Schubert Lullaby lyrics

April 2, 2008 at 03:38 AM · I'm talking about the lullaby that is printed in Suzuki Book 4. My child actually had a stuffed-doll music box that played this tune. But what are the lyrics? I can't find them anywhere! Google was no help!

Replies (27)

April 2, 2008 at 03:57 AM · Op. 98, no.2 ?

Schlafe, schlafe, holder süßer Knabe,

Leise wiegt dich deiner Mutter Hand,

Sanfte Ruhe, milde Labe,

Bringt dir schwebend dieses Wiegenband.

2. Schlafe, schlafe in dem süßen Grabe,

Noch beschützt dich deiner Mutter Arm,

Alle Wünsche, alle Habe

Faßt sie liebend, alle liebewarm.

3. Schlafe, schlafe in der Flaumen Schoße,

Noch umtönt dich lauter Liebeston,

Eine Lilie, eine Rose

Nach dem Schlafe werd' sie dir zum Lohn.

4. Schlafe, schlafe in der Mutter Schoße,

Noch umtönt dich holder Liebeston,

Eine Lilie, eine Rose

Nach dem Schlafe wird sie dir zum Lohn.

April 2, 2008 at 04:01 AM · 1. Schlafe, schlafe, holder süßer Knabe,

Leise wiegt dich deiner Mutter Hand,

Sanfte Ruhe, milde Labe,

Bringt dir schwebend dieses Wiegenband.

[Sleep, sleep my little knob-holder,

Lose weight in your mother's hand,

I rue, I laugh,

And bring my swinish, diseased wedding band.]

2. Schlafe, schlafe in dem süßen Grabe,

Noch beschützt dich deiner Mutter Arm,

Alle Wünsche, alle Habe

Faßt sie liebend, alle liebewarm.

[I'd sleep, sleep with Susan Grabe,

Before besmirching my mother's arm

Everybody wish, everybody have

Fast knee-bends, all lukewarm.]

3. Schlafe, schlafe in der Flaumen Schoße,

Noch umtönt dich lauter Liebeston,

Eine Lilie, eine Rose

Nach dem Schlafe werd' sie dir zum Lohn.

[Sleep, sleep in the flaming snow,

Before you soil you diaper, laughingly.

A lilly, a rose

Is as weird a dream as I can take right now.]

4. Schlafe, schlafe in der Mutter Schoße,

Noch umtönt dich holder Liebeston,

Eine Lilie, eine Rose

Nach dem Schlafe wird sie dir zum Lohn.

[Sleeping, sleeping mother's stretch-mark shows,

Before you soil you diaper, laughingly.

A lily, a rose,

Before the wind you break, I zoom alone.]

April 2, 2008 at 04:32 AM · lol

April 2, 2008 at 06:47 AM · Jim, I think that's the right one...but I don't speak (or sing) German so well! Thank heaven Alan was able to translate it so excellently.

I could use some nice lyrics in English...they don't have to be the "real" lyrics, if anyone wants to get creative!

This is for my sister to sing to her new babygirl, Madeline Elizabeth!

April 2, 2008 at 04:08 PM · Little M.E. will not be denied!

First check it with this melody:

http://store.recordare.com/schbwieg.html

If it's the right song then I can give you a bad translation, or maybe Frank-Michael can give you a good one. The trick will be making it rhyme and have the right rhythm in English but keep the meaning the same. Or sing it in German. The only things to remember are no silent 'e'; it's an 'uh' sound instead, and that capital 'B' looking thing sounds like 's'.

April 2, 2008 at 03:23 PM · I think "Knabe" is Austrian German for boy. And "Wiege" is most certainly cradle in this context, thus when used as a verb it means rocking the cradle. "Wiegenlied" means cradle song, hence lullaby.

Anyway, the line "Leise wiegt dich deiner Mutter Hand" should mean something along the lines of "your mother's hand is quietly rocking your cradle".

"Suessen Grabe" should mean sweet grave, how macabre, but that's Schubert for you.

Much of the remainder appears to be quite an antique kind of German, I don't understand all of it, my German is rusty. Perhaps there is a nicely done English version somewhere on the web?

