Onkel Kaspers rote Nase


Onkel Kaspers rote Nase - (2011)    

Wilhlem Busch    

for baritone or bass and piano


Kinder, lasset uns besingen,
Aber ohne allen Neid,
Onkel Kaspers rote Nase,
Die uns schon so oft erfreut.

Einst ward sie als zarte Pflanze
Ihm von der Natur geschenkt;
Fleißig hat er sie begossen,
Sie mit Wein und Schnaps getränkt.

Bald bemerkte er mit Freuden,
Daß die junge Knospe schwoll,
Bis es eine Rose wurde,
Dunkelrot und wundervoll.

Alle Rosen haben Dornen,
Diese Rose hat sie nicht,
Hat nur so ein Büschel Haare,
Welches keinen Menschen sticht.

Ihrem Kelch entströmen süße
Wohlgerüche, mit Verlaub:
Aus der wohlbekannten Dose
Schöpft sie ihren Blütenstaub.

Oft an einem frischen Morgen
Zeigt sie uns ein duftig Blau,
Und an ihrem Herzensblatte
Blinkt ein Tröpfchen Perlentau.

Wenn die andern Blumen welken,
Wenn's im Winter rauh und kalt,
Dann hat diese Wunderrose
Erst die rechte Wohlgestalt.

Drum zu ihrem Preis und Ruhme
Singen wir dies schöne Lied.
Vivat Onkel Kaspers Nase,
Die zu allen Zeiten blüht!

[ 3 pages, circa 2' 25" ]

Wilhelm Busch


Uncle Casper's Red Nose

Children, let us loudly sing,
But without envious voice,
Of Uncle Casper's red, red nose;
For its brilliance, we rejoice!

It was born a dainty shoot;
Nature's gift began so small.
He bathed it with diligent care
In wine and brandy's alcohol.

In time he was -- yea! -- overjoyed
As his bud bloomed into a rose.
Impressive in rosy stature was his
Dark red, wondrous nose.

All roses have prickly thorns
But Casper's has none at all.
Rather just some strands of hair,
And not that much, after all.

Its cup effuses sweetly --
Perfumes, one could almost say:
From his well-known box of snuff
Snuffs he pollens throughout his day.

Often on a morning fresh
With skies of fragrant blue,
One spies upon that heart-shaped rose
A running drop of pearly dew.

When all the other flowers wither,
In the cold, harsh winter's wind,
This miraculous rose of a nose
Is hearty, fit, and always ginned.

Therefore to its prize and glory
We sing this beauteous song.
"Vivat!" to Uncle Casper's nose,
May it bloom both bright and long!


rhymed paraphrase by the composer



The text is found in Busch's anthology, Kritik des Herzens. For other song settings to Busch poems, click here.


The verse is a set of eight strophes, here formatted into four song verses. The melody seems quite hymn-like, with a lightly quirky accompaniment. After two song verses, the key moves up a half step, and the last verse is broken in form and feeling, as the "winter" theme is extended in a short foray into F sharp minor. The last four lines recapture the hymn-like tune, and a final cheer, "Vivat," punctuates the abrupt closing.




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.


Onkel Kaspers rote Nase