A German Bedbug Song called “Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer”

RosaMaria asked me about a German song called Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer on the Mama Lisa’s World Facebook Group. I found the YouTube video below of the song. Below the video I posted the German lyrics, followed my English translation…

Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wanze.
Seht euch nur die Wanze an,
wie die Wanze tanzen kann!
Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wanze.

Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wanz.
Seht euch nur die Wanz an,
wie die Wanz tanz kann!
Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wanz.

Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wan.
Seht euch nur die Wan an,
wie die Wan tan kann!
Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wan.

Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wa.
Seht euch nur die Wa an,
wie die Wa ta kann!
Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine Wa.

Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine W.
Seht euch nur die W an,
wie die W t kann!
Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
sitzt ‘ne kleine W.

Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
Sitzt ‘ne kleine -.
Seht euch nur die – an,
wie die – – kann!
Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer
Sitzt ‘ne kleine -.

This song works a bit like BINGO where you take one letter out of the word in each verse. However, you pronounce the word with the shortened spelling instead of saying the letters. In this song, there are two words that work like this: “wanze” (meaning bug or bedbug) and “tanzen” (dance). I used “buggy” (the diminutive of bug) in my translation to keep it a 5 letter word like the German “wanze”. I used “boogie” for “dance” (in German “tanzen”). I made this change based on the sound of the words, since buggy and boogie are a soft rhyme, like the German “wanze” and “tanzen”.

English Translation

On the wall, on the lookout,
Sits a small buggy.
Look at just the buggy,
How the buggy can boogie!
On the wall, on the lookout,
Sits a small buggy.

On the wall, on the lookout,
Sits a small bugg.
Look at just the bugg,
How the bugg can boog!
On the wall, on the lookout,
Sits a small bugg.

On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small bug.
Look at just the bug,
How the bug can boo!
On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small bug.

On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small bu.
Look at just the bu,
How the bu can bo!
On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small bu.

On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small b.
Look at just the b,
How the b can b!
On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small b.

On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small ___.
Look at just the ___,
How the ___ can ___!
On the wall, on the lookout
Sits a small ___.

I always welcome helpful suggestions on my translation.

Enjoy!

Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009 at 10:34 pm and is filed under Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer, Children's Songs, Countries & Cultures, German, German Children's Songs, Germany, Languages, YouTube. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “A German Bedbug Song called “Auf der Mauer, auf der Lauer””

  1. Sven Koehler Says:

    Sehr lustig!
    I fixed up the words a little to match the letters of bedbug to boogie (it is six letters rather than five letters, oh well):

    On the brick wall, on the lookout,
    Sits a little bedbug
    She can really boogie,
    See the bedbug boogie,
    On the brick wall, on the lookout,
    Sits a little bedbug.

    On the brick wall, on the lookout,
    Sits a little bedbu_.
    She can really boogi_,
    See the bedbu_ boogi_,
    On the brick wall, on the lookout,
    Sits a little bedbu_.

    ETC. ETC.

    I work in pest control trying to prevent the spread of bedbugs in apartments, so I like this version that matches the actual habits of bedbugs, even if it is not a literal translation:

    On the bedpost, on the lookout,
    Sits a little bedbug.
    She can really boogie,
    See the bedbug boogie,
    In the bedpost, on the lookout,
    Sits a little bedbug.

  2. Lisa Says:

    I like that too – using bedpost – it makes more sense. Very cool!

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