Music and Musings - Part 4: German language songs

The main page and this sub-page present self-made music, texts and sheet music. ("Some rights reserved.")

The entries in this sub-table refer to songs and melodies from German speaking countries, including Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
For German language Christmas and Gospel songs please see the respective other sub-tables.
Some of the entries here appear as well in the main table when there is also an English version (which often cannot easily be seen with the instrumental recordings!) or if songs appear in suites together with other ones.

If you want to search for a certain tune, I recommend using your browser's Find function, usually invoked by pressing command-F or control-F.

In the recordings presented here, I play my d'Aigle Cascade Custom autoharp except where noted. Its chords layout and string schedule are shown here.
These recordings are in NO WAY AND NOT AT ALL meant to represent modern autoharp playing styles - they present only my own kind of melody playing, always displaying "work in progress"!
Virtually all my new recordings are made using procedure (B) - see below - and thus don't render a true autoharp sound. This can be easily seen (and heard!) by comparing recordings of the d'Aigle 'harp with those of the ZephyrHill or the old OS 85C: the magnetic pickups on all three 'harps produce practically the same sound whereas the 'harps differ acoustically very much. (Recordings of the ZephyrHill and the OS 85C are marked by an asterisk at the 'B'.)


A short note on the PRINCIPLES according to which I assign CHORDS for autoharp melody playing


The table, below, is organized as follows.

The ID column contains an identifying label allowing cross-reference.

In the Recordings column you find links to MP3 files, made on my iMac with Audacity and exported with (mostly) bit rate 64 MP3 encoding, in order to save space (and because they are not CD quality anyway).
I recorded to Audicity -
(A) "acoustically", by playing directly into my iMac's little built-in microphone,
(B) "electrically", by using a USB audio interface (Edirol UA-1EX) with input directly (or recently via a Fishman G II pre-amp) from my autoharp's magnetic pickup
(C) otherwise, as explained in singular cases.
(The numbers in parentheses following the links give the playing time in minutes and the file size in megabytes.)

In the Notes column you find remarks concerning the Recording and/or the Notation entry of the same row; sometimes also links to longer texts.

In the Notation column you find links to sheet music that I made primarily for me in order not to forget the arrangement I figured out for playing a certain tune, ideally the tune presented in the Recording column of the same row.
However, sometimes there is no recording yet available of the printed music, and for some recordings I haven't made the sheets.
For proper understanding of my sheet music, you are advised to read about the principles I adhere to, see link above!

ID Recordings Notes Notation
Ade - This German Volkslied (ca. 1850) makes a nice gig ending. Of its original 6 or more verses, these 2 are the condensed version:

Ade zur guten Nacht,
jetzt wird der Schluss gemacht,
vorbei die Lieder!
|: Im Sommer, da blüht der Klee,
im Winter, da schneit 's den Schnee,
da komm ich wieder. :|

Die Mädchen in der Welt
sind falscher als das Geld,
das macht viel Leiden.
|: So wird jetzt Schluss gemacht,
ade zur guten Nacht,
und ich muss scheiden. :|
In the key of D:
Ade zur guten Nacht

This sheet was made in order to demonstrate use of different modes: Ionian mode (with proper use of the V7 chord, of course!) for the A part, Dorian mode for the B part.
Bodensee - Two verses of this song as I remember them from home:

|: Auf dem Berg so hoch da droben,
Da steht ein Schloss. :|
Und wir singen frohe Lieder,
Steigt das Schifflein auf und nieder,
|: Steigt das Schifflein in die Höh', ja Höh',
Weil wir fahren auf dem Bodensee. :|

|: Steigt der Jäger wohl früh am Morgen
Bergauf, bergab, :|
Hat er einen Bock geschossen,
Hat er ihn auch gut getroffen,
|: Jubelt er vor lauter Freud Juchhe,
Weil er'n g'schossen hat am Bodensee. :|
Auf dem Berg so hoch da droben (Bodensee-Lied)
(This sheet displays no chord symbols since none are needed: Just employ the I, IV and V7 chords according to the PRINCIPLES mentioned above.)

