Schubert’s Winterreise, In Facebook Messenger Icons

schubert winterreise messenger

The Facebook Messenger app has been in the news recently because of privacy and stuff, but I don’t care about that because look: a pink canary thing!

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 00.00.17

These little emoticons are available within the messenger app, so instead of thinking of pesky words to type you can express yourself with pictures. In technicolour.

I believe this feature is not only awesome but may also facilitate an understanding of 19th-century German poetry.

Yes, 19th-century German poetry. For example, Schubert’s Winterreise is a song-cycle based on poems by Wilhelm Müller and it is rather good just as poetry and music. However, it is even better when accompanied by pictures of the pink Facebook canary in a variety of humorous garbs.

Here is just such a version, using an abridged translation by Barry Mitchell.


Winterreise

1_gute nacht

No. 1. Good Night

As a stranger I arrived

As a stranger I shall leave

Soon I’ll be out of sight

Good night, my love, good night


2_die wetterfahne

No. 2. The Weathervane

For Nature plays with our hearts

As the wind plays with the vane

What do they care if my heart is dying?

Their child will be a wealthy bride


3_gefrorner thranen

No. 3. Frozen Tears

From this poor bosom tears flow

Flow with burning heat

Flow enough to melt

The winter frost and snow


4_erstarrung

No. 4. Feeling Numb

I look for traces of her footsteps

I look for them in vain

When my sorrows fall silent

Who will speak to me of her?


5_lindenbaum

No. 5. The Linden Tree

Cruel winds were blowing

Coldly cutting my face

My hat was blown behind me

I quickly sped on my way

I’m now many miles distant

From that dear old linden tree

But I still hear it whisper

“Come – find peace with me”


6_wasserflut

No. 6. The Watercourse

My tears have made

Deep marks in the snow

Take my tears with you

As you flow to the stream

You’ll feel my hot tears

As you pass where my loved-one lives


7_auf dem flusse

No. 7. On the River

A hard and icy case

Is now your winter prison

You lie cold and dreary

Pressed fast upon the earth


8_ruckblick

No. 8. Looking Back

It feels like I’m walking on fire

Though underfoot is ice and snow

I’ve hardly time to draw breath

So keen am I to leave that town


9_irrlicht

No. 9. Will O’ the Wisp

Will O’ the Wisp has led me

Deep into a rocky maze

I look from right to left

I seek a path but there is none


10_rast

No. 10. Rest

.

At last I rest and only now

I feel weary

.


11_fruhlingstraum

No. 11. Spring Dreams

My eyes are closing again

Once more my heart begins to throb

Will the leaves ever turn green?

Will I ever embrace my sweetheart?


12_einsamkeit

No. 12. Solitude

Why is the air so tranquil!

Why is the world so fair!

Even in the raging storm

I never felt such despair


13_die post

No. 13. The Post

I’ll ask the postman, Heart

If he has been to that town

And if he has seen

The fair one you loved


14_der greise Kpf

No. 14. The Grey Head

They say one night of torment

Can make black hair turn white

The frost leaves my hair untouched

I have wandered but must wander more


15_die krahe

No. 15. The Raven

Raven, bird of ill-omen

Will you ever leave me?

Do you stalk me

In the hope I will be yours?


16_letzte hoffnung

No. 16. The Last Hope

I stare at one leaf

I stake my hopes on it

If the leaf falls

My hopes will fall with it

My heart will sink too

My last hope will be gone


17_im dorfe

No. 17. In the Village

.

My dreams have ended in tears

Why should I linger here?

.


18_der sturmische

No. 18. The Stormy Morning

A storm has ripped

The grey robe of the sky

The clouds fly apart

In wild disorder


19_tauschung

No. 19. Illusion

I see a flickering guiding light

To left and right, now here, now there

I’ll follow this light, though I know

It will mislead and tease me


20_der wegweiser

No. 20. The Guide-Post

Why should I leave the beaten path

Where the other wanderers tread?

It is only foolishness

That makes me seek the wild

It points me to a path

One no wanderer can retrace


21_das wirthshaus

No. 21. The Wayside Inn

Among all your rooms

Do you have one for me?

I’m tired and ready to rest

Unwelcoming inn, do you deny me shelter?


22_mut

No. 22. Courage

Snow falls on my cheek

I carelessly brush it away

If my heart speaks of its troubles

I’ll drown it out with a happy song


23_nebensonnen

No. 23. The Mock Suns

I used to have three suns

But the best two have gone

If the third goes out

I will welcome the darkness


24_der leiermann

No. 24. The Organ-Grinder

Up behind the village

The organ-grinder has his pitch

No one listens to him

Or looks at him, or cares

But he wears a smile

He shows no fear or disappointment

But turns the handle round and round

Shall I join you on your journey?

Will you play the music to my songs?


 

Want more Winterreise humour? Of course you do. Click here

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5 Responses

  1. megamezzo says:

    Screaming with laughter/weeping with joy – had not succumbed to Messenger on iPad but can hardly wait…..
    Am also now proud owner of Kindle edition of Barry Mitchell’s masterpiece
    You have a lot to answer for Throwcase…! M

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful….

  3. megamezzo says:

    Definitely worth revisiting at regular intervals: this time I realise just how perfect ‘Letzte Hoffnung . Magical ….. is not the word.

Think. Type. Dazzle

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