Bayernhymne

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Bayernhymne
English: Hymn of Bavaria

Regional anthem of
Free State of Bavaria

Lyrics Michael Öchsner / Joseph Maria Lutz, 1946
Music Max Kunz, 1835
Adopted 1946

The Bayernhymne (Hymn of Bavaria) is the official anthem of the Free State of Bavaria.

The melody of the song was written by Max Kunz in 1835. The text for the original first three stanzas was written by Michael Öchsner. Both men were members of the Bürger-Sänger-Zunft München (Citizen-Singers-Guild Munich), that first performed the song on December 15, 1860.

In 1946, the poet Joseph Maria Lutz wrote a new third stanza as a replacement for the Königsstrophe (King’s Stanza), since after the abdication of King Ludwig III in 1918, Bavaria has been without a king. He also replaced the Deutsche Erde (German soil) in the first stanza with Heimaterde (native soil).

In 1946, it was also officially recognised as the national anthem of Bavaria, and on July 29, 1966, the then prime minister of Bavaria, Alfons Goppel, chose the version written by Joseph Maria Lutz to be the official version.

In 1980, the Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Strauß changed the official version to contain just the first two stanzas and switched Heimaterde back to Deutsche Erde, though the Heimaterde version is still widely used (for example, it was sung during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to his native Bavaria in 2006, who also joined in singing this version1).

The song, like most national anthems, contains many symbolic representations, including repeated allusions to the colours white and blue, Bavaria’s national colours, especially describing Bavaria's Himmel, which can refer to both sky and heaven.

Current Version

(According to the bulletin of the Bavarian prime minister on July 18, 1980.)

The Bayernhymne
German English

1. Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern,
deutsche Erde, Vaterland!
Über deinen weiten Gauen
ruhe seine Segenshand!
Er behüte deine Fluren,
schirme deiner Städte Bau
und erhalte dir die Farben
seines Himmels, weiß und blau! :|

1. God be with thee, land of the Bavarians,
German soil, fatherland!
Over thy wide area
rest His merciful hand!
He shall protect thy meadows,
shield the buildings of thy towns
and preserve thee the colours
of His sky, white and blue!

2. Gott mit dir, dem Bayernvolke,
dass wir, unsrer Väter wert,
fest in Eintracht und in Frieden
bauen unsres Glückes Herd!
|: Dass mit Deutschlands Bruderstämmen
einig uns ein jeder schau
und den alten Ruhm bewähre
unser Banner, weiß und blau! :|

2. God be with you, people of Bavaria,
that we, to our fathers’ worth,
fixed in harmony and peace
build our own fortunes!
That with bonds of German brotherhood
Everyone may see us united
And the old splendour stands the test
our Banner, white and blue!

Variations

Version by Joseph Maria Lutz from 1946

German English

1. Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern,
Heimaterde, Vaterland!
Über deinen weiten Gauen
ruhe seine Segenshand!
|: Er behüte deine Fluren,
schirme deiner Städte Bau
und erhalte dir die Farben
seines Himmels, weiß und blau! :|

1. God be with thee, land of the Bavarians,
Native soil, fatherland!
Over thy wide area
rest His merciful hand!
He shall protect thy meadows,
shield the buildings of thy towns
and preserve thee the colours
of His sky, white and blue!

2. Gott mit dir, dem Bayernvolke,
dass wir, unsrer Väter wert,
fest in Eintracht und in Frieden
bauen unsres Glückes Herd!
|: Dass vom Alpenland zum Maine
einig uns ein jeder schau
und den alten Ruhm bewähre
unser Banner, weiß und blau! :|

2. God be with you, people of Bavaria,
that we, to our fathers’ worth,
fixed in harmony and peace
build our own fortunes!
That from the Alps to the Main
Everyone may see us united
And the old splendour stands the test
our Banner, white and blue!

