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Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 13

Beethoven: Sparks of Joy – No. 13

Goethe and Beethoven: “Getting Along with Girls”
Notes by Fred Haight

The Classics are often associated with imagery of stuffy-old-white-male who have nothing relatable for the contemporary youth generation. We beg to differ.

Goethe’s Mit Mädeln sich Vertragen (Getting Along with Girls), written in 1787, is a poem that makes hilarious fun of the “machismo” mentality of any young, over-confident, would be Don Juan. Beethoven captures Goethe’s imagery perfectly (including a mock sword fight), in this short work for Bass and Orchestra, WoO 90 (composed around 1790-92).

Mit Mädeln sich Vertragen:

Mit Mädeln sich vertragen,

Mit Männern ‘rumgeschlagen,

Und mehr Credit als Geld;

So kommt man durch die Welt.

Ein Lied, am Abend warm gesungen,

Hat mir schon manches Herz errungen;

Und steht der Neider an der Wand,

Hervor den Degen in der Hand;

‘Raus, feurig, frisch,

Den Flederwisch!

Kling! Kling! Klang! Klang!

Dik! Dik! Dak! Dak!

Krik! Krak!

Mit Mädeln sich vertragen,

Mit Männern ‘rumgeschlagen,

Und mehr Credit als Geld;

So kommt man durch die Welt.

With girls I get along,

With men I brawl,

With more credit than money;

This how one goes through the world.

A song, sung on a warm evening,

Has already won many a heart for me;

And I back the jealous one against the wall, His sword in his hand; Out, fiery, fresh, The feather duster!

Clink! Clink! Clang! Clang!

Dick! Dick! Dack! Dack!

Crick! Crack!

With girls I get along,

With men I brawl,

With more credit than money;

This is how one goes through the world.

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Mr. Jackson
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