DAS HOBELLIED THE PLANING SONG
Ferdinand Raimund trans. Walter A.Aue
Da streiten sich die Leut herum
Wohl um den Wert des Glücks;
Der eine heisst den andern dumm,
Am End' weiss keiner nix.
Da ist der allerärmste Mann
Dem andern viel zu reich:
Das Schicksal setzt den Hobel an
Und hobelt alle gleich!
Die Jugend will halt stets mit G'walt
In allem glücklich sein,
Doch wird man nur ein bisserl alt,
Da gibt man sich schon drein.
Oft zankt mein Weib mit mir, o Graus!
Das bringt mich nicht in Wut;
Da klopf ich meinen Hobel aus
Und denk: Du brummst mir gut!
Zeigt sich der Tod einst, mit Verlaub,
Und zupft mich: "Brüderl kumm!"
Da stell ich mich am Anfang taub
Und schau mich gar net um.
Doch sagt er: "Lieber Valentin,
Mach' keine Umständ, geh!"
Da leg ich meinen Hobel hin
Und sag der Welt ade!
The people quarrel to no end
about what's happiness,
call stupid one another and
keep knowing less and less.
The man in abject poverty
is far too rich for some:
But fate will take its plane and free-
ly level everyone.
The young ones want their luck to last
forever and a time,
but once their early years have passed
they're likely to resign.
My wife - oh dread! - will scold and nag,
but I won't get upset:
some shavings off my plane I snag
and reckon: that's for that.
When Death will call, as well He may,
and say, "Come underground!",
a stone-deaf mule I'm gonna play
that does not turn around.
But when He says, "Dear Valentin,
don't fuss: it's time to die!",
then I set down my plane serene
and bid the world good-bye.

The "Hobellied" is actually a song from a well-loved play called "Der Verschwender" [The Spendthrift].
It premiered 1834 in Vienna and has since been performed regularly in Austria.
The music, by Raimund and Conradin Kreutzer, is familiar to the vast majority
of people whose mother tongue is German.


See also: http://myweb.dal.ca/waue/Trans/0-TransList.html

Trans. copyright © Walter A.Aue 2003


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