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Songs

Der Leiermann

by Franz Schubert From Winterreise (1827) D911

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Text & Translation

Der Leiermann
German source: Wilhelm Müller

Drüben hinter’m Dorfe 
Steht ein Leiermann, 
Und mit starren Fingern 
Dreht er was er kann.

Barfuss auf dem Eise 
Schwankt er hin und her; 
Und sein kleiner Teller 
Bleibt ihm immer leer.

Keiner mag ihn hören, 
Keiner sieht ihn an; 
Und die Hunde knurren 
Um den alten Mann.

Und er lässt es gehen 
Alles, wie es will, 
Dreht, und seine Leier 
Steht ihm nimmer still.

Wunderlicher Alter,
Soll ich mit dir geh'n? 
Willst zu meinen Liedern 
Deine Leier dreh'n?

The Hurdy-Gurdy Player
English translation © Richard Wigmore

There, beyond the village, 
stands a hurdy-gurdy player; 
with numb fingers
he plays as best he can.

Barefoot on the ice
he totters to and fro, 
and his little plate 
remains forever empty.

No one wants to listen, 
no one looks at him, 
and the dogs growl 
around the old man.

And he lets everything go on 
as it will;
he plays, and his hurdy-gurdy 
never stops.

Strange old man,
shall I go with you?
Will you turn your hurdy-gurdy 
to my songs?

Der Leiermann
German source: Wilhelm Müller

The Hurdy-Gurdy Player
English source: Richard Wigmore

Drüben hinter’m Dorfe 
There, beyond the village, 
Steht ein Leiermann, 
stands a hurdy-gurdy player; 
Und mit starren Fingern 
with numb fingers
Dreht er was er kann.
he plays as best he can.

Barfuss auf dem Eise 
Barefoot on the ice
Schwankt er hin und her; 
he totters to and fro, 
Und sein kleiner Teller 
and his little plate 
Bleibt ihm immer leer.
remains forever empty.

Keiner mag ihn hören, 
No one wants to listen, 
Keiner sieht ihn an; 
no one looks at him, 
Und die Hunde knurren 
and the dogs growl 
Um den alten Mann.
around the old man.

Und er lässt es gehen 
And he lets everything go on 
Alles, wie es will, 
as it will;
Dreht, und seine Leier 
he plays, and his hurdy-gurdy 
Steht ihm nimmer still.
never stops.

Wunderlicher Alter,
Strange old man,
Soll ich mit dir geh'n? 
shall I go with you?
Willst zu meinen Liedern 
Will you turn your hurdy-gurdy 
Deine Leier dreh'n?
to my songs?

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…

Performances

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