Johann Ludwig Uhland

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden

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Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,
Einen bessern findst du nit.
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,
Er ging an meiner Seite
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt.

Eine Kugel kam geflogen:
Gilt's mir oder gilt es dir?
Ihn hat es weggerissen,
Er liegt vor meinen Füßen
Als wär's ein Stück von mir

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Derweil ich eben lad'.
"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,
Bleib du im ew'gen Leben
Mein guter Kamerad!


Translation by Frank Petersohn

In battle he was my comrade,
None better I have had.
The drum called us to fight,
He always on my right,
In step, through good and bad.

A bullet it flew towards us,
For him or meant for me?
His life from mine it tore,
At my feet a piece of gore,
As if a part of me.


His hand reached up to hold mine.
I must re-load my gun.
"My friend, I cannot ease your pain,
In life eternal we'll meet again,
" And walk once more as one."


I Had a Comrade - Another English translation (by Arthur Kevess):
I had one faithful comrade
'Ere we heard the trumpet's call,
And we pledged our hearts forever
In battle joined together
To beat the foe or fall.

A musket shot came screaming
To seal his fate or mine
Right at my feet he stumbled,
And friendship's shrine it crumbled
Around that friend of mine.

His hand is blindly seeking
The clasp I cannot give
For duty calls me onward
Farewell my dying comrade,
Our love shall ever live.

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Johann Ludwig Uhland