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Origins/Lyr Add: Spectre Review

Joe Offer 05 Nov 10 - 03:51 PM
Reinhard 06 Nov 10 - 02:16 AM
Artful Codger 06 Nov 10 - 03:34 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Nov 10 - 11:48 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Spectre Review
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Nov 10 - 03:51 PM

There aren't many songs in Jon Boden's Folksong a Day project that haven't been covered by a Mudcat thread, but the song for November 1 is one. I hope Reinhard Zierke doesn't mind that I copied this from his excellent Website.

Spectre Review

[words Baron Joseph Christian von Zedlitz (1790-1862): Die nächtliche Herrschau, translation unknown, music trad. arr. Pete Flood]

Bellowhead sang Spectre Review in 2008 on their Navigator CD Matachin. They commented in their sleeve notes:

Jon found the text for this song in the folklore department library at Sheffield University in a book called German Folk Songs. Unfortunately that library has since closed down and the book has disappeared so we are short on details, but it appears to be a 20th century translation of a poem by the Austrian poet Baron Joseph Christian von Zedlitz (1790-1862). Pete then set it to a variation of a French tune.

Jon Boden also sang Spectre Review on November 1, 2010 in his A Folk Song a Day project.

Lyrics

Bellowhead sing Spectre Review

From out of his grave the drummer, when midnight's chime has tolled
Rises and wanders nightly, the drum within his hold
With arm bones white and fleshless he moves the drumsticks two
Plays many a wild reveille and many a weird tattoo

And through the dark loud calling, the drum-taps beat and shake
And the dead forgotten soldiers from out of their graves awake

Those buried in the northlands under the ice and snow
And those whose bones are swelt'ring Italia's earth below
And those who the Nile-stream cover, and the Arabian sands
All from their graves are rising with weapons in their hands

Then from his grave the trumpeter at midnight rises slow
And ever at the midnight the ghostly trumpets blow

Next come the prancing horses, the brave dead cavalry
The bloody shot-pierced squadrons all weaponed diversely
Skulls grin beneath the shadows each dinted helm affords
Arms white and fleshless brandish long and rusty swords

And last his grave forsaking when chimes of midnight sound
Comes the general riding with his phantom staff around

Small and cocked the hat he wears and his coat is grey and wide
And he bears a short sword hanging in the sheath at his left side
The moon with yellow glances over the wide plain shines
The general watches mutely; the troops they form in line

The ranks present and shoulder their arms right soldierly
And with regimental music the army marches by

The marshals and the general gather around him near
A word the general whispers into Caesar's ear
The word goes round the circle, resounding over the plain
“La France!” the ringing password, the answer “St Hélène!”

Thus at the hour of midnight in the Champs Élysées
The long-dead Caesar holds his weird review, men say

Die nächtliche Heerschau

Nachts um die zwölfte Stunde
Verläßt der Tambour sein Grab,
Macht mit der Trommel die Runde,
Geht wirbelnd auf und ab.
Mit seinen entfleischten Armen
Rührt er die Schlägel zugleich;
Schlägt manchen guten Wirbel,
Reveill’ und Zapfenstreich.
Die Trommel klinget seltsam,
Hat gar einen starken Ton,
Die alten toten Soldaten
Erwachen im Grabe davon;
Und die im tiefen Norden
Erstarrt in Schnee und Eis,
Und die in Welschland liegen,
Wo ohnen die Erde zu heiß;
Und die der Nilschlamm decket
Und der arabische Sand,
Sie steigen aus den Gräbern
Und nehmen’s Gewehr zur Hand.
Da kommen auf luftigen Pferden
Die toten Reiter herbei,
Die blutigen alten Schwadronen,
In Waffen mancherlei.
Und um die zwölfte Stunde
Verläßt der Feldherr sein Grab,
Kommt langsam hergeritten,
Umgeben von seinem Stab;
Er trägt ein kleines Hütchen,
Er trägt ein enfach Kleid,
Und einen kleinen Degen
Trägt er an seiner Seit’!
Der Mond mit gelbem Lichte
Erhellt den weiten Plan,
Der Mann im kleinen Hütchen
Sieht sich die Truppen an.
Die Reihen präsentiren
Und schultern das Gewehr,
Dann zieht mit klingendem Spiele
Vorbei das ganze Heer.
Die Marschäll und Generale
Schliessen um ihn den Kreis,
Der Feldherr sagt dem Nächsten
Ins Ohr ein Wörtchen leis’;
Das Wort geht in die Runde,
Klingt wieder fern und nah’:
»Frankreich« heißt die Parole,
Die Losung: »Sanct Helena«.
Das ist die große Parade
Im Elyseischen Feld,
Die um die zwölfte Stunde
Der tote Cäsar hält.