April 2, 2008 at 03:29 PM · From Wiki:

"The word Lullaby comes from the Hebrew phrase "Lilith Abi" which means Go Away Lilith. Lilith was a woman possessed by Satan who killed babies and seduced men in their sleep."

lol

April 2, 2008 at 03:54 PM · Ok, here's a non-rhyming translation of the first three verses. She translated schlafe to 'do sleep' to keep it two syllables but I'd just use 'sleep' and change the note in the middle. No reason to force one syllable per note.

http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=33521

April 2, 2008 at 04:46 PM · Jim, well done digging that up :-)

Interesting that "Grabe" is translated as "berth", I could have sworn its only meaning was "grave" -- there is another Schubert song from the Winterreise cycle, The Crow, where this word is used and does mean "grave".

April 2, 2008 at 05:30 PM · You want your translator to be a native speaker in the language being translated to, and the learned language the one being translated from. That's the American philosophy, anyway. It doesn't seem to stand up in Japan, from where we get all kinds of manuals and so on in pidgin English.

April 3, 2008 at 02:44 AM · Jim, in principle I would agree with this but only as a general rule of thumb, as I have seen far too many translations from English into Japanese by Japanese native professional translators which were in dire need of fixing serious translation problems and cleaning up the language so it wouldn't look like pidgin Japanese. There are quite a few non-native Japanese translators who can do a much better job.

As for translating poetry which is so old that the language does no longer match the modern use of the language, I think what you need is somebody who knows poetry and the period language very well. If that person isn't native in the target language they may still do a better job than a native as long as they have the ability of handling and recreating poetry.

April 3, 2008 at 06:32 AM · You've got to admit your best shot at non-pidgin is using a native-speaking translator. Or maybe you don't.

April 3, 2008 at 07:01 AM · Apparently not in the case of translating into Japanese, at least not if the native is a professional translator. You will need a native who is not a translator to restructure and rephrase the whole lot as a second step, in which case you may as well use a non-native for the first step if it has to be reworked anyway.

As for poetry, I take a non-native poetry person over a native non-poetry person, if what I want is poetry, not just a translation of the content.

April 14, 2008 at 03:15 AM · Friends, I simply made up some lyrics:

Sleep, sleep, baby girl (boy),

Sleep now in my arms so sweetly,

Sleep, sleep, baby girl (boy)

Time for you to go to sleep.

May dreams take you

beautiful lovely places,

Dream, dream, baby girl (boy)

Time for you to go to sleep.

April 14, 2008 at 05:48 AM · Grabe is an older form of grab, which simply means grave.

I am ready to translate some words (I am german), but don`t expect a whole translation or a poetic version.

April 14, 2008 at 10:10 AM · Maybe this child is dead in fact, since lily & rose are the flowers people lay on children's graves, they're not the flowers someone of the 19th century would give his kids as a gift. Anyway - this might fit to the music a bit (nice recording with Victoria de los Angeles):

Sweet dreams, fall asleep, gentle, lovely boy,

softly, tenderly dandles mother's hand,

mellow silence, slumber's joy,

guides you soaring in thy wonderland.

Sweet dreams, fall asleep, in thy darling grave,

yet you're guarded by your mother's arm,

what you wish, what you have:

charmed and shielded, sleep, there is no harm.

Sweet dreams, fall asleep, in thy feathery doze,

yet my song for you is still here with you.

First a lily, then a rose,

when you wake up, your reward will be these two.

I changed the meaning on two occasions, some words like Wiegenband, Liebeston or liebeswarm are untranslatable.

April 14, 2008 at 02:50 PM · Good catch on the lillies. There are lots of old poetic allusions to sleep as death though. "A slice of death." So not sure. The Wiegenband is physical contraint, like constraint of Grabe, the grave, which followed by schwebend, floating or soaring, is like the spirit unconstrained by that, so the substitution for Wiegenband could carry that meaning.

April 14, 2008 at 02:25 PM · Ick. What the hell is wrong with the Germans? I remember a lovely little book my German teacher gave me when I was in second grade. In it was a story about a little boy whose parents told him to stop sucking his thumb or somebody would come and cut his thumbs off. Of course, being like three years old, he sucks his thumb anyway, and, of course, being a sick german story, this freaky clownish guy comes and cuts BOTH the boy's thumbs off with giant scissors! The book included a lovely, colorful and graphic picture of this too.

