Kindergebetchen - (2013)    

Joachim Ringelnatz

for medium or high voice and piano



Lieber Gott, ich liege
Im Bett. Ich weiß, ich wiege
Seit gestern fünfunddreißig Pfund.
Halte Pa und Ma gesund.
Ich bin ein armes Zwiebelchen,
Nimm mir das nicht übelchen.


Lieber Gott, recht gute Nacht,
Ich hab noch schnell Pipi gemacht,
Damit ich von dir träume.
Ich stelle mir den Himmel vor
Wie hinterm Brandenburger Tor
Die Lindenbäume.
Nimm meine Worte freundlich hin,
Weil ich schon so erwachsen bin.


Lieber Gott mit Christussohn,
Ach schenk mir doch ein Grammophon.
Ich bin ein ungezognes Kind,
Weil meine Eltern Säufer sind.
Verzeih mir, daß ich gähne.
Beschütze mich in der Not,
Mach meine Eltern noch nicht tot
Und schenk der Oma Zähne.

3 pages, circa 2' 45"

Joachim Ringelnatz


Little Bedtime Prayers

First Child

Dear Lord, I lie
In bed. I weighed, by the by,
Thirty-five pounds on the scale.
Keep my folks healthy and hale.
I can sometimes be a little brat,
But against me don't consider that.

Second Child

Dear Lord, on this good night,
I wee-wee'd quick enough alright,
And so will have sweet dreams this date.
I imagine heaven is quite divine,
Like the linden trees which stand in line
Behind the Brandenburg Gate.
Accept these words from a likeable pup
Who all too soon will be all grown up.

Third Child

Dear Father with Christ the Son,
I'd like a gramophone for fun.
I can be naughty, an awful lot,
Because of my folks, each a drunken sot.
Forgive me, that I yawn and such.
Protect me even when I importune,
And keep my folks from death too soon,
And Granny needs new dentures much.


rhymed paraphrase by the composer



The texts are from the collection, Flugzeuggedanken, 1929. For other settings of Ringelnatz' texts, click here.


In the edition from which I am working, the three prayers are separate texts, which seem quite oddly tailored to a single setting. Like the cradle songs throughout history, the setting is seemingly gentle and in 3/4 time, colored in tender dynamics. The three strophes vary lightly, and a final plea repeats, "Lieber Gott," for each of the three children.



The score for Kindergebetchen 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.