Liedchen - (2009)    

Joachim Ringelnatz

for medium voice and piano


Die Zeit vergeht.
Das Gras verwelkt.
Die Milch entsteht.
Die Kuhmagd melkt.

Die Milch verdirbt.
Die Wahrheit schweigt.
Die Kuhmagd stirbt.
Ein Geiger geigt.

[ 1 page, circa 1' 00" ]

Joachim Ringelnatz


Little Song


Time passes.
Grass withers.
Milk happens.
The milkmaid milks.

Milk spoils.
Truth is mute.
The milkmaid dies.
A fiddler plays.





This tiny poem portrays in Haiku-like brevity the trajectory of life, ending with the image of the fiddler playing. With so many possible associations, it is the tale of the milkmaid in specific, but life in general -- life which shortens each day for having lived it. Therefore the structure of the setting is a 4/4 measure as the punctuation for the first line, a 3/4 measure for the second (in the meter, not as evident) and a 2/4 measure as punctuation for the third line, before ending the strophe. The second lowers the accompaniment by an octave and the high Es (and C in the third phrase) of the vocal line are displaced the octave lower excepting the final which is displaced the octave higher, as the fiddler plays. While life ends, life also goes on.


Copyright © 2009 Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved. 


The score 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.