This sheet was made because all notations I found of this song rendered the rhythm and partly the melody different from what I remembered from home. So this gives you the authentic version!
(A version with words slightly different from what I remember but with the "authentic" melody can be heard on http://youtu.be/b43VP56ZOtQ )
Swiss #1 Lueget ... + Es Buerebüebli ...
(B, 2011-05-22) (4 min / 1.9 MB)

The contemplative tune "Lueget vo Berge-n- und Tal" (key of G) is followed here by the lively dance tune "Es Buerebüebli mah-n i nit" (key of D) in order to avoid putting someone to sleep by the first tune!
My English translation of the 1st song's 1st verse:
Look how on mountain and dale
sunshine and daylight grow pale!
Look how on pastures and meadows
darkness is growing and shadows!
Sunlight on peaks is still shed:
Oh, how the glaciers shine red, oh, how the glaciers shine red!

The four Swiss-German stanzas of the 2nd song go like this:
1. Es Buerebüebli mah-n i nit, des gseht me mir wohl a, juche!
    Es Buerebüebli mah-n i nit, des gseht me mir wohl a!
    Fidiri, fidira, fidirallala, fidirallala, fidirallala,
    es Buerebüebli mah-n i nit, des gseht me mir wohl a!
2. 'S muess eine si gar hübsch und fin, darf keini Fähler ha, juche!
3. Und Herebüebli git's ja nit, wo keini Fähler hei, juche!
4. Drum blibe-n-i ledig bis in Tod, so het die Liäb' es Änd, juche!
Lueget vo Berge-n- und Tal

The other tune is a straightforward I - IV - V7 tune.

Already in 2005 I tried to promote internationally that straightforward song, Buerebüebli, as you can see from an e-mail I sent then to England. That e-mail also explains what the song is about.
bottle Ich und mein Fläschchen
(B, 2011-02-13) (1:50 min / 0.9 MB)
Ich und mein Fläschchen
[Anmerkung für Besorgte:
Sogar vor zwei Jahrhunderten, als Langbein sein Gedicht "Der Zecher" schrieb, war Alkoholismus sicher in keinem der damaligen deutschsprachigen Fürstentümern eine gebilligte oder gar gewünschte Lebensform. Langbeins Erfolg beruht auf der geglückten Provokation.
Und bei genauerem Hinsehen wird klar, dass Langbeins Gedicht auch eine recht geschickte Parodie auf unzählige dichterische Ergüsse von Frischverliebten darstellt.
Ich und mein Fläschchen

Im Internet findet sich Interessantes zum Komponisten und zum Dichter dieses Volkslieds.

For an English version see in the main table the entry in the row with ID label "bottle"!
Merry May Come May & May has come
(B, 2010-05-06) (3:08 min / 1.5 MB)

The first tune (by Mozart!) is first played slowly and then in (probably?) adequate tempo (which was a bit too fast for my slow thinking about the tag - more practice needed!).
[On the day of the recording we had heavy cold rain. So the request for May to bring pleasant weather was felt so urgently that I didn't have time to hold Mozart's pauses long enough, alas! On the other hand, where can you hear this song with such driving dynamics?! :) ]
"While strolling through the park one day,
In the merry, merry month of May,
I was taken by surprise by a pair of roguish eyes ..."

Well, now that half of April is past and gone (but certainly not the good times!), we better prepare for having stolen our heart by learning a couple of German May songs!

I tried to provide in the sheets for each song an English translation of the first verse, keeping true to the original rhyming pattern as well as the (gist of the) meaning.
Komm, lieber Mai (Come, cherished May)
(The whole of measure 14 can be played using an Em7 (E minor seventh) chord if one has one. I don't.)

Der Mai ist gekommen (May has come)

The complete German lyrics can be found on the Internet, e.g. with Ingeborg.
Fasnet Fastnachts-Trilogie
(A, 2007-02-16) (6 min / 2.8 MB)
Read all about my Carnival Trilogy in Autoharp Quarterly Vol. 12, No. 2 (Winter 2000), or click on Fools and Music.
(This essay reports also research conducted at University of Freiburg/Breisgau and published in the 1970s.)

