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Die böse Farbe (1823)


Part of a series or song cycle:

Die schöne Müllerin (D795 (Op. 25))


Die böse Farbe

Ich möchte ziehn in die Welt hinaus, 
Hinaus in die weite Welt,
Wenn’s nur so grün, so grün nicht wär’ 
Da draussen in Wald und Feld!
Ich möchte die grünen Blätter all’ 
Pflücken von jedem Zweig,
Ich möchte die grünen Gräser all’ 
Weinen ganz totenbleich.
Ach Grün, du böse Farbe du,
Was siehst mich immer an,
So stolz, so keck, so schadenfroh, 
Mich armen, armen weissen Mann?
Ich möchte liegen vor ihrer Tür,
Im Sturm und Regen und Schnee,
Und singen ganz leise bei Tag und Nacht 
Das eine Wörtchen Ade!
Horch, wenn im Wald ein Jagdhorn schallt, 
Da klingt ihr Fensterlein,
Und schaut sie auch nach mir nicht aus, 
Darf ich doch schauen hinein.
O binde von der Stirn dir ab 
Das grüne, grüne Band, 
Ade, Ade! und reiche mir 
Zum Abschied deine Hand!

The loathsome colour

I should like to go out into the world, 
into the wide world.
If only it were not so green
out there in field and forest!
I should like to pluck the green leaves 
from every branch;
I should like to make the green grass 
deathly pale with my weeping.
O green, you loathsome colour, 
why do you look at me,
so proud, so insolent, so gloating – 
at me, a poor white miller?
I should like to lie at her door 
in storm and rain and snow, 
and sing softly, day and night, 
one single word, ‘Farewell!’
Hark! When a hunting horn sounds in the wood, 
I can hear her window.
And though she does not look,
yet I can look in.
O untie the green ribbon 
from your brow. 
Farewell! And in parting 
give me your hand.
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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Composer

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 was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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Poet

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 philological and historical studies. In 1813-1814 he took part, as a volunteer in the Prussian army, in the national rising against Napoleon. He participated in the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Hanau and Kulm. In 1814 he returned to his studies at Berlin. From 1817 to 1819, he visited southern Germany and Italy, and in 1820 published his impressions of the latter in Rom, Römer und Römerinnen. In 1819, he was appointed teacher of classics in the Gelehrtenschule at Dessau, and in 1820 librarian to the ducal library. He remained there the rest of his life, dying of a heart attack aged only 32.

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