This site houses an extensive, growing archive
of texts to 118,811
settings of Lieder and other art songs (Kunstlieder, mélodies, canzoni, романсы, canciones, liederen, canções, sånger, laulua, písně, piosenki, etc.)
and other vocal pieces such as choral works, madrigals, and part-songs, in over 100 languages, with
16,399 volunteer translations to English, French, Italian, Dutch,
German, Spanish, Portuguese, and many other languages.
At last count, 73,025 texts are associated with
musical settings in this collection. Of
these, 30,104 are empty because they have
not yet been located, and are left as placeholders for
cross-referencing; and 3,556 exist
in the database but are hidden due to copyright restrictions,
leaving 39,365 visible to visitors. Whenever
possible, first lines (incipits) are shown for texts that are hidden
This website was created in May, 1995 by Emily Ezust, and is offered as a free public service.
Emily can be reached at the following address:
This project, begun in 1995, receives no public funding.
The REC Music Foundation has generously
given me server-space, but I have many costs in
maintaining and expanding the website. So if you find
the information here useful,
please consider making a donation. Your gift is greatly appreciated!
- Emily Ezust
I also have a wishlist at Amazon.ca.
This site can be reached at the following URLs:
- [this is actually the real name; the other is a shortcut]
I add new texts all the time; please see the What's
New page for details.
Submissions are welcome, especially translations of the texts already
in the collection. Please notify me before
you start work on something substantial, so that we can make sure that no two
people are working on the same text.
The REC Music Foundation deserves our
warmest thanks for giving the archive a semipermanent home on its server
free of charge.
Notes About the Collection
- Scope and Goal of the Project. The primary goal of this
project is to collect and present the texts to pieces commonly
referred to in English- and French-speaking musical communities as
"Lieder" or the much broader term "art songs". This includes
everything from simple (and often silly) parlor songs of the past to
serious and esoteric works. They can be in any language. They can be
for one or more voices, and the accompaniment need not be piano
only. The main requirement for inclusion is that the pieces are
typically performed by classically-trained musicians.
The secondary goal of this project is to provide visitors with
translations of the texts into as many languages as possible.
I have recently begun to include partsongs, madrigals, and choral
works in the collection. I do not plan to include entire opera
libretti, masses, or oratorios (although you may find arias and some
short cantatas here).
- The indexes are not necessarily comprehensive so if something is
not listed, do not assume it does not exist. I add titles whenever I find
them. If I don't have the text, I'll just list the title along with the
name of the poet in parentheses if I know it.
- FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
- Copyright Notice - disclaimers, etc.
This applies to the entire site and contains important information for
people who wish to use the data here.
- All texts have been input by me (Emily Ezust), unless
otherwise stated. Here is a list of
899 generous volunteers who have submitted translations and/or
texts (THANK YOU!!).
- Searching the collection. The
search is not case-sensitive, and you may use diacritics to search or
not, as you like: "schön" can be found with "schon".
- Titles. The title of a song is the one chosen by the composer.
If I know the title the poet chose for the text, I include it next to the
poet's name, but if there is nothing there, please do not assume the titles
are always the same.
When the headline of a text is in italics, it means one of two things:
either the text was set under several different titles (possibly by
different composers) or the text was not given a title by the composer
(usually this happens when the text is part of a song cycle). If the
text was set under different titles, the titles can be found next to the
composer names, with the rest of the available song information
(opus/catalog number, date of composition, and/or date of publication).
- Translations. In this collection you will find only
translations that I've written myself, translations that I have
explicit permission by the copyright-holder to reprint, or
translations in the public domain. Please do not submit
translations unless they fit the last two criteria.
- Language of translations. I will post any (good)
translation to any language that is submitted to me. When someone
requests a translation, I will try to find a volunteer to do it if
I can't do it myself.
The languages of available translations of a song text are identified by
three-letter language codes with a blue background, e.g., ENG or GER.
You can find the abbreviations on the
- Translation style. Most of the translations are
close to literal and meant only as an aid for understanding the
original language, while a few attempt to capture some of the
original's rhythm or rhyme. Based on user feedback, it seems that
most people find the former the most useful, so my own translations
lean to the literal. Every now and then we are lucky enough to have a
skilled translator who can provide a good singable translation.
- Translation copyrights. If you wish to reprint any of
the translations, please contact the author(s) directly. Every volunteer
translator retains his or her copyright. If contact information
is available it will show up beside the name of the translator(s).
You may reprint any translations by Emily Ezust for student or faculty
recital programs without asking permission, provided the following credit is given:
Translation copyright © by Emily Ezust,
from The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive,
For all other purposes, including CD booklets, re-publication online,
and reprinting in non-academic programs, please contact
Emily at the following address to request permission and
discuss a possible fee:
- Transliteration. The texts are all in ISO Latin 1 with HTML
entities such as ß, ø, å and é, with some
Unicode characters for Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian and
Turkish. Russian texts have been transliterated into lower ASCII but
can be viewed in Cyrillic (Unicode) at the click of a link.
Note that names of Russian poets and composers do not use the strict
transliteration scheme; for example, rather than "Chajkovskij", the
more familiar North-American-style "Tchaikovsky" is used.
- Alphabetization. Throughout these pages, alphabetization
will follow North American English convention, even in transliterated
- Poet Indexes: In the indexes by
poet, the first lines of poems are distinguished by italics and
the titles of poems (assigned either by the composer or by the poet)
are given in normal text. If the first line is too short to be helpful,
I will often append the next line as well for added ease of identification.
- Indexes by first line and by title: These alphabetic listings follow the
same conventions as the poet indexes do.
- Dates. In these pages, years are indicated with the following conventions and abbreviations,
illustrated by example:
- (fl. 1545-1550). "fl" indicates that a poet or composer flourished in that range.
- (c1500-1561). "c" indicates "circa", an approximation.
- (-1933). Indicates that the year of birth is unknown.
- (1933-). Indicates that the composer or poet is either still alive or that the year of death is unknown.
- (1444/5-1527). "/" indicates "or".
- (1609?-1567?8). The question marks indicate that there is a question of the year's accuracy.
- 1456>>. Indicates that the year was sometime after 1456.
- 1456+. Indicates that the year was sometime after 1456. (I'm phasing this notation out)
- <<1956. Indicates that the year was sometime before 1956.
- 189-?. Indicates the year is thought to be sometime in the 1890s.
When possible, dates of composition and publication are indicated.
Year of composition is generally given in parentheses following a catalogue or opus
listing, or just alone after a comma. Year of publication is generally given followed
by the word "published". For example:
Franz Schubert (1797-1828), "Gretchens Bitte", D. 564 (1817), published 1838.
- Sources. The bibliography does not
cover the entire collection, as many of the texts come from CD booklets,
the internet, and volunteers. If a text is indicated to have been set by many
different composers, the text will follow that of the most well-known
versions. Where possible, variations in the texts are noted (whether
from the original poem or from other composers' versions).
Here is a list of the universities whose music libraries I have
visited and used with gratitude for this project:
University of Ottawa,
UC Berkeley, California
UC Davis, California
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina
University of Toronto, Ontario
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
University of Chicago, Illinois
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
University of Maryland