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Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck

DigiTrad:
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
BRAHMS' LULLABY
BUMM! BUMM!! BUMM!!!
CORPORAL SCHNAPPS
DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI
DIE GUTE KAMERAD
DIE LAPPEN HOCH
DIE MOORSOLDATEN
EDELWEISS
GORCH FOCK LIED
HANS BEIMLER
HEISE, ALL
LILI MARLEEN
MARIA DURCH EIN DORNWALD GING
ODE TO JOY (GERMAN)
YAW, YAW, YAW


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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck saß (Source: Das Große Liederbuch (Diogenes Verlag, Zürich, 1975))


GUEST,John 13 Jul 09 - 06:10 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 13 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Jul 09 - 05:56 AM
MGM·Lion 03 Sep 09 - 04:17 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Sep 09 - 02:23 AM
Joe Offer 04 Sep 09 - 02:40 AM
Monique 04 Sep 09 - 04:19 AM
Monique 04 Sep 09 - 05:32 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Sep 09 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Sep 09 - 10:40 AM
Joe Offer 04 Sep 09 - 02:07 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Sep 09 - 02:17 PM
Joe Offer 04 Sep 09 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Sep 09 - 10:56 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Sep 09 - 11:07 PM
Monique 05 Sep 09 - 02:28 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Sep 09 - 02:44 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 05 Sep 09 - 10:50 AM
Joe Offer 25 Sep 09 - 02:29 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Sep 09 - 06:28 AM
Mrrzy 25 Sep 09 - 10:48 AM
MGM·Lion 26 Sep 09 - 12:12 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Sep 09 - 06:14 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 27 Sep 09 - 08:04 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Sep 09 - 08:53 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 09 - 08:57 AM
Gulliver 28 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 28 Sep 09 - 03:35 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 09 - 04:19 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 09 - 04:37 PM
Gulliver 28 Sep 09 - 06:27 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 09 - 11:36 PM
Joe Offer 28 Sep 09 - 11:41 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Sep 09 - 11:44 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 29 Sep 09 - 06:01 AM
MGM·Lion 30 Sep 09 - 11:46 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 09 - 12:11 AM
Joybell 02 Oct 09 - 01:13 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 09 - 01:28 AM
Monique 02 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Oct 09 - 07:58 AM
MGM·Lion 08 Oct 09 - 01:31 AM
Joe Offer 08 Oct 09 - 11:45 PM
Tinker 09 Oct 09 - 12:00 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 09 - 12:32 AM
Tinker 09 Oct 09 - 10:45 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 09 - 11:32 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 09 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 09 - 12:04 PM
Tinker 09 Oct 09 - 12:56 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 09 Oct 09 - 01:19 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Oct 09 - 01:55 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Oct 09 - 02:31 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Oct 09 - 02:49 AM
Joybell 10 Oct 09 - 06:42 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Nov 09 - 11:34 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Jan 10 - 04:48 AM
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Subject: SONG TITLE ENQUIRY #2
From: GUEST,John
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:10 PM

Should have added this one on the previous thread. There is a nonsense song about an archer shooting a cuckoo. I need to know the exact title for liner notes. Here are some lyrics to jog your memories.

"Upon a tree a cuckoo
Zim za ta reet some butter (sounds like that anyway)
Upon a tree a cuckoo   (pause)   sat."

"There came a cruel archer
Zim za ta reet.....
There came a cuel archer   (pause)   by."

"He shot that poor cuckoo
Zim za ta reet....
He shot that poor cuckoo   (pause)   dead."

And so on....

Anyone know the title of this song, know where it's from, etc?


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Subject: RE: SONG TITLE ENQUIRY #2 [Archers shooting cuckoos]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 06:37 PM

I think it's a version of a German children's song - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck saß.

You can find fuller information here: The magic words translated with original German and a translation.

Mick


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Subject: RE: SONG TITLE ENQUIRY #2 [Archers shooting cuckoos]
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 08:38 PM

Wikipedia and other sites have the German.
English would be A Cuckoo on a Tree, or "A Cuckoo Sat on a Tree."
Kuckuck
Also at ingeb: http://ingeb.org/Lieder/aufeinem.html
With translation, at Mamalisa:
Cuckoo

No magic words, just nonsense words. I think sat is better than settled, esp. in a pre-school kid's song.

