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Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??

06 Oct 98 - 10:41 PM (#40637)
Subject: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Bert C.

Here's a challenge for all you dedicated Mudcatters. The words to these two very old German rhymes were passed down through the family of a friend of mine. Her father taught her to sing them, and she would like to know their origin. They must date back to the 19th century or earlier. Can anyone identify them?

FIRST RHYME:

Sei nicht bose
Sei wiedergut
Sei nicht bose
Mach kein gesicht

Approximate English translation:

Don't be mad
Make up
Don't be mad
Don't make a face.

SECOND RHYME

Mit meinen guitare
Steh ich bien und hare
Hare mur alleine
Ach liebchen bleib bei mir

Approximate English translation:

With my guitar
I'm standing here and serenading
But I'm here alone
O darling stay with me

I typed this from a hand-written copy, and I don't know German, so I can't vouch for the spelling.

Thanks,
Bert C.
acoffman@prodigy.com


08 Oct 98 - 04:04 PM (#40913)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Wolfgang

Sorry, Bert, I never heard of these. All I can do for you is to give you what I consider to be the most probable correct version (one bold guess involved). Your translation is fine except that "harre" is "wait".

Sei nicht böse
Sei wieder gut
Sei nicht böse
Mach kein gesicht

Mit meiner Gitarre
Steh ich hier und harre
Harre nur alleine
Ach Liebchen bleib bei mir

The German equivalent to Mudcat, Frank Petersohns http://ingeb.org/, has no question and answer section, but Frank knows a lot of songs and is a nice chap to mail with. He might put these two verses into his "wanted/Schnitzeljagd" section.

Wolfgang


12 Oct 98 - 10:38 AM (#41330)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Bert C

Thanks for the help and the corrections, Wolfgang. I'll give Frank a try.

My friend also told me she has a very old music box with these two tunes on it. I'll have to try digitizing them sometime.

By the way, how did you enter the "ö"? I cut & pasted it from your message and I noticed you didn't have to use any special HTML characters.

Bert C.
acoffman@prodigy.com


12 Oct 98 - 11:58 AM (#41334)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Wolfgang

Bert, the öäü are on my keybord that's how I do it and I never gave any thought til now what the computer does after I hit the key.
I have a comparable problem with ñÅÆ. I have to cut&paste them from the extra character section (or however that's called in English) of MS-Word.
And to find $ now took me about 3 minutes whereas you'll find that on your keybord I guess.

Wolfgang


12 Oct 98 - 02:42 PM (#41347)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Bert C

Sorry about the duplicate entry - it happened when I hit the [Back] button. By now I should know better.

Never thought about the "$" sign being missing on non-US keyboards. It's a shift-4 on ours. Must be tough for people who write programs using string functions.

Bert C.


13 Oct 98 - 01:36 AM (#41446)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: AndreasW

Hi there,

Even if you have the German letters äöüÄÖÜß available on your keyboard,
you should use the html character codes here,
as not every user will have the same code set.
If you use the html characters,
still everyone with a reasonable browser
can see them correctly. The html characters are:

ä for ä,
ö for ö
ü for ü
Ä for Ä
Ö for Ö
Ü for Ü
ß for ß

with the uml as abbreviation of umlaut
and lig as abbreviation of ligature
(although the ß developped out of the 2 forms
of the small letter "s" in the gothic Fraktur letter set,
not from "s" and "z", it is called most commonly
"Eszett" (es-zed), although the name "Scharfes s" (sharp s) is more correct)

cu,Andreas


13 Oct 98 - 02:01 AM (#41449)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Joe Offer

Thanks for the tip, Andreas. One thing people need to note is the semicolon at the end of those ampersand codes. I had a lot of trouble displaying angle brackets <> until I finally figured out that those semicolons were part of the code, and not just punctuation.
-Joe Offer-


13 Oct 98 - 11:14 PM (#41609)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Bert C

Wolfgang, I contacted Frank as you suggested, and he immediately came up with the identity of the first rhyme, "Sei nicht bös'". It's from the operetta "Der Obersteiger" by Karl (or Carl) Zeller (1842-1898). He kindly supplied me with the complete lyrics (which I can post if anyone else is interested). It apparently dates from 1894. I even located a source for the CD!

