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trivias and references in romance novels
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1127
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was a child in the late 1970s/early 1980s, we still sang the German nursery rhyme "Maikäfer flieg" (here is an English translation) with its rather disturbing lyrics. I always assumed the rhyme dated from WWII, because of the Daddy at war and Mom in burning Pommerania (Pommerania was one of the former parts of Germany which became Poland after WWII) lines. Though I also heard a version where the burned out country was England instead of Pommerania, which also pointed towards WWII. Though according to that article, it is actually much older, dating from the 30-years-war.

To a child of the 1970s/1980s, the fact that there would be Maikäfer bugs flying about (which were nigh extinct at the time, but are now coming back) was about as bizarre as the idea of the mother being somewhere in far-off Poland.

There is another German nursery rhyme with macabre lyrics I remember from my childhood. It goes roughly like this:

Wait a little while,
then Haarmann will come for you,
with his little axe
he will make sausage out of you.
(the German version actually rhymes)

Haarmann refers to Fritz Haarmann, the Weimar Republic era serial killer, who murdered over twenty young men, chopped them up and sold their remnants in his butcher shop. Of course, I had no idea who Haarmann was when I learned the song. Apparently, the tune belongs to a popular song from the 1920s with altered lyrics. I was once at a party (80th birthday of my grand-aunt) where the original version was sung, with me alone singing the "Haarmann" version.

Amazing how long such rhymes can outlast their original context.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:


There is another German nursery rhyme with macabre lyrics I remember from my childhood. It goes roughly like this:


Amazing how long such rhymes can outlast their original context.


My Pomeranian grandmother recited the "ladybug" rhyme. Pomerania was completely devasted in the Thirty Years War, also.

There are also very bloodthirsty rhymes in English. My grandfather used to recite:

Fee, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Be he live, or be he dead,
I'll grind his bones and make my bread.
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Rosario



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 328
Location: Liverpool, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:48 am    Post subject: Re: trivias and references in romance novels Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:
I learned the rhyme when I was a child as a petal-puller for identifying one's future spouse:

Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief;
Doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief.

A variant of the last was "Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief."

I know it had more lines than that.

Virginia


We had a rope-jumping one for identifying our future husband, and also where we'd live. I've forgotten some of the lines, but the relevant ones were:

"Con un rico
Con un pobre
Con un multimillonario"


(With a rich man
With a poor man
With a multimillionaire)

And then where we'd live

"Casa,
Casita,
Rancho,
Palacio,
Chiquero de los chanchos".


(House, little house, shack ("rancho" is not ranch in this sense, though it sometimes can be), palace, pig-sty).

We tried really hard not to lose in the last one Wink
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Rosario



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 328
Location: Liverpool, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:
There is another German nursery rhyme with macabre lyrics I remember from my childhood. It goes roughly like this:

Wait a little while,
then Haarmann will come for you,
with his little axe
he will make sausage out of you.
(the German version actually rhymes)

Haarmann refers to Fritz Haarmann, the Weimar Republic era serial killer, who murdered over twenty young men, chopped them up and sold their remnants in his butcher shop. Of course, I had no idea who Haarmann was when I learned the song. Apparently, the tune belongs to a popular song from the 1920s with altered lyrics. I was once at a party (80th birthday of my grand-aunt) where the original version was sung, with me alone singing the "Haarmann" version.

Amazing how long such rhymes can outlast their original context.


We had one a bit like that, a hand-clapping rhyme, which I suspect HAS to refer to some long-forgotten notorious crime.

It started by some crazy stuff about a serpent under a bridge and a shark jumping out of a drawer (!), which I can't exactly remember anymore, and then:

"mi hermana tuvo un hijo, la loca lo mató
Lo hizo picadillo y después se lo comió"

My sister had a son, the madwoman killed him
She made him into mincemeat and then ate him


Nice and gruesome Shocked
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:
When I was a child in the late 1970s/early 1980s, we still sang the German nursery rhyme "Maikäfer flieg" (here is an English translation) with its rather disturbing lyrics.


Not quite so topical, there's the English:

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
Your house is on fire, your children are gone.
All but the youngest, and her name is Anne.
She has crept under the frying pan.

I have that one from my grandfather also. Sometimes he said the last line with "drippings pan." That's the pot in which we collected the grease after we had fried bacon.

Grandpap was born in 1864; his father died when he was about ten, and he was brought up by a grandfather born in 1810, so some of these rhymes may be very old.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1127
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:

My Pomeranian grandmother recited the "ladybug" rhyme. Pomerania was completely devasted in the Thirty Years War, also.


