To the tune of: “Ich will euch singen und will nicht lügen.”
Ah’ll clype yi a clash an ah’ll nae whid,
Ah wance seed twa auld shuins fochten –
the Gerries agin the Gerrie.
They’d ettled it a’, jist wan thing not,
Thi sclidders that came, the Freudyin skites,
Cause on their first anniversary
the bells dirled for post-history
for its historical novelty –
but without the needed equality
unity faws tae duality.
Twee-deedel-dum-twa, the dishort comes awa,
we’re in sore need o’ a joining quair
for winners and for losers.
Itherwise instead o’ “We are wan folk”
“Folk and Reich and Führer” you’ll hear –
Shite-mucky-dumb-shee, the sharn comes up,
Oor name abroad is in the muck,
“Shite Gerries!”, “bebe”, “merda!”
Control in Rostock, who gave it up?
And in Mölln and Hoyerswerda?!
Wae, o wae is we!
O German brithers, German titties,
we’re harling yestreen’s deviltries
towards us as guid patriots.
An’ the blows we missed tae the Nazi’s heads
we’ll be upsides wi’ in the hunt for Reds –
Hi-demagogy, car skew intae richt,
look up fascism in thi wark o Bertold Brecht
(Ails ye whit? – Oot wi’ it!)
Twa fronts hae fashed us auld lang syne,
we’ll knuse thegither whit thegither belongs:
thi nationalee middlin.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
An whit shuid ah clype yous wi’oot a wid?
A seed a folk bashin’ intae itself:
x – / to thole the truth.
x – / x – / and I gie you ma hand
in this “wonderful”, “birling” and “radgie” land:
ruled over by Meenister Hintze(1).
to clype – tell tales
clash – gossip
whid – v. and n. to lie, a lie jo – lover
fochtyn – fighting to ettle – plan slidders + skites – slips which go off at a tangent
to dirl – ring
to faw – fall
dishort – rupture
quair – song
sharn – dung
to harl – throw
to be upsides wi' – be quits with
to skew – distort
car – left
to fash – bother
to knuse – squeeze and pummel
birlin – twirlin
radgie – crazy
Meenister – vicar
(1929 - 2008) was a writer on the edge of the German literary
establishment, titled as the “greatest living German poet” by the conservative daily Frankfurt
Allgemeiner Zeitung in 2005. Aside from his poetry, he is acclaimed as an essayist and as a
diaryist. Rühmkorf was awarded every important German literary prize – including the Georg
Büchner Prize – and he loved to publish under pseudonyms, including Leslie Maier and Hans
(1975 - ) lives and works in Neugraben, Hamburg, right beside an old
heather-heath landscape of Manley-Hopkin-esque standards of beauty, and pretty near a big
rusty-fat belt of provinicial suburbia. After growing up in the New Town in Edinburgh and
realising that most other urban places just won't do it, he began contenting himself with
contemporary German literature and other secondary pleasures. While waiting for a contract
to work as a translator on the first ever complete edition of the works of Rosa Luxemburg –
which is being published right now, in fifteen volumes by Verso (details here) - to get going,
he writes his blog, Goethe's Gonna Getya, about the mechanisms through which literature gets
at us, transforms and inspires us. He's already had short translations of works by Uwe
Tellkamp and Peter Rühmkorf published. All of which distracts from his kids & his wife
Rebekka, who are, no jokes, the real apples of his eye.