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Die Männer sind méchant! (1828)

Part of a series or song cycle:

Vier Refrainlieder (D866)

Die Männer sind méchant!

Du sagtest mir es, Mutter:
Er ist ein Springinsfeld!
Ich würd’ es dir nicht glauben, 
Bis ich mich krank gequält! 
Ja, ja, nun ist er’s wirklich; 
Ich hatt’ ihn nur verkannt!
Du sagtest mir’s, o Mutter: 
„Die Männer sind méchant!“
Vor’m Dorf im Busch, als gestern 
Die stille Dämm’rung sank,
Da rauscht’ es: „Guten Abend!“ 
Da rauscht’ es: „Schönen Dank!“ 
Ich schlich hinzu, ich horchte; 
Ich stand wie festgebannt:
Er war’s mit einer Andern – 
„Die Männer sind méchant!“
O Mutter, welche Qualen!
Es muss heraus, es muss! –
Es blieb nicht bloss bei’m Rauschen, 
Es blieb nicht bloss bei’m Gruss! 
Vom Grusse kam’s zum Kusse,
Vom Kuss zum Druck der Hand, 
Vom Druck, ach liebe Mutter! – 
„Die Männer sind méchant!“

Men are naughty

You told me, mother:
he’s a young rogue!
I would not believe you
until I had tormented myself sick. 
Yes, I now know he really is;
I had simply misjudged him.
You told me, mother:
‘Men are naughty!’
Yesterday, as dusk fell silently,
in the copse outside the village,
I heard a whispered ‘Good evening!’ 
and then a whispered ‘Many thanks!’ 
I crept up and listened;
I stood as if transfixed:
it was he, with someone else –
‘Men are naughty!’
O mother, what torture!
I must be out with it, I must!
It didn’t just stop at whispering,
it didn’t just stop at greetings!
It went from greetings to kisses,
from kisses to holding hands,
from holding hands ... ah, dear mother, 
‘Men are naughty!’
Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

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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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