Monday, February 15, 2016

Musical Monday

I have an enormous collection of songs, most of them in English, but many also in German (but you figured that, didn't you?), French, Spanish, Italian, and even Hungarian. The German language has an unfortunate reputation for being harsh and unmelodic, but it can be every bit as beautiful in its way as French or Spanish, both of which are usually considered easier on the ear*.

Since yesterday was Valentine's Day, the day on which we celebrate love in all its various forms, I thought I'd pick a nice love song for today's Musical Monday, and the one I've chosen is this marvelous song by German folk singer Reinhard Mey titled "Herbstgewitter über Dächern," or "Autumn Thunderstorms over the Rooftops." Much of the beauty of the song beyond the melody will be lost on those of you who don't speak German, but here's the basic idea: the singer imagines losing each of his senses, and yet understanding each one through the things his lover does. It's a wonderful song, and I hope you enjoy it ...

Here's my imperfect translation of the second verse ...

Straßenlärm und Musikboxen
Weh'n ein Lied irgendwo her
Düsengrollen, Lachen, Rufen
Plötzlich Stille ringsumher
Hätt' ich all das nie vernommen
Wär' für alles taub und hört'
Nur ein Wort von dir gesprochen
Sag' ich doch, ich hab' gehört

Street noise and music boxes,
A song coming from somewhere,
Airplane noises, laughter, shouting –
And suddenly stillness all around.
If I’d never heard any of it,
If I were deaf to everything, 
and heard but a single word you spoke,
I’d know that I'd been able to hear.

Have a good day, and pick up a second language. You'll thank me later. 

More thoughts coming.


* An old joke says you should speak French to your lover, Spanish to your friends, and German to your enemies.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

That's a nice song, with very sensitive lyrics. I wish I know German, but still I hear the poignancy,

Hell Hound said...

Quirky, with risky lyrics. Good song.

Linda Kay said...

I was interested to see the last name...isn't there a German writer named Mey who wrote Texas westerns?

Bilbo said...

Linda, you are thinking of Karl May, who wrote a series of Western adventures still much read and loved in Germany.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

That's a fabulous song!

Mike said...