3. Gott mit uns und Gott mit allen,
die der Menschen heilig Recht
treu beschützen und bewahren
von Geschlechte zu Geschlecht.
|: Frohe Arbeit, frohes Feiern,
reiche Ernten jedem Gau,
Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern
unterm Himmel, weiß und blau! :|

3. God be with us and God with all
who protect the holy law of humans
faithfully, and who preserve it
from generation to generation.
Happy in work, happy in celebration,
rich harvesting in every field.
God be with thee, Land of the Bavarians
Under the heaven, white and blue!

Michael Öchsner’s Poem

(from 1860)

German English

1. Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern,
deutsche Erde, Vaterland!
Über deinen weiten Gauen
ruhe deine Segenshand!
Er behüte deine Fluren,
schirme deiner Städte Bau
und der Himmel dir erhalte
seine Farben – Weiß und Blau.

1. God be with thee, Land of the Bavarians,
German soil, fatherland!
Over thy wide area
rest thy merciful hand!
He shall protect thy meadows,
shield the buildings of thy towns
and His Heaven He lifts up
His colours – white and blue.

2. Gott mit dir, dem Bayernvolke,
dass wir unsrer Väter wert,
fest in Eintracht und in Friede
bauen unseres Glückes Herd;
dass der Freund da Hilfe finde,
wehrhaft uns der Gegner schau,
wo die Rauten-Banner wehen,
unsre Farben – Weiß und Blau!

2. God be with you, the people of Bavaria,
that we, with our fathers’ worth,
fixed in harmony and in peace
build our own fortunes;
that our friend would find help there,
that we are well-fortified our foes we show,
where the rhombus-banner waves,
our colours – white and blue!

3. Gott mit ihm, dem Bayer-König,
Vater Max aus Wittelsbach!
Über seinem Hause wölbe
sich des Himmels schirmend’ Dach!
Gott erhalte uns den Herrscher,
Volkes-Glück in jedem Gau,
reine Sitte, deutsche Treue,
ew’ge Farben – Weiß und Blau.

3. God be with him, the Bavarian King,
father Max from Wittelsbach!
Over his House arches
Heaven’s shining roof!
God lifts up for us the monarch,
people’s Fortune in every place,
pure customs, German loyalty,
eternal colours – white and blue.

Later Text from Michael Öchsner

German English

1. Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern,
deutsche Erde, Vaterland!
Über deinen weiten Gauen
walte deine Segenshand!
Er behüte deine Fluren,
schirme deiner Städte Bau
und erhalte dir die Farben
seines Himmels – Weiß und Blau!

1. God be with thee, Land of the Bavarians,
German soil, fatherland!
Over thy wide area
rule thy merciful hand!
He shall protect your meadows,
shield the buildings of thy towns
and lift up for the colours
of His Heaven - white and blue!

2. Gott mit dir, dem Bayernvolke,
dass wir, unserer Väter wert,
fest in Eintracht und in Frieden
bauen unseres Glückes Herd!
Dass mit Deutschlands Bruderstämmen
[Variante: Dass in Not und in Gefahren]
einig uns der Gegner schau
und den alten Ruhm bewähre
unser Banner – weiß und blau.

2. God be with you, the people of Bavaria,
that we, with our fathers’ worth,
fixed in harmony and in peace
build our own fortunes!
That with bonds of German brotherhood
[Variation: That in woe and in peril]
we are united our foes we show
and the old splendour stands the test
our Banner – white and blue.

3. Gott mit ihm, dem Bayerkönig!
Segen über sein Geschlecht!
Denn mit seinem Volk in Frieden
wahrt er dessen heilig Recht.
Gott mit ihm, dem Landesvater!
Gott mit uns in jedem Gau!
Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern,
deutsche Heimat – weiß und blau!

3. God be with him, the Bavarian King!
Blessing over his generation!
Because with his people in peace
he preserves his sacred law.
God be with him, the sovereign!
God be with us in every place!
God be with you, Land of Bavaria,
German homeland – white and blue!

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