The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68318   Message #1149637
Posted By: Wilfried Schaum
30-Mar-04 - 01:19 AM
Thread Name: German folk song, help with translation
Subject: RE: German folk song, help with translation
Thanks so far for your good advice, or counsel. I will rework the translation in a few days, when I have copied the tune and inserted it.

There seems to be some trouble with discerning the characters:
1. A sees a blue stork and it seems to be his true love B.
From the further development we see that A is the huntsman and B is his girl. A asks B to stop working and to come to him.
[The obsolete German word Buhle is of masculine gender, but is used for both sexes.]
2. B answers that she hasn't finished cutting grass and can't linger. A asks B to tell a lie to have some rest with him.
[You don't cut hay; you cut grass, and after some time of drying in the sun it becomes hay. We also use newly cut grass to feed small animals in cages or cattle in the stable.]
3. B won't tell a lie and prefers to give as an excuse that A is her man.
[The girl might stop with the passing husband, but not with a stranger to whom she isn't even engaged.]
4 ff. A dialogue between B and her mother C.

I know that I have used some obsolete words in my translation, but I think I'm justified because of the age of the song where a lot of words long gone are used.
The problem of translating songs is always to find rhymes, keep the metre and deliver an understabdable and correct text. To keep me from despairing of the task I fortunately have you to ask.