He's offered to post the other one on his "Help Wanted" page.

Thanks again for the tip. If anything else turns up, I'll post it.

Bert C>


14 Oct 98 - 12:53 AM (#41615)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Joe Offer

I'm interested, Bert - go for it. Post them lyrics.
-Joe Offer-


14 Oct 98 - 07:20 PM (#41701)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Bert C

OK Joe, here they be. Hope you can read German:


From the Operetta "Der Obersteiger" by Karl (Carl?) Zeller.

Sei nicht bös', es kann ja nicht sein,
Sei nicht bös', und schick dich darein.
Sei nicht bös' und mach' kein G'sicht,
B'hüt dich Gott, vergiß mein nicht!

1/ Wo sie war die Müllerin,
Zog es auch den Fischer hin,
Doch sie lachte ihn nur aus,
Denn sie wollte hoch hinaus!
Nachts, da er zum Fischen geht,
Klopft er leise an und fleht:
Werde mein und mach mir auf!
Doch sie singt spöttich drauf:

Sei nicht bös', es kann ja nicht sein,
Sei nicht bös', und schick dich darein.
Sei nicht bös' und mach' kein G'sicht,
B'hüt dich Gott, vergiß mein nicht!

2/ Und es zog die Müllerin
In die Welt mit stolzem Sinn.
Endlich kommt sie wieder her,
Aber stolz ist sie nicht mehr.
Fährt nun nachts der Fischer aus,
Ruft sie bang zu ihm hinaus:
Tröste mich und komm zu mir!
Doch jetzt singt er zu ihr:

Sei nicht bös', es kann ja nicht sein,
Sei nicht bös', und schick dich darein.
Sei nicht bös' und mach' kein G'sicht,
B'hüt dich Gott, vergiß mein nicht!

ZELLER, Carl, Komponist, 1842 - 1898. Der Obersteiger. Operette in 3 Akten, Leipzig, Kratochwill, 1894

I'd be interested to see a translation - about all I can recognize in German are a few simple articles.

Bert C.
acoffman@prodigy.com


15 Oct 98 - 02:00 AM (#41753)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Joe Offer

Thanks, Bert - don't have time for a full translation, but here's a general idea:
chorus: Don't be angry, it simply cannot be
Don't be angry, and (something like) send yourself inside.
Don't be angry, and don't make a face
But, God help you, don't forget my face.

So, anyhow, the female miller led the fisherman on, so he knocked on her door and asked her to be his one-and-only, and she replied with the "Don't Be Angry" song.

So she went off proudly into the world, but came back not-so-proudly, and went to the fisherman and asked him to trust her and be her one-and-only, and now he sings the same "Don't Be Angry" song.

And that, my friend, is what is known as the "loose" translation. Cute song, ain't it?
-Joe Offer-


15 Oct 98 - 03:09 PM (#41830)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Wolfgang

Joe,

"sich in etwas schicken" = "sich in sein Schicksal fügen" = "put up with" or "accept one's fate". I doubt that this expression can be found in German after the first world war. That makes line 2 of the chorus to be the better fitting "don't be angry and accept your fate". The rest is fine.

Wolfgang


15 Oct 98 - 09:24 PM (#41884)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Joe Offer

Thanks, Wolfgang. I thought it was something like that, but I couldn't find that particular idiom in my dictionary.
-Joe Offer-


01 Apr 04 - 08:27 AM (#1151865)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Wilfried Schaum

The phrase sich in etwas schicken is nowadays seldom heard, and if then mostly in the form sich darein schicken = to be accept what one can't change.

Wilfried


01 Dec 10 - 05:53 PM (#3044490)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: GUEST

Sei nicht bose, Try Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. DER OBERSTEIGER.(West&Held-Zeller) Jonathan


16 Sep 19 - 07:00 PM (#4009189)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: keberoxu

Wow, a libretto from a composer named Zeller:
sure it isn't Zelter? It would be just like me
to conflate two different composers with similar names, of course.


