Breedloves's Folk Songs


    “The Happy Wanderer” (“Der fröhliche Wanderer” or “Mein Vater war ein
    Wandersmann”) is a popular song by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller written shortly after
    World War II. It is often mistaken for a German folk song, but it is actually an original
    composition. On January 22, 1954, the song entered the the UK singles chart, and would
    stay on the chart – only a Top 12 at the time – for 26 non-consecutive weeks. With BBC
    Radio’s strong international influence, “The Happy Wanderer” suddenly turned up
    everywhere, e.g. as the winning song of the 1955 calypso road march season of the
    Trinidad Carnival (prompting protest that from now on, only calypsos should be chosen
    over foreign music). The song’s original German lyrics have been translated into several
    languages, and it has since become a choir classic. The English lyrics were written by
    Antonia Ridge. Milton DeLugg wrote a famous arrangement, and is sometimes falsely
    credited as the composer of the song.
    I love to go a-wandering,
    Along the mountain track,
    And as I go, I love to sing,
    My knapsack on my back.
    Val-deri, Val-dera,
    Val-deri, Val-dera.
    My knapsack on my back.
    I love to wander by the stream
    That dances in the sun,
    So joyously it calls to me,
    “Come! Join my happy song!”
    (Chorus concludes with ‘Come! Join my happy song.’)
    I wave my hat to all I meet,
    And they wave back to me,
    And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
    From ev’ry green wood tree.
    (Chorus concludes with ‘From ev’ry green wood tree.’)
    High overhead, the skylarks wing,
    They never rest at home
    But just like me, they love to sing,
    As o’er the world we roam.
    (Chorus concludes with ‘As o’er the world we roam.’)
    Oh, may I go a-wandering
    Until the day I die!
    Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
    Beneath God’s clear blue sky

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