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A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 1

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

Entry: Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem - A88023053
Author: paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me - U176638

The current German national anthem is arguably the best-known piece that Josef Haydn ever wrote.

I've written this Entry as an exploration of the paths that Haydn followed to get it written and adopted, followed by almost two centuries of development of the tune as a national anthem for Germany in its various iterations.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you - that is interesting smiley - ok

Reminds me of school - somehow my German class got to know the first verse. We started singing it randomly one day, in the hearing of a German exchange student, who explained the last line of your Entry so we didn't sing it again...


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 3

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

The crazy guy with the funny moustache is to blame for the shadow that has fallen over the first verse.

Nowadays, there is much about Germany to admire.

It accommodated the merger with East Germany admirably.

It coped with the pandemic magnificently. Angel Merkel stood up to Trump.

But she's stepping down this year.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 4

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

Hi Paul smiley - smiley

Commenting on this Entry as I read, as usual...

First of all I'm not really sure about the title of this Entry. Basically you don't talk about a melody by Haydn and how it was used for different things at different times. There obviously were hundreds of different lyrics applied to this melody over the time. Some more well known than others.

1st paragraph 'Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser', 'erhalte' and 'den' without capital e/d in German. Also would be good to add a translation? Also you don't explain who this 'Franz' (II) is.

Also it was not a 'national' anthem but an anthem for the Emperor as a person. We call it the Kaiserhymne. While you are right that Haydn originally went with lyrics by Haschka, the song had varying lyrics over the time (in Austria until the end of the Empire/WWI).
National anthems were developed later. There were no 'nations' as such in Europe at that time, certainly not in Germany and Austria. It was still the Holy Roman Empire until 1806, it was all about the Emperors as a person, not the countries. The Marseillaise which you mention also doesn't seem to have been an 'athem' at that time.

I would not rely so heavily on outside links. Every youtube video can be gone any time. Your Entry should work without them, too.smiley - winkeye So my comments here are only about the Entry as such. If there is anything you want to tell us please do, don't rely on people watching any videos at all. It has to work without that.

'The job of reworking the piece for use as a German anthem was taken on in 1841 by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben..'
You write this like he conciously wrote an anthem while in fact it seems he (like others) used this melody and added another new text and it was later used more and more. It was never an intention of him to create an 'anthem' for a nation that did not exist at that time. One of the more successful songs at that time was 'Die Wacht am Rhein'.

'His efforts to unite the many small kingdoms of Germany into a unified whole had gotten him in hot water in his native Hanover.' As far as I can see his 'efforts' are mainly unpopular opinions voiced in songs and poems?
You should probably have a closer look at the rivers etc he mentions in that song. It's not only 'Germany', but also the German speaking parts of Austria, so what he means is really all German speaking countries should be united.

'Kaiser Wilhelm, preferred to use the existing Prussian anthem'
That again is a wrong term. You are talking about 'Heil dir im Siegerkranz', which again was a hymn for a person, Kaiser Wilhelm, not Prussia as country.

The song by the way *never* became the official anthem of Germany. Germany does not have an official anthem, at least not by law. It is just a tradition.


... I may write more later.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 5

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

This will not be fixed quickly or easily. I see some good points that you've made, and I'm thinking about them. I anticipated the point about the river in Austria. There was an expectation that Austria would become part of Germany, but except for a few years in the 1940s it didn't happen. I didn't think to make an issue of that, as the verse that contained that river was dropped form the song after 1990.

You say, "Germany does not have an official anthem, at least not by law. It is just a tradition." Yet Britannica claims that Germany *does* have an official national anthem. I would include the link to that Britannica article, but you don't want me to use outside links, which is perhaps the only way I could bolster my case.

I agree that Haydn's original version expressed loyalty to a person, not a country. I also allow that the words were changed as other leaders rose up in Austria. But might there be some sort of middle ground here? Austrians who feared invasion by France were depending on their Kaiser to keep them out. I can mention that the words changed with regime changes, though I maintain that in many ways the song was about the nation.

In the past, I've heard suggestions that I include links to performances of pieces. Now I'm hearing from you that such links can die or go awol. Yeah, that has happened for some of the Guide Entries from 15 or 20 years ago. But an entry about a song should provide *some* way for the reader to hear the song. Not everyone reading these pages is gifted at reading musical scores.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 6

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

I've rewritten the article.