[The fools' guild mentioned in the paper has meanwhile a German web site: Seehasen]
Ludwigshafener Narrenmarsch (Fools' March)
More than ten years ago, I put the chord symbols below the staff in the sheet for Fools' March; and now, reopening it, I didn't bother to change their places according to my newer rules (as stated in the PRINCIPLES mentioned above).
Lorelei Lorelei-Lied
(B, 2009-06-29) (0:56 min / 0.48 MB)
In recognition of our recent company outing (on 19-21 June 2009), during which we also sailed on the Rhine past the Loreleifelsen (Loreley Cliff), I spell out my arrangement of this famous tune: Ich weiß nicht, was soll das bedeuten (Lorelei-Lied)
Klage Schäfers Klage (Shepherd's lament)
(B, 2009-06-04) (1:32 min / 0.77 MB)
I know this song (Shepherd's Lament) from hearing it in the late 1960es, but I don't know who wrote the tune, who wrote the words, and when. Any info would be very much appreciated.

By the way, this is an example of how I (often!) do "playing by ear": I make a sheet so that I can learn the song from notation! (In other words, if I can't get printed music from other sources I make my own.) The real reason is, of course, that I'm prone to forget my arrangements if I don't notate them. (Alternatively, I'd have to play through my repertoire for hours every day, conflicting with my day job demands!)
Schäfers Klage (Einst war ich so glücklich, einst war ich so froh)
[Words and music written down from memory.]
USB #1 2 Austrian tunes + 1 Hawaiian
(B, 2008-06-01) (4:48 min / 2.3 MB)
[My first recording via the USB audio interface.]
Tune #1 (key of G) comes in 3/4 and in 4/4 time; tunes #2 and #3 (key of C) employ the 3 diminished sevenths. -
Kölle Heimweh noh Kölle (Homesick for Cologne)
(A, 2008-04-06) (1:48 min / 0.9 MB)
[Other recordings on this site reveal a certain deficiency of mine as well, but few as bad as this one: my lacking sense of rhythm. But who's perfect, anyway?!]

A new version (an MP3 export from my contribution to the UKAA CD):
Heimweh noh Kölle (Homesick for Cologne)
(B*, 2013-05-01) (3:12 min / 1.5 MB)
* played on my ZephyrHill 'harp (Mark Fackeldey's #90)
This song, written by Cologne's famous Willi Ostermann (1876 - 1936), is considered the unofficial Cologne anthem. Heimweh noh Kölle
Lieder #1 Wanderlieder-Trilogie + Bonus
(A, 2007-07-04) (4:44 min / 2.2 MB)
This file gives you 3 German Wanderlieder (walking or wandering songs) plus a bonus tune (what could be more suitable than to enter the "Tavern in the town" after heavy walking?)
More information can be found in an e-mail I sent the Cyberpluckers: Micro-modulation
I invented the term "micro-modulation" for designating a certain kind of temporary modulation. In early 2009 I've come across a better term: Tonicization!
(sheets for all 4 songs, "Das Wandern ist des Müllers Lust", "Geh aus, mein Herz, und suche Freud", "Wer recht in Freuden wandern will" and "(There is a) Tavern in the town" are being prepared - check back later)
suite #1 A little Saturday morning practice
(A, 2007-05-19) (11 min / 5.2 MB)
If you have patience enough to listen to the whole MP3 file, you will hear "work in progress" versions of:
1. "Lueget vo Berge-n-und Tal"
2. the closing aria from G. Verdi's opera La Traviata
3. the opening aria from La Traviata
4. "Es steht eine Mühle im Schwarzwälder Tal"
5. "In einem kühlen Grunde"
6. "Es Burebüebli mah-n-i nit" (Swiss folk song)
7. "Bicycle built for two"
8. "Plaisir d'amour"
9. "Yield not to temptation"
All of these tunes are in 3/4 or 6/8 time. (While I began in a decent pace, I soon lost my patience, and in the end I shamefully yielded to temptation, succumbing defencelessly to the thrill of speed. As a result, it was nearly impossible to get out of the groove again. :>))
All the tunes are played in the key of G, except #6 which is played in the key of D.
More information can be found in an e-mail I sent the Cyberpluckers: Saturday morning practice
ad 1 cf. row with ID "Swiss #1", above

ad 2 and 3 see the entries in the Classical Music sub-table with ID "Verdi ..."

ad 4 cf. row with ID "old tape", below

ad 5 cf. row with ID "old tape", below

ad 6: this tune is so simple and straightforwardly to play, using the I, IV and V7 chords, that no sheet is needed
old tape Küchenlieder: Lieder die zu Herzen gehen
(C, ca. 1989) (30 min / 10.8 MB)
played on my Lancer-like electric solid body OS-85C (from ca. 1980), recorded with line directly plugged into a music cassette recorder

See for kitchen song #6 also my new
"A Greenhouse Tragedy" YouTube video where you also find the new English lyrics I made by translating the original German words (February 2013).
A circa 20 years old recording of the "kitchen songs". Note that the tunes are played here in the keys of C and F, not in the keys of A, D and G as indicated in the TOC of the "kitchen songs", and that numbers 13 and 15 are interchanged.

