The Happy Wanderer

The Happy Wanderer was originally a German folk song titled Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann, but its popularity means that it has since been translated into many other languages. 

The lyrics are credited to Florenz Friedrich Sigismund but the tune used for the modern version of this song was put together by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller following the Second World War. The classic sound of the melody means that it’s often assumed to be a traditional folk-style song, but that’s not the case. 

Friedrich-Willhelm Möller’s sister, Edith, adapted the original lyrics for a children’s choir. It was later adapted again by Antonia Ridge and this is the version sung today. 

As it is a cheerful tune, many scouts and guiding groups use it to sing around their campfires or when they are out on a hike, extolling the virtues of a life that involves enjoying the beauty of nature and recognizing the simplicity of being outdoors.

The Happy Wanderer Lyrics

I love to go a-wandering,
Along the mountain track,
And as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.

My knapsack on my back.
I love to wander by the stream
That dances in the sun,
So joyously it calls to me,
“Come! Join my happy song!”
I wave my hat to all I meet,
And they wave back to me,
And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
From ev’ry green wood tree.
High overhead, the skylarks wing,
They never rest at home
But just like me, they love to sing,
As o’er the world we roam.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh, may I always laugh and sing,
Beneath God’s clear blue sky!

Scroll to Top