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  7. What is the Vogelhochzeit? It’s a song to Welcome Spring!
What is the Vogelhochzeit? It’s a song to Welcome Spring!

What is the Vogelhochzeit? It’s a song to Welcome Spring!

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Germans do love to sing, and they especially love their Folk songs. One of my favorite German Folk Songs is the Vogelhochzeit. In German School I loved singing the fi-de-ralala part over and over. And with so many verses, the song can go on longer than the Twelve days of Christmas! (I have a feeling that’s why my German School teacher seldom had us sing it). What is the Vogelhochzeit? It’s a bird wedding song about a Blackbird (Amsel) marrying a Drossel (Thrush)… and all of the wedding guests, musicians and attendant are other birds.

Ein Vogel wollte Hochzeit machen
in dem grünen Walde.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala

It’s a song to welcome Spring!

What is the Vogelhochzeit?

The song Vogelhochzeit dates back to the 1500s, and is one of the oldest German Folk songs still sung today. It’s closely related to an old Polabic song called “Who shall be the Bride” or “The Song of the Birds”, a song sung by Wendish farmers back in the 17th century.

And it is in the Wend or Sorb culture in Lusatia that the song comes alive!

NOTE- Lusatia is a portion of land that overlaps part of east Germany, a bit of western Poland and part of the Czech Republic (overlapping Silesia). The Sorbs or Wends an ethnically Slavic Tribe who co-exist with Germans, and generally speak both languages. They do maintain their customs (like egg dyeing) and their beautiful Tracht.

Winter is cold and dark in Germany, and when the days start to get a little longer, Springtime is not that far off. And with the Spring come bird… and the bird nests. Naturally, the birds would have to get married so they can lay eggs in their nests (remember, this bit is for children).

On the evening of January 24th, children put bird seed out on a plate on their windowsills for the birds. When they wake up January 25th, the plates are loaded with cookies and candies in the form of birds as a thank you. Then there is a play, where the children re-create the wedding, dressed as birds, and in traditional Sorbian costume.

The Vogelhochzeit Song

The song is quite simple with rhymes and repeats . Verses consist of just two lines and the lalala (I mentioned the Fiderallala). And there are LOTS of verses (26 of them are here). What makes it more fun is that you can MAKE UP verses by using the same pattern.

(I got into serious trouble for “Der Frank, Der Frank, der macht uns alle Krank!” Fiderallala)

Basically each verse tells what part the specific birds have in the wedding. Der Stare (the Starling) braids the brides hair, the Kuckuck (cuckoo) dresses the bride, and die Taube (the dove) brings her veil. My favorite verse was the Uhu (the owl), mostly because saying “der U-hu der U-hu” he brings the bride her wedding shoe. (Can you just see it?)

So, why is the Thrush (the Drossel) marrying the Amsel (the Blackbird)? One theory is that these are two of the earliest birds to make an appearance… but who knows? All I know is that this lively and beautiful song has been wrapped up in German and Sorb traditions for hundreds of years.

 



Vogelhochzeit Worter

Ein Vogel wollte Hochzeit machen
in dem grünen Walde.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Drossel war der Bräutigam,
die Amsel war die Braute.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Sperber, der Sperber,
der war der Hochzeitswerber.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Stare, der Stare,
der flocht der Braut die Haare.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Gänse und die Anten,
die war’n die Musikanten.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Spatz, der kocht das Hochzeitsmahl,
verzehrt die schönsten Bissen all.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Uhu, der Uhu,
der bringt der Braut die Hochzeitsschuh’.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Kuckuck schreit, der Kuckuck schreit,
er bringt der Braut das Hochzeitskleid.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Seidenschwanz, der Seidenschwanz,
der bracht’ der Braut den Hochzeitskranz.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Sperling, der Sperling,
der bringt der Braut den Trauring.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Taube, die Taube,
die bringt der Braut die Haube.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Wiedehopf, der Wiedehopf,
der bringt der Braut nen Blumentopf.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala

Die Lerche, die Lerche,
die führt die Braut zur Kerche.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Brautmutter war die Eule,
nahm Abschied mit Geheule.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Auerhahn, der Auerhahn,
der war der stolze Herr Kaplan.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Meise, die Meise,
die singt das Kyrie leise.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Puten, die Puten,
die machten breite Schnuten.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Pfau mit seinem bunten Schwanz
macht mit der Braut den ersten Tanz.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Schnepfe, die Schnepfe,
setzt auf den Tisch die Näpfe.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Finken, die Finken,
die gaben der Braut zu trinken.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der lange Specht, der lange Specht,
der macht der Braut das Bett zurecht.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Das Drosselein, das Drosselein,
das führt die Braut ins Kämmerlein.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala

Der Uhu, der Uhu
der macht die Fensterläden zu
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Der Hahn, der krähet: “Gute Nacht”,
nun wird die Kammer zugemacht.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Die Vogelhochzeit ist nun aus,
die Vögel fliegen all’ nach Haus.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

Das Käuzchen bläst die Lichter aus
und alle ziehn vergnügt nach Haus.
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala

Lyrics in English

A Bird wanted to have a wedding
In the Green woods
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Thrush was the Groom
The Blackbird was the Bride
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Sparrow Hawk, the Sparrow Hawk
Spread the news
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Starling, The Starling
Braided the Brides hair
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Geese and the Ducks
were the Musicians
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Sparrow cooks the wedding meal
And eats the prettiest bite
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Owl, the Owl,
Brings the bride her wedding shoe
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Cuckoo cries, the Cuckoo cries
He’ll bring the bride her wedding dress
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Waxwing, the Waxwing
Brings the bride her wedding crown
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The sparrow the sparrow
brings the bride her wedding ring
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Dove, the Dove
Brings the bride her veil
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Hoopoe the Hoopoe  (not sure about this one)
Brings the bride a flowerpot
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Lark, the Lark,
Brings the bride to church
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The brides mother was the Owl
And she howled at the going away ceremony
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Grouse, the Grouse
He was the proud chaplain
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Titmouse, the Titmouse
Sang the Kyrie softly
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Turkey, the Turkey
they made big puffs (exhalations?)
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Peacock with his colorful tail
had the first dance with the bride
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Snipe, the Snipe
Put the bowls on the table
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Finches, the Finches
Gave the bride a drink
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The long Woodpecker, the long Woodpecker,
Got the bride’s bed ready
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The young Thrushes, the young Thrushes
Brought the bride to the bridal chamber
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Owl the Owl
Closes the window
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Rooster crows “good night”
And the doors are closed
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Bird Wedding is all done
And all the birds fly home
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

The Screech Owl blows the lights out
And everyone goes comfortably home
Fiderallala, fiderallala, fiderallalalala.

 

 

 

Find More Children’s Songs here



Comment(1)

  1. Dankeschoen, Karen – I enjoy your blogs. Yes, I remember die Vogelhochzeit well , not all stanzas though. I can never remember what the heck the Auerhahn does. Fun to remember certain things. Greetings to you and Kevin.

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