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umbratic aesthetics

Click here to listen to Covenant's song version to the poem by  Wilhelm Müller.

  

Der Leiermann ( The Organ Grinder ) 

Synopsis: At the end of the village he finds the old barefooted hurdy-gurdy man, winding away his tunes, but no-one has given him a penny, or listens, and even the dogs growl at him. But he just carries on playing, and the poet thinks he will cast in his lot with him. The parallel with the singer singing his sad songs in the ice and the slow, unresolved melody of the hurdy-gurdy concludes the cycle with an eerily unfinished feel perfectly in character with the lonely wandering of the singer.

 

Drüben hinterm Dorfe         There, behind the village, 
Steht ein Leiermann,          stands an organ-grinder,
Und mit starren Fingern      And with numb fingers
Dreht er, was er kann.         he plays the best he can.

 

Barfuß auf dem Eise              Barefoot on the ice, 
Schwankt er hin und her;      he staggers back and forth,
Und sein kleiner Teller           And his little plate 
Bleibt ihm immer leer.             remains ever empty.

 

Refrain:

Wunderlicher Alter,              Strange old man, 
Soll ich mit dir gehn?             shall I go with you?
Willst zu meinen Liedern       Will you play your organ
Deine Leier drehn?                to my songs?

 

Keiner mag ihn hören,           No one wants to hear him, 
Keiner sieht ihn an;               no one looks at him,
Und die Hunde brummen        And the hounds snarl
Um den alten Mann.               at the old man.

 

Und er läßt es gehen               And he lets it all go by, 
Alles, wie es will,                    everything as it will,
Dreht, und seine Leier             He plays, and his organ
Steht ihm nimmer still.             is never still.

 

Refrain:

Wunderlicher Alter,               Strange old man,
Soll ich mit dir gehn?             shall I go with you?
Willst zu meinen Liedern       Will you play your organ
Deine Leier drehn?                to my songs?

 

 

Source: http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/84098/

 

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