I need to relax now.



A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 7

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

No Paul, there simply WERE NO GERMAN NATIONS at that point. It was NO anthem. The song was not created in a conscious decision to create such an anthem, it was just a song for the Emperor's birthday. The lyrics did not only change with every Emperor but as I said over the century there were many, many different lyrics for this melody. Some patriotic, some satirical, some whatever.
It was used by the Emperors until 1918. After that there were no Emperors anymore.

That Fallersleben included landmarks in Austria is indeed very important. It is a political message. I don't think you can say that the mention of parts of Austria is unexpected, he simply thought all German SPEAKING countries should belong together.

The movement he was part of was in fact a student movement. He was obviously part of some Burschenschaft. That's maybe worth mentioning, so people can grasp what kind of movement it actually was. It was not workers or the people in the street. They were students with political ideas. The 1840s were a time commonly known as Vormärz, you should probably read up about the Märzrevolution.

'It is thought that he wanted Germany to be "above" the small kingdoms that were to make up Germany.'
No, that interpretation is wrong I think.

In all your quotes of the lyrics please say which version from qhich time by which writer you quote.

'His anthem, though well-liked at the time, was not adopted officially, at least at first. '
It was a song, not an anthem. The term is just wrong.

Kaiser Wilhelm was the head of the Deutsche Bund, maybe read something about that too to get an idea about the political goings on, as you write about a political song.

More about that later.

I am sorry, but this needs some serious work.

Also it's not bad to post links to performances, that's not what I said. But your Entry should work completly without relying on them.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 8

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

I knew that it would need some serious work. Just how much work I didn't realize.

I can change "anthem" to "song" where you've suggested.

I agree that there was no German nation yet when "Deutschelandlied" was written. It was a matter of looking forward to what the poet hoped would happen.

Am I pretty much all right for the period after 1922?


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 9

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

I've rewritten the entry again.

It would be nice to have a companion article on German reunification to which it can be linked, but such an entry does not exist at H2G2.

Rather than my stumbling over such a vast subject, perhaps you know f a good one I can read?

As far as I know, the three verses I have exhibited in print are the ones that originated in 1841. The most recent one, in the youtube link, is the current version.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 10

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

We can work on Reunification another day. Massive topic. smiley - headhurts

Tav's suggestions are all spot-on. Here are a few from me.

>>except when temporarily invaded in the 1940s.<<

Austria was annexed on March 12, 1938. (Look up 'Anschluss'.)

>>the powers that be decided to reinstate the anthem...<<

Let's not say 'the powers that be'. That implies the anthem was imposed on the country, which is a democracy. Who decided this? Was it the Bundestag? Let's say so.

I think the idea of Germany being 'above' the small kingdoms is a misreading based on mistranslation, as Tav suggests. 'Deutschland über alles' means something like 'Germany is first' - like, first in our hearts. (Most US patriotic songs go like this, too. Remember 'This Is a Great Country'? I wish I could forget it.)

What has to be clear is that Germany as a political entity didn't exist before 1871. In the mid-19th Century, there was a political movement to unite due to the widespread growth in Europe of the idea of 'nationalism' - ethnic states.

Oh, and the song is called das 'Deutschlandlied'. (Spelling's wrong.)

August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben shouldn't be referred to as 'von Fallersleben'. His last name is 'Hoffmann von Fallersleben', so you should call him that.

Hoffmann von Fallersleben was a political liberal in his day, which is why the Prussians banished him. They banished a lot of 'radicals' in the 1840s. (1848 was a revolutionary year in Europe. A lot of '48ers ended up in the US. One of them you may have heard of: Carl Schurz. Union general and founder of the Civil Service. There's a German language-promoting group called the Carl Schurz Gesellschaft.)

Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote a collection of song lyrics about Texas called 'Texanische Lieder', even though he'd never been to Texas. He got the idea from Germans who had been there. Texas gave him a 300-acre land grand, though he never claimed it.

They are spectacularly awful, these songs.

http://www.von-fallersleben.de/Zeitraum/texanische-lieder/




A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 11

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

Thank you, Dmitri.

