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Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs

katlaughing 19 Apr 11 - 10:08 AM
Reinhard 19 Apr 11 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Apr 11 - 11:59 AM
katlaughing 19 Apr 11 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Grishka 20 Apr 11 - 05:33 AM
katlaughing 20 Apr 11 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Apr 11 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Apr 11 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Apr 11 - 06:19 AM
Susanne (skw) 27 Apr 11 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM
Wilfried Schaum 28 Apr 11 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Apr 11 - 02:23 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 10:08 AM

We've been watching a new to us BBC three-part show on PBS of Upstairs/Downstairs series two which takes place during the tumultuous times just before WWII. In it a Jewish woman who fled from Germany and has gone into service; she reveals a young daughter who is living with people whom she pays to keep as she couldn't get the job with any "attachments." Her husband is in prison for "political" reasons, far away.

Anyway, she sings a beautiful lully to her coworker who then sings it to her daughter, later on. I think she said it was about a ladybug whose house was on fire, but it didn't sound like any English version I've ever heard. I think she also said the tune was by Brahms.

Any one know of it, tune and words, German or English?

Thanks!

kat


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: Reinhard
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 11:08 AM

This is from Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Achim von Arnim, 1781-1831 and Clemens Brentano 1778-1842)

Marienwürmchen, setze dich
Auf meine Hand, auf meine Hand,
Ich tu dir nichts zu Leide.
Es soll dir nichts zu Leid geschehn,
Will nur deine bunten Flügel sehn,
Bunte Flügel, meine Freude.

Marienwürmchen, fliege weg,
Dein Häuschen brennt, die Kinder schrein
So sehre, wie so sehre.
Die böse Spinne spinnt sie ein,
Marienwürmchen, flieg hinein,
Deine Kinder schreien sehre.

Marienwürmchen, fliege hin
Zu Nachbars Kind, zu Nachbars Kind,
Sie tun dir nichts zu Leide!
Es soll dir da kein Leid geschehn,
Sie wollen deine bunten Flügel sehn,
Und grüß sie alle beide!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 11:59 AM

Many YouTube videos to choose from (enter "Marienwürmchen Brahms"). There is a different melody by Schumann, also available on YouTube. Brahms often wrote accompaniments to existing "folk" tunes (for respect, not for lack of inspiration, though many of those tunes were quite recent). I do not know whether this is an example, but it may well be, since he called the collection "Volks-Kinderlieder" and did not count them as an Opus ("WoO 31" - work without work number, number 31). Schumann always invented new melodies.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Apr 11 - 12:56 PM

Thank you, both, very much! That is it. I knew Brahms used tunes which meant it more likely someone would know this. I am listening to a California children's choir sing it on youtube. Enchanting. I really love the tune and remember enough German to pronounce it right, but, if either of you have a translation, I'd really appreciate that, too.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 05:33 AM

kat, that's a tough task you are asking from us, since this song, like many Wunderhorn verses, is somewhat surrealistic, as Arnim and Brentano (wrongly) imagined true folk songs. In the symbolism around 1800, winged insects stand for the freedom of the human mind, defying opression. Here is my go, as literal as I can:
Little ladybug, sit
On my hand, on my hand
I'll do you no harm.
You must not suffer any harm,
I only want to look at your colourful wings,
Colourful wings, my pleasure.

Little ladybug, fly away,
Your little house is burning, the children cry
So strongly, so strongly.
The wicked spider spins his weave around them,
Little ladybug, fly inside,
Your children are crying strongly.

Little ladybug, fly there
To neighbour's child, to neighbour's child,
They'll do you no harm!
There you must not suffer any harm,
They want to see your colourful wings,
And [you should] give my regards to both of them!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Apr 11 - 09:51 AM

Grishka, thank you, very much! I was curious to see if any of the words corresponded to the little ditty we kids used to say whenever we saw a ladybug. Didn't know about the symbolism, etc. Most interesting. Our little saying was quite simple compared to the song:

Ladybug, ladybug
Fly away home
Your house is on fire
Your children all gone.

