An meinen Lehrer


An meinen Lehrer - (2009)    

Joachim Ringelnatz

for baritone and piano


Ich war nicht einer deiner guten Jungen.

An meinem Jugendtrotz ist mancher Rat

Und manches wohlgedachte Wort zersprungen.

Nun sieht der Mann, was einst der Knabe tat.


Doch hast du, alter Meister, nicht vergebens

An meinem Bau geformt und dich gemüht.

Du hast die besten Werte meines Lebens

Mit heißen Worten mir ins Herz geglüht.


Verzeih, wenn ich das Alte nicht bereue.

Ich will mich heut wie einst vor dir nicht bücken.

Doch möcht ich dir für deine Lehretreue

Nur einmal dankbar, stumm die Hände drücken.

[ 3 pages, circa 3' 00" ]

Joachim Ringelnatz


I was not one of your better boys.

Over my youthful defiance were much advice

And many well-meant words shattered.

Now see the man, who once was that one.


But you, old master, have nothing to forgive

For forming and struggling with me.

The finest values of my life

Because of your impassioned words fire my heart.


Forgive me, for I regret my foolishness.

Today I would bow as never before had I bowed.

And for your sincerity as my teacher

I shall now be thankful, and silently clasp your hands in mine.


(from Gedichte, 1910)



The three strophes are treated as three verses, rather like a hymn form. Two large statements and a long arched answer comprise the verse's setting.



The second verse is only slightly extended as the ii chord accompanies the opening word of the third verse, and stresses its meaning with a second striking of G sharp minor. Thereby the third verse's text and overarching intent of the song is announced.



The last verse amends the final statement, extending it into a final cadence, as the repetitions of this apology are given and the setting's final Tierce de Picardy allows that such an apology has been accepted within the larger reality of life.



The score for An meinen Lehrer is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


An meinen Lehrer