Thursday, November 24, 2011

The big black bird has come

Bye, bye, Wiggerl. Thanks for all, and: Werd' endlich glücklich!

 

Komm großer schwarzer Vogel, komm jetzt!
Schau, das Fenster ist weit offen,
schau, i hab Dir Zucker aufs Fensterbrett g'strat.
Komm großer schwarzer Vogel, komm zu mir!
Spann' Deine weiten, sanften Flügel aus
und leg s' auf meine Fieberaugen!
Bitte, hol mi weg von da!
Und dann fliegen wir auf,
mitten in'n Himmel,
in a neuche Zeit, in a neuche Welt,
und i werd' singen, i werd' lachen,
ich werd' "es gibt's net" schrei'n,
weil i werd' auf einmal kapier'n,
worum sich alles dreht.


Komm großer schwarzer Vogel, hilf mir doch!
Preß' Deinen feuchten, kalten Schnabel
auf meine wunde, auf meine heiße Stirn!
Komm großer schwarzer Vogel,
jetzt wär's grad günstig!
Die anderen da im Zimmer schlafen fest
aber ganz leise san,
dann hört uns die Schwester net!

Bitte, hol mich weg von da!
Und dann fliegen wir auf,
mitten in'n Himmel,
in a neuche Zeit, in a neuche Welt,
und i werd' singen, i werd' lachen,
und i werd' "das gibt's net" schrei'n,
weil i werd' auf einmal kapier'n,
worum sich alles alles dreht.

Ja? Großer schwarzer Vogel? Endlich!
I hab' Dich gar nicht einikommen g'hört,
wie lautlos Du fliegst,
mein Gott, wie schön Du bist!
Auf geht's, großer schwarzer Vogel, auf geht's!
Bye bye, meine Lieben daham!
Du, mein Mäderl, Mama, Papa!
Bitte, vergeßt's mi net!
Auf geht's, mitten in'n Himmel,
net traurig sein, mm mm!
's ist kein Grund zum Traurigsein!
Weil i werd' singen, i werd' lachen,
i werd' "es gibt's net" schrei'n,
i werd' endlich kapier'n,
i werd' glücklich sein!

Ja, I werd' singen, und i werd' lachen,

und i werd' "Es gibt's net!" schrei'n,
i werd' endlich kapier'n,
i werd' endlich glücklich sein!

And here's a both quick and humble first attempt to translate from the Austrian. Suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Well, you will understand, anyway.


Come, big black bird, come now!
Look, the window is wide open,
look, I've spread sugar on the sill for you.
Come, big black bird, come to me!
Span your wide gentle wings,

and put them on my fevereyes!

Please, get me away from here!
And then we fly up
right into the middle of heaven,

into a new time, into a new world,
and I'll sing, I'll laugh,
I'll scream "Es gibt's net!"*
,
'cause all of a sudden I'll get
what all is about.


Come, big black bird, so help me, please!
Put your wet cold beak
on my sore, on my hot brow!
Come, big black bird,

now there's the opportunity!
The others in the room are sleeping deeply,
but let's be very quiet,
so that the nurse won't hear us.

Please, get me away from here!
And then we fly up
right into the middle of heaven,
into a new time, into a new world,
and I'll sing, I'll laugh,
and I'll scream "Es gibt's net"*,

'cause all of a sudden I'll get
what all is about.

Yes? Big black bird? At last!
I didn't hear you come in,

how soundless you fly –
my God, how beautiful you are! 

C'mon, big black bird, c'mon!
Bye bye, my dear one's at home.
You, my girl, ... Mama ... Papa.
Please, don't forget me!

C'mon, into the middle of heaven.
[Ah] Don't be sad ... mm mm [no no no];
There's no reason for sadness,

'cause I'll sing, I'll laugh,
I'll scream "Es gibt's net!",
I shall at last understand,
I'll be happy.

Yes, I'll sing, and I'll laugh,
and I'll scream "Es gibt`s net",

At last I'll understand,
At last I'll ... be happy.


* I did not come to think of a proper translation for this idiom. It's meaning is somewhere between "I don't believe it" and "My arse!"  :)

18 comments:

  1. maybe a little like - I believe it because I see it...

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  2. It's devastating! Such a talented artist. I guess nobody could stop him?

    RIP Ludwig!

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  3. CherryPie,
    yes, maybe. Or 'That's impossible!', or 'Incredible'.
    Anyway, aren't languages wonderful?

    Claude,
    yes. I was crying today. Lots of tears and moaning. [Ha ha, may others call me a wimp)
    He was on tour this spring, in an interview spoke about (many) plans.
    Last night – while all the others in the room were sleeping deeply (?) – he seems to have jumped out of hospital's window.
    It's said he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

    He would bring up issues that for most of 'us' are a tabu – sarcastically, tenderly, intelligent, with a dark, morbid humour.

