ein Rab ihr gelbes Haar,
Tiefdunkel sind ihr Äuglein klar.

Die Stirn rund wie ein Falten Rock,
Feist ausgedörrt die Bäcklein schmuck.
Blauroth ist ihr das Mündlein weiß,
Schön häßlich ich sie schelt und preis.

Schneeweiß sind ihre schwarze Händ',
Wie eine Schneck ihr Gang behend,
Wie ein Kettenhund sie freundlich redt,
Sauhöflich, wenn sie geht und steht.

Ein solches Mägdlein hätt ich gern,
Nah bei ihr zu sein sehr weit und fern,
Sie oft zu herzen nimmermehr,
Gott nehm sie bald! ist mein Begehr.

attributed to
Nikolaus Rosthius' liebliche Galliarden, published 1593.
and reprinted in

Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Alte deutsche Lieder gesammelt von L. Achim v. Arnim und Clemens Brentano, zweiter Band, zweiter Auflage. Berlin, 1876.