Regarding "uber alles' translation: I paraphrased the interpretation of the link I included, but I have also inserted your take. Put ten translators in a room, and you may get more than one translation. It happens.

I earlier removed the reference to Austria being invaded.

I have added Hoffmann where appropriate. His other songs and writing may be great or awful, or somewhere in between, but I wasn't writing about those. Human flesh can only do so much.

Now I need to remove "powers that be." I hope the site will let me; I've made ma y changes in the last twenty-four hours.

Peace.

Yes, I know that Germany didn't exist before 1871. That has finally sunk in, smiley - groan


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 12

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

The way you rewrote the paragraph is fine. The point of translation is that you may argue about the mot juste, but you should not misrepresent the meaning. The meaning was the old trope of 'my country comes first when it is dedicated to peace, freedom, and reasonably priced love.'

Speaking of translation,

>>Their old beautiful chime...<<

is a terrible one. 'Klang' only means 'chime' if you're talking about bells. I'd change it to 'sound', 'tone', or 'resonance'. It won't help much - that's a cringeworthy verse in the original, even.

>>Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;<<

'Unterpfand' means 'pledge'. It's not the foundation.

I wasn't suggesting you include the info about Texas. I thought you might enjoy it. Hoffmann von Fallersleben was no Byron, is what I was trying to say.

Although Bluebottle would definitely want to put that in as a footnote... smiley - evilgrin




A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 13

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

I've made those word substitutions.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 14

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

smiley - ok Great, thanks!


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 15

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

As a former French major, I can see how hazardous translations can be.

Then there are Biblical translations. new ones have been coming along for centuries.

I remember the days when I eagerly awaited the latest ones by Harold Bloom, who died a little over a year ago.

Now I see there's a youtube video about the idea that Jesus was not real, but invented by The Flavians who wanted to discredit the Julians (their predecessors) by setting the imaginary Jesus back forty years so as to make the crucifixion happen under their watch. This depends on sequences of embedded texts in the Gospels, that refer back to older passages. With the help of Josephus. smiley - winkeye A turn-the-other cheek Jesus, unlike the pugnacious Essenes who wanted to fight Rome. smiley - rolleyes

Was Joseph of Arimathea a pun on Josephus' real last name?

I've read every conceivable interpretation based on Scriptures. That Jesus hired someone else to be crucified for him. That Joseph of Arimathea was Jesus' brother James (Catholics will deny that he had any brothers...).

And so on and on and on.

I used to parody the idea translation. Ecco mormorar l'onde became echoes murmur in the laundry.

And my biggest grip about sci fi, including Star Trek? That most extraterrestrials speak English. More, in fact, than speak Englisho n Earth.

basta! smiley - groan


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 16

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

When Napoleon's troops invaded Haydn's neighborhood in 1809, Haydn defied him in the only way left to him (he was a frail elderly man by then). He had his servant help him go downstairs so he could sit at the piano nd play this piece:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdkZdyjsW2s

Then he returned to his bed, where he endured jarring noise and vibrations from the fighting. Four days later he was dead.

This is a postscript, and not intended for the entry on Deutschelandlied.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 17

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

You know, telling me and Dmitri we are wrong about a translation from German is really a strange thing to do. You are aware it is my native language, right?

(Also what you said about Star Trek... no, they don't all talk English. They just have a translator for all languages smiley - winkeye )


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 18

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

I didn't think I had told you you were wrong about a translation. smiley - huh I was just talking about the vagaries of translating.

If I have offended you, I apologize. I didn't mean to.


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 19

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

Is there any hope that the entry will ever be good enough for the Guide?


A88023053 - Deutschelandlied, the German National Anthem

Post 20

paulh, making lemonade from the lemons that life has given me

One more tweak. I've deleted the texts of verses one and two, though I've kept the paraphrases, and given a link to a site that contains German and English versions. It uses the word "ring" rather than "chime." I looked for other translations that were more in keeping with what has been suggested here, but even Wikipedia's entry is disappointing.

I give the German and English text for the third verse, which is in official use now.

The entry is shorter now, and it is in line with some other sites that only give the third verse.

Peace.


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