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Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden

DigiTrad:
DIE GUTE KAMERAD


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden (23)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Der Gute Kamerad (usually known as 'Ich hatt' einen Kameraden')


jofield 09 Oct 00 - 10:28 AM
mousethief 09 Oct 00 - 03:15 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 00 - 04:49 PM
mousethief 09 Oct 00 - 04:55 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 00 - 05:09 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Oct 00 - 05:34 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 00 - 06:06 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 00 - 06:13 PM
mousethief 09 Oct 00 - 06:29 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 00 - 06:48 PM
jofield 09 Oct 00 - 07:03 PM
Snuffy 09 Oct 00 - 07:31 PM
Haruo 09 Oct 00 - 07:36 PM
jofield 09 Oct 00 - 09:14 PM
GUEST,Joerg 09 Oct 00 - 11:18 PM
Joe Offer 10 Oct 00 - 03:31 AM
Edi 10 Oct 00 - 12:37 PM
mousethief 10 Oct 00 - 01:02 PM
Lonesome EJ 10 Oct 00 - 02:42 PM
jofield 10 Oct 00 - 05:49 PM
mousethief 10 Oct 00 - 05:55 PM
jofield 10 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM
Haruo 10 Oct 00 - 10:08 PM
Haruo 10 Oct 00 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Joerg 10 Oct 00 - 10:19 PM
Wolfgang 11 Oct 00 - 10:47 AM
Edi 11 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Joerg 11 Oct 00 - 10:22 PM
Bud Savoie 11 Oct 00 - 11:26 PM
Joe Offer 12 Oct 00 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Joerg 12 Oct 00 - 09:29 PM
Wolfgang 13 Oct 00 - 09:06 AM
Edi 13 Oct 00 - 10:16 AM
Wolfgang 13 Oct 00 - 12:36 PM
Wolfgang 16 Oct 00 - 05:30 AM
Wilfried Schaum 26 Jun 01 - 04:32 AM
Wilfried Schaum 26 Jun 01 - 05:12 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 04 - 05:21 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Mar 04 - 08:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 May 04 - 08:33 PM
Wolfgang 03 May 04 - 01:53 PM
Wolfgang 03 May 04 - 02:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 May 04 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,wesprichard 03 Dec 04 - 01:58 AM
chico 20 Jun 05 - 09:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Jun 05 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,The_Beast 25 Aug 05 - 03:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 05 - 08:24 PM
Wilfried Schaum 26 Aug 05 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,mg 12 Sep 08 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Nov 10 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,mg 12 Nov 10 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Nov 10 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,mg 12 Nov 10 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Nov 10 - 02:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Nov 10 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Michael 16 Nov 10 - 05:58 AM
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Subject: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: jofield
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:28 AM

This is an old German song, traditionally played at funerals (tr: "Once, I had a comerade"). I was once told that it is associated with coal miners, though the first verse, which I know already, says "the drum called us to battle, we marched side by side, step for step". (I hasten to add that the song predates the Nazi era by many years.) But, I guess given German history from 1870 on, coal miners and veterans were largely overlapping subsets.
So as not to waste anyone's time, I should say that I ALREADY KNOW that the tune was used for the Spanish Civil War Republican song "Hans Beimler", and I ALREADY KNOW all those verses. What I am looking for, if they exist, is more verses to the original song (in German).
Vielleicht gibt es jemand der mir hilfen könnte.
Thanks,
James


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Subject: Lyr Add: ICH HATT' EINEN KAMERADEN
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 03:15 PM

Well there is this page here: clicky which has these words:

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,
Einen bessern findst du nit.
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,
Er ging an meiner Seite
|: Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt. :|

Eine Kugel kam geflogen:
Gilt's mir oder gilt es dir?
Ihn hat es weggerissen,
Er liegt mir vor den Füßen
|: Als wär's ein Stück von mir :|

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Derweil ich eben lad'.
"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,
Bleib du im ew'gen Leben
|: Mein guter Kamerad!" :|

Are these the words you wanted? There's another version on the same page, as well as really bad translations of both. (see blue clicky above)

versuchend immer zu helfen, wenn ich kann,
Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: ADD: Ich Hatt einen Kameraden
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 04:49 PM

Ausgezeichnet, Alex! The site Alex linked to has a translation, along with a MIDI tune and WAV files, and additional versions in German and Latin. I found a verse translation in a 1968 Oak Publications book called German Folk Songs. It certainly is a powerful song.
-Joe Offer
Ich hatt einen Kameraden
Ballad of a Friend

I never shall forget him,
The comrade by my side,
To the deadly muskets' rattle
He marched with me to battle
With even step and stride.
With even step and stride.

A bullet came from nowhere,
It found us side by side,
I heard my comrade calling,
I saw his body falling:
A part of me had died,
Yes, a part of me had died.

The battle raged around us,
No time to clasp his hand:
"We shall march no more together,
May you rest in peace forever,
Farewell to you, good friend,
Farewell to you, my friend."

