Wiegenlied is a beautiful and somewhat familiar German song. Once known as Mozart's Cradle Song or Lullaby, it is offered here in four keys. Download it with the song lyrics FREE for your vocal students. Now with a lettered-note arrangement for beginners!
Jane Austen movies have some of the best English and Irish songs, and it was in the Jane Austen movie Emma (A&E, 1997) (with Kate Beckinsale) that I first heard this charming song. The beautiful Jane Fairfax sang just one verse of Wiegenlied, while Emma and Frank Churchill whispered and flirted.
There is no doubt that the German lyrics of the Cradle Song are a mouthful, -- but don't shy away from giving it to your beginning singers because of that. At some point they need to be introduced to German, and ALL German songs are difficult, initially, for non-German speakers!
Here is the vocal sheet for Wiegenlied:
As far as the German goes, let them learn verse 1 first, and later, when they are more comfortable singing in Deutsch, ask if they'd like verse 2 or 3. What I like to do with this song is have students learn very well just one short German phrase each lesson (while "faking" the rest of the verse singing along with me) until the entire first verse is learned. One of the English translations will be verse two - I let my student decide which of the song lyrics they prefer to sing.
The musical patterns of this pretty song are fairly simple to learn - there is lots of repetition. Only one spot poses a real challenge, and that is right at the end of each verse, with the twisty chromatic descending phrase. But it is a GOOD challenge - a learning opportunity for your musical scholars!
Just the same, based on the difficulties of a couple of my own non-piano students with that last phrase, I've conjured up an easy lettered-note version in 3/4 time instead of 6/8. Here it is:
And here is a version with piano accompaniment, almost exactly like the version played charmingly by Jane Fairfax in Emma (A&E, 1997):
THIS PIANO-VOCAL VERSION IS FOR SALE, in the keys of D, Eb, F, and G
You can purchase all four as a package for only $4.75 USD. You may make unlimited copies, for your students only!
For younger singers, "Schlafe, mein Prinzchen" can work nicely as a recital piece with one verse sung in German, then one verse in English. A young student of mine once sang Wiegenlied at our spring concert, changing and mixing the words of several translations to suit herself!
Though this song was attributed to Mozart for years, the actual composer is unknown, though some affirm it was Bernard Flies. Here is what Malcolm Wilson says, prefacing this next video of the Cradle Song beautifully performed on handbells:
In this video we hear the song performed on solo handbells by Malcolm Wilson accompanied by Lysbeth Wilson in Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland.
Here are some different English translations... the first 2 examples fit the notes best, but the 2 verses on the right side of the page are very cute:
Why Buy From Me?
So why should you buy The Cradle Song from me, aside from the fact that music stores charge $3.95 or more for each copy (not counting postage or sales tax!), while I am only charging $4.75 for unlimited copies of MULTIPLE KEYS?
* It is available immediately as a digital download onto your computer.
* You don't have to download any new software into your computer in order to download this PDF. I don't know about you, but I detest clogging up my computer with yet another program I didn't know I needed. You just need a version of Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader, which all computers come with. If you DON'T have Adobe Acrobat or a similar program, then you couldn't download any of my other PDFs either.
* You can print Wiegenlied on any kind of paper you want, and thus avoid the glare of shiny pages (so irritating for accompanists!). My shiny store-bought music always reflects my piano light, and I find myself ducking and weaving to play off of it.
*Write and make notes all over these copies, in red and other colors, without feeling you are spoiling your music for posterity. I hate messing up my music books, but learning the piece is always the first priority. These printouts will make great working copies.
* I give you permission to make unlimited copies legally (for your students only, please!). Do I speak tongue-in-cheek? Not at all -- as music teachers, as music students, you know there are times when you need music RIGHT NOW and your only recourse is to make a copy of copyrighted music...or do without. (People do what they have to do, but there are consequences... Cheating...just a little...is hard on one's character. I believe this is one of the keys of political corruption, one little compromise after another. Not only that, but music teachers teach by example. What are your students learning from you about the value of the work of composers, arrangers, and publishers? Of the value of musicians in general?)
* Paypal, the payment system I use, is a secure and recognized payment system. You can pay by credit or debit card, or your bank account. E-Junkie delivers the PDF document, working as a partner with PayPal...your purchase is guaranteed.
* Problems downloading? Contact me here at the website & I'll take care of you.
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!
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Arrangement for Choir
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English lyric of Mozart's cradle song as I know them
These are the lovely lyrics sung to me by my late mother: Sleep little bird in your nest Mother is watching your rest While neath the moon's silvry …