Ein Säufertraum


Ein Säufertraum - (2009)    

Paul Scheerbart

for medium voice and piano


Ich war im Traume betrunken
Und sah ein altes Kamel,
Das war zu Boden gesunken --
Es lachte -- bei meiner Seel!

Und bald lag mein ganzes Genie
Neben dem lachenden Vieh.
Der Himmel lachte über mir,
Und ich trank immer noch für Vier.

Mein Kamel kam nicht zu kurz dabei;
Ich ließ es trinken fast für Drei.
Dies war meine schönste Zecherei;
Ich fühlte mich so groß und frei.

Ich trinke -- bei meiner ewigen Seele! --
Nur noch mit einem alten Kamele.
Mit Menschen trinken ist der größte Kohl --
Kamele nur verstehn den Alkohol.

[ 4 pages, circa 3' 00" ]

Paul Scheerbart


A Drunkard's Dream

I was drunk and dreaming
And saw an old camel
That had fallen on the floor --
It laughed -- by my soul!

And soon the whole of my genius
Was on the laughing creature.
The heavens laughed above me,
And I drank enough for four!

My camel happened to come nearby;
I let it drink enough for three.
That was my best roaring drunk;
I felt myself both great and free.

I drink -- by my own soul! --
Only with my old camel.
With men, drinking is the greatest rot --
But camels truly understand alcohol.





A sometimes brittle accompaniment in waltz time underpins a vocal line whose performance could be exaggerated and comic. The falling chromaticism and narrowing upper and lower voices span an octave and a half over each long phrase from tonic minor to a dominant function, though inauthentic. An upward leap of a tenth pictures the surprise as the camel laughs. (It should be noted that a "camel" is used colloquially as a "stupid man," or as the British might say, "a twit.")



The score for Ein Saüfertraum 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.


Ein Säufertraum