Traditional German Nursery Song.


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 [Archers shooting cuckoos]
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 05:56 AM

I thought I had a copy of the song, but couldn't find it anywhere obvious. Strangely, I keep hearing it in my head in German rather than English, and I wonder now if it was in my school German book, which had a song (with music) in most of the chapters (Heute und Morgen, was the book. I have vol2 of this series, but it's not one of the songs in there; perhaps it was in vol1). On the other hand, maybe it was printed in one of the Sing Out! books - it's the sort of thing that appeared from time to time; I haven't time to check now.

Sat definitely better.

As regards the magic words, that was the title on the forum thread not mine. But the association with Sim, sim, salabim as a magical incantation, is easy to see.

Mick


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Subject: ADD: Upon a Tree a Cuckoo
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 04:17 AM

I learned the following many years ago from a small boy who told me the boys sang it at his school. I had thought of putting it on the 'Favourite nonsense chorus' thread, but Search yielded me this thread, where I thin it belongs. The chorus, line 2 of each verse, I have transcribed as best I can: line 4 of each verse consisted, not just of a pause but of an emphatic double-nod which my informant assured me was always part of the rendition, followed by a highly emphasised monosyllable ? as follows:?

UPON A TREE A CUCKOO

Upon a tree a cuckoo
Hi to my rinktum rucksack ticker man gee
Upon a tree a cuckoo
[non - nod] SAT

Along there came a hunter
Hi to me.......
Along there came a hunter
[nod - nod] FAT

He swore he'd have that cuckoo
Hi to me ....
He swore he'd have that cuckoo
[nod - nod] ROAST

Upon a slice of buttered
Hi to me ....
Upon a slice of buttered
[nod - nod] TOAST

That night that hunter's dreams were
Hi to me .....
That night that hunter's dreams were
[nod - nod] SPOILED

He swore he'd have his next cuckoo
Hi to me ...
He swore he'd have his next cuckoo
[nod - nod] BOILED

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 [Archers shooting cuckoos]
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 02:23 AM

Sorry about inconsistency in chorus [or,as in middle of verse, I suppose it is, strictly speaking, a *burden*] in above transcription. The 1st word is 'my'' so often of course colloquially pronounced 'me': hence my confusion. Apologies.


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Subject: ADD: Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck saß
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 02:40 AM

Cute song.

Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck saß

Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck -
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck saß.

Da kam ein junger Jägers-
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
da kam ein junger Jägersmann.

Der schoß den armen Kuckuck-
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
der schoß den armen Kuckuck tot.

Und als ein Jahr vergangen-
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
Und als ein Jahr vergangen war.

Da war der Kuckuck wieder-
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
da war der Kuckuck wieder da.

Da freuten sich die Leute -
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
Da freuten sich die Leute sehr.


Source: Das Große Liederbuch (Diogenes Verlag, Zürich, 1975) Page 126

Last verse (in italics) from Wikipedia.


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Monique
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 04:19 AM

Thanks, Q, I stand corrected for the translation of "saß", I ask Lisa to change it right away.


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Monique
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 05:32 AM

The translation to the last verse Joe added is
"Then people rejoiced
Simsaladim...
Then people rejoiced a lot".

The tune to "Simsaladim bamba saladu saladim" can slightly vary. Here you can hear the whole song sung.


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 05:50 AM

I 'clicked to play' the German version given above. The tune is not the same as my English 'Hi to me rinktum rucksack ticker man gee' version above...


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 10:40 AM

There are versions of this on YouTube. This one has beautiful choral singing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLNb6WDYMhg&NR=1


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 02:07 PM

Some people have entirely too much fun with this little song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9Q_3kbdteU.