English translation and additional material by Arthur Kevess, Aaron Kramer, and Earl Robinson. ©1968 by River Bend Music, Inc.
German lyrics by Ludwig Uhland, 1809; music by Friedrich Silcher, 1825.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 04:55 PM

Es war nichts.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 05:09 PM

Here are the notes from the Oak Publications German Folksongs book, apparently written by editor Arthur Kevess:
One of the most popular German folksongs, written during the Napoleonic wars. Words, 1809, by Ludwig Uhland, poet, historian, and professor of German literature at the University of Tübingen in his home town. Sixteen years later, the university's music director, Friedrich Silcher, dusted off a 3/4 time folk melody, "Ein schwarzbraunes Mädchen hat ein'n Feldjäger lieb" (which he considered to be of Swiss origin), changed it to a 4/4 marching tempo, and fitted Uhland's words to it. The song, included in his Folksongs, 1827, has been a favorite ever since.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), "Ich hatt einen Kameraden" was widely sung by the anti-fascist volunteers of the Thälmann Battalion. Marching to or from the front, and especially when mourning their losses, they sang this song of the "good comrade."

Singer Ernst Busch conceived the idea of giving the song greater meaning. His new lyrics for "Hans Beimler" soon replaced the original ones on the volunteers' lips. Loyalist partisans here (in the U.S.??) sang the new song both in German as well as in a semi-singable unrhymed anonymous translation.

Hans Beimler had been a deputy in the Bavarian Diet, or parliament. Sent to Dachau in 1933, he was one of the few prisoners who ever escaped from the camp. He went to Spain as a leader fo the first contingent of International Brigade volunteers who helped save Madrid in November 1936. Chief political comissar, he was killed in action in December of that year.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 05:34 PM

Now there is synchronicity, I was only reading about this folk song the other week, it gets a mention in one of the Richard Sharpe books, by Bernard Cornwell.... that's what I call a bloke who does his research thoroughly...

LTS


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Subject: ADD: Hans Beimler
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 06:06 PM

HANS BEIMLER
(Ernst Busch)

Vor Madrid im Schützengraben,
In der Stunde der Gefahr,
Mit den eisernen Brigaden,
Sein Herz voll Hass geladen,
Stand Hans, der Kommissar,
Stand Hans, der Kommissar.

Seine Heimat musst er lassen,
Weil er Freiheitskämpfer war.
Auf Spaniens blut'gen Strassen,
Für das Recht der armen Klassen
Starb Hans, der Kommissar,
Starb Hans, der Kommissar.

Eine Kugel kam geflogen
Aus der "Heimat" für ihn her. (führ ???)
Der Schuss war gut erwogen,
Der Lauf war gut gezogen- -
Ein deutsches Schiessgewehr,
Ein deutsches Schiessgewehr.

Kann dir die Hand drauf geben,
Derweil ich eben lad'
-Du bleibst in unserm Leben,
Dem Feind wird nicht vergeben,
Hans Beimler, Kamerad,
Hans Beimler, Kamerad.

In Madrid's outlying trenches,
In the hour of danger grim,
With the International Shock Brigades,
His heart with hatred all ablaze,
Stood Hans, the Commissar. (repeat)

Because he fought for freedom,
He was forced to leave his home.
Near the blood-stained Manzanares,
Where he led the fight to hold Madrid,
Died Hans, the Commissar. (repeat)

A bullet came a-flying
From his Fascist `fatherland."
The shot struck home, the aim was true,
The rifle barrel well made, too,
A German army gun. (repeat)

With heart and hand I pledge you,
While I load my gun again,
You will never be forgotten,
Nor the enemy forgiven,
Hans Beimler, Commissar. (repeat)


JRO


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Subject: Hans Beimler
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 06:13 PM

The book says "aus der Heimat für ihn her," but that doesn't make sense to me. I think it should be "führ." Can anybody tell us for sure what that word should be?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 06:29 PM

No, that doesn't make sense, Joe. "aus der Heimat für ihn her" makes sense (roughly, "this way (hither), out of the homeland, for him"). It can't be "führ ihn," because ihn is in the accusative, and if you were saying "he lead" it would be "führ er" and if you are saying "[s-o] led him" it would be "führ ihm."

I think the point is that he was shot with a german rifle, right? Thus the bullet flew "out of the homeland" for him. The "für ihn" thus makes perfect sense.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 06:48 PM

I think we'll have to ask a native speaker, Alex. Now that I think about it, the verb might be "herfahren," in which case the phrase could be "aus der Heimat fuhr ihn her" - or it could be my first thought, "herführen." But no, I don't think the word "für" is correct.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: jofield
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 07:03 PM

Viele herzlichen dank' für eure Hilfe meine freunden. Eigentlich es scheint mir dass dieses berühmte Lied aus militärischem Ursprung kommt. Aber die Melodie ist immer eindrucksvoll.

Wiederschauen,
James.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 07:31 PM

I'd go with Alex, Joe.

'Her' relates to 'kam geflogen' not to 'fuhr'. If you re-arrange the word order you get:

"Für ihn kam eine Kugel aus der 'Heimat' her geflogen." (hergeflogen?). That makes perfect sense to me.

BTW - 865 DIE GUTE KAMERAD is one of the DT songs missing a tune. Do I understand correctly that the tune in the DT for Hans Beimler is the same tune? It didn't sound like the one I think I remember from 30+ years ago.

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Haruo
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 07:36 PM

The Latin version on the German page earlier cited by Alex has the title misspelt (aka misspelled). It says "Bonus comiltio", but I'm quite certain it should be "Bonus commilito" (as the second word in the first line, commilitonem, indicates).

Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: jofield
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 09:14 PM

kommen + heraus + fliegen = to come a-flying out

"Eine Kugel kam geflogen
Aus der Heimat für ihn her."

A bullet came a-flying
Toward him from the homeland.

...the irony being that both sides were probably using German-built Mausers.

James


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Subject: Lyr Add: DER GUTE KAMERAD
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 11:18 PM

Mousethief's words are most close to what I remember. I think I should give you a translation before I continue.

Der gute Kamerad (!)
The Good Comrade

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,
I had a comrade,
Einen bessern findst du nit.
Never will you find a better one.
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,
The drum sounded ('beat') for battle (for 'quarrel')
Er ging an meiner Seite
He was walking by my side
|: Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt. :|
With even step and tread (maybe bad but literal)

Eine Kugel kam geflogen:
A bullet came flying:
Galt sie (!) mir oder galt sie (!) dir?
Was it meant for me or was it meant for you?
Ihn hat es weggerissen,
It was he who was was torn away,
Er lag vor meinen (!) den Füßen
He lay at my feet
|: Als wär's ein Stück von mir :|
Like (as if he was) a piece of myself

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Still (he) is reaching for my hand / still wants go give me his hand, (present tense, yes)
Derweil ich eben lad'. While I am just loading (my gun)
"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben, "Can't give you my hand,
Bleib du im ew'gen Leben
Remain in eternal life (=heaven)
|: Mein guter Kamerad!" :| My good comrade!"

(!) means that I here changed something already mentioned above.

Now may I add a comment from a victim's point of view? I DO NOT LIKE THIS SONG! And I'm not that enchanted of seeing it mentioned here. But these are personal feelings, and I can imagine that other people are also hurt by things that in turn don't mean anything to me. That's freedom of speech, and I do respect it. And I support it at least because we can learn what other people are hurt by.

You know this song was written at a time when the whole world had just freshly rebooted. Some kind of power-on reset had been initiated by a severe system crash which occured because things had never worked correctly (as Windoze) so it was just a matter of time that a fatal error occurred (resulting in the french revolution and everything that followed not only in France).

When SCANDISK had run (i.e. Napoleon was not a problem any more) some people considered changing the operating system. So did the germans, who had been divided into many, many small countries up to then. There was a movement for uniting in order also become one of the big ones. And there was an atmosphere of common patriotism which allowed Uhland & Co to sell products like this, not so bad, just imagine northern irish catholics and protestants come up with some conscience resulting in songs like "The new green-orange flute" or "One field of orange and green", i.e. uniting while separating from everything outside.

But do I have to mention the consequences finally resulting from that separation?! I didn't have to participate in any world war, but my whole school days were poisoned by the shock of those who had. Only texts telling how cruel war was (not: is! - there would have been enough present wars to tell about), how bitter hunger was (see above) and also how bad germans are were considered good literature. Also, my father and grandfather didn't seem to know anything to tell but stories of war, war, war... (Not of the wars that happened during that time, Korea, Vietnam, Middle East etc, they seemed to be blind for what was happening right then.) I AM FED UP!

This song conjures some good concepts. Friendship. If you loose a friend you loose a piece of yourself. And often it may be difficult to tell the one who suffers from something from the one this was aimed at (who 'should have' suffered).

But may I correct some possible misunderstandings, especially to some of my younger compatriots, but not restricted to them:

1) I is NOT necessary to start a war and/or join the army and/or march into battle to experience friendship.
2) Marching synchronously (is that some correct expression?) IS NOT friendship.
3) Loading a gun is HARDLY EVER more important than a friend. (What about helping him first instead of trying to kill another man? Well, in order to do so it might be necessary to defend yourself first, and in order to do so, it also might be necessary to load your gun first, but this is not what is told in this song!)

In general: Friendship is made up by being a friend to a friend, not by being an enemy to some common enemy. Apply friendship in peace - if you succeed you won't need war any more.

To everybody who read this up to here: Thank you.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 03:31 AM

Thank you, Joerg - that gave us a lot to think about.
Alles gute.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Edi
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 12:37 PM

Thank you Joerg, I'm completely d'accord. I am a German and I do not like this song too. In my country this song has a "terrible" tradition because it is linked with a very strong military impact. You can even see it in the Ernst-Busch-modification - by the way it's definitely "für ihn her" because Busch speaks of a fascist bullet wich hits Hans Beimler, the communist civil war "Kommissar" - and if you hear Ernst Busch singing "Hans Beimler" you will find that he is "topping" the pathetic original. And he is in a traditional line. The German fascists took tunes of democratic and working songs and put in their own pathetic words. This is one of the reasons why my land has not a lively unbroken traditional song/music tradition like England, Scotland, Ireland, France etc. And some of the "socialist/communist" followers took the same tunes, the Nazis corrupted and replaced the fascist paroles with a communistic "pathos". There are single exceptions, for example Brechts "Kälbermarsch" (former "Die Fahne hoch, die Reihen fest geschlossen"). But this is not what you would call traditional music. And therefore I have some problems with genuine German musical tradition. Born in the fifties, I grew up with international rock music and the feeling of freedom and liberty. And I found my way to traditional music with the beginning of the eighties - late. But one thing remained: I prefer drinking songs - not soldier songs.

