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Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?

keberoxu 13 Oct 21 - 08:15 PM
GerryM 14 Oct 21 - 03:49 AM
Monique 14 Oct 21 - 07:16 AM
keberoxu 14 Oct 21 - 11:00 AM
Reinhard 14 Oct 21 - 12:19 PM
Reinhard 14 Oct 21 - 12:19 PM
Reinhard 14 Oct 21 - 12:23 PM
leeneia 14 Oct 21 - 01:44 PM
MudGuard 14 Oct 21 - 02:47 PM
keberoxu 15 Oct 21 - 07:55 PM
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Subject: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Oct 21 - 08:15 PM

I'm not aware that this has been set to music.
It comes from
Der Trompeter von Säkkingen. Ein Sang vom Oberrhein,
by the Heidelberg author Josef Viktor von Scheffel.

What I do understand, without translating it myself, is that
this is the point of view of a cat,
puzzling over the sight of a man and woman kissing one evening in the dark.


Manch' ein schwer Problema hab' ich
Prüfend in dem Katerherzen
Schon erwogen und ergründet.
Aber ein's bleibt ungelöst mir,
Ungelöst und unbegriffen.

Warum küssen sich die Menschen?
S'ist nicht Hass, sie beissen sich nicht;
Hunger nicht, sie fressen sich nicht.
S'kann auch kein zweckloser blinder
Unverstand sein, denn sie sind sonst
Klug und selbstbewusst im Handeln.
Warum, also, frag' umsonst ich,
Warum küssen sich die Menschen?

Warum meistens nur die Jüngern?
Warum diese meist im Frühling?
Über diese Punkte werd' ich
Morgen auf des Daches Giebel
Etwas näher meditiren.


The tomcat's name is Hiddigeigei, by the by.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: GerryM
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 03:49 AM

Google translate says,

I have some serious problems
Testing in the hangover heart
Already considered and explored.
But one thing remains unsolved to me
Unsolved and unfathomable.

Why do people kiss?
It's not hate, they don't bite;
Not hungry, they don't eat each other.
Neither can a pointless blind man
Be misunderstood, because otherwise they are
Smart and self-confident in action.
Why, well, I ask in vain
Why do people kiss?

Why mostly only the disciples?
Why this mostly in spring?
About these points I will
Tomorrow on the roof gable
Meditate a little closer.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: Monique
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 07:16 AM

DeepL Translator says:

Many a difficult problem I have
Examining in the tomcat heart
Already pondered and fathomed.
But one remains unsolved for me,
Unsolved and incomprehensible.

Why do people kiss each other?
It's not hate, they don't bite each other;
It's not hunger, they don't eat each other.
S'can also not be a purposeless blind
Lack of understanding, because they are otherwise
Wise and self-confident in action.
Why, then, I ask in vain,
Why do people kiss each other?

Why mostly only the disciples?
Why these mostly in the spring?
About these points I will
Tomorrow on the gable of the roof
A little closer meditate.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: keberoxu
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 11:00 AM

"Jüngern"
literally means
youngsters or young people, I know that much --

it is amusing to see it translated as "disciples"
because that must be a translation requiring
a specific context,
and I wonder if "young people" is not the more accurate.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 12:19 PM

It is. "Jünger" would be "disciples", but "die Jünger(en)" is an adjective used as a pronoun, standing in for "die jüngeren Menschen", so it is "young people".


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 12:19 PM

Sorry, that should be "die Jünger(e)n" stating that the "e" has been left out.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: Reinhard
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 12:23 PM

Second verse, "'s" is short for "es", so:

It can also be no purposeless blind
Ignorance, because they are otherwise
Wise and self-confident in their actions.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 01:44 PM

Thanks, keb, for posting this clever song. And thanks, Reinhard for translating the lines that had me baffled.


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: MudGuard
Date: 14 Oct 21 - 02:47 PM

It is tomcat, definitely, in the second line, not hangover (Kater is used for both in German)

The song is about a (tom)cat that wonders why humans do kiss.

The last part, about meditating on the roof top, makes more sense for a cat than a human ...


Jünger/disciples: Jünger is used in that meaning e.g. for Jesus' twelve apostel.

Or for firefighters - "Florians-Jünger" (as Saint Florian is the saint who protects houses from fire).


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Subject: RE: Trans Req: Warum kuessen sich Menschen?
From: keberoxu
Date: 15 Oct 21 - 07:55 PM

A little later in the same epic poem about the trompeter,
comes a moment when the tomcat, Hiddigeigei,
listens to a serious conversation between the old Baron
and the young man asking for the hand of the Baron's daughter.

Because the two men are not of the same social station,
the young man being of lower degree,
the Baron refuses. But the Baron knows and likes the young man,
so the refusal is very polite and long-winded,
and the Baron goes on at quite some length.
This all happens inside the castle, and the old tomcat
is nestled into one of his favorite spots, near the oven.

The cat makes a reprise of his earlier meditation. Here is the text.



Hinterm Ofen lag der Kater
Hiddigeigei, sorglich lauschend;
Nickt' auch mit dem Haupte Beifall
An dem Schluß, doch sinnend fuhr er
Mit der Pfote an die Stirn',
Sinnend dacht' er bei sich selber:

Warum küssen sich die Menschen?
Alte Frage, neue Skrupel!
Dacht' ich doch, ich hätt's gefunden:
Dacht', es sei der Kuß ein Mittel,
Schnell des andern Mund zu schließen,
Daß gewappnet nicht der bittern
Wahrheit Wort daraus hervorspring';
Doch auf diese Lösung scheint mir
Jetzo eine ganz verfehlt,
Denn sonst hätt' mein junger Freund hier
Längst den alten Herrn geküßt!


-- Josef Viktor von Scheffel,
Der Trompeter von Säkkingen: ein Sang vom Oberrhein


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