And yes, I have an old rhyme in German for you --
from the seventeenth century.
This rhyme became one of those sayings
that Germans of the time -- and the following century --
could quote out of context.

I had to look it up because
twentieth-century Lieder composer, Max Reger,
set a variant of this rhyme to music.

The German isn't all that hard
but it still poses challenges for the likes of me,
so here goes.



TUGEND EINES BÖSEN WEIBS. VOM POETEN JOHANN KRAUT BESCHRIEBEN.

Dem Meer magst wohl ein Schiff vertraun
Aber dein Herz nicht jungen Fraun
Denn sie viel unbeständger sind
Als etwann das Meer und der Wind
Und wenn gleich wär das Firmament
Lauter Papier und Pergament
Und alle Wasser sammt dem Meer
Nichts den [denn?] nur lauter Dinten wär
Die Stern im Himmel allzumal
Deren doch viel sind ohne Zahl
Ein jeder sich zum schreiben richt
Könnten sie doch die Bösheit nicht
Beschreiben eines bösen Weibs
Der Teuffel in der Höll beschreibs.

-- from Rosetum Historiarum, ed. by Matthäus Hammer,
Zwickau: Melchior Göpner, 1657, pages 165 - 166.
Johann Kraut, 1570 - 1634, also published by his scholarly name of "Johannes Brassicanus"

(to quote Anna Russell:
'I'm NOT making this up, you know!')

Punctuation would have helped ME, goodness knows,
but that is not how it was printed back in the day.
And that is the first time I have seen the word
'etwann,'
although I am certainly familiar with 'etwa' and 'etwas'.

Any comments, translations, or opinions are welcome!


17 Sep 19 - 01:35 AM (#4009216)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: Reinhard

Yes keberoxu, they are two different persons, the German composer Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832) and the Asutrian composer Carl Zeller (1842-1898). Thanks to Wikipedia; I didn't know of the second until now.

I didn't know 'etwann' either, and it isn't listed in my Duden (dictionary). It lists 'etwelche' though, which it says to be outfashioned for some, a few.

I also was stymied by 'Dinte' until I realised that it is an old spelling for 'Tinte', ink.


17 Sep 19 - 09:50 AM (#4009283)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: GUEST,keberoxu

The key word, regarding the content of this text, is of course
"unbeständ'ger" as a description of womankind,
meaning "inconstant" or "fickle"
(La donna è mobile)


17 Sep 19 - 11:24 AM (#4009307)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: GUEST,Grishka

etwan = at any time, in any case. (Here is my secret source of wisdom, in case anybody wonders.)

unbeständiger als = less constant than

Summary of the poem: Evil women are so evil that their evilness could not be fully described even if all the stars would write to a paper as large as the sky with as much ink as there is water on earth. "May the devil in hell describe it!"

Max Reger's lied op. 75 No. 5 "Böses Weib" (lyrics slightly shortened) nicely captures the baroque humour. Not currently on YouTube, but the dots are at IMSLP – the piano part is particularly evil; der Teufel in der Höll' spiel's!


17 Sep 19 - 03:41 PM (#4009337)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: GUEST,keberoxu

Not forgetting the opening two lines,
which I comprehend as:

A ship may be entrusted to the sea,
But do not entrust the heart to a young lady!


17 Sep 19 - 06:43 PM (#4009355)
Subject: RE: Two Old German Rhymes - INFO??
From: GUEST,Grishka

The opening four lines are about young women, typically unmarried, whom the addressee may court. The remainder of the poem, the part used by Reger, seems to deal with wives tormenting their husbands who can no longer escape.

There is a logic behind this combination: a fickle courtee is more likely to become a dominant wife. A power game.

In popular poetry, a henpecked husband is considered fair game for taunting, as implied in this poem. A female counterpart would be entitled to sympathy.