Drum - (2013)    

Wilhelm Busch

for medium voice and piano


Wie dunkel ist der Lebenspfad,
Den wir zu wandeln pflegen.
Wie gut ist da ein Apparat
Zum Denken und Erwägen.

Der Menschenkopf ist voller List
Und voll der schönsten Kniffe;
Er weiß, wo was zu kriegen ist
Und lehrt die rechten Griffe.

Und weil er sich so nützlich macht,
Behält ihn jeder gerne.
Wer stehlen will, und zwar bei Nacht,
Braucht eine Diebslaterne.

2 pages, circa 1' 30"

Wilhelm Busch



How dreary is the path of life,
Down which we tend to wander.
One organ makes it pleasant, rife
With thought and much to ponder.

Man's brain is filled with cunning thought,
Chock full with clever dodges;
It knows and grasps just what it ought
And stubborn things dislodges.

With reason, its utility lies
In concealing what it contains,
While a thief peering through the night's disguise
Needs light to crack its window panes.


rhymed paraphrase of the composer

Copyright © 2013  Gary Bachlund


 The text is taken from the collection, Zu guter Letzt. For other settings of Busch's texts, click here.



Simple opposing lines, triads above the bass line make the bulk of the setting. Small gestural ornamentation and phrasing make for the variation between stanzas, while the vocal line is identical throughout as a hymn.



The score for Drum 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.