Edgar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 01:02 PM

Thanks Jeorg and Edi for sharing your thoughts with us. I just have one thing to offer: while it is not necessary to have a war to experience friendship, I think that sons like this one may be one way of salvaging something good out of a horrible experience.

In other words, war sucks, war is hell, etc., but if you have lived through it, you might want to look for SOMETHING good about it. Nobody likes to think that so much of their life -- with so many terrible experiences -- was simply wasted. And if you had a good friend in the army (or navy or whatever), that would be a good thing. It's sort of a version of trying to find a silver lining in a dark cloud.

Just a thought. I am very fortunate in that I have never had to kill, nor be in danger of emminent death from firearms, canonnade, etc. For which all thanks and praise to the deities of your choice.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 02:42 PM

I recently saw an account of the brief life of the German battleship Bismarck. I found three things very moving in the account.The attempt by a British seaman to save the life of an armless German sailer by risking his own.The abrupt departure of the British Battleship,leaving hundreds of German sailors to die in the ocean.And the solemn singing of Ich Haff Ein Kamerade by the rescued German Sailors at a Sea Burial for one of the survivors who died onboard ship.The elderly German Veterans who spoke about this event that occurred almost 60 years ago,had tears in their eyes,as did the British Veterans.

It seems to me that in war,despite the rightness or wrongness,there are moments that defy politics,and in which the Human Spirit,in joy or tragedy,is triumphant.It seems to me that to blame these men or show them dishonor for having sung this song at this moment reflects dishonor on us,and not them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: jofield
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 05:49 PM

I can only agree with most of what our German friends have to say about the words to this song. Still, it is, to me, a very evocative melody, which is why I was wondering about the second and third verses of the original. It makes a fitting funeral song, like our own haunting "Navy Hymn". (It is also, by the way, uniquely suited to the harmonica, the scale and timbre of which fit the somber tune perfectly.)

It is also unfortunate that a few great German melodies were coöpted by the Nazis. I still think the German national anthem is a classic of its genre. In the English-speaking world it is called "Luther's Hymn" or something similar, isn't it?

James


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 05:55 PM

The melody of "Deutschland über Alles" -- as it appears in various hymnals of my acquaintance -- is called "Austria."

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: jofield
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM

Right. I have answered my own question. The German anthem was composed at the end of the 18th century by Haydn. "Ein feste Burg..." is Luther's Hymn. From what I have just read, the super-nationalist verses ("Deutschland über Alles...") have simply been dropped, and only the third verse, which speaks of unity, justice, and freedom is sung. Good idea, to preserve a great melody and skip the nationalist sentiments.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Haruo
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 10:08 PM

In English hymnody, AUSTRIA is traditionally associated with John Newton's text,

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God;
He whose word cannot be broken formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose?
With salvation's walls surrounded, thou mayst smile at all thy foes.


And since it is 8.7.8.7.D, it's one of those tunes that some hymnals like to use over and over again. The one I have in front of me, which my church uses, applies AUSTRIA (calling it AUSTRIAN HYMN) also to Praise the Lord! Ye heavens, adore Him and From the first bright light of morning.

I first learned the tune with words that ran something like

Deutsche Frälein, deutsche Treue, deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang
Sollen auf der Welt behalten ihren alten schönen Klang
Uns zu edler Tat begeistern, unser ganzes Leben lang,
...

Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Haruo
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 10:11 PM

Ve! Luckily this board (unlike some I've been on) doesn't allow a failure to close an html tag to affect every subsequent post till it's fixed (at least, I hope this isn't italicized!)...Liland


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 10:19 PM

Thank you, friends.

You know I didn't want to say that this song is bad. It's only at the very very edge of being misunderstood in some way that may cause catastrophies.

Once you are buried in shit (like war) you will appreciate friendship. Yes. A song (or a story, or a movie) showing friendship in front of a background of shit will sell better, just because of the contrast. But beware! There will be people who "understand" that there must be shit before there can be friendship, AND THEY WILL CONCENTRATE ON CREATING SHIT!!! Don't doubt, just look at the evidence. Taking advantage of this is one of the cheapest tricks in politics (Too bad for poor Saddam that his friend Khomeini had to die so soon...)

Edi - there is a rich tradition of german folk music, and there are people doing it, but they are hardly ever noticed. I have to accuse myself of some prejudice: I'm not that interested in this stuff, I'm biased against it because I was once forced to learn all that crap that is commonly known. This is absolutely unfair but also one of the consequences of what I mentioned above.

May I quote Liam Clancy quoted by Pete Hamill in his foreword to "The Irish Songbook, The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem" (if you are living in Germany you should have access to it: it's the big black one with the green map of Ireland on the title) referring to the situation of irish folk in the 40's: "... The comeallyes, as we called them, were often associated with things they didn't want to remember. ..." I think that this is what german folk is suffering from right now. We would need something lucky like the Clancys & Tommy Makem or that historical encounter of Peggy Seeger and Ewan McColl to recover.

