Saturday, July 24, 2010

7/24 Mephistos Flohlied (Song of the Flea)

My favorite lieder by B, this inspired me to actually arrange it for guitar and voice. The story is by Goethe, essentially it's about a flea being invited to a royal court. I think it gets squashed at the end....

Here's good ol Dieter's version:
Aus Goethes Faust ("Mephistos Flohlied"/Song of the Flea), Op. 72, No. 2

And here's Spin-17's version (from rehearsal so you may notice some "liberties" - posting this for the arrangement, not to show off my guitar virtuosity :)

Text Translation (from

A king there was once reigning,
Who had a goodly flea,
Him loved he without feigning,
As his own son were he!

His tailor then he summon’d,

The tailor to him goes;
Now measure me the youngster
For jerkin and for hose!

In satin and in velvet

Behold the younker dressed;
Bedizen’d o’er with ribbons,
A cross upon his breast.

Prime minister they made him,

He wore a star of state;
And all his poor relations
Were courtiers, rich and great.

The gentlemen and ladies

At court were sore distressed;
The queen and all her maidens
Were bitten by the pest,

And yet they dared not scratch them,

Or chase the fleas away.
If we are bit, we catch them
And crack them without delay.

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