Coffee Cantata

By: JS Bach

Recitative Narrator
Be quiet, stop chattering,
and pay attention to what's taking place:
here comes Herr Schlendrian
with his daughter Lieschen;
he's growling like a honey bear.
Hear for yourselves, what she has done to him!

Aria Schlendrian (click here to hear the music that accompanies this part)
Don't one's children cause one
endless trials & tribulations!
What I say each day
to my daughter Lieschen
falls on stony ground.

You wicked child, you disobedient girl,
oh! when will I get my way;
give up coffee!
Father, don't be so severe!
If I can't drink
my bowl of coffee three times daily,
then in my torment I will shrivel up
like a piece of roast goat.

Aria Lieschen (click here to hear the music that accompanies this part)
Mm! how sweet the coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses,
mellower than muscatel wine.
Coffee, coffee I must have, (click here to hear this sung)
and if someone wishes to give me a treat,
ah, then pour me out some coffee!

If you don't give up drinking coffee
then you shan't go to any wedding feast,
nor go out walking.
oh! when will I get my way;
give up coffee!

Oh well!
Just leave me my coffee!
Now I've got the little minx!
I won't get you a whalebone skirt
in the latest fashion.
I can easily live with that.
You're not to stand at the window
and watch people pass by!

That as well, only I beg of you,
leave me my coffee!

Furthermore, you shan't be getting
any silver or gold ribbon
for your bonnet from me!
Yes, yes! only leave me to my pleasure!
You disobedient Lieschen you,
so you go along with it all!

Aria Schlendrian
Hard-hearted girls
are not so easily won over.
Yet if one finds their weak spot,
ah! then one comes away successful.


Now take heed what your father says!
In everything but the coffee.
Well then, you'll have to resign yourself
to never taking a husband.

Oh yes! Father, a husband!
I swear it won't happen.
Until I can forgo coffee?
From now on, coffee, remain forever untouched!
Father, listen, I won't drink any
Then you shall have a husband at last!

Aria Lieschen
Today even
dear father, see to it!
Oh, a husband!
Really, that suits me splendidly!
If it could only happen soon
that at last, before I go to bed,
instead of coffee
I were to get a proper lover!

Recitative Narrator
Old Schlendrian goes off
to see if he can find a husband forthwith
for his daughter Lieschen;
but Leischen secretly lets it be known:
no suitor is to come to my house
unless he promises me,
and it is also written into the marriage contract,
that I will be permitted
to make myself coffee whenever I want.


A cat won't stop from catching mice,
and maidens remain faithful to their coffee.
The mother holds her coffee dear,
the grandmother drank it also,
who can thus rebuke the daughters!


Lyrics and voice sound file:Iconoweb.
Midi Files: (Oehl, website)