No young, crispy female banjo player going to fall in love with me? But alas, I'm not an expert for german folk, so forget it... ;-)

Love

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 10:47 AM

Joerg, Edi,
I share many of your feelings (that's why I am here and not at a site about German folk songs). Yes, the song is played mostly at funerals of people who were connected to the military (or at least uniforms), yes, if you hear it now you might be safe to bet that the singer is right of the middle of the political spectrum, yes, it has been misused by the Nazis, and all that, but...
I like it a lot. It is in my opinion a very powerful song, able to evoke feelings, a good fit of words and tune. I try to see the song in the context of the time in which it was written. And I consider it one of the best songs from that time, very few years before all the Plains of Waterloo songs, e.g.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Edi
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM

Thank you all together it's not easy for me to explain the feelings that caused me to reply to the "Kameraden"-thread in a language that I am not very familiar with. What I wanted to say is: music - like any emotional medium - can be misused. And in Germany there is an "unsaintful" tradition of misusing. And music cab be linked very closely to a feeling, idea or even an event, that you can't "think" this music without this link. For example the Leningrad symphony of Shostakovitch will ever be linked with the pain and the hope and the joy of the people who fought againt the Nazi siege of Leningrad. And the "Moorsoldaten" (Peat-bog Soldiers) will ever be linked to the suffering and confidence of the prisoners of the concentration camp "Börgermoor". It's because this music has it's roots in the mentioned situations. And if you take the "trout-quintett" of Joseph Hayden you can see another curious thing about music: First it becam the anthem of Austria-Hungary (?) ("Gott erhalte Franz, den Kaiser") and afterwards the anthem of the German "Reich" (lyrics by H. v. Fallersleben, a German democrat). With Hitler it became the expression of German superiority ("Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles") and a symbol for even the holocaust. And there the problem begins: I think you cannot "clear" the music by only singing the third verse - this music is corrupted. And to the German traditional music tradition: There is one, but it is an academic one. The democratic song traditions were "recovered" after world war second by scientists (Wolfgang Steinitz in the GDR) or a part of the West German students movement (Burg Waldeck). The "common" people tradition only existed and exists only in some parts of the very north. I think tis is the reason why so many German folkies got their first experience with traditional music in Ireland or Scotland. And one last - less serious - example for misusing even traditional music: Each time I hear the Wild Rover I have "schunkeling" and vomiting young Germans during a what we call "Volksfest" in my mind. These are only some thoughts - not even very deep. But nevertheless I love music Edgar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 10:22 PM

Wolfgang - as I said the song isn't bad if it isn't misunderstood. If you are able to enjoy it without any negative feelings AND without misunderstanding it: be happy. Of course, if you enjoy it BY misunderstanding it: Poor chap - you'll only save those negative feeling for tomorrow - or for your children.

Edi - *BG* - I knew "The Wild Rover" long before any "Nordseekueste" was ever invented. Felt like strangling somebody when I first heard that. (To those unfamiliar with german music business: The tune of "The Wild Rover" was used some years ago for some very silly thing which sold well to people who don't know how to spell alfabett. I can't do "The Wild Rover" any longer here, it has been literally killed for germans BY germans.)

But, Edi, when I mentioned german folk I was referring to traditional music from times long before any "german" problems showed up. This music exists and some people are doing it - I would be able to tell you some names if I didn't suffer from the same problem as you do: I am much too annoyed by what happened in the near past and I am transferring this annoyance to things that happened long before which are far from being bad at all. I know that and I know that this is not fair, but it's difficult to 'jump over your shadow'.

So no nice banjo playing girls for me? *sigh*

But - Edi - ever tried e.g. to forget Heintje and thought about "Heidschi Bumbeidschi" as a song? It's a real folk song, said to be from Boehmen, but nobody knows its real origin. And its words are quite haunting: Those unknown people made a cradle song from the dying of mothers and children. Must have been some everyday experience for them...

Maybe we can be saved.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 11:26 PM

The only other time I have heard a reference to this song was in Bernard Fall's account of the battle of Dien Bien Phu between the French forces in the valley and the Viet-Minh on the heights. Some German French Foreign Legionnaires had been captured by the Viet-Minh, and to ease the terms of their captivity and get themselves some privileges, they began to cheer whenever the Viet-Minh reported another advance made or strongpoint taken from the French. Then the Viet-Minh told of a group of Legionnaires that had been wiped out. The Germans fell into silence. When the Viet cadre leader screamed at them to cheer, they began slowly to sing, "Ich Hatt' ein'Kamerade". They were stripped of all privileges and returned to hard usage.

Perhaps there is more to the song than the words relate. And that makes it more than a song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 03:57 AM

I can't begin to say how much I appreciate the thoughts expressed in this thread.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 09:29 PM

Joe, I am very happy that at least one of those who are not that - er - touched?, infuenced? by things like this one adds some comments expressing interest. Thank you. So please don't take me wrong when I start my next sentence as you did.

I can't begin to say how afraid I am of any allusion to the "beauty" of war.

Wouldn't it sound great if I concluded this message with such a 'wisdom'? But I think I have to explain: I am afraid of it because there needn't be war in order to hurt people with it, to cause damage. And the more damage is caused, the more people are hurt (both ways of understanding that) the more confidently you can expect the next war. 'Circulus vitiosus' or in other words 'When will they ever learn?'

Not my wisdom, still good.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 09:06 AM

I've made some searches on this song for I got interested. These bits below show the song in its worst appearance and in its best. Make out of them what you want:

- Der gute Kamerad (Ich hatt' einen Kameraden) is quite often sung these days at the end of public appearances of the German neonazis.