"Maikäfer" is not a ladybug but a beetle called cockchafer in English (now that sounds like a particularly nasty STD not like the cute brown bug). Of course, there may well be a version of the rhyme which uses "Marienkäfer" (ladybug) instead of "Maikäfer".

Because of the enormous devastation it caused, the Thirty Years War remained vivid in the popular imagination of the countries affected for 300 years until it was replaced by the even greater devastations of WWI and WWII. There is also another well-known German folksong about the devastations of the Thirty Years War, which starts deceptively harmless with five swans flying across the sky, never to be seen again, and goes on with trees cut down before their bloom, young men leaving and never coming back, young women never getting married. Amazing how long cultural memories can last.

Though when I first heard the "Maikäfer" song in the 1970s/1980s, it was always completely obvious the lyrics were referring to WWII, because that was the war everybody's grandfathers had fought. Plus, my parents who were children during WWII always told stories about playing with cockchafer bugs as children, whereas the bugs were almost entirely extinct by the time I was a child (I only saw one cockchafer in the first fifteen years of my life). And Pommerania was a place I also automatically associated with WWII, because of the many refugees from there that were still quite vocal about having to leave (it's also one of those unlucky places to get devastated again and again). Add to that pictures of bombed and burning cities and stories from WWII refugees from the East about sitting in a train waiting for an engine to come and take them westwards, while the sky behind them was orange with the fires of burning houses and it never even occurred to me the song could refer to anything else.

Though I suspect that these old rhymes and folksongs will likely die out with my generation, because most of them are no longer being passed on to children and taught in schools. In fact, I think the only reason I still know them is that my mother and her mother before her liked to sing and liked folksongs.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1127
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rosario wrote:

We had one a bit like that, a hand-clapping rhyme, which I suspect HAS to refer to some long-forgotten notorious crime.

It started by some crazy stuff about a serpent under a bridge and a shark jumping out of a drawer (!), which I can't exactly remember anymore, and then:

"mi hermana tuvo un hijo, la loca lo mató
Lo hizo picadillo y después se lo comió"

My sister had a son, the madwoman killed him
She made him into mincemeat and then ate him


Nice and gruesome Shocked


There are quite a lot of stories about serial killers who turned their victims into sausage, mincemeat, meat pies or the like and sold them to an unsuspecting public. Sweeney Todd is probably the most famous. These tales quite obviously feed into our inherent horror of cannibalism, particularly unconscious cannibalism.

The Fritz Haarmann case is unusual, because it is actually confirmed (most of the older ones are difficult to confirm). There are court documents, psychological evaluations, etc...

Interestingly, the real life Haarmann case was the inspiration behind Fritz Lang's film M, even though the killer in the film targets girls instead of boys. The Haarmann rhyme even appears early in the film, sung by little girls skipping rope. Of course, one of them will later die.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:
There is also another well-known German folksong about the devastations of the Thirty Years War, which starts deceptively harmless with five swans flying across the sky, never to be seen again, and goes on with trees cut down before their bloom, young men leaving and never coming back, young women never getting married. Amazing how long cultural memories can last.


Since I'm something of a 17th-century and Thirty Years War freak, I went searching and got this answer on the song:


'it is obvious that the well-known song is meant which begins with the text:
"Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne . . ."

Here is the German text:

Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne
Schwäne leuchtend weiß und schön
Sing sing was geschah
Keiner die Schwäne wieder sah
Ja sing sing was geschah
Keiner sie wieder sah

Wuchsen einst fünf junge Birken
Grün und frisch an Bachesrand
Sing sing was geschah
Keins in Blüten stand
Ja sing sing was geschah
Keins in Blüten stand

Wuchsen einst fünf junge Mädchen
Schlank und schön am Memelstrand
Sing sing was geschah
Keins den Brautkranz wand
Ja sing sing was geschah
Keins den Brautkranz wand

The music can be found here:
h?ttp://www.tritonus.eu/Chorsaetze/Zogeneinst.pdf

Well, the participant in the AAR forum (What means AAR?) is wrong
insofar as this song originally was a folk song from Lithuania/Eastern
Prussia. As far as I remember it was Germanized during the 19th century.
I doubt if it has anything to do with the TYW. Later more text was added (by
Hannes Wader?).

Manfred'


However, Manfred's searching led to another site and references for a poet of the period and one of his love poems (written, originally in Plattdeutsch, for the wedding when a girl he had been courting married another man :)

http://www.owep.de/2004_3_dahm.php
Der erneuerte Ännchen-Brunnen erinnert an den aus Memel stammenden Königsberger Gelehrten Simon Dach (1605-1659), dem das Lied "Ännchen von Tharau" zugeschrieben wird.
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jaq



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 70
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A variant of the last was "Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief."

