Die Gedanken sind frei

I took German in high school. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the language. This is true for Swahili, which I took in college.

However, I have remembered parts of a song I learned either my sophomore or junior year in high school. I can especially remember singing the first lines. The song goes:

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,
sie fliegen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.
Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen
mit Pulver und Blei, Die Gedanken sind frei!

Translation according to Wikipedea (I know, I know):

Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They flee by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them,
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

According to my memory the first two lines are:

My thoughts are free, no one can erase them
They past by like night shadows

I have always wondered why I have remembered this. The lyrics of course are poetic.

Here is the song in German and English:

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,
sie fliegen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.
Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen
mit Pulver und Blei, Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich denke was ich will und was mich beglücket,
doch alles in der Still’, und wie es sich schicket.
Mein Wunsch und Begehren kann niemand mir wehren,
es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Und sperrt man mich ein im finsteren Kerker,
das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke.
Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken
und Mauern entzwei, die Gedanken sind frei!

Drum will ich auf immer den Sorgen absagen
und will mich auch nimmer mit Grillen mehr plagen.
Man kann ja im Herzen stets lachen und scherzen
und denken dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

Ich liebe den Wein, mein Mädchen vor allen,
sie tut mir allein am besten gefallen.
Ich sitz nicht alleine bei einem Glas Weine,
mein Mädchen dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei! Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They flee by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them,
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

I think what I want, and what delights me,
still always reticent, and as it is suitable.
My wish and desire, no one can deny me
and so it will always be: Thoughts are free!

And if I am thrown into the darkest dungeon,
all this would be futile work,
because my thoughts tear all gates
and walls apart. Thoughts are free!

So I will renounce my sorrows forever,
and never again will torture myself with some fancy ideas.
In one’s heart, one can always laugh and joke
and think at the same time: Thoughts are free!

I love wine, and my girl even more,
Only I like her best of all.
I’m not alone with my glass of wine,
my girl is with me: Thoughts are free!

P.S. I still have no idea of what I want I want to do about Wales!

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One thought on “Die Gedanken sind frei

  1. I still remember the tune for this German song! I remember Mr. Uhlenkott liked it. I think it came from the prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps.

    It’s funny what you say about lyrics. I used to like George Michaels, so Joe bought me a collection of his music as a present. After all these years and now having children in the house, I found I didn’t want to listen to about half of the music on those CDs! Not really child appropriate and not something I want to sing out anymore!

    Like

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