Lyrics

Der Kuckuck und der Esel,
Die hatten einen Streit,
Wer wohl am besten sänge, Wer wohl am besten sänge
Zur schönen Maienzeit, Zur schönen Maienzeit

Der Kuckuck sprach: “Das kann ich!”
Und hub gleich an zu schrei’n.
“Ich aber kann es besser!, Ich aber kann es besser!””
Fiel gleich der Esel ein, Fiel gleich der Esel ein.

Das klang so schön und lieblich,
So schön von fern und nah;
Sie sangen alle beide
“Kuckuck, Kuckuck, i-a, i-a! Kuckuck, Kuckuck, i-a, i-a!”
“Kuckuck, Kuckuck, i-a! Kuckuck, Kuckuck, i-a!”

Translation

The cuckoo and the donkey,
They had a fight:
Which one would sing the sweetest, Which one would sing the sweetest,
When lovely May arrived, When lovely May arrived

The cuckoo said: “I do it!”
And carried out his song.
“But I can do it better! But I can do it better!”
The donkey brayed along, the donkey brayed along.

How sweet and how melodious,
It sounded wide and far:
They were singing both together
“Goo-koo, Goo-koo, ee-ah, ee-ah! Goo-koo, Goo-koo, ee-ah, ee-ah!”
“Goo-koo, Goo-koo, ee-ah, ee-ah! Goo-koo, Goo-koo, ee-ah, ee-ah!”
(source)


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