Monday, July 30, 2012

Musical Thought for the Day

I have been reading The Violinist's Thumb And Other Lost Tales Of Love, War, And Genius, As Written By Our Genetic Code, and got inspired by Sam Kean's discussion of Toxo, the Machiavellian microbe, not to mention "Mussorgsky's Song of the Flea" (actually called "Mephistopheles' Song in Auerbach's Tavern"). And then there's this one.

Here's a translation of the original from Gothe's Faust:

Once upon a time lived a king
Who owned a handsome flea….
....a flea, hahahahaha .....a flea.

He cherished him and loved him
As though a son were he…
A flea, hahahahaha ...a flea ha etc….a flea…

He called the royal tailor
Who toiled for days and nights
To make the flea a doublet
And fancy purple tights.
….purple tights.

A flea hahahaetc

Our flea is dressed in velvet
And silks of golden hue
A ribbon o'er his shoulder
A jewelled order too...
...a flea! hahahaha...a flea!

A minister they made him
A diamond star he wore
And all his poor relations
Got orders galore...

The courtiers, male and female,
They were no longer gay.
The queen and all her ladies
Were pestered night and day, ha ha!

To scratch they were forbidden,
They had to bear the prick.
But we, when we are bitten
Know how to scratch... and kick!
Hahahaha etc


Anonymous said...

Apropos of your setting: Does one observe references to an Ode to Joy? Or should one scratch that connection? Freud or Freude....

Elaine Fine said...

Perhaps the most clever answer would include a reference to Brahms' "any ass can see that" comment about the big theme in the first movement of his First Symphony being a reference to the "Ode do Joy." Having made that clever comment, I can now honestly confess that any connection here is purely coincidental.

Elaine Fine said...

. . . scratch that connection!!!! I just got your joke. Very funny.