Sie war ein Blümlein hübsch und fein


Sie war ein Blümlein hübsch und fein - (2009)    

Wilhelm Busch

for medium voice and piano


Sie war ein Blümlein hübsch und fein,
Hell aufgeblüht im Sonnenschein.
Er war ein junger Schmetterling,
Der selig an der Blume hing.
Oft kam ein Bienlein mit Gebrumm
Und nascht und säuselt da herum.
Oft kroch ein Käfer kribbelkrab
Am hübschen Blümlein auf und ab.
Ach Gott, wie das dem Schmetterling
So schmerzlich durch die Seele ging.
Doch was am meisten ihn entsetzt,
Das Allerschlimmste kam zuletzt
Ein alter Esel fraß die ganze
Von ihm so heiß geliebte Pflanze.

[ 5 pages, circa 2' 10" ]

Wilhelm Busch


As with many of Wilhelm's Busch's vignettes, something lovely becomes a little horror, sometimes humorous and sometimes darkly so. This poem sets the stage for a lovely sunshiny day, a blossom and the little insects around it, with the twist in the last lines.


She was a beautiful, delicate blossom,
brightly blooming in the sunshine.
He was a young butterfly,
blissfully hanging on the flower.
Often came a little droning bee
to nibble and murmur there.
Often a beetle crawled like a tickling crab
all over the lovely little blossom.
Oh God, but through the butterfly's soul
went something so painful.
Thus was he so horrified,
And the worst of it was this:
An old donkey gobbled the whole
Which he had so passionately loved.



The setting opens brightly in B major with suspensions awaiting the first tonic of this little waltz-like gesture. Within the 3/8 meter, 4/8 measures make "curtains" between phrases and sentences in the text, each line receiving its declamation. The musical phrases are not equal throughout.



The twist in Busch's tale brings the setting to B minor with its added raised sixth, these the same notes as the so-called Tristan chord. The gestural rhythms foreshorten, lightly frustrating the meter for a moment with each hemiola across two measures.



The violence of this blossom's end is painted in the syncopated octaves and staccati. The setting ends with a reminiscence of the opening to remind us in the opening past-tense verb, "she was a blossom.... she was....)



The score for Sie war ein Blümlein hübsch und fein 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.


Sie war ein Blümlein hübsch und fein