Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Laterne, Laterne
(German Kids Song)
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On St. Martin's Day in Germany, on November 11th, children parade at night carrying lanterns. Laterne, Laterne is a song they sing while walking in St. Martin's Day parades. Sometimes the St. Martin's Day parade ends with a bonfire. Kids often go door to door caroling and receiving treats or money. People also eat goose and Weckmann (a sweet bread in the shape of a gingerbread man).

Laterne, Laterne
Lantern, Lantern
Children's Song
(German)
Children's Song
(English)

Laterne, Laterne - German Children's Songs - Germany - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Laterne, Laterne
Sonne, Mond und Sterne
Brenne auf, mein Licht,
Brenne auf, mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, moon and stars,
Burn, my light,
Burn, my light,
But not my dear lantern.
 
Watch
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Many thanks to Annette from Hamburg for her lovely rendition of Laterne, Laterne and for letting us use the parade video! (The lyrics in the video are slightly different from those below.)

Notes

*****

Christina Weising sent us a longer version of this song:

Laterne, Laterne,
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
brenne auf mein Licht,
brenne auf mein Licht,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Laterne, Laterne,
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
sperrt ihn ein, den Wind,
sperrt ihn ein, den Wind,
er soll warten, bis wir zu Hause sind.

Laterne, Laterne,
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
bleibe hell, mein Licht,
bleibe hell, mein Licht,
sonst strahlt meine liebe Laterne nicht.

English Translation

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, moon and stars,
Burn, my light,
Burn, my light,
But not my dear lantern.

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, moon and stars,
Imprison the wind,
Imprison the wind,
He must wait until we get home.

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, moon and stars,
Keep bright my light
Keep bright my light
Or my dear lantern won't shine.

*****

If you'd like to share your St. Martin's Day traditions or songs, come visit Mama Lisa's blog and comment or email me.

Photos & Illustrations

Laterne, Laterne - German Children's Songs - Germany - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Comment Image

Comments

Here's a pretty, rhyming English translation of Laterne, Laterne penned by Loralee Jo Kurzius:

Laterne, Laterne,
My Lantern, my lantern,
Son-ne, Mond und Sterne,
Sun, moon and stars that turn,
brenne auf, mein Licht,
Sh-ine on, my light,
brenne auf, mein Licht,
Sh-ine on, my light,
aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.
Please don't let my pret-ty lan-tern burn tonight.

Thanks to Loralee Jo for sharing this translation.

You can hear another version of Laterne, Laterne sung here.

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Ulrike Bernhard for contributing this song, to Maguy Cabrol for translating it into French and to Monique Palomares for creating the midi music. Many thanks also to Ms B. for contributing and translating this song. Many thanks also to Christina Weising for contributing the rest of the song and helping with the French translation. Many thanks to Lisa Stephan from the German Australian Playschool in Canberra, Australia, for the picture.

Vielen Dank!

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