Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

6.2: Du Ring an Meinem Finger

  • Page ID
    72601
  • “Du Ring an Meinem Finger” is part of a larger cycle of songs called Frauenliebe und Leben.  You can download this scan of an public domain score to the song cycle if you would like to review the printed music.

    Introduction

    Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life) is a cycle of poems by Adelbert von Chamisso, written in 1830. They describe the course of a woman’s love for her man, from her point of view, from first meeting through marriage to his death, and after. Selections were set to music as a song-cycle by masters of German Lied, namely Carl Loewe, Franz Paul Lachner and Robert Schumann. The setting by Schumann (his opus 42) is now the most widely known.

    Schumann’s Cycle

    Schumann wrote his setting in 1840, a year in which he wrote so many lieder (including three other song cycles: Liederkreis Op. 24 and Op. 39, Dichterliebe), that it is known as his “year of song”. There are eight poems in his cycle, together telling a story from the protagonist first meeting her love, through their marriage, to his death. They are:

    1. “Seit ich ihn gesehen” (“Since I Saw Him”)
    2. “Er, der Herrlichste von allen” (“He, the Noblest of All”)
    3. “Ich kann’s nicht fassen, nicht glauben” (“I Cannot Grasp or Believe It”)
    4. “Du Ring an meinem Finger” (“You Ring Upon My Finger”)
    5. “Helft mir, ihr Schwestern” (“Help Me, Sisters”)
    6. “Süßer Freund, du blickest mich verwundert an” (“Sweet Friend, You Gaze”)
    7. “An meinem Herzen, an meiner Brust” (“At My Heart, At My Breast”)
    8. “Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan” (“Now You Have Caused Me Pain for the First Time”)

    Schumann’s choice of text was very probably inspired in part by events in his personal life. He had been courting Clara Wieck, but had failed to get her father’s permission to marry her. In 1840, after a legal battle to make such permission unnecessary, he finally married her.

    The songs in this cycle are notable for the fact that the piano has a remarkable independence from the voice. Breaking away from the Schubertian ideal, Schumann has the piano contain the mood of the song in its totality. Another notable characteristic is the cycle’s cyclic structure, in which the last movement repeats the theme of the first.

    “Du Ring an meinem Finger” from Frauenliebe und Leben

    Composer: Robert Schumann
    Tempo: Score markings indicate “intimate” (suggesting slow tempo) with the second half marked “gradually faster”
    Voice part: Mezzo-soprano or soprano
    Form: Rondo

    German English
    Du Ring an meinem Finger, You ring on my finger
    Mein goldenes Ringelein, My little golden ring,
    Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen, I press you with devotion to my lips
    Dich fromm an das Herze mein. With devotion to my heart.
    Ich hatt ihn ausgeträumt, I had dreamed it
    Der Kindheit friedlich schönen Traum, The beautiful, peaceful dream of childhood
    Ich fand allein mich, verloren I found myself alone, lost
    Im öden, unendlichen Raum. In the barren, infinite space.
    Du Ring an meinem Finger You ring on my finger
    Da hast du mich erst belehrt, You have first taught me,
    Hast meinem Blick erschlossen Have opened my eyes
    Des Lebens unendlichen, tiefen Wert. Life’s infinite, deep value.
    Ich will ihm dienen, ihm leben, I want to serve him, live for him
    Ihm angehören ganz, Belong to him completely
    Hin selber mich geben und finden Giving and finding myself
    Verklärt mich in seinem Glanz. Transformed in his glory.
    Du Ring an meinem Finger, You ring on my finger
    Mein goldenes Ringelein, My little golden ring,
    Ich drücke dich fromm an die Lippen I press you with devotion to my lips
    Dich fromm an das Herze mein. With devotion to my heart.

     

    CC licensed content, Original
    CC licensed content, Shared previously
    • Was this article helpful?