The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #61098   Message #980635
Posted By: GUEST,Q
10-Jul-03 - 11:58 AM
Thread Name: Lyr/Tune Req: Songs by Hans Eisler
Kurt Tucholsky, set to music by Hanns Eisler

Look! There stands the welfare home
of an industrial company group;
In the morning there is oatmeal
In the evening leftover soup.
And the workers are also allowed in the park....

Good, that is the penny,
But where is the mark?
Good, that is the penny.
But where is the mark?

They give you their charity
with pious Christian prayers.
They look after the unwed young mother,
for they need every prole they can get.
They'll also provide the coffin.... (when he dies).


The mark has thousands and thousands of times
filled up foreign pockets;
The dividends after much debate
are allocated by the board of directors.
For you the broth, for them the mark.
For you the penny, for them the mark.

Don't fall for this swindle!
They owe you more than you give.
They owe you everything: The land,
the mountains and the factories .....
They owe you happiness and life.
Take what you fight for. Don't take their lies.
Think about your class! And be tough!

For you the Penny! For you the Mark!
For you the Penny! For you the Mark!

Many thanks to Wilfried Schaum for the poem, which I presume is the original by Kurt Tucholsky. Eisler wrote the music in 1930 according to the Eisler Music website. Did he keep to the poem or make some revisions to fit the music he wrote?

The English version above is copied from the Eisler website.

The main difference seems to be in the last line of the verses, where the German is better at expressing the meaning. The lines of the German poem end with a pause (dots), as I have tried to indicate, allowing the reader or the singer to form a mental image. I have indicated the difference in the second verse- They also provide a coffin.... The rest of the line, when he dies, is unnecessary and also bad English. In the third verse, "For you the gruel" is more expressive in English than "for you the broth."

Wilfried, I look forward to your answer to the question about the Eisler version- is it the same or different from the Tuckolsky poem? Is it the same as the song sung by Ernst Busch? I will have to listen to the recording at the Eisler website again.