Monday, December 27, 2010

Maybe They’re Hansel and Gretel

The antique dolls I told you about yesterday remind me a little of Hansel and Gretel. I wonder if that’s who they’re supposed to represent? Or maybe they’re just a boy and a girl; their outfits don’t seem quite Tyrolean enough. Maybe they’re not even German!

At any rate, Hansel and Gretel are very big in Germany during Christmastime. Here’s a YouTube of the famous and lovely Abendsegen (“prayer”) duet from the opera Hänsel und Gretel (Engelbert Humperdinck, 1893).

Lyrics follow, should you wish to sing along!

Abends, will ich schlafen gehn,
Vierzehn Engel um mich stehn:
Zwei zu meinen Häupten,
Zwei zu meinen Füßen,
Zwei zu meiner Rechten,
Zwei zu meiner Linken,
Zweie, die mich decken,
Zweie, die mich wecken,
Zweie, die mich weisen,
Zu Himmels-Paradeisen.

Evenings, when I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels with me keep,
Two stand at my head,
Two at the foot of my bed,
Two are at my right hand,
Two are at my left hand,
Two in covers tuck me,
Two at morning wake me,
Two that point the way to rise
To heaven’s paradise.

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