Sunday, September 22, 2013

Poetry Prayer #26

On Friday night a friend and I went to a local church to hear a concert of art songs. (Thank you for the tickets Sara!) The program was two longish cycles of songs by Johannes Brahms that chronicled the unrequited love he had for his mentor's widow. The group presenting the concert was kind enough to provide us translations of the German and these songs are beautiful but also hilarious. They clearly represent the desperately high level of emotion the composer must have been feeling. So today, for fun, here are the lyrics to one of the songs in the first cycle. First I'll give you the English then the German (but without the accents because I don't know how to get those to happen).

lyrics by Georg Frederich Daumer

On the banks of the Danube,
there stands a house,
and looking out of it
is a pink-cheeked maiden.

The maiden
is very well-protected:
ten iron bolts
have been placed on the door.

But ten iron bolts
are but a joke;
I will snap them
as if they were only glass.


Am Donaustrande,
da steht ein Haus,
da schaut ein rosiges
Madchen aus.

Das Madchen,
es ist wohl gut gehegt,
zehn eiserne Riegel
sind vor die Ture gelegt.

Zehn eiserne Riegel
das ist ein Spass;
die spreng ich
als waren sie nur von Glas.

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