The Happy Wanderer’s five cheery verses and unforgettable Val-de-ri val-de-ra refrain have made it a perennial Choral standard and an audience favourite, reappearing as a soundtrack in films and shows as varied as ‘The Simpsons’ and Schindler’s List.
The Happy Wanderer sounds so typical of German folk music that many people assume it is a traditional song by the famous composer ‘Anonymous’. However, the song was written shortly after World War II by Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller. His sister conducted a children’s choir made up of war orphans, the Obernkirchen Children’s Choir, who sang it to win the Llangollen International
Musical Eisteddfodd in 1953. The Happy Wanderer was propelled into the UK singles chart and the choir into an international performing career.