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2004.02.28 =>

scheinen, schimmern, glänzen, glimmern

One consequence of using the big box o' lieder to teach yourself German is that you learn a lot of words for "shine." They're big on heavenly bodies, those German romantics. They have like twenty different verbs to describe the generation or reflection of light. Once I get through the big box I will do the Ring cycle, so as to speak thoughtfully and fluently about dwarfs.

It turns out Schubert did set Schiller's "An die Freude." Nothing wrong with it. But you can't help feeling a bit sorry for the song, given its competition.

Here, this is a cute one:

Trinklied

Ihr Freunde und du, gold'ner Wein,
Versüßet mir das Leben;
Ohn' euch, Beglücker, wäre fein
Ich stets in Angst und Beben.
Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein,
Möcht' ich nicht im Leben sein.

Ohn' allen Freund, was ist der Held?
Was sind des Reichs Magnaten?
Was ist ein Herr der ganzen Welt?
Sind alle schlecht beraten!
Ohne Freunde, ohne Wein,
Mag ich selbst nicht Kaiser sein.

Und muß einst an der Zukunft Port
Dem Leib die Seel' entschweben,
So winkt' mir aus der Sel'gen Hort
Ein Freund und Saft der Reben.
Sonst mag ohne Freund und Wein
Ich auch nicht im Himmel sein.

Drinking song

My friends and you, golden wine,
you make my life sweeter;
without you, bestowers of happiness, I would
always be trembling with fear.
Without friends, without wine,
I would not wish to live.

Without friends, what is the hero?
What are the magnates of the realm?
What is a lord of the whole world?
They all get bad advice!
Without friends, without wine,
I would not even want to be an emperor.

And if someday in future's harbour
my soul will have to fly from my body,
then wave to me from Paradise,
one of my friends and the juice of grapes!
Otherwise, without friends and wine,
I would not wish to be in Heaven.

 

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