I know it had more lines than that.

We also sometimes used it as a "counting out" rhyme to determine who was "it," along the lines of "Eenie, meenie, miny, mo."


This is the variation I remember, and the reason we used it.

I also remember this handclaping one:

In the land of Oz
Where the ladies smoke cigars
Every puff they take
Is enough to kill a snake
When the snakes are dead
They put roses in their head
When the roses die
They put diamonds in their eyes
When the diamonds break
It's the end of 1968!

Back then it sounded very exotic, but reading this now, I'd swear it refers to an LSD trip. lol.

And speaking of the macabre, remember the Lizzie Borden one (we skipped rope to it)?

Lizzie Borden took an axe
Gave her mother forty wacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaq wrote:

And speaking of the macabre, remember the Lizzie Borden one (we skipped rope to it)?

Lizzie Borden took an axe
Gave her mother forty wacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.


Thinking back on one's childhood, it does make a person wonder who managed to come up with the rhyme that little girls were make of "sugar and spice and everything nice." He must not have known many little girls Smile
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1127
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veasleyd1 wrote:


Since I'm something of a 17th-century and Thirty Years War freak, I went searching and got this answer on the song:


'it is obvious that the well-known song is meant which begins with the text:
"Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne . . ."


Yup, that's the one. My teacher at school told us the song originated in the Thirty Years War, though he might well have been mistaken. After all, teachers are not infallible.

The "Ännchen von Tharau" song is another well-known song, though I am personally not that familiar with it, probably because my Mom could never recall the lyrics.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1066
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm finding the discussion on folk songs fascinating. The thing to remember about them is that they do travel and they vary enormously in their travels. It can be very hard to track down the so-called original and it may well be a topical adaptation of an older tune and set of lyrics. Many of these songs exist in what you might call families; all more or less related. You see the same sort of thing with folk tales and limericks. For a modern example look at some of the bizarre stories that people receive as emails and feel impelled to pass on as facts and warnings. Urban myths if you like. They change according to circumstances and are often updated to take changing technology into account.
My father used to tell story supposedly about the Australian bushranger (outlaw) Ben Hall and involving an ancestor of ours, which turns up in a number of different sources about different bushrangers in the 19th century. There is even a Ben Hall story that is a straight transfer of the much, much older ballad about Robin Hood and the Widow's Three Sons.

Elizabeth
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Cora"]
veasleyd1 wrote:

The "Ännchen von Tharau" song is another well-known song, though I am personally not that familiar with it, probably because my Mom could never recall the lyrics.


There's a little bit of Aennchen here (the curious will have to take out the returns to make the url work):

http://books.google.com/books?id=3L8EAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA1140&lpg
=PA1140&dq=dach+%22aennchen+von+thurau%22&source=web&ots
=LvbRAbpy3-&sig=R6W0okU7Cd5_RI1sO7pbpdtuIAc&hl=en&sa=X&oi
=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result

I understand that the translation from the original Platt into High German was done in the 19th century by Herder, but I don't have a citation. I do love Dach's various puns.

Ich bin ein armer Dichter, heiss aber Simon Dach,
Und wohl durch hundert Jahre klingt wohl mein Name nach;
Und Aennchen heisst das Maedchen, es sich der Dach ersehn,
Und mit ihm wird sein Aennchen durch hundert Jahre gehn.

I am a poor poet; my name is Simon Dach,
And people will probably remember my name for a hundred years;
Annie is the name of the girl Dach longs for,
And Annie will go with him for a hundred years.

There's a version of the Aennchen lyrics here: http://www.enet.ru/~kc/LIEDER/aennchen.htm

These lyrics are similar to the ones I sort of remember that Miss Nagel taught us, but not the same.

Since this is a romance list and it's a love poem, I'll translate it. The Platt title was: Anke von Tharaw Oss, de my gefollt. This is a short version: there's a longer one in which she is his bunny, his pet, etc.

http://ingeb.org/Lieder/Annchenv.html
Das samländische Original von Johann Simon Dach. 1605-1659, wurde übertragen
von Johann Gottfried Herder, 1744-1803
Heinrich Albert

Annchen von Tharau ist, die mir gefällt,
Sie ist mein Leben, mein Gut und mein Geld.
Annchen von Tharau hat wieder ihr Herz
Auf mich gerichtet in Lieb' und in Schmerz.
Annchen von Tharau, mein Reichthum, mein Gut,
Du meine Seele, mein Fleisch und mein Blut!

