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Title Composer Description View or Listen Date Posted
Mit Sing und Sang Ludolf Waldmann
Voice and guitar
A song about singing, expressing sentiments of the Wandervogel movement 
mus  pdf  mid  mp3  xml 2007-04-12
Mit Sing und Sang
English Version
Ludolf Waldmann Voice and guitar
Translated by Tom Potter
mus  pdf  mid  mp3  xml 2007-04-12

Title: "Mit Sing und Sang" (Singing, Singing!)


The title in German is quirky and probably untranslatable, so I have given a very free translation as "Singing, Singing!"

"Mit Sing und Sang" is emblematic of the famous Wandervogel youth movement, circa 1896-1920.  During this period, thousands of idealistic young people from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland met together in large groups with guitars and German songbooks, singing and performing for each other.  Often these gatherings were held in forest or mountain settings.

There were several organizations having the word Wandervogel as part of the organization name.  The word Wandervogel means "wandering bird", or "migratory bird".  At first only boys belonged to the Wandervogel organizations; later young women sometimes participated.  Nudism was practiced at some gatherings!

There were attractive aspects of the Wandervogel movement: a search for beauty, an appeal to youthful idealism, and an emphasis on healthy lifestyle.  But there was a dark side too.  Some Wandervogel groups voted to exclude Jews.  Moreover, the movement stimulated a nationalistic fervor that that may have helped German leaders whip up a militarisitic mood among youth in the period leading to World War I.  (During that war, many of the original Wandervögel died in battle.  In the 1930's, Hitler abolished the German Wandervogel groups and replaced them with the Hitler Youth.)

"Mit Sing und Sang" represents the good, idealistic side of Wandervogelism!  This song has a lively and beautiful melody, reminiscent of many German folksongs.  And its lyrics perfectly express typical Wandervogel sentiments.  I think this is why Walther Werckmeister gave this song a place of honor as the final song in his large German song collection, Deutsches Lautenlied (see citation below).

All I know about the composer and poet Ludolf Waldmann I learned from searching in books.google.com.  Waldmann was born in 1840, and in 1915 he lived in Berlin.  He composed at least one opera.


German lyrics, by Ludolf Waldmann English translation by Tom Potter
Nun öffnet eure Türen,
nun öffnet euer Haus!
Verschliesset nicht die Fenster
und schaut nach mir heraus!

Ich ziehe durch die Lande,
ein schlichter Sänger nur,
Und preis’ in Wort und Tönen
die herrliche Natur!

Mit Sing und Sang, der Lieder Klang—
Zieh ich frei und froh die Welt entlang!


Now open up your doorways
Now open up your house!
And never shut your windows,
Just watch for me outside!

Through distant lands I wander,
A simple troubadour,
And praise in word and music
Great Nature’s majesty!

With La la la, and happy song,
Gladly do I ramble far and wide!


Ihr seht mich an verwundert
Und fragt, wer ist der Mann?
Ein Wand’rer der euch Trübsal
Und Gram vermindern kann!

Ja meiner Lieder Klänge
Uund meiner Lieder Wort,
Sie treiben euch die Grillen
Und mir die Sorgen fort!



You wonder when you see me
And ask who is this man?
A wandr’er who can chase
All your cares and grief away!

Yes, all your cares and troubles,
My songs will drive away,
And while to you I’m singing,
My sadness leaves me too!


Und hab’ ich euch gesungen,
Dann wand’r ich wieder fort,
Hinaus in weite Ferne,
Frisch auf von Ort zu Ort!

Doch kehre wieder hierher
Mit leichtem, leichtem Fuss,
Dann tönen meine Lieder euch
Als des Sängers Gruss!


And when my songs are over,
It’s time to leave again.
Away to distant places,
I’ll travel far and wide!

But I shall be returning,
With light and happy stride,
And then you’ll hear my singing
And welcome me inside!



This song requires at least two singers, since the voice line divides into two parts near the end of the piece.

The order in which to play the various parts of the song, and when to repeat them is not clear in the score.  Here is a suggested order of performance:

Section Measure numbers
Guitar prelude 1-9
Verse 1, first part 10-19
Verse 1, first part (Repeat) 10-19
Verse 1, 2nd part 20-45
Chorus 37-45
Chorus (Repeat) 37-45
Verse 2, first part 10-19
Verse 2, first part (Repeat) 10-19
Verse 2, 2nd part 20-45
Chorus 37-45
Chorus (Repeat) 37-45
Verse 3, first part 10-19
Verse 3, first part (Repeat) 10-19
Verse 3, 2nd part 20-45
Chorus 37-45
Chorus (Repeat) 37-45
Guitar coda 46-54

For a shorter performance, leave out some or all of the repeats!  Another option: play the guitar prelude before all three verses, not just before verse 1.


Lichtenberg, Al, Memoir: "Ways of the Wandervogel", posted as a PDF file on the web site of his daughter Judith Lichtenberg, University of Maryland philosophy department.

Manthey-Zorn, Otto, Germany in Travail, Published 1922, Marshall Jones, 139 pages, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Nov 14, 2006, pp. 46-59.  In books.google.com.

W. Werckmeister (1873-?), editor, Deutsches Lautenlied, A. Köster Verlag, Berlin, 1916 edition, pp. 673-674.

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