Nannas Lied
poem by Bertolt Brecht
set to music by Hanns Eisler and, later, Kurt Weill
singing translation by Leonard Lehrman
Copyright 1973 by Stefan Brecht
first performed at Cornell University, Nov. 1973
as part of U.S. premiere of the Brecht-Eisler play
The Roundheads and the Pointedheads
translated by Leonard Lehrman & Gesa Valk
adapted by Leonard Lehrman & Bill Castleman

Gentlemen, at seventeen I
went to market selling love.
Much of life I had not seen. I
took whatever came,
for that was the game.
Still, with some, it wasn't "hand-in-glove."
After all, I'm only human, you know.

(Refrain:) God be praised, it's always over quickly,
all that love, and the grief, and the fear.
Where are the teardrops of only last night?
Where are the snows of yesteryear?

With the years you go more freely
to the mart where love is sold--
embracing whole batallions--really!
But just watch your fervor.
Keep something in reserve or
whatever you give will very soon run cold.
After all, every supply runs out eventually.

(Refrain) Even though you learn your trade well,
selling love by hook or crook.
Even though your hand is played well,
it's not fun to do.
Sure, it comes to you,
but it won't improve your youthful look.
After all, every supply runs out eventually.