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Der Tamboursg’sell (1901)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Des Knaben Wunderhorn


Der Tamboursg’sell

Ich armer Tamboursg’sell.
Man führt mich aus dem G’wölb,
Wär ich ein Tambour blieben,
Dürft ich nicht gefangen liegen.
O Galgen, du hohes Haus,
Du siehst so furchtbar aus,
Ich schau dich nicht mehr an,
Weil i weiß, daß i g’hör dran.
Wenn Soldaten vorbeimarschieren,
Bei mir nit einquartiern.
Wenn sie fragen wer i g’wesen bin:
Tambour von der Leibkompanie.
Gute Nacht, ihr Marmelstein,
Ihr Berg und Hügelein,
Gute Nacht, ihr Offizier,
Korporal und Musketier,
Gute Nacht, ihr Offizier,
Korporal und Grenadier,
Ich schrei mit heller Stimm,
Von euch ich Urlaub nimm,
Gute Nacht.

The drummer-boy

Woe is me, poor drummer-boy.
They lead me from my cell,
Had I remained a drummer,
I’d not have been in prison.
O gallows, you lofty house,
How grim you seem to me,
I’ll look at you no more,
For I know you’re meant for me.
When the soldiers march past
To quarters other than mine,
And when they ask who I was:
Drummer to the King’s Bodyguard.
Good night, you stones of marble,
You mountains and you hills,
Good night, you officers,
Corporals and musketeers.
Good night, you officers,
Corporals and grenadiers,
I cry out loud and clear:
I take my leave of you,
Good night.
Translation © Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Composer

Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian late-Romantic composer and conductor.

Read more about him here.


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