- It was sung as a token of protest in German concentration camps after the SS shot a prisoner.

- In Germany, political parties can be forbidden by the highest court (Bundesverfassungsgericht). This happened only twice yet. In 1952, the SRP (Socialist Reich Party) was forbidden for being a successor to the outlawed NSDAP. In the court's decision the song is cited as an example of the SRP trying to emulate Hitler's politics: "Im allgemeinen wird den Wahlreden eine Totenfeier für die im Kriege Gefallenen vorangeschickt: mit getragener Stimme wird ein Gedicht gesprochen, während die Kapelle zur Untermalung "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" spielt."

- In 1997, the journalist Kurt Oesterle got the Theodor-Wolff prize for the best newspaper article in the 'general' category. The winning article was a history of this song, titled 'Die heimliche deutsche Hymne' (The secret/real German hymn). This article is on the web (!): click here. It is in German and much too long to translate. An impressive piece of journalism showing the extremely different facets of this song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Edi
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 10:16 AM

To finish up – for myself – the "German" discussion about the "German" problem with some "German" traditional songs – there a r e German traditional songs I have no problems with. They mostly originate in specific historical situations and tell – for example – about outlaws who helped pressed peasants to survive in hard times. This part of traditional songs belongs to every culture. But in Germany you have to look for it very hard to find it. I have heard some of these songs sung by my older relatives in the Odenwald a long time ago but this tradition is dying. There are some regional folkbands collecting and performing these songs but this practice is fading since its peak in the seventies and eighties. And there are some "classical" traditional songs belonging to the stuff of every folksinger. I'm speaking of songs like "Die Gedanken sind frei". And of songs which came from abroad and were integrated into the national tradition. I mean songs like the unique Robert Burns' "For A' That" which became popular in the German democratic movements of the 19th century by the adaption of Ferdinand Freiligrath "Trotz alledem" and had its last revival in the very early eighties by a version of Hannes Wader. And there are many more examples – for sure. But to understand the difference between German traditional song tradition and the one for example in Ireland/Scotland/England: Ask 1000 people by chance in Germany if they know "Trotz alledem" – and do the same thing in Scotland with "For A' That". The result will explain more than thousand words. In Ireland Eric Bogle's "No Man's Land"/"The Green Fields Of France" had been number one of the (Pop!) charts for some weeks – an anti-war song! In Germany a thing beyond any imagination. And this makes me angry. Young people who got their experience about war from pictures in the TV are singing old nationalist songs (and even "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden"). By doing this they are chasing and killing foreign, coloured people, jews and they do it in the same spirit the Nazis did. And they are so proud for what they think German "culture" is. But they don't know the culture which is worth while to be known. So – enough of "Edi's Lamentation". I only wanted to explain the reasons why I have problems with the traditional song "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden". Peace to you all Edgar


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 12:36 PM

Edgar,
not much to add. You make a good point on the dearth of good traditional songs in Germany and I share many of your feelings.
Just two very minor points. (1) Contrary to what you say, we did have an anti-war song topping the charts for weeks or even months also in Germany, in 1983. Somehow I know that you like that song as much as I do, that is not at all, but for the sake of truth it has to be mentioned: 99 Luftballons. That such an anti-war song topped our charts, and not a good one as Bogle's, however, says a lot about German music taste. (2) After Hannes Wader there has been at least one more rewrite of Trotz alledem, by Wolf Biermann.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Oct 00 - 05:30 AM

OK, so many informations about one song that is already in the DT.
In the DT, at least the typo in the title should be changed (Der gute Kamerad), the author (Uhland) should be mentioned and the 'transposer' Silcher who (see Joe's post above) has just turned an old 3/4 tune into a 4/4 tune (he clearly stated this in his original publication). The story of the old song, 'Ein schwarzbraunes Mädchen...' by the way reminds me of Planxty's 'Cold blow and the rainy night'.

And maybe a note could be addeed that Uhland too has modeled his lyrics after a traditional song which was known at least back in the 18th century, namely "Des Morgens zwischen drei'n und vieren..." (sometimes titled: 'Rewelge'), a song which has been published in 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn'. I still don't knwo whether 'Der gute Kamerad' was sung to the tune of 'Rewelge' before Silcher's tune became popular.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 04:32 AM

Hi Joe,

für = for, the sense is: the bullet that fell him was produced in Germany where he came from, too.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:12 AM

Hi folks!

There are some people who do not understand this song well, because their political persuasion glues their eyes, unfortunately. This song is no lyrical praise of dying in combat, but a deep experience of the human soul with death - why he, why not me, why now? It exactly fits into Graves' definition of great poetry which only knows 3 themes: Birth, love, and death. Therefore this poem written by a German professor was so rapidly adapted by the common man. It is not only played at burials and memorials of uniformed people in Germany, but by civilians also. It shows how death plucks your friends away at random, in a moment, while you are (still) spared. When I went out to a mission with the fire brigade we found a driver in a standing car dying of a heart attack. We tried to resuscitate him, then the medics came, but they could not save him. It was a friend who had played with me in the same fireman's band, this evening. When we lowered his coffin into the grave, the song of the good comrade was played. Whenever I hear it, I remember him especially and my father (KIA before I was born) with tears running profusely. I think the worst experience is in the 3rd stanza: The survivor can't even give a last shakehand to his dying best buddy because he has to execute the cadence of the firing drill. Imagine that!

