"Es ist ein Schnitter, heisst der Tod" ("There is a
reaper called death", even the "Grim Reaper" or just
"reaper song"), is a German folk song of the 17th
Century, first published as a Broadside ballad in
Regensburg in 1638, in the middle of the Thirty Years
War. The original words extend the common metaphor of
death as the reaper over 16 unremittingly grim verses,
in keeping with the grim times in which it was written.
The title translates as "Death, the Reaper", and the
first verse is:
"There is a reaper, his name is Death / His power comes
from God above / Today he sharpens his knife, it's
cutting much better already / Soon he will scythe
through, we can only suffer it / Look out, beautiful
It goes downhill from there.
Although originally written for Chorus, I created this
arrangement by adding a Flute and arranging for Flute
and Concert (Pedal) Harp.