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Songs

Am Feierabend

by Franz Schubert From Die schöne Müllerin (1823) D795 (Op. 25)

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Text & Translation

Am Feierabend
German source: Wilhelm Müller

Hätt’ ich tausend 
Arme zu rühren! 
Könnt’ ich brausend 
Die Räder führen! 
Könnt’ ich wehen 
Durch alle Haine! 
Könnt’ ich drehen 
Alle Steine!
Dass die schöne Müllerin 
Merkte meinen treuen Sinn!

Ach, wie ist mein Arm so schwach! 
Was ich hebe, was ich trage,
Was ich schneide, was ich schlage, 
Jeder Knappe tut mir’s nach.
Und da sitz’ ich in der grossen Runde, 
In der stillen kühlen Feierstunde, 
Und der Meister sagt zu Allen:
„Euer Werk hat mir gefallen;“
Und das liebe Mädchen sagt 
Allen eine gute Nacht.

After Work
English translation © Richard Wigmore

If only I had a thousand 
arms to wield!
If only I could drive
the rushing wheels!
If only I could blow like the wind 
through every wood,
and turn
every millstone,
so that the fair maid of the mill 
would see my true love.

Ah, how weak my arm is!
What I lift and carry,
what I cut and hammer –
any apprentice could do the same. 
And there I sit with them, in a circle, 
in the quiet, cool hour after work, 
and the master says to us all:
‘I am pleased with your work.’ 
And the sweet maid
bids us all goodnight.

Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

Am Feierabend
German source: Wilhelm Müller

After Work
English source: Richard Wigmore

Hätt’ ich tausend 
If only I had a thousand 
Arme zu rühren! 
arms to wield!
Könnt’ ich brausend 
If only I could drive
Die Räder führen! 
the rushing wheels!
Könnt’ ich wehen 
If only I could blow like the wind 
Durch alle Haine! 
through every wood,
Könnt’ ich drehen 
and turn
Alle Steine!
every millstone,
Dass die schöne Müllerin 
so that the fair maid of the mill 
Merkte meinen treuen Sinn!
would see my true love.

Ach, wie ist mein Arm so schwach! 
Ah, how weak my arm is!
Was ich hebe, was ich trage,
What I lift and carry,
Was ich schneide, was ich schlage, 
what I cut and hammer –
Jeder Knappe tut mir’s nach.
any apprentice could do the same. 
Und da sitz’ ich in der grossen Runde, 
And there I sit with them, in a circle, 
In der stillen kühlen Feierstunde, 
in the quiet, cool hour after work, 
Und der Meister sagt zu Allen:
and the master says to us all:
„Euer Werk hat mir gefallen;“
‘I am pleased with your work.’ 
Und das liebe Mädchen sagt 
And the sweet maid
Allen eine gute Nacht.
bids us all goodnight.

Composer

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He…

Poet

Wilhelm Müller

Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Müller was a German lyric poet. Wilhelm Müller was born on October 7, 1794 at Dessau, the son of a tailor. He was educated at the gymnasium of his native town and at the University of Berlin, where he devoted himself to…

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