Das Köhlerweib ist trunken


Das Köhlerweib ist trunken - (2013)    

Gottfried Keller

for medium voice and piano


Das Köhlerweib ist trunken
Und singt im Wald;
Hört, wie die Stimme gellend
Im Grünen hallt!

Sie war die schönste Blume,
Berühmt im Land;
Es warben Reich' und Arme
Um ihre Hand.

Sie trat in Gürtelketten
So stolz einher;
Den Bräutigam zu wählen,
Fiel ihr zu schwer.

Da hat sie überlistet
Der rote Wein -
Wie müssen alle Dinge
Vergänglich sein!

Das Köhlerweib ist trunken
Und singt im Wald;
Wie durch die Dämmrung gellend
Ihr Lied erschallt!

3 pages, circa 2' 15"

Gottfried Keller


Gottfried Keller (1819-1890) was a Swiss poet and writer of German literature, best known for his novel Green Henry (Der grüne Heinrich), and among the most popular writers of literary realism in the late 19th century.



The charwoman is drunk
and singing in the forest;
do you hear how her voice ringing out
echoes in the countryside!

She was the loveliest flower,
famous in the land;
Rich and poor alike came courting
for her hand.

She walked with a chatelaine,
so proudly around;
but to select a groom
was too difficult for her.

Then she was tricked
by red wine -
how fleeting all things
must be!

The charwoman is drunk
and singing in the forest;
How resoundingly through the twilight
does her song echo!


Translation from German to English copyright © by Emily Ezust


The accompaniment is a series of simple diatonic gestures ringing throughout for the sostenuto as marked. This way, clustered diatonic colors amass over measures, and then as at 23 and beyond as chord clusters. The form is AABAA with a short codetta.



The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Das Köhlerweib ist trunken