The document "kitchen songs" contains a commented table of content and the German lyrics of those songs. It presents materials for a domestic project: Building a repertoire of interesting songs to play and sing in domestic venues.

Das Dokument Küchenlieder: Lieder die zu Herzen gehen enthält ein (englisch) kommentiertes Inhaltsverzeichnis und die Liedtexte.
[Küchenlieder sind hauptsächlich im 19. Jahrhundert entstanden und heißen so, weil sie häufig vom Gesinde in der Küche gesungen wurden; in der Zeit vor Radio und Schallplatte musste man selber singen, wenn man Lieblingslieder hören wollte.]
(For a few of the 18 "kitchen songs", the sheets are finished and appear here, others are being prepared - check back later!)

for kitchen song #4 see row with ID "Klage", above

for kitchen song #12 see in row with ID "UKA #2", below, "Ach wie ist's möglich dann"

kitchen song #14:
In einem kühlen Grunde and
In einem kühlen Grunde (simpler chords version)

kitchen song #15:
Es steht eine Mühle im Schwarzwälder Tal, see also "Black Forrest Mill" in row with ID "suite #1" in the main table

kitchen song #16:
Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen
Baden (being prepared - check back later) - Badnerlied (Old Baden anthem)
Ingelheim (being prepared - check back later) The complete lyrics are in /
Den ganzen Text gibt es im Volksliederarchiv
Drei Schneider nach Ingelheim
[The bass line allows for a MIDI that's a bit more interesting:]
Drei Schneider (MIDI)
UKA #2 Bunt sind schon die Wälder
(B, 2010-08-02) (2:18 min / 1.1 MB)

Horch was kommt von draußen rein
(B, 2009-10-11) (1:29 min / 0.7 MB)

(more being prepared - check back later)
UKA Series, #2 -- DustyHarpZiggy's First Selection of German Folk Songs This little piece was printed in the Spring 2009 issue of UK Autoharp Notes. The paper contains commented sheet music for
1. Bunt sind schon die Wälder
2. Ach wie ist's möglich dann
3. Ännchen von Tharau
4. Horch was kommt von draußen rein
spring - The words to this song came to me actually on 1 Jan 1984 in the early afternoon while sitting in a warm winter sun in the railway station waiting for a local train to Constance. So my words anticipated the end of winter before it really started: In the Lake Constance area it is February that is usually the coldest month of the year. (This weather regularity is especially annoying for, and hazardous to the health of, all those eager to celebrate Fastnacht (Carnival), which happens to take place mostly right in February - necessarily always about seven weeks before Easter.)

Since my German words have a very intricate rhyming structure I don't yet see how to render them in English.
Winterende (Winter's End)

[The lower one of the pair of chords lines given in the sheet for the middle part corresponds to the MIDI; the upper line sounds better on the autoharp, I think.]

Spring - a MIDI based on Winterende I prepared in Feb 2000
harmony science - Simple harmony science: Essential know-how!

Long, long ago, after I've been playing this tune for quite some time - then on my keyboard - I decided to put words to it that reflect my then newly learned music theory: The (German only, alas!) words tell what occurs at the same time in the tune. (I didn't manage yet to re-create the lyrics in English.)
This piece is the very first one I wrote down without any help (in 1981) - and then on paper, with pencil and rubber, long before I ever learned about music notation software.
Einfache Harmonielehre
label music annotation sheet
label music annotation sheet
label music annotation sheet
--- --------------------------------- ------------------------------------ ---------------------------------
Joke Nix! 40 Reime auf "ell"
- das Ergebnis eines Kreativitätsanfalls beim Eisenbahnfahren mit der DB im Sommer 2006
(40 rhymes with "ell": A little joke [on a high formal level!] for my German language readers.)