Das traurige Röslein


Das traurige Röslein - (2013)    

Wilhelm Busch

for soprano or mezzo soprano and piano


Ein Röslein war gar nicht munter,
Weil es im Topfe stand,
Sah immer traurig hinunter
Auf die Blumen im freien Land.
Die Blumen nicken und winken.
Wie ist es im Freien so schön,
Zu tanzen und Tau zu trinken
Bei lustigem Windeswehn.
Von bunten Schmetterlingen
Umgaukelt, geschmeichelt, geküßt;
Dazwischen der Vöglein Singen
Anmutig zu hören ist.
Wir preisen dich und loben
Dich, fröhliche Sommerzeit;
Ach, Röslein am Fenster droben,
Du tust uns auch gar zu leid.
Da ist ins Land gekommen
Der Winter mit seiner Not.
In Schnee und Frost verklommen,
Die Blumen sind alle tot.
Ein Mägdlein hört es stürmen,
Macht fest das Fenster zu.
Jetzt will ich dich pflegen und schirmen,
Du liebes Röslein du.

5 pages, circa 3' 20"


The small rose

The small rose was not cheerful,
Potted at a window sill,
To peer so very sadly out
At wild blooms on the hill.
Those flowers nod and wave,
Bright freedom on each face;
They dance and sip from dewdrops
In the merry winds' embrace.
Butterflies' colored rainbow wings
Flutter by, to rub and kiss
In the midst of birds' bright singing
Melodies of summer bliss.
We prize such, and praise all
Through the joyous passing days.
Small rose, in your glassy window,
Be not dismayed always.
Harsh winter comes in time
To our lands with chill distress;
Hard frosts and deep drifting snow
Kill flowers with their caress.
A maiden, hearing the storm's approach,
Shuts the windows against the cold.
Through winter I shall tend you,
My small rose; so be consoled.


rhymed paraphrase by the composer

Copyright © 2013  Gary Bachlund



The text is found in Busch's anthology, Schein und Sein. For more settings of Busch's texts, click here.


The setting is of the form, AABCDA. The melody is seemingly folk-like though the length of the phrases include a simple rhythmic prolongation at their ends. The highest note in the range is merely touched at the last phrases, while the body of the tessitura is in the staff. The harmonies are often based on parallel seven chords.



The score for Das traurige Röslein 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 traurige Röslein