Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Guten Abend, gute Nacht
(German Lullaby)
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"Guten Abend, gute Nacht" is also called "Brahms' Lullaby". It was composed by Johannes Brahms in 1868. The lyrics to the 1st verse come from a book of German folk poems and songs called, "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" (published in 1805). The 2nd verse was written by Georg Scherer in 1849.

Guten Abend, gute Nacht
Good Evening, Good Night
Lullaby
(German)
Lullaby
(English)

Guten Abend, gute Nacht - German Children's Songs - Germany - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


Guten Abend, gute Nacht,
mit Rosen bedacht,
mit Näglein besteckt,
schlupf unter die Deck:
Morgen früh, wenn Gott will,
wirst du wieder geweckt,
morgen früh, wenn Gott will,
wirst du wieder geweckt.

Guten Abend gute Nacht,
von Englein bewacht,
die zeigen im Traum
dir Christkindleins Baum:
Schlaf nur selig und süß,
schau im Traum's Paradies,
schlaf nur selig und süß,
schau im Traum's Paradies.

Good evening, good night,
Bedecked with roses,
Adorned with carnations*,
Slip under the covers.
Tomorrow morn, if God wills,
You'll awake once again.
Tomorrow morn, if God wills,
You'll awake once again.

Good evening, good night,
Little angels watch over;
In a dream they show
You a Christmas tree.
Sleep only blessed and sweet,
See paradise in your dream.
Sleep only blessed and sweet,
See paradise in your dream.
 
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Notes

*The definitions below can be found for the word "Näglein" (it seems that the 1st two are the most current and correct):

1. Carnations
2. Cloves
3. Nails
4. Thorns

*****

More Translations:

1. Dorrith Leipziger sent this translation with the following note, "I'm offering a fairly close (but not literal) translation that can be sung to this lullaby in English":

So good evening and good night
With roses bedight
Set with cloves as you rest
Snuggle up in your nest.
In the morn - if God deign
You'll awaken again
In the morn - if God deign
You'll awaken again.

So good evening and good night,
Guardian angels so bright
In your dream let you see
Baby Jesus' Christmas tree.
Sleep in bliss, close your eyes,
Find your own paradise.
Sleep in bliss, close your eyes,
Find your own paradise.

2. Translation by Gary McGath:

Good evening, good night,
Provided with roses,
Covered with carnations,
Slip under the blanket.
In the morning, if God wills,
You will wake again.
In the morning, if God wills,
You will wake again.

Good evening, good night,
Watched by little angels;
They show in your dream
The Christmas tree.
Just sleep blessed and sweet,
See Paradise in your dream.
Just sleep blessed and sweet,
See Paradise in your dream.

Comments

Lyrics by: Georg Scherer
Music by: Johannes Brahms

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Bjoern Oleson for contributing this song and for creating the midi music. Many thanks to Gary McGath for his translation. Thanks to Dorrith Leipziger for her singable translation. 1st Translation by Lisa Yannucci.

Image: Kate Greenaway

Many thanks to Dago Schelin for singing "Guten Abend, Gute Nacht" for us!

Vielen Dank!

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