April 14, 2008 at 02:40 PM · Howard, I remember that, too, I think it's this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struwwelpeter

I liked the story of flying Robert best. They have a dark sense of humor, haha :-)

April 14, 2008 at 02:53 PM · Hah! Thanks for the link! So nice to revisit such warm childhood memories. Warm, that is, because of the BLOOD OF THE POOR THUMB SUCKING KID SPEWING ALL OVER ME!!!!

April 14, 2008 at 03:09 PM · Mark Twain made an English version of it, online here:

http://www.fln.vcu.edu/struwwel/daumen_e.html <-- your thumb-sucker story ;-)

April 14, 2008 at 03:44 PM · "Ick. What the hell is wrong with the Germans? "

Hi!

nothing wrong with us, I hope. The lovely little book came out the same year as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" with it's wonderful description of the land of the free and the home of the brave at that time.

April 14, 2008 at 04:59 PM · Oh yes, Busch wrote some fairly scary ones like the boy, who didn't want to eat his soup, but he sketched some pretty nice (musical) ones, too, like The Virtuoso.

The Wiegenlied poem btw. is said to be written by Matthias Claudius, a poet who wrote a lot about death and war - one of the most famous folksongs here The moon has arisen as well as the poem of Schubert's "Death And Maiden" was written by him:

The Maiden:

Pass by! Oh, pass by!

Go away, fierce man of bone!

I am still young, go my dear!

And do not touch me.

Death:

Give me your hand, you beautiful and delicate form!

I am a friend, and am not come to punish.

Be of good cheer! I am not savage,

You will sleep softly in my arms!

April 14, 2008 at 04:56 PM · No,

Wilhelm Busch wrote and drawed the virtuoso and many great storys (as far as I know he was the first cartoonist), but the mediocre Struwwelpeter is by Heinrich Hoffmann.

Don't mix it up with Max und Moritz.

April 24, 2008 at 09:15 PM · Ah! I forgot this lullaby. Yo-Yo, Edgar, Mark, and Alison. Words and music by Stephen Foster. It doesn't hurt a thing if mom can sing like Alison Krauss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y-h1iImHQI

April 28, 2008 at 10:42 AM · This lullaby, is it coincidence that I thought of it while practicing a Schubert sonata last week? And now I've stumbled upon this thread. I was wondering what the name of it was, because it's the first song I ever knew. My orange wind-up owl with the lavender polka dots and red beak played it to put me to sleep, but I would wind it over and over instead, just to listen to it again. One of my favorite early memories... Schubert and I have always connected in such an intimate way. Why don't I hear more of him?

February 25, 2016 at 10:48 PM · Paul Robeson sang a version at Carnegie Hall in 1958. A vastly talented man, he knew and sang in many languages, including German. He sings three verses in English and the forth in German.

Baby, sleeping, in thy cradle swinging

Rocking gently by thy Mother’s hand.

Peaceful slumber, rest is bringing,

Dreams shall waft thee on to slumber land.

Baby, sleeping, oh my only treasure,

On thy pillow rests secure and warm.

All the blessings, all thy pleasure,

Shall be gathered in your Mother’s arms.

Schlafe, schlafe, holder süßer Knabe,

Leise wiegt dich deiner Mutter Hand,

Sanfte Ruhe, milde Labe,

Bringt dir schwebend dieses Wiegenband.

Which Wikipedia has a translation for :

Slumber, slumber, O my darling baby,

Gently rocked by Mother's gentle hand;

Softly rest and safely slumber,

While she swings thee by this cradle-band.

(A cradle-band let a cradle be rocked with a leg or feet, leaving hands free to do hand-work.)

Another wonderful lullaby (he “fixed” by removing racial overtones) is his later version of “Curly Headed Baby” - which can be found at YouTube within their Mix of Paul Robeson. It is found after “Deep River.” He does many beautiful songs, including another soft one “Eriskay Love Lilt” - it is possible to spend many hours with Mr. Robeson. The stories from my father and mother, and Paul’s music kept this little white boy from ever considering that skin color should be used for judging.

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