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Subject: RE: Song title Enquiry #2 - Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 02:17 PM

Yerkkk indeed. & I don't think that German version is nearly as good as my English one above ? which has a logical & coherent narrative & a strong dietary moral ? & a much better tune... I think it a great shame you have changed the title of this thread, even if the German is the original: of which I am in any event far from convinced.   Michael


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Subject: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 05:58 PM

Michael, we still need a title of the English song. For now, I'm going to call it "Upon a Tree a Cuckoo." Do you have one for the lyrics you posted? Do you have a way of conveying the tune you know?-I can post a MIDI if you can make one for us.
You'll find quite a collection of recordings here (click).
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 10:56 PM

Joe, thanks for the link to the, um, idiosyncratic duet. Is that the arrangement by Arnold Schoenberg?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 11:07 PM

Thanks, Joe. That is the title I use indeed. Regret that, tho I am just about able to read the dots, am not good at writing them down. Could you possibly call me by phone at a convenient time for both our time-zones, & I could sing it over the phone while you record it? 44 [0]1353 740738] ? the [0] would come into operation if you mailed someone here in UK to call me & pass results on to you which might be more convenient.

Or, if you PM me a postal address, I would gladly put it on a cassette and mail it to you ? slowish I realise, but should work efficiently.

I am sure we can work out some way for me to get my tune to you. The German tunes on your clickie all sound not quite like mine but more like that dire youtube...

Michael Grosvenor Myer


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Monique
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 02:28 AM

Michael, can't you record it directly on your computer or on an mp3 player/USB key device and email the file instead?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 02:44 AM

No, regret don't have the facilities. But is in mail to you airmail + the other cassette I mentioned in my reply to your PM & should be with you in v few days. M


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 10:50 AM

In my early post I said that I thought I kept hearing the song in German in my head and today it finally came to me why.

In the mid 80s I was in Addis Ababa for a few years and in that time played a great variety of music. As well as a band (The Rift Valley Stompers - we played folk, blues, jazz, rock-and-roll and pop songs) I played classical guitar in various combinations and also did a lot of playing in Cafe Concerts with (mostly) the French community there (the French had singers, but the English had most of the musicians). But in addition to the French I played and sang a lot of Russian songs and a few German songs. And sure enough when I checked my song folder from Ethiopia, there was the song, titled Der Kuckuck in the version I had. It was sung by a man called Rolf (I'm afraid time has lost his surname), who I think was Swiss rather than German.

The version he gave was as the first 5 verses posted by Joe above (slightly altered chorus: Simsalabim bam ba saladu saladim), but with an added verse after verse 1:

    Es regnete und er ward ... nass

I haven't found this verse in any of the online versions I've looked at, but in the copy Rolf typed for me he credits the song to Trad./Hannes Wader, so it's possible that Hannes added the extra verse (or maybe I didn't check hard enough online).

The song seems to date from the 1830s.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 02:29 AM

I got the song on a cassette from MtheGM, and here's what it sounds like:


Click to play



Sounds like the tune is only vaguely connected to the German tune. Is anyone else familiar with this version, and might you know of a German version using this tune?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 06:28 AM

Thanks Joe. To aid, the transcript + notes re rendition are on my previous post of 03 sep 09 0417

Michael


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Sep 09 - 10:48 AM

Hee hee thanks for reviving an excellent memory of being in French high school taking German, and when we learned a cuckoo song, we all sang Cocu, Cocu (cuckold, cuckold) and the teacher, who was neither German nor French (nor American, as I was, nor African, which was where we were), had no idea what we were doing, but you could tell *she* could tell we were up to SOMEthing! Man, those were the days...


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 Sep 09 - 12:12 PM

Does nobody else recall this from a long-ago childhood. I have had it for many years: the 'small boy' from whom I initially learned it was, in fact, my nephew ? and he is now 60. So if you were at primary school about 50 years ago, did you ever come across it?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Sep 09 - 06:14 AM

I have in fact found a German version on youtube with a tune not all that far from mine, & whose lyric starts similarly; except, in verse 2, a "young" hunter, & I can't make out the last word of the verse. In 3rd verse I gather he shoots Cuckoo dead. But my German is a bit rusty: & after that it lost me.

Is there a German speaker out there who could listen to it and post a translation for comparison purposes. It only runs about 1 minute.

The youtube title is "Kinderlied - Auf einen Baum ein Kuckuck sass" ? URL is - http//www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqDP74eS


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 27 Sep 09 - 08:04 AM

Actually it's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqDP74eSbFs.

The words are the same as those Joe posted (02:40 AM) without the last italicised verse.