It's Annie von Tharau who delights me;
She is my life, my estate, and my wealth
Annie von Tharau has again directed her heart
to me in love and in pain
Annie von Tharau, my riches, my estate
O, you are my soul, my flesh and blood

Käm' alles Wetter gleich auf uns zu schlahn,
Wir sind gesinnet bei einander zu stahn.
Krankheit, Verfolgung, Betrübnis und Pein
Soll unsrer Liebe Verknotigung seyn.
Annchen von Tharau, mein Licht, meine Sonn,
Mein Leben schließ' ich um deines herum.

If bad weather all strikes us at once,
We are determined to stand by one another
Illness, persecution, tribulation and pain
Shall not tangle up out love.
Annie from Tharau, mi light, my sun,
I will lock my life around yours.

Recht als ein Palmenbaum über sich steigt,
Je mehr ihn Hagel und Regen anficht;
So wird die Lieb' in uns mächtig und groß
Durch Kreuz, durch Leiden, durch allerlei Noth.
Annchen von Tharau, mein Reichthum, mein Gut,
Du meine Seele, mein Fleisch und mein Blut!

Just as a palm tree stands higher
The more rain and hail attack it,
Thus will love become mighty and great in us,
Through cross, through suffering, through all kind of need.
[refrain]

Würdest du gleich einmal von mir getrennt,
Lebtest, da wo man die Sonne kaum kennt;
Ich will dir folgen durch Wälder, durch Meer,
Durch Eis, durch Eisen, durch feindliches Heer.
Was ich gebiete, wird von dir gethan,
Was ich verbiete, das läßt du mir stahn.

If you should ever be parted from me,
Life there, where people scarcely know the sun,
I will follow you through forests and through sea,
Through ice, through iron, through an enemy army.
What I order, is done by you;
What I forbid, you leave alone for me.

Was hat die Liebe doch für ein Bestand,
Wo nicht Ein Herz ist, Ein Mund, Eine Hand?
Wo man sich peiniget, zanket und schlägt,
Und gleich den Hunden und katzen beträgt?
Annchen von Tharau, das woll'n wir nicht thun;
Du bist mein Täubchen, mein Schäfchen, mein Huhn.

But how long does love last
Where there is not one heart, one mouth, one hand?
Where one squabbles, fights, and hits?
And behave like cats and dogs.
Annie von Tharau, we will not do that;
You are my little dove, my lamb, my chicken [well, it was meant as an endearment, I suppose, on the lines of "my little chickadee"].

Was ich begehre, ist lieb dir und gut;
Ich laß den Rock dir, du läßt mir den Hut!
Dies ist uns Annchen die süsseste Ruh,
Ein Leib und Seele wird aus Ich und Du.
Dies macht das Leben zum himmlischen Reich,
Durch Zanken wird es der Hölle gleich.

What is desire is your love and benevolance;
I'll leave you your skirt; you leave me the hat!
Annie, this is the sweetest rest,
You and I will become one body and soul.
This makes life into a heavenly kingdom;
Discord makes it like hell.

With all due respect for romance, four years later Dach married a woman named Regina Pohl. They had at least three sons, but he didn't write her any love poems.


Last edited by veasleyd1 on Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:00 am; edited 2 times in total
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Nana



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 946

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaq wrote:


Lizzie Borden took an axe
Gave her mother forty wacks
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.


There's a song, too.

Oh, you can't chop your mother up in Massachusetts
That kind of thing just isn't very nice, very nice
Oh, you can't chop your father up in Massachusetts
You know the neighbors love to criticize.

Well, she surely kept them hopping on that sunday afternoon
With her up and downstairs chopping while she hummed a ragtime tune
Some folks say she didn't do it
Others say, of course she did
But they all agree Miss Lizzy B was a problem kind of kid

Oh, you can't chop your mother up in massachusetts
And then get dressed and go out for a walk, for a walk
Oh, you can't chop your father up in Massachusetts
Massachussets is a far cry from New York!
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...this thread has taken on a life of it's own. Very Happy I just remember another jump rope ryhme we used to do. My mother and father were almost 40 when they married, so many of the ryhmes my mother would teach us were from her childhood, which was way before any of my friend's mothers. The other day I remembered...
One, two, three, Olary
Four, five, six, Olary
Seven, eight, nine, Olary
Ten Olary, postman.

I have no idea who/what Olary is or why the postman is included in the end. But this was fun with a ball...bouncing it and throwing a leg over the ball (mid-bounce) at the "Olary" part.

Another...
Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear, show your shoes
Teddy bear, teddy bear, read the news.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn off the light
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Say goodnight.
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