Zum Bockspringen


Zum Bockspringen - (2009)    

Joachim Ringelnatz

for medium voice and piano


Wie war die Geschichte mit Bobs Wauwau?
Ich erinnere mich nicht ganz genau,
Ob dieser Hund Bobs – Eins, zwei, drei – hops! –
Ob dieser Hund ein Rebhuhn gebar?
Auf welcher Seite er schwanger war,
Und inwiefern und ob's

    – Eins, zwei, drei – hops! –

Ein Dackel war, der das Rebhuhn erzeugte,
Und ob er das arme Geflügel dann säugte. –
Ich glaube, der Dackel war ein Mops.

    – Eins, zwei, drei – hops! –

Jedenfalls fraß er zu jedermanns Ärger
Nur Wickelgamaschen und Königsberger,
Auch Danziger Klops.

    – Eins, zwei, drei – hops! –

Ein seltsamer Mops war Bobs Wauwau.

    – Eins, zwei, drei – hops! – au! au!

[ 4 pages, circa 2' 20" ]

Joachim Ringelnatz


About Leapfrog

How does the story of Bob's doggie go?
I don't remember exactly,
Whether Bob's dog -- one, two, three, jump! --
Whether this dog bore a partridge?
How was it she was pregnant,
And how it was and if -- one, two, three, jump! --
There was a dachshund, that produced a partridge,
And whether it managed to suckle the bird. --
I think maybe the dachshund was a pug. One, two, three, jump! --
In any case he ate to everyone's annoyance
Only puttees [ 1 ] and Königsberger meat balls [ 2 ],
And Danziger meat dumplings [ 3 ] -- One, two, three, jump! --
An unusual cur was Bob's doggie.
One, two, three, jump! -- Oh, ouch!



This silly image is part of the human joke about offspring not resembling the parents, for which Ringelnatz subtitled the poem -- "after an Aesop fairy tale." The impossibility of this tale is the partridge born to a dachshund is laughable, and his joke is about how absurd a game of leapfrog must have been required to -- one, two, three, jump! -- launch the dog into the tree. The opening gesture is a chromatic leap of two octaves before landing, only to try again -- and again.



The absurdity of the many "one-two-three-jump" gestures is completed with a final drop of many octaves accelerating to the abrupt ending.



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.


Zum Bockspringen




[ 1 ]    A Wickelgamaschen is a puttee, also an unusual term in English, and was a legging wrapping which soldiers used during the First World War.


[ 2 ]    Königsberger - meatballs in white sauce are flavored with capers and lemon and served with potatoes and pickled beets.  Königsberger Klopse were named after the capital of the East Prussian state, and various recipes for this dish differ only slightly from the Danziger Klopse, the largest difference seeming to be not taste but regional partisanship, the dialect of Königsberg being Low Prussian. It was annexed to the USSR and is now known as Kaliningrad. By the time of Ringelnatz' poem, the later history had not transpired. His mention of both cities refers to regional pride based as much on language as on cuisine.


[ 3 ]    Danziger Klops - a dumpling of chopped meat with onions and peppers. Danzig was a part of the former Prussia, on the lower part of the river Weichsel, and a Prussian province until 1919. The mouth of the river Weichsel became independent as the Free State of Danzig in 1919, militarily absorbed into the Third Reich's administration and finally came under Polish administration since 1945, known as Gdansk.