Dance Of Death: Emperor and Empress.

If you missed the beginning, it’s here. Click for full size. ETA: I’ve found translations, but I’m not sure as to their reliability.



Todt zum Keyser:
HErr Keyser mit dem grawen Bart,
Euwr Reuw habt ihr zu lang gespart,
Drumb sperrt euch nicht, Ihr müßt darvon,
Und tantz’n nach meiner Pfeiffen thon.

Death to The Emperor:
Mr. Emperor with the gray beard,
You have long saved your repentance.
Therefore, do not struggle, you must from here
and dance after my fife’s tone.

Der Keyser.
Ich kundte das Reich gar wol mehren
Mit Streitten, Fechten, Unrecht wehren:
Nun hat der Todt uberwunden mich,
Daß ich bin keinem Keyser gleich.

The Emperor.
I was able to increase the kingdom considerably,
with war and fight prevented injustice.
Now Death has won over me,
so that I’m not [any longer] like an emperor.



Todt zur Keyserin:
ICh tantz euch vor Fraw Keyserin,
Springen hernach, der tantz ist mein:
Euwr Hofleut sind von Euch gewichen,
Der Todt hat euch hie auch erschlichen.

Death to The Empress:
I dance beforeyou, Mrs. Empress,
Dance after, the dance is mine.
Your courtiers have left you,
Death has here sneaked up on you too.

Die Keyserin:
VIel Wollüst hat mein stoltzer Leib,
Ich lebt alß eines Keysers Weib:
Nun muß ich an diesen Tantz kommen,
Mir ist all Muth und Frewd genommen.

The empress:
My proud body had much pleasure.
I lived as an emperor’s wife.
Now I must come to this dance.
All spirits and joy have been taken from me.


  1. Kreator says

    Is the emperor genuflecting?

    Death is about to play the anthem with the flute, so the emperor is preparing to kneel. The traitor! I bet his own subjects killed him.

  2. says

    Hmmm, that’s an interesting thought! The empress looks like dirt is the most fascinating thing she’s ever seen. They both look like completely out of touch leaders.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    I wonder, is the Emperor/Empress is dancing almain or sarabande (slow dances) and each Death is dancing gigue/jig (a quick-paced dance).

  4. says

    Definitely dancing as far as the Empress goes. Hess seems to favour showing a lot of left thigh, at least among the nobles. There has to be a story, somewhere.

  5. says

    Oh, thank you Giliell! Another bad thing about not speaking a language, I can’t tell if translations are good or google.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    The German verses scan quite well with Engel (Angel) from the Album Sehnsucht by Rammstein,

  7. jazzlet says

    I like how specific their respective Deaths are, grey bearded and balding for the emperor, long haired and, I think, female for the empress.

  8. says

    Ice Swimmer:

    The German verses scan quite well with Engel

    They do! I wouldn’t have made that connection, and Engel is on around 10 or 11 of my playlists.

Leave a Reply