    This very song is one of my favourites. It touches me deeply.

    Well, who would not believe. I am writing too much ...

    Thus, the peace of the night.

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  4. I'd never heard his music but it appears to me you've done a fine translation of the song.

    'No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger.'

    Rainer Maria Rilke

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  5. Whosoever calls you a wimp can expect a swift kick in the bum from me. Maybe two kicks.
    I love the song. Please don't think me heartless when I say that at least he chose his time to leave rather than suffer the indignity of forthcoming pain and disintegration from his cancer.
    A loss for the rest of us, no doubt.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. RIP, Ludwig. That's a lovely song, and he sang it with an open heart. (Much, I suspect, as he lived his life.)

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  9. Susan,
    Thank you. I am not sure if Rilke is right, but i (think I) do understand what you mean. And yes, one important teacher of art(ists) is Lady Experience. Sometimes she teaches well, sometimes not; some of her students are good, some would not know to spell their teacher's name.

    Ashley,
    some people would always be the last leaving a party, as they fear people could talk nasty things behind their back; I did never ever care. It's lovely, though, to have a kicking protector. Thank you.
    As for suicide in general: I do accept anyone's decision.
    Personally I do think I would not have the courage, simply as I do not like the thought of not doing it properly. :)
    For those who never heard his name (probably quite a few people considering there are about seven billion rabbits - err: humans on this planet, Ludwig Hirsch's death is certainly no loss.
    For quite a few of the remaining few it is.
    Ahem. Do I need mentioning my German is slightly better than my English?

    Claude,
    thank you for re-surrecting your deleted comments! I am sure, the poet reading your kind words is smiling.
    He might not entirely agree as who does wish to commit suicide will find a way, but he might wish you to have been his nurse.
    Did anybody ever tell you, you are a wonderful woman, Claude?

    Stan,
    he knew how to touch people; a master of his profession, far from being a shammer.
    I like to think of him as of a man who could have been a friend of mine.

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  10. Sean - Ye, man of little faith! So sad....

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  11. Claude,
    on the contrary, full of faith I am; at least I think I am, f.e., a faithful friend.
    You would not consider sad that I do lack of a certain kind of stupidity, would you? ;-)

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  12. It was very easy to prove that I'm more stupid than wonderful. I reached my goal!

    Be well, Sean.:)

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  13. I do not wish to quarrel with you on a Sunday afternoon, my dear. :)

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  14. Specially not on this beautiful post! :)

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  15. That's interesting, Sean. I've often thought of life as some kind of party that one has to leave or wants to leave at some point. I too have thought that if I made an escape attempt that I could end up worse off, for example: in a wheel chair, or worst of all, trapped in my own body: unable to move or speak.

    I had not heard of this fellow, Ludwig Hirsch, before but I am really taken with the poem, your translation. Did you or he coin 'fevereyes'? I'm wondering if you meant 'fevered eyes' and I'm hoping you meant 'fevereyes'!
    I humbly suggest that 'Bullshit!' (at least in Australia) might serve as a translation for something between 'I don't believe it!' and 'My arse!'

    Do you think Mr Hirsch looks a little like yourself?

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  16. My comments did not belong on your post, Sean. I have such a different understanding of things. Sorry for the mess.:)

    RIP, Ludwig!

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  17. Ashley,
    lovely you noticed 'fevereyes': It is a literal translation of 'Fieberaugen', which seems to have been coined by Hirsch himself.
    Quite sure that most people would translate 'fevered / feverish eyes' (fiebrige Augen), I do prefer trying to translate as literal as (I do consider) possible. And Ludwig Hirsch sings 'Fieberaugen', not 'fiebrige Augen'.
    Again, thanks for noticing that.

    Re your suggestion, I do have to beg pardon for setting you (and very probably others) on a wrong track. Like My arse! 'Bullshit' would be by far too vulgar a translation.

    And finally, no. Never would I dare to think Mr. Hirsch looks a little like me. However, despite him not having a beard, but wearing his hair longer; despite his mouth being a bit wider, and despite me (probably) being a bit more of an athlet: Yes, I do detect kind of a resemblance; especially around the forehead and eye-zone. :)

    Claude,
    oh yes, I see: it is very difficult to bear different understandings / convictions / styles. Obviously. :)

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  18. It's not difficult, Sean. It's just very tiring and time consuming. And I'm 82 years old. Don't have much energy anymore. Prefer to keep my thoughts to myself! With love. :)

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