The tune seems to be the standard tune (see midi in Joe's same post) and not the same as yours. I did download and listen to your version when Joe posted it. When I've a bit of time I'll post the abc for it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Sep 09 - 08:53 AM

Thanks for drawing my attention to that, Mick. No, tune not identical but not a million miles away either like some of other German versions. I copied the URL from Youtube sidebar. The German version not as full of plot and digestive moral as my English one, by any means. The hunter just seems to kill the bird & that's it, except that it is resurrected miraculously a year later ? but nothing of how he cooks & eats it & the gastro-dyspeptic consequences, as in mine.

Michael


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 08:57 AM

And the German versions lack the ritualistic pause, accompanied by a double nod, before the final monosyllabic clincher of each verse, which my informant insisted was so essential a part of the performance of the song among his friends. What, I wonder, if any, was the significance of this? Can anyone think of any other children's songs which, while not explicitly associated with skipping, bouncing, or any specific game or other such rituals, have a similar sort of associated gestural rite?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuc
From: Gulliver
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 03:14 PM

Here's my translation of the song that MtheGM found on YouTube - it's lacking the last verse as posted above by Joe, but otherwise it's the standard children's song. A German friend of mine who sings this song says it had some special significance among the German resistance during WW2 (ie, others would replace those who were eliminated by the Nazis).

Upon a tree a cuckoo
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
Upon a tree a cuckoo sat

A young hunting- came there
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
there came a young hunting-man

He shot the poor cuckoo
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
He shot the poor cuckoo dead

And after a year
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
And after a year had passed

The cuckoo was again
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
The cuckoo was again there

This made the people happy
Simsaladim Bamba Saladu Saladim,
This made the people very happy


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 03:35 PM

Here's a quick transcription of Michael's tune, along with the standard tune (from Mamalisa.com - just the first source; nothing special about it). I've transposed Michael's from Ab to G for comparison. It's interesting to see that in Michael's version the pentatonic original has been further reduced to just 4 tones.

I think Michael might be overstating the case for a missing pause in the German - the two girls duetting on it (linked above) certainly put in pauses (as well as obviously having a great time with it!).

I was wrong in my earlier statement that the song dated from the 1830s. In fact it seems to date from 17C, the first published version being in the 1830s (with just the 1st 3 verses then). The last verse (...people happy in the immediately preceeding translation) seems to date from the 1920s. More information (including the facts that it has been used for childrens games and had political/social interpretations made) can be found in this short article: Populäre und traditionelle Lieder. Historisch-kritisches Liederlexikon.

Mick



X:1
T:Upon A Tree A Cuckoo
S:Michael Grosvenor Myer
L:1/8
M:2/4
K:G % original in Ab
z2 D2|GA BA|G2 D2
w:Up-on a tree a cuck-oo,
DD/D/ DD|DD D/D/D|G2 z
w:Hi to my rink-tum ruck-sack tick-er man gee,
D|GA BA|GD z2|z2 LGz|]
w:Up-on a tree a cuck-oo sat.

X:2
T:Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
L:1/8
M:2/4
K:G
d4|BG Bd|(dc) A2
w:Auf ein-em Baum ein Kuck_uck
GG/G/ GG|GG/G/ BG/G/|D2|
w:Sim-sa-la-dim Bam-ba Sa-la-du Sa-la-dim,
d2|BG Bd|(dc) A2|G2|]
w:auf ein-em Baum ein Kuck_uck saß.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 04:19 PM

Many thanks indeed; your trouble & conclusions greatly appreciated. The two duetting girls do indeed put in some pauses; but not so much before that clinching final monosyllable - which they do however elongate: thus it gets emphasis, but of not quite the same sort.

It does indeed seem to be a German song in origin probably. Which leaves the question as to how did it get here, surfacing in my nephew's London school in the 1950s, as part of pupil culture, rather than as part of taught curriculum so far as I can see, and with the final gastro-dietetic moral as an addition, which seems to belong purely to the English version & make it more interesting in some ways ? tho I can see the force of the idea of the defiance to Nazi persecution, in the bird's death but subsequent regeneration, suggested above?

