Tegernsee Love-Letter

[This page by Cyril Edwards]

This lyric dates from the third quarter of the 12th Century, preserved in a monastic manuscript from Tegernsee in Bavaria. It is in the woman's voice, as are many of the earliest European lyrics. The key and lock imagery harks back to classical times. In the 1970s this was recorded as a round, by Elster Silberflug.

Du pist min, ih bin din: You are mine, I am yours:

des solt du gewis sin. of that you may be certain.

Du bist beslossen in minem herzen: You are locked in my heart:

verlorn ist daz sluzzelin – the little key is lost –

du muost och iemer drinne sin. and you must be in there forever.