Anybody have other versions, other information, or a MIDI?
-Joe Offer-
joe@mudcat.org


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Subject: RE: Origins/Lyr Add: Spectre Review
From: Reinhard
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 02:16 AM

You're welcome, Joe. I get so much information from Mudcat that I should give something back ;)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Spectre Review/Nächtliche Heerschau
From: Artful Codger
Date: 06 Nov 10 - 03:34 AM

Die nächtliche Heerschau. [The nightly review]

Nachts um die zwölfte Stunde
Verläßt der Tambour sein Grab,
Macht mit der Trommel die Runde,
Geht emsig aus und ab.
        Nights at the twelfth hour, the drummer leaves his grave,
        makes the round with his drum, busily goes up and down.

Mit seinen entfleischten Armen
Rührt er die Schlägel zugleich,
Schlägt manchen guten Wirbel,
Reveill' und Zapfenstreich.
        With his fleshless arms he moves the sticks in unison,
        Beats many a good drumroll, reveille and taps.

Die Trommel klinget seltsam,
Hat gar einen starken Ton.
Die alten todten Soldaten
Erwachen im Grab davon.
        The drum sounds strange, has quite a strong sound.
        From it, the old dead soldiers awake in the grave.

Und die im tiefen Norden
Erstarret in Schnee und Eis,
Und die in Welschland liegen,
Wo ihnen die Erde zu heiß;
        And those in the deep North benumbed in snow and ice,
        And those laying in the southern lands, where the earth is too hot for them;

Und die der Nilschlamm decket
Und der arabische Sand;
Sie steigen aus ihren Gräbern,
Sie nehmen's Gewehr zur Hand.
        And those whom the Nile mud and Arabian sand covers;
        They arise from their graves, they take their rifles in hand.

Und um die zwölfte Stunde
Verläßt der Trompeter sein Grab,
Und schmettert in die Trompete
Und reitet aus und ab.
        And at the midnight hour, the trumpeter leaves his grave
        And blares his trumpet and rides up and down.

Da kommen auf lustigen Pferden
Die todten Reiter herbei,
Die blutigen alten Schwadronen
In Waffen mancherlei.
        Here come the dead riders on their merry horses,
        the bloodied old squadrons [bearing] many a weapon.

Es grinsen die weißen Schädel
Wohl unter dem Helm hervor,
Es halten die Knochenhände
Die langen Schwerter empor.
        The white skulls grin from beneath the helmet[s],
        the bony hands hold the long swords aloft.

Und um die zwölfte Stunde
Verläßt der Feldherr sein Grab,
Kommt langsam hergeritten,
Umgeben von seinem Stab.
        And at the midnight hour the commander leaves his grave,
        comes up riding slowly, surrounded by his staff.

Er trägt ein kleines Hütchen,
Er trägt ein einfach Kleid,
Und einen kleinen Degen
Trägt er an seiner Seit.
        He wears a small hat, he wears a simple blouse,
        and he carries a small sword at his side.

Der Mond mit gelbem Lichte
Erhellt den weiten Plan:
Der Mann im kleinen Hütchen
Sieht sich die Truppen an.
        The moon with yellow light illuminates the broad plain;
        the man in the little hat reviews the troops.

Die Reihen präsetiren
Und schultern das Gewehr,
Dann zieht mit klingendem Spiele
Vorüber das ganze Heer.
        The ranks present and ashoulder their weapons,
        then the whole army marches past with drums beating.

Die Marschäll' und Generale
Schließen um ihn einen Kreis:
Der Feldherr sagt dem Nächsten
In's Ohr ein Wörtlein leis.
        The marshals and generals enclose him in a circle;
        the commander-in-chief says a quiet word in the
         second[-in-command]'s ear.

Das Wort geht in die Runde,
Klingt wieder fern und nah:
"Frankreich" ist die Parole,
Die Losung: "Sanct Helena!"
        The word goes round, sounding far and near:
        "France" is the challenge; the battlecry: "Saint Helena!"
         [could be "is the watchword; the reply:"]

Dies ist die große Parade
Im elyseischen Feld,
Die um die zwölfte Stunde
Der todte Cäsar hält.
        This is the grand parade in the Elysian field
        that at the midnight hour dead Caesar holds.

                v. Zedlitz

Source: Drei Bücher deutscher Dichtunger: Von Albrecht von Haller bis auf die Gegenwart [Three books of German poets: from Albrecht von Haller to the present] (p. 315, #361), by Franz Knauth. Halle: Otto Hendel, 1864. The interleaved English translation is mine.

The poet was Joseph Christian Freiherr (=Baron) von Zedlitz (1790-1862), and the "Caesar" in this poem is presumably the ghost of Napoleon Bonaparte, plotting to retake France after his ignominious exile and death on Saint Helena.

The German poem has been set to music (as a tone-poem) by Anton Emil Titl, conductor of the Burgtheater in Vienna. Johann Strauss (son) was involved in a production of it. Using the opportunity, he also premiered his Nocturne-Quadrille that night, choosing the name to complement the Zedlitz/Titl work.


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Subject: RE: Origins/Lyr Add: Spectre Review
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 11:48 PM

The German text, beginning "Nachts um die zwölfte Stunde" can be found in many books. The oldest I can find is Literatur-Blatt auf das Jahr 1828 (Stuttgart: Paul Neff), page 362.

I didn't compare it in detail to the version above.


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