Der Hohenfriedberger

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"Der Hohenfriedberger"
March
Released c. 1745 or after (First outline written 1795)
Genre March
Composer possibly Frederick the Great
Der Hohenfriedberger performed by the Grammophon Blas-Orchester in 1928.

Der Hohenfriedberger (AM I, 21 (Army March I, 1c and Army march III, 1b)), also called Hohenfriedberger Marsch or Der Hohenfriedberger Marsch, is one of the most classic and well known German military marches. It takes its name from the victory of the Prussians over the allied Austrians and Saxons on June 4th, 1745 during the Second Silesian War at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg, near Striegau.

History[edit]

There are many legends surrounding the origins of the march. Supposedly, the Bayreuther dragoon regiment, which was crucial in securing a Prussian victory, reported to its quarters the day after the battle while the march was played. Whether the march was actually played then is just as questionable as the claim that Frederick II of Prussia was the composer of the piece. It is understood that the king issued to the Bayreuther dragoon regiment a "Gnadenbrief", or letter of grace, that authorized it to play both grenadier marches of the foot soldiers (with flutes and drums) and the cuirassier marches of the cavalry (with kettledrums and trumpet fanfare).

The first outline (piano rendition) was written in 1795. For the first time in 1845, in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the battle, the march was given lyrics, "Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner! Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!...." because the regiment by then had been renamed "Ansbach-Bayreuth". In the time of the German Kaiser the title "Hohenfriedberger" was symbolic both on the basis of its connection with the great military victories of Friedrich II and because of the authorship of the House of Hohenzollern.

In the year 1866, in commemoration of the victories of Friedrich II against the Austrians, Johann Gottfried Piefke added Der Hohenfriedberger as a trio to his "Königgrätzer Marsch" written after the victorious Battle of Königgrätz.

Lyrics[edit]

Dragoons of Dragoner-Regiment Nr. 5 (Ansbach-Dragoner) depicted by Richard Knötel.
Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, the Austrian commander.
Original 1845 commermorative

German lyrics

English translation
1st Stanza:
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Schnall um deinen Säbel
und rüste dich zum Streit!
Prinz Karl ist erschienen
auf Friedbergs Höh'n,
Sich das preußische Heer
mal anzusehen.
1st Stanza:
Up, Ansbach-Dragoons!
Up, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Buckle on your sabre
and brace yourself for battle!
Prince Charles has appeared
on Friedberg's heights
to compare himself with us, the Prussian Army.
Refrain (2x):
Drum, Kinder, seid lustig
und allesamt bereit:
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Drum, Kinder, seid lustig
und allesamt bereit:
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Refrain (2x):
So, boys, be jolly
and all ready to go.
Up, Ansbach Dragoons!
Up, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
So, boys, be jolly
and all ready to go.
Up, Ansbach Dragoons!
Up, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
2nd Stanza:
Hab'n Sie keine Angst,
Herr Oberst von Schwerin,
Ein preuß'scher Dragoner
tut niemals nicht flieh'n!
Und stünd'n sie auch noch
so dicht auf Friedbergs Höh'n,
Wir reiten sie zusammen
wie Frühlingsschnee.
Ob Säbel, ob Kanon',
ob Kleingewehr uns dräut:
2nd Stanza:
Have no worries,
Colonel von Schwerin,[1]
A Prussian Dragoon
does not flee, never!
And they[2] also still stand
so close together on Friedberg's height,
We could ride them down
like spring snow.[3]
Whether sabers, whether cannons,
whether muskets, threaten us:
Refrain (2x):
Drum, Kinder, seid lustig
und allesamt bereit:
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Drum, Kinder, seid lustig
und allesamt bereit:
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Refrain (2x):
So, boys, be jolly
and all ready to go:
Up, Ansbach Dragoons!
Up, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
So, boys, be jolly
and all ready to go:
Up, Ansbach Dragoons!
Up, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
3rd Stanza:
Halt, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Halt, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Wisch ab deinen Säbel
und laß vom Streit;
Denn ringsumher
auf Friedbergs Höh'n
Ist weit und breit
kein Feind mehr zu seh'n.
Und ruft unser König,
zur Stelle sind wir heut':
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
3rd Stanza
Maintenance, Ansbach Dragoons!
Maintenance, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Wipe your saber
and leave the battle;
For all around
on Friedberg's heights
Is far and wide
seen no more of our Enemy[4]
And calls our King,
to the place we are today:
Up, Ansbach Dragoons!
Up, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Refrain:
Drum, Kinder, seid lustig
und allesamt bereit:
Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner!
Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
Refrain:
So, boys, be jolly
and all ready to go:
To the Ansbach Dragoons!
To Ansbach-Bayreuth!

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Refers to Otto Magnus von Schwerin, the regiment's Colonel. He's not to be confused with his contemporary Kurt Christoph, Graf von Schwerin (no relation), the famous Prussian Field Marshal.
  2. ^ "They" refers to the Austrians, still positioned on the Friedburg Heights above them.
  3. ^ The uniforms of the allied Austrian and Saxon forces were white, like fresh snow. The speaker is boasting that the close-packed white-coated Austrians would melt away before the Dragoons' charge like a field of springtime snow.
  4. ^ The Prussian 5th (Bayreuther) Dragoon Regiment (later renamed the Ansbach-Bayreuth Dragoons) destroyed 20 battalions of Austrian and Saxon troops and captured 2,500 prisoners and 67 regimental standards. This forced Prince Charles of Lorraine to retreat.