Friday, February 06, 2009

You Can Learn a Lot About A People From Their Folk Songs

I'm reading Christopher Clark's Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (2006), and was struck by two songs. This (page 430) is a Protestant song