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Marienwürmchen (1857) WoO 31 no.13


Marienwürmchen, setze dich
Auf meine Hand, auf meine Hand,
Ich tu’ dir nichts zuleide.
Es soll dir nichts zuleid geschehn,
Will nur deine bunte Flügel sehn,
Bunte Flügel meine Freude.
Marienwürmchen, fliege weg,
Dein Häuschen brennt, die Kinder schrein
So sehre, wie so sehre.
Die böse Spinne spinnt sie ein,
Marienwürmchen, flieg hinein,
Deine Kinder schreien sehre.
Marienwürmchen, fliege hin
Zu Nachbars Kind, zu Nachbars Kind,
Sie tun dir nichts zuleide.
Es soll dir da kein Leid geschehn,
Sie wollen deine bunten Flügel sehn,
Und grüß sie alle beide.


Ladybird, come and settle
On my hand, on my hand,
I shall do you no harm,
No harm will come of you,
I just want to see your bright wings,
Bright wings are my joy!
Ladybird, fly away home,
Your house is on fire, the children are crying
So sorely, so very sorely,
The wicked spider’s spinning them in,
Ladybird, fly away home,
You children are crying sorely.
Ladybird, fly off
To the children next door, next door,
They will do you no harm,
No harm will come of you there,
They want to see your bright wings,
And remember me to both of them.
Translations by Richard Stokes, author of The Book of Lieder (Faber, 2005)

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Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna. 

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by many. 

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