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Joachim Ringelnatz (1883-1934)

Wenn du nicht froh kannst denken,
Obwohl nichts Hartes dich bedrückt,
Sollst du ein Blümchen verschenken
Aufs Geratewohl von dir gepflückt.

Irgendein staubiger, gelber, -
Sei's Hahnenfuß - vom Wegesrand.
Und schenke das Blümchen dir selber
Aus linker Hand an die rechte Hand.

Und mache dir eine Verbeugung
Im Spiegel und sage: "Du,
Ich bin der Überzeugung,
Dir setzt man einzig schrecklich zu.
Wie wär's, wenn du jetzt mal sachlich
Fleißig einfach arbeiten tätst?
Später prahle nicht und jetzt lach nicht,
Daß du nicht in Übermut gerätst."


The Weary Blues

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)


Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway ....
He did a lazy sway ....
To the tune o' those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man's soul.
O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan--
"Ain't got nobody in all this world,
Ain't got nobody but ma self.
I's gwine to quit ma frownin'
And put ma troubles on the shelf."

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more--
"I got the Weary Blues
And I can't be satisfied.
Got the Weary Blues
And can't be satisfied--
I ain't happy no mo'
And I wish that I had died."
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that's dead.


Le blues du dentiste

Boris Vian (1920 - 1950)

Ce matin-là en me levant
J'avais bien mal aux dents
Oh oh la la
J'sors de chez moi
Et j'fonce en pleurant
Chez un nommé Durand, Mm, Mm
Qu'est dentiste de son état
Et qui pourra m'arranger ça

La salle d'attente est bourrée de gens
Et pendant que j'attends oh oh la la
Sur un brancard
Passe un mec tout blanc
Porté par deux mastards Mm Mm
Je m'lève déjà pour fout' le camp
Mais l'infirmier dit : "Au suivant !"
Je suis debout devant le dentiste
Je lui fais un sourire de crétin
I m'pouss' dans l'fauteuil et me crie : "En piste."
Il a des tenailles à la main
Oh oh oh oh Maman
J'ai les guiboll's en fromag' blanc-anc
Avant même que j'ai pu faire ouf
Il m'fait déjà sauter trois dents

En moins d'un' plombe mes pauvres molaires
Sont r'tournées dans leur tombe
Oh oh la la
Voilà qui m'plombe
Mes deux plus bell's dents
Cell's que j'ai par devant Mm Mm
I' m'grill' la gueul' au chalumeau
Et il me file un grand verre d'eau
Il me dit faut régler votre dette
Je venais d'être payé la veille
Ce salaud me fauche tout mon oseille
Et me refile cinquante ball' net
Oh oh oh oh Maman
Et il ajoute en rigolant
J'suis pas dentist' je suis plombier
Entre voisins faut s'entr' aider
Oh oh
Et moi je gueul' ce soir
Le blouse du dentiste dans le noir



Robert Gernhardt (1937- )

Kaum atmest du wegen der Eichen auf,
da gehn schon die ersten Kastanien drauf

Kaum lassen die Kinderkrankheiten nach,
da fühlst du dich schon etwas altersschwach

Kaum erholt sich dein Land von der Trockenheit,
da macht sich bereits wieder Hochwasser breit

Kaum hast du entdeckt, welcher Wein dir schmeckt,
da hat das auch deine Leber gecheckt

Kaum lockt dich der blühende Wiesenrain,
da stellt sich dort auch schon die Milbe ein

Kaum weißt du, wo man gut essen geht,
da empfiehlt dir der Arzt eine Nulldiät
Kaum geben die letzten Amseln Ruh,
da gibt schon der Kauz seinen Senf dazu

Kaum kommt der ersehnte Schlaf herbei,
da weckt dich schon wieder Amselgeschrei

Kaum daß du die Kunst zu leben erlernst,
da macht schon der bleiche Geselle ernst:



Derek Walcott (1930- )

Those five or six young guys
lunched on the stoop
that oven-hot summer night
whistled me over. Nice
and friendly. So, I stop.
MacDougal or Christopher
Street in chains of light.

A summer festival. Or some
saint's. I wasn't too far from
home, but not too bright
for a nigger, and not too dark.
I figured we were all
one, wop, nigger, jew,
besides, this wasn't Central Park.
I'm coming on too strong? You figure
right! They beat this yellow nigger
black and blue.

Yeah. During all this, scared
on case one used a knife,
I hung my olive-green, just-bought
sports coat on a fire plug.
I did nothing. They fought
each other, really. Life
gives them a few kcks,
that's all. The spades, the spicks.

My face smashed in, my bloddy mug
pouring, my olive-branch jacket saved
from cuts and tears,
I crawled four flights upstairs.
Sprawled in the gutter, I
remember a few watchers waved
loudly, and one kid's mother shouting
like "Jackie" or "Terry,"
"now that's enough!"
It's nothing really.
They don't get enough love.

You know they wouldn't kill
you. Just playing rough,
like young Americans will.
Still it taught me somthing
about love. If it's so tough,
forget it.


Father Death Blues

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)

Hey Father Death, I'm flying home
Hey poor man, you're all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I'm going

Father Death, Don't cry any more
Mama's there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don't hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts'll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body's gone
Father Death I'm coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we'll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.


Funeral Blues

W.H. Auden (1907 - 1973)

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


Po' Boy Blues

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
When I was home de
Sunshine seemed like gold.
Since I come up North de
Whole damn world's turned cold.

I was a good boy,
Never done no wrong.
Yes, I was a good boy,
Never done no wrong,
But this world is weary
An' de road is hard an' long.

I fell in love with
A gal I thought was kind.
Fell in love with
A gal I thought was kind.
She made me lose ma money
An' almost lose ma mind.

Weary, weary,
Weary early in de morn.
Weary, weary,
Early, early in de morn.
I's so weary
I wish I'd never been born.


The Blues

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

When the shoe strings break
On both your shoes
And you're in a hurry-
That's the blues.

When you go to buy a candy bar
And you've lost the dime you had-
Slipped through a hole in your pocket somewhere-
That's the blues, too, and bad!


Refugee Blues

WH Auden (1907 - 1973)

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that.

The consul banged the table and said,
"If you've got no passport you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
"If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread":
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying, "They must die":
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, but they weren't German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.