Now that I read that I wonder why we didn't have nightmares or somesuch as kids repeating that to some poor, beautiful little bugs!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:16 AM

kat, the ditty seems to be old indeed, and inscrutable in its original meaning. Here is a text by the Grimm brothers 1819, translated only in the non-italic parts:
Marienwürmchen, fliege weg! fliege weg!
dein Häuschen brennt! die Kinder schrein!


A complete song is communicated by the Wunderhorn I. 235. The Northern Antiquities I. 322 observe the same custom in England and even the rhyme

Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly and begone!
your house is a-fire and your children at home!
I suspect Arnim/Brentano extemporated on this, adding the contemporary symbolism which praises beautiful art as a means against opression. That "romantic" idea has remained of limited but not negligible power in the Nazi period and still today; think of China, the Arab world, etc.

Note that the Northern Antiquities of 1814 are a good witness for the English verse, but for a "complete song" they can only quote the Wunderhorn version once more:
Indeed, many curious relics of past times are preserved in the games and rhymes found among children, which are on that account by no means beneath the notice of the curious traveller, who will be surprised to find, after the lapse of so many ages, and so many changes of place, languages and manners, how little these differ among different nations of the same original stock, who have been so long divided and estranged from each other. As an illustration of this, which we happen to have most conveniently at hand, we give the following child's song to the Lady-bird, which is commonly sung while this pretty insect is perched on the tip of the fore-finger, and danced up and down. Every child knows the English rhyme,

"Lady-bird, lady-bird, fly and begone,
Your house is a-fire, and your children at home, &c."


The German children have it much more perfect, as well as much
prettier, the English having preserved only the second stanza in their address.

Marienwürmchen, setze dich ...
Although I have partial German roots and currently live in Germany, I am not an expert on German - or English - folklore. The usual suspects may know more. Anyway, it is quite ridiculous to date such verses back to ancient Germanic times; folklore always travelled within Europe at the speed of sound, so-to-speak.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:18 AM

... oppresion ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Apr 11 - 06:19 AM

... oppression ...

I should not type with other things in mind. Hope I've still been helpful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstai
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 27 Apr 11 - 08:39 PM

One of the earliest songs I learned as a child was the rhyme

Maikäfer flieg
Dein Vater ist im Krieg
Deine Mutter ist in Pommernland
Pommernland ist abgebrannt
Maikäfer flieg

I've always associated it with Germany's "freedom wars" against Napoleon in the early 19th century, and it does vaguely remind me of the longer song quoted above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM

I've never identified the 'lady' in 'ladybug' with the Virgin Mary before, but that's what it seems to be.

'Marienwürmchen' (which means 'Mary's little worm') is the word for ladybug in the first version above. There are a number of compound words in German that include 'Marien,' and they all refer to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Marienkirche, (Mary's church) for example.

In the poem Susanne just posted, it's different. 'Maikaefer' means May-beetle.

I help in garden that has a shrine to Mary in it. Last week, workers were repairing the concrete of the shrine. When I visited, Mary's statue had been removed from the shrine and placed under a pine tree. She had on a hard hat and safety goggles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 11:45 AM

Another stanza to the may-beetle song given by susanne(skw), definitely from the 30-years-war:

Bet, Kindlein, bet,
morgen kommt der Schwed,
morgen kommt der Ochenstern,
der wird das Kindlein lern.
Bet, Kindlein, bet.

Pray, little child, pray,
tomorrow the Swede wil come,
tomorrow will come Oxenstierna,
who will teach the cild to pray.
Pray, ...

The Swede: The Swedish army of King Gustaf Adolf.
Oxenstierna: His most famous general.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: German lully in 2nd Upstairs/Downstairs
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Apr 11 - 02:23 PM

Thanks, Wilfried. That's interesting.


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