Am Meer (a Schubert Lied)

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New Member
Warning! Long ramble-y nervous post ahead!

Hi guys,

I am pretty much brand-new to this forum so I'm not actually sure if this is technically allowed! The rules say that I shouldn't post more than 4 lines of text, and that if it's long, I should try translating it myself first. Unfortunately, I don't speak any German at all - I just study music - and technically, the entire song is composed of four very long lines. If this sort of thing is not allowed though, I am very sorry.

The German art song was perfected by Franz Schubert, and his "Am Meer" is an absolute masterpiece. I've always wondered what the lyrics meant, since it sounds like a bit of a tragedy, and I know that babelfish/Google Translator/similar translation machine would probably butcher the meaning entirely. Technically I don't have to know the meaning of the words in order to appreciate the music, but I am pretty curious! Is anyone up for giving me a rough translation of meaning? Thanks very much if so. <3

Lyrics are as follows:

Das Meer erglänzte weit hinaus im letzten Abend scheine, wir sassen am einsamen Fischerhaus, wir sassen stummund alleine,
Der Nebel stieg, das Water schwoll, die Möve flog hin und wieder, aus deinen Augen, liebevoll, fielen die Thränen nieder,
Jch sah sie fallen auf deine Hand, und bin aufs Knie gesunken, ich hab' von deiner weissen Hand die Thränen fortge trunken.
Seit jener Stunde verzhert sich mein Lieb, die Seele stirbt vor Sehnen; mich hat das unglücksel' ge Weib vergiftet mit ihren Thränen.

Of course, if this does count as more than four lines of text and such long translations are frowned upon, just tell me so and I will sheepishly retract my request and look elsewhere. >< Also, if some of it doesn't make sense, I'm very sorry. The text on my sheet music is spaced oddly to fit the rhythm, and I wasn't quite sure of a couple words... it's possible that I've managed to splice two different words into one, or vice versa.

  • Frank78

    Senior Member
    Four lines are fours lines. There´s not written how long they have to be. :D

    Here´s my try:
    The main glistened away out as the last sunbeams shone in the evening, we sat by the lone fisherman´s cottage, we sat silently and lonly,

    The fog rose and so did the water, the seagull flew from time to time, from your eyes tears dropped down lovingly,

    I saw them drop on your hand and I dropped on my knees, I drank the tears from your white hand

    Since that hour I´ve been pined away with love (not sure if this sounds right) , the soul dies at yearning, the calamitious trull poisoned me.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Here you find another translation in poetical form. There are other songs, too.

    Translation: Michèle Lester

    The glittering sea stretched far In the evening’s last glow; We sat by the fisherman’s lonely hut We sat silent and alone. The mist rose, the waters swelled, The seagull flew to and fro, From your loving eyes The tears ran down. I saw them fall upon your hand, And I sank to my knees: From your white hand I Drank those tears away. Since that hour I waste away. My soul is dying of longing. That unhappy woman has Poisoned me with her tears. The original poem is untitled.
    © 1999
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