Re: Correct wording of quote - please help

Christian Weisgerber (
14 Jul 1999 11:39:32 +0200

O'Regan, Emlyn <> wrote:

> I'm looking for the original german (if it is german) for "Your thoughts are
> free", or whatever the famous phrase is.

"Die Gedanken sind frei."

> I don't even know who said it,

That's apparently complicated. According to the Duden volume on famous quotes it's the first line in a song in the collection _Des Knaben Wanderhorn_ (1806-1808) by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano. Later it was referenced in Joseph von Eichendorff's poem "Verschwiegene Liebe". I guess the latter source popularized it.

I think you can safely assume that it is quoted well out of context nowadays, like many of these bon mots are.

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber