"Ich lade gern mir Gaste ein" Lyrics and Translation

Prince Orlofsky's Aria from Strauss' Opera, Die Fledermaus

Soprano, Joan Sutherland as Rosalinda in Strauss’ operetta, Die Fledermaus. Photo by Ron Scherl/Redferns

This playful aria comes from Johann Strauss' opera, Die Fledermaus. With a libretto by Karl Haffner and Richard Genee, Strauss wrote the opera in 1874, and was quite popular. In fact, it is still regularly performed to this day. During the second act of the opera, Prince Orlofsy throws a large ball and invites many guests. He tells his guests to enjoy the party as he does, in their own way, and as long as they are not boring and continue to drink wine with him, he will not throw them out or throw bottles of wine at their heads.

German Lyrics

Ich lade gern mir Gäste ein,
Man lebt bei mir recht fein,
Man unterhält sich, wie man mag
Oft bis zum hellen Tag.
Zwar langweil’ ich mich stets dabei,
Was man auch treibt und spricht;
Indes, was mir als Wirt steht frei,
Duld’ ich bei Gästen nicht!
Und sehe ich, es ennuyiert
Sich jemand hier bei mir,
So pack’ ich ihn ganz ungeniert,
Werf’ ihn hinaus zur Tür.
Und fragen Sie, ich bitte
Warum ich das denn tu’?
‘S ist mal bei mir so Sitte,
Chacun à son gout!
(The line above is actually in French. Learn the meaning of this French expression.)
Wenn ich mit andern sitz’ beim Wein
Und Flasch’ um Flasche leer’,
Muss jeder mit mir durstig sein,
Sonst werde grob ich sehr.
Und schenke Glas um Glas ich ein,
Duld’ ich nicht Widerspruch;
Nicht leiden kann ich’s wenn sie schrein:
Ich will nicht, hab’ genug!
Wer mir beim Trinken nicht pariert,
Sich zieret wie ein Tropf,
Dem werfe ich ganz ungeniert,
Die Flasche an den Kopf.

Und fragen Sie, ich bitte,
Warum ich das denn tu’?
‘S ist mal bei mir so Sitte
Chacun à son goût!

English Translation

I like to invite my guests,
One lives with me quite fine,
We enjoy talking, as one might
Often until daylight.
Although I am always bored here,
What drives you and also speaks;
However, what I as host allow myself liberty
I give no patience with that in guests!

And should I see any of my guests looking bored
Someone here with me in my home,
So I pack their things quite openly,
and throw him out the door.
And you wonder, and ask me,
Why do I do this?
Because for me, this is simply my custom
To each his own taste!
When I sit with others and drink wine,
And empty one bottle after another,
Everybody with me needs to be thirsty
Otherwise I will become very offensive.
And give glass after glass to me,
Patience I have not for contradiction;
I can not stand when they scream:
I did not want to, I've had enough!
Who can not keep up with my drinking
Adorns himself like a ineffectual person,
I throw, quite unabashedly,
The bottle at his head.
And you wonder, and ask me,
Why do I do this?
Because for me, this is simply my custom
To each his own taste!

For more aria translations, see a complete listing of aria lyrics and translations.