The Daily Retro: A Postcard about a German Sailor’s Song from 1850

The Müscleheaded Blog


” Row me across, handsome sailor
Row me to the Rialto.
Here, take this necklace as your recompense;
I earmarked it for you long ago.
The sailor says: “No, Gianetta!
That fee is really too small,
And if I am to row you across
It cannot be for such a price!”

Row me across, handsome sailor,
I know a wondrously lovely song,
I shall sing it for you while the gondola
Glides over the soft waves.
The sailor says: “No, Gianetta!
I will not row for such a wage,
Of what use is your most beautiful song?
The sweet sounds vanish all too quickly!”

Take this wreath of roses as a fee,
It is the best thing that I possess,
On Easter morning the bishop
Blessed and consecrated it.
The sailor says: “No, Gianetta!
The wreath of roses is not enough for me,
Have you nothing better to give…

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