Wilfried


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Subject: Lyr Add: J'AVAIS UN CAMARADE
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 05:21 PM

Ich hatt' einen Kamerade / J'AVAIS UN CAMARADE
   
http://www.legion-etrangere.info/site/ecouter_chants.php

J'AVAIS UN CAMARADE

J'avais un camarade
De meilleur il n'en est pas
Dans la paix et dans la guerre
Nous allions comme deux frères
Marchant d'un même pas . bis]

Mais une balle siffle, qui de nous sera frappé ,
**Sera frappé ?**
Le voilà qui tombe à terre
Il est là dans la poussière
Mon coeur est déchiré. [ bis]

Ma main il veut me prendre, mais je charge mon fusil,
**Oui mon fusil,**
Adieu donc, adieu mon frère
Dans le ciel et sur la terre
Soyons toujours unis. [bis]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 08:57 PM

Thanks for the Legionaires version. The version from the Spanish Civil War should also be posted, if someone has it.
I know only the Spanish military version, "Yo tenéa un Camarada."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 May 04 - 08:33 PM

English version by Frank, 1997

In battle he was my comrade,
None better I have had.
The drum called us to fight,
He always on my right,
In step, through good and bad,
In step through good and bad.

A bullet it flew towards us,
For him or meant for me?
His life from mine it tore,
At my feet a piece of gore,
As if a part of me,
As if a part of me.

His hand reached up to hold mine.
I must reload my gun.
"My friend, I cannot ease your pain,
In life eternal we'll meet again,
And walk once more as one,
And walk once more as one."

Many translations and revisions have been made. Somewhere above is a German version from the Spanish Civil War; I have been looking for the one sung by the Spanish fighting Franco during the Civil War.
Ingeb has two Spanish versions but not the one I seek.
The English version above, and French (posted above), Spanish, Latin and Italian versions are given at: Ich hatt


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 May 04 - 01:53 PM

Another Spanish version (no indication it could be the one you are looking for, Q)

Wolfgang


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Subject: Lyr Add: CAMARADA HANS BEIMLER
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 May 04 - 02:03 PM

This time I'm a tiny bit more confident I might have found your song, Q. It is sung to the tune of 'Der gute Kamerad' and it is from the correct time:

CAMARADA HANS BEIMLER

La muerte no anunciada
en Madrid busca a Hans
detrás de una barricada
lejos de su patria lucha
Hans Beimler, por la libertad.
Hans Beimler, por la libertad.

Las calles están teñidas
de sangre internacional
una bala lo destroza
disparada con certeza
por un frío fusil alemán.
por un frío fusil alemán.

Tu comisario Hans Beimler
nadie te podrá olvidar
Te lo juro camarada
vivirás entre nosotros
Vencerá la libertad!
Vencerá la libertad!
Vencerá la libertad!


copied and pasted from Canciones Republicanas

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich Hatt' ein' Kamerade
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 May 04 - 03:05 PM

Yes, that is the one, I am pretty sure (I only remember a small fragment and the tune). I believe a piece had been posted before. And thanks also for the website; it has another song I had been looking for.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,wesprichard
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 01:58 AM

This song was written long before the American Civil War. In the Union Army between 30% and 40% of the troops were German or German descent. With hundreds of thousand of German Americans in Uniform was the song a lot? There is a tradition in American Civil War lore that thousands of Germans would reply I fit mitt Siegel. I have to beleive that this song roots run deep. Its easy to remember the last war Germany fought in. This thread has many referances to the "bad Germans" or rather how the song was coopted. Europe wants to think of iteself as a Common Market, it how has a common flag, blue with stars to represent each country, but the old feelings die hard. I went to Luxenbourg and visited both the German and American cemetaries and the starkest difference was that no German national flag was raised over the dead. Its 59 years since the end of the war and feelings die hard.

This song I have to admit reminds me of the German grandfather who came to the United States sometime before 1900. He died some years before I was born and I never knew him but I know he was proud of his homeland and he talked of his German cavlary boots.

Germany united after the Naplonic Wars and Berlin was a city that Napoleon took and marched his troops down. The Germans did not forget that. If you think all nationalism is bad then perhaps this is a song because of its military association you dont like, but in that same sprit we have our songs which come down from the same time frame and speak to us.

Old wounds die hard. On the same day as Gettysburg, Vickburg Missippi surrendered to Gen. US Grant. The people took it hard and it was not until 1942 or 1943 that people of that city celbrated the Fourth of July

wes prichard


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: ICH HATT' EINEN KAMERADEN
From: chico
Date: 20 Jun 05 - 09:11 PM


ICH HATT' EINEN KAMERADEN
1809 Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862) -- Melodie - Nach Friedrich Silcher 1825

    F          (Am) C F
Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,                 I had a comrade,
                C7 (Bb) F
Einen bessern findst du nit.                 You won't find a better one.
    F             C    F C F
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,         The drum called us to fight,
    C7          F C7 F
Er ging an meiner Seite                 He always walked at my side,
F          C             F (Bb)
Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt.         In step through good and bad.
F             C7         F
Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt.