The Opies, whose Lore & Language Of Schoolchildren appeared when my nephew was 10 [ie about when I learned it] in 1959, don't appear to have come across it despite the comprehensiveness of their methods & discoveries; &, tho I met them some years later, interviewing them for Folk Review in 1970s, I don't think it occured to me at the time to pass it on to them.

An interesting comparison - ah - nichtsdestoweniger, nicht-war?.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 04:37 PM

I should have made it clear that my most grateful thanks above were both to Gulliver for his translation & to Mick for his transcription, & to both for their comments on the song's German significances. I am still much exercised by the differences in the English version; in which we are told of the hunter's culinary plans for his kill, subsequently achieved and dyspeptically regretted; tho we are left to infer his shooting of the bird, which occurs during a narrative lacuna.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuc
From: Gulliver
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 06:27 PM

This might be of some interest: In the article Populäre und traditionelle Lieder. Historisch-kritisches Liederlexikon reference is made to a Swedish version. It states (translated): Of note is the obvious relationship with a Swedish children's song (noted before 1886): the shot bird is in this foreign-language parallel song a raven, which is at the end eaten by the hunter.

The Swedish version is at: http://www.liederlexikon.de/lieder/auf_einem_baum_ein_kuckuck/editiond

The lyrics are similar to the German, including the Simsalabim bit. Roughly translated, it contains the following verses:

1. Raven sits on tree

2. A hunter comes along

3. He shot the raven.

4. He took the raven home.

5. He put the raven in a pot.

6. He ate the raven.        
                 
Cheers, Don


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 11:36 PM

Ah ? many thanks Gulliver/Don. I think that most relevant. Too much to hope for any details from any other versions of that one detailing the effects on his metabolism, I suppose, as in the English children's version?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 11:41 PM

Michael - have you found a version in English or any other language, that matches the tune that you use?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 11:44 PM

No, Joe. If ever I do I shall certainly let you know. But all I know of the song you too know already.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 06:01 AM

I did wonder if Michael's version came out of the campfire songs of the scouts or similar organisations. I do have a couple of sites bookmarked, but it's not on them (and I would imagine most are indexed and would come up in search anyway).

It has a lovely structure I think.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 09 - 11:46 AM

It occurs to me to wonder, as a possible age-indicator, how long it has been culinarily fashionable to serve savoury foods ON TOAST. It is nowadays a common habit, esp at breakfast, or as a snack - poached, fried, scrambled eggs, baked beans, mushrooms &c, or as an hors d'?uvres or savoury: it wouldn't constitute a main course at lunch or dinner [except, surprisingly, for Tournedos Rossini].

But when did this begin? I would guess with invention of modern grills and toasters: would have been awkward to toast with a fork over fire to have toast ready at just right time.

Any gastro-historians out there who could furnish a reply to this relevant query?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 12:11 AM

Refresh because answer urgently needed


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Joybell
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:13 AM

Hello my fried-egg-with-sauce Friend.

The Oxford dictionary defines "toast" as "a slice or piece of bread browned at the fire." Says it's "late Middle English" The same reference gives the phrase "on toast" without a date.

It would be reasonable to assume that food would have been added to the toast in the same way as it was added to bread.

The idea of toasting/grilling the food ON the toast could be achieved in any kind of oven -- like pizza. So as long as we've had ovens and bread I'm thinking we could have had "food on toast".

I'm not a gastro-historian though. Just someone who loves eating.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 01:28 AM

Ah, yes, thank you Joy. But I am thinking more of the addition of the food to the toast *after* they have been cooked separately: what you describe would apply to, say, a welsh rarebit; but not to a fried egg on toast, where the frying would have to be done separately from the toasting. And the song specifies that the toast will be *buttered* BEFORE the addition of the [separately roasted] cuckoo, does it not? So there we must have some method in which the hands can be disengaged for the frying or roasting as the bread toasts, so that they can be timed to be ready at the same time ? which surely bespeaks a purpose-designed grill or toaster mechanism.

I love eating too ? which is why I regard this as so urgent a query.

Gastro-greetings from Me:the:GM


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Monique
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM

Didn't you guys ever toast slices of bread on the fireplace, sticking a knife at the top to hold the bread as you'd stick a pole in a board to make it stand up? You do that for both sides and you get a delicious toast as far as you keep your eyes on it all the way through!


