Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert Mich!

Mother, oh Mother, I do Hunger so!




Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert Mich!

Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert mich,
Gib mir Brot, sonst sterbe ich.
Warte nur mein Kind,
Morgen wolln wir säen, geschwind.
Und als das Korn gesäet war,
Da sprach das Kind noch immerdar:

Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert mich,
Gib mir Brot, sonst sterbe ich.
Warte nur mein Kind,
Morgen wolln wir ernten geschwind.
Und als das Korn geerntet war,
Da sprach das Kind noch immerdar:

Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert mich,
Gib mir Brot, sonst sterbe ich.
Warte nur mein Kind.
Morgen wolln wir dreschen geschwind.
Und als das Korn gedroschen war,
Da sprach das Kind noch immerdar:

Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert mich,
Gib mir Brot, sonst sterbe ich.
Warte nur mein Kind,
Morgen wolln wir mahlen geschwind.
Und als das Korn gemahlen war,
Da sprach das Kind noch immerdar:

Mutter, ach Mutter, es hungert mich,
Gib mir Brot, sonst sterbe ich.
Warte nur mein Kind,
Morgen wolln wir backen geschwind.
Und als das Brot gebacken war,
Da lag das Kind auf der Totenbahr.




Mother, oh Mother, I do Hunger so!

Mother, oh mother, I do hunger so,
Please give me bread or I shall die slow.
But oh, my child, be patient, please,
For tomorrow we’ll swiftly sow the seeds.
But after the sowing of all the corn,
The child spoke again and again forlorn:

Mother, oh mother, I do hunger so,
Please give me bread or I shall die slow.
But oh, my child, be patient, please,
For tomorrow we’ll swiftly reap the seeds.
But after the reaping of all the corn,
The child spoke again and again forlorn:

Mother, oh mother, I do hunger so,
Please give me bread or I shall die slow.
But oh, my child, be patient, please,
For tomorrow we’ll swiftly thresh the seeds.
But after the threshing of all the corn,
The child spoke again and again forlorn:

Mother, oh mother, I do hunger so,
Please give me bread or I shall die slow.
But oh, my child, be patient, please,
For tomorrow we’ll swiftly grind the seeds.
But after the grinding of all the corn,
The child spoke again and again forlorn:

Mother, oh mother, I do hunger so,
Please give me bread or I shall die slow.
But oh, my child, be patient, please,
For tomorrow we’ll swiftly bake the seeds.
But after the baking of those seeds so dear,
The child lay dead upon the bier.

Hunger and want was the common experience of the landless and jobless in all parts of Europe in most periods of history until comparatively recently.
The anonymous author of this German ballad, written about 200 years ago, expressed with graphic simplicity this universal ‘Great Hunger’, which continues in much of the Third World today
.



Translation ©: Wales Famine Forum, 1999.

Note:
The original ballad was found on a German / Canadian website.
We are grateful to the owner of that site for allowing us to reproduce the German text here together with our own translation.

A German language club in Cardiff, Wales, UK.

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