Eine Kugel kam geflogen                 A bullet flew towards us,
Gilt's mir oder gilt es dir                 Is it for me or for you
Ihn hat es weggerissen,                 It tore his life away,
Er liegt mir vor den Füßen                 He lies now at my feet,
Als wär's ein Stück von mir.
Als wär's ein Stück von mir.                 As though a part of me.

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,         His hand reached up to hold mine.
Derweil ich eben lad'.                 While I am re-loading.
Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,         I can't give you my hand,
Bleib du im ew'gen Leben                 You stay in eternal life,
Mein guter Kamerad!                         My good comrade!   
Mein guter Kamerad!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Jun 05 - 07:46 PM

Midi of Melody and lyrics at ingeb.org:
Ich hatt' einen Kameraden


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,The_Beast
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 03:46 PM

Sorry to be late to the party, but I a) learned this song in an elementary school summer class(I have a very indistinct memory of exact words, though), b) heard it at the end of Robert Mitchem's movie: Enemy Below, as the corpse of Theodore Bickel's character is slipped into the deep, i.e., a funeral.

By the way, as the class mentioned was in the late 50's, not THAT long after WWII, I think it was rather daring of the teacher to be teaching this song to middle-American children. ;->=


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 08:24 PM

Must one eschew German poetry and song because we fought the Germans? This silliness masquerading as patriotism is too often found.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 04:17 AM

Well said, Q - the Poor Bloody Infantry is on both sides, heavily armed and full of fear, peferring to be with their girls to living in the mud, firing, and dying.


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Subject: Lyr Req: Ich hatt einen Komaraden
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 06:35 PM

This is a beautiful song. Very sad. German, but found in many languages. French, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, Finnish I have found so far.

It is in many versions on You-tube. One of the saddest was where they just showed pictures of the graves of the soldaten.

And before anyone chimes in with war mongering etc., we can not recover from wars, and possibly we can not prevent further ones from happening if we do not allow partiuclarly the vanquished to just simply say how sad they are and how they miss the people who died, worthy cause or not.

I will try to assemble a few in the various languages unless someone beats me to it. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 12:26 PM

The key part is

Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Derweil ich eben lad'.
"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,..."

This means: Comrade, since you are giving your life for our just cause, my best service to you is to continue fighting for it, just as I would have expected if it were the other way round.

In other words, the song is about a justified war, fought by convinced volunteers. Uhland and his early readers believed this to be the case when defending their countries against invadors. Those who sing or play it later, implicitely state that their own cause is equally justified and worth the sacrifice of their friends' lives and their own. They may think they praise friendship, but are in fact often tricked into praising their governments or military leaders. In the case of those Legionnaires in Vietnam, for example, the justification is highly questionable, as we all know. Not to mention the Nazis.

Also, the (possibly unrefusable) reasons for entering a war are often wrongfully transferred to specific actions, even war crimes.

Don't blame the song, but don't sing or play it, or other songs with similar messages.

I just read about Remembrance Day. Let us mourn the victims (innocent, friendly, or neither), be suspicious about justifications, and praise those acts of true heroism that resulted from self-determined valid moral motives.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 12:57 PM

I don't agree at all with the above

Comrade, since you are giving your life for our just cause, my best service to you is to continue fighting for it, just as I would have expected if it were the other way round.


I think the man is dying and he does not want to die alone but the other guy is in the middle of combat and will lose his own life if he stops to respond. That simple and that profound. And a universal problem. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 02:04 PM

mg: if Uhland had wanted to transport that message, he would have written something like "... but the enemy keeps shooting ..." instead of "... while I am just loading my gun ...".

Nevertheless, the poem has true tragedy. The problem arises from ritual singing.

My ancestors and relatives fought in many European armies, including German. Tragic songs were and are major means of identification, much more powerful than openly jingoistic ones. If you say they were abused and misunderstood - ok, don't have them sung anyway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 02:13 PM

I say sing them anyway..unless they were written specifically to extol the Nazi philosophy of course..and soemtimes in retrospect certain lines in songs have to be modified..such as we have had to do with Stephen Foster songs...but if the songs were sung before WWII, sing them...I will sing them. They are beautiful. And some have been essentially retired that were so innocuous..about pretty scenery, girls, etc. Bring them out and sing them..and fly the flag of the country..not the regime..over their graves too. We have to respect our ancestors, and we have to respect those who died for us. We can say where they were wrong, and should. And I think most importantly write their stories up and publish them..on ancestry blogs for one thing. Most of the German soldiers could not help what they got sucked into. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 02:44 PM

And I think most importantly write their stories up and publish them

This is something we may agree on. And certainly I don't blame soldiers (or anyone else) collectively, even those who had convictions I don't share. However: "died for us" - that's what the regimes or the military leaders say. Who of my relatives, fighting on opposite sides, died for me?

As for Nazi philosophy, please don't believe it is monolithic. In its fringes it is rooted deeply in the past, reaches far into the future, and virtually round the world.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 03:03 PM

The Uhland-Silcher song, as suggested in another thread, expresses the feelings of those who have worn a uniform, regardless of nationality. I know of no better one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden
From: GUEST,Michael
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 05:58 AM

May I say how rich and varied I have found this thread.
I just find that "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" is one of the most profoundly moving songs I have ever heard, in a long and mercifully apolitical life.
The line that catches my throat is:
Im gleichen Schritt und Tritt
Peace.
Michael


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