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 07:58 AM

Exactly ? so while you are keeping an eye on it all the way thru, you can't simultaneously be turning your attention to frying your egg, roasting your cuckoo, or whatever; for which you need the toast being done separately under a grill or in a toaster. Precisely my point!


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 01:31 AM

Further research - website of the Gas Museum in Leicester states that "the forerunner ... of the modern gas cooker emerged in 1852... gas cooking became popular in the 1880s."

In Kipling's 'Stalky & Co' [1899], ch II, one of the characters uses metaphorically the words "He thought he had us on toast", meaning he thought he had us in a situation from which we could not escape ? presumably by then an accepted metaphor for such a situation.

So would it be reasonable to suppose that the practice of serving savoury food 'on toast' is a late 19C culinary innovation? And does this cast any light, I wonder, on the earliest possible date of origin of this version of mine?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuc
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 11:45 PM

Hmmm. Somebody sang a different version of this song at the Camp Songs workshop at the Getaway, and now I can't remember who it was. I think it was Tinker. I hope the person posts that version.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Tinker
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 12:00 AM

Okay I confess, I sang this song at the Getaway Camp songs session. Judy Cook has a slightly different version.

I learnt a song called "Dickie Bird" at Girl Scout Camp [Bonnie Brea in the Berkshires (US)] back in 1968. The tune is very similar to the German tune.

Dickie bird

Up in a tree a Dickie Bird
Dim sol bim bam ball sol do sol dim
Up in a tree a Dickie Bird --- sat.

Below him crawled a furry black
Dim sol bim bam ball sol do sol dim
Below him crawlws a furry black --- cat.

He said for dinner I shall have
Dim sol bim bam ball sol do sol dim
He said for dinner I shall have --- you,

Then all at once the Dickie Bird
Dim sol bim bam ball sol do sol dim
Then all at once the Dickie Bird -- flu -- oooo

Tinker


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 12:32 AM

Thank you. Much interested in the timing of the pauses implied by the -- before the climactic monosyllable of each stanza; as I have indicated before, in my version this is emphasised by a double-nod, which my long-ago informant insisted was an essential part of the performance. Is the same the case in your version?

Interested too in transformation of hunter to cat ? real bit of folk process there? Tom&Jerry or [even more germane] Tweetie&Sylvester influence, I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Tinker
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 10:45 AM

The timing implied by the --- is definatley a dramatic pause. Part of the fun of the song was in the "drama" of anticipation being off set by the obvious nature of the answer.

The timing of your version is almost identical to what I learnt, but the Geman version here is closest to the tune

We did sing outher hunter songs, so I can pretty safely say the girls didn't change the words out of any type of political correctness.
The camp had a musical tradition going back to 1918.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 11:32 AM

Oh, indeed, I never even thought of PC as reason for hunter changing to cat ? just that, by tradition, cats do hunt birds & are frustrated [as in Tweety'n'Sylvester]. I just found the variation an interesting one. I think, as far as tune goes, my version & the usual German one are distantly related, as I said before somewhere way up there. What I have found nowhere else is the implied dietary lesson to be extrapolated from mine ? boiled more digestible that roast... Wonder how that bit crept in.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM

Perhaps Lévi-Strauss wrote it!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 12:04 PM

Nah ? too busy sewing denims....


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Tinker
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 12:56 PM

Until I looked at this song in light of the thread, I never really thought about the phrase "Dickey bird"   

I see definitions of it as refering to any small bird, but I have no memory of hearing the term except in this song. Is it a British reference ?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 01:19 PM

Tinker - it's certainly used in England for a (usually) small bird, especially to young children.

Partridge gives for dick(e)y-bird: A small bird, coll ca 1845 (also a harlot, ca 1820!).

It's also still used in the expression not a dicky bird or not a dicky, usually in the sense of not having heard anything (usually about something).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 01:55 PM

'Not a dicky-bird' is of course rhyming-slang for 'not a word'. 'Watch the dicky-bird' used to be an injunction for a child to look into the camera-lens and stay still and straight-faced while being photographed.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 02:31 PM

I see no one so far has commented on the "nonsense" phrase "sim saladim... " (or, in some versions, "sim salabim...").

I had the vague feeling I had encountered this phrase before, or something like it, in another context. (The song didn't ring a bell, apart from this phrase.)

I think I found the answer in a German book:

Lauter böhmische Dörfer: wie die Wörter zu ihrer Bedeutung kamen [Pure Bohemian Villages: How Words Came to Their Meaning] by Christoph Gutknecht (München: Beck, 2003), page 131:

"Simsalabim"

"Bismi llahi l-rahmani l-rahim"?mit dieser arabischen Formel beginnt jede Koransure. Sie bedeutet: 'Im Namen des barmherzigen und gnädigen Gottes!' In islamishen Ländern wird sie als Ausruf in vielen Lebenssituationen benutzt.

Sie fragen, was Bismi llahi l-rahmani l-rahim mit der deutschen Sprache zu tun hat? Die Antwort wird Sie überraschen: Die arabische Formel ist?in abgekürzter, entstellter und ironisierender Form?auch bei uns geläufig. Allerdings in anderem Zusammenhang: als Begleitspruch im entscheidenden Moment bei der Ausführung eines Zauberkunststückes: Simsalabim.

["Simsalabim"

"Bismi llahi l-rahmani l-rahim"? with this Arabic formula begins every Quranic sura. It means: 'In the name of the merciful and gracious God!' In Muslim countries it is used as an exclamation in many life situations.

You ask, what does Bismi llahi l-rahmani l-rahim have do with the German language? The answer may surprise you: The Arabic formula is?in an abbreviated, distorted and ironic form?also familiar to us. However, in another context: as an accompanying slogan at a crucial moment in the performance of a magic trick: Simsalabim.]

So, I infer that, in German, "simsalabim" means something like "abracadabra" or "hocus pocus."

I also found "simsalabim" in several Indonesian books. Now, it makes sense that, since Indonesia is a Muslim country, the Indonesian language would have lots of loan-words from Arabic. Accordingly, whenever "simsalabim" is used in Indonesian, it is usually either italicized or put in quotation marks, as if the writers know they are using a foreign word. And, when I used Google Translate (which is far superior to Babelfish, by the way) to translate from Indonesian to English, "simsalabim" was translated as "voila"! So they translated an Arabic-to-Indonesian loan-word into a French-to-English loan-word! How clever and appropriate!

Here are some other illustrative quotes I found:

Now, we are not talking about sim-salabim sleight of hand or presto/change-o magic here. (US, 1998)

?abracadabra, hocus-pocus, sim salabim, OPEN SESAME!? (UK, 1997)

Jadi, yang mesti ditimbulkan pertama kali adalah kesadaran bersama. Tidak bisa "sim salabim." Setiap elemen bangsa ini harus menyadari kecenderungan perubahan ini. [So, what should be first generated is shared awareness. It cannot be "Voila." Each element of this nation must be aware of this change in trend.] (Indonesia, 1995)

Ia berubah bukan karena sim-salabim tanpa penyebab yang jelas. [He changed not because of sim-salabim, but without obvious cause.] (Indonesia, 1999)

Islam bukanlah agama sim salabim, tetapi Islam adalah ajaran yang memiliki energi dengan merefleksikannya dalam dunia. [Islam is not religion Voila, but Islam is the doctrine of the reflected energy in the world.] (Indonesia, 2000)


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 02:49 AM

Joy, my gastronomic comrade, you wrote a week ago:

'The idea of toasting/grilling the food ON the toast could be achieved in any kind of oven -- like pizza. So as long as we've had ovens and bread I'm thinking we could have had "food on toast".'

Slow-burn response [not perhaps the most felicitous of phrases in the context] of the sort I specialise in to the fury of my friends:

No ? that is not 'toasting', which is browning by a fire or under a grill or in a toaster ? that is BAKING. A pizza, correctly, is *baked*, not *toasted*.

Am I not right?


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: Joybell
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 06:42 PM

Indeed you are, my Friend. Have to go into "slow-burn" myself though. I work that way too. Some things I think about will never be resolved because of the need to "slow-burn". 64 years hasn't been enough yet.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 11:34 AM

Refresh - as promised in CUCKOO {HANS THEESSINK}thread.


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Subject: RE: Upon a tree a cuckoo/Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 04:48 AM

refresh re thread seeking bird songs


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