Der Kuckuck und der Esel (The Cuckoo and The Donkey) Printable Lyrics – PDF

“Der Kuckuck und der Esel (The Cuckoo and The Donkey)”, according to Maria Augusta von Trapp, is a teasing song, where “the cuckoo and the donkey must have been friends, otherwise the donkey would have chased the cuckoo away”!

The text is written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798-1874) in 1835. The tune is based on a melody composed by Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758–1832).


Printable Lyrics PDF

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Lyrics PDF download


Lyrics in German

Der Kuckuck und der Esel

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

2. 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.

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


Lyrics in English

The Cuckoo and The Donkey

The cuckoo and the donkey,
they quarreled one fine day
As to who could sing better,
as to who could sing better
In the lovely month of May,
in the lovely month of May

The cuckoo said, “Hear me sing,”
and so began to call
I can do it better,
but I can do it better,
Said the donkey with “Ee-aw,”
said the donkey with “Ee-aw.”

These sound so sweet and lovely,
one heard them far and wide
They sang so well together,
they sang so well together
“Cuck-oo, Cuck-oo,Ee-aw,  Ee-aw.”
“Cuck-oo, Cuck-oo,Ee-aw.”



Karaoke Video with Lyrics


Click on the button to watch a karaoke video and download an instrumental mp3 of this song for free.


Click on the button to watch a glockenspiel / xylophone tutorial video and download a free printable PDF file with glockenspiel / xylophone Music Sheet and Note Chart of this song.

xylophone glockenspiel sheet music chart tutorial video

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