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Käferlied - (2014)    

Robert Reinick

for mezzo soprano and piano


Es waren einmal drei Käferknaben,
Die thäten mit Gebrumm brumm brumm
In Thau ihr Schnäblein tunken,
Und wurden so betrunken,
Als wär's ein Faß mit Rum.

Da haben sie getroffen an
Eine wunderschöne Blum Blum Blum,
Da wurden die jungen Käfer
Alle drei verliebte Schäfer
Und flogen um sie herum.

Die Blume, die sie kommen sah,
War grade auch nicht dumm dumm dumm.
Sie war von schlauem Sinne
Und rief die Base Spinne:
»Spinn mir ein Netzlein um!«

Die Base Spinne kroch heran
Und macht' die Beine krumm krumm krumm;
Sie spann ein Netz so feine
Und setzte sich dareine,
Und saß da mäuschenstumm.

Und als die Käfer kommen an
Mit zärtlichem Gesumm summ summ,
Sind sie hinein geflogen,
Und wurden ausgesogen,
Half ihnen kein Gebrumm.

Das Blümlein aber lachend sprach,
Und kümmert sich nicht drum drum drum:
»So geht's, ihr lieben Käfer,
So geht's, ihr lieben Schäfer,
Trotz allem Summ und Brumm!«

6 pages, circa 4' 45"

Robert Reinick


Robert Reinick (1805-1852) was a painter and poet, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting.


Once upon time there were three beetle-lads,
With a buzz, buzz, buzz they
Dunked their probosci into the dew,
And became so drunk,
As if the dew had been a barrel of rum.

Then they happened upon
A beautiful flow'r, flow'r, flow'r,
Upon which the young beetles
All became three lovelorn shepherds
And flew about [the flower].

The flower, which saw them coming,
Was not exactly dumb, dumb, dumb.
She had a clever mind
And called to Madame Spider:
"Come spin a net about me!"

Madame Spider crept up
And made her legs curl, curl, curl;
She spun a net so fine
And sat down in the middle of it,
And sat there quiet as a mouse.

And as the beetles arrived
With a tender hum hum hum,
They flew into the web,
And were sucked dry,
And no buzzing helped them.

But the flower said laughingly,
Not caring a whit whit whit:
That's how it goes, you dear beetles,
That's how it goes, you dear shepherds,
Despite all humming and buzzing!

Copyright 2014  ©   Sharon Krebs    All international rights reserved.


English by Sharon Krebs,  "Beetle song", copyright © 2014, reproduced on this website with kind permission. This was found in Emily Ezust's marvelous and growing The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive , to which Ms. Krebs has contributed almost a thousand translations to date.



The setting of the stanzas moves away from the tonic, generally to return. The 'drunken' confusion of the chromatic gestures contrast with the bright seven chords of the first and some succeeding strophes. The midpoint of the drama moves for a moment into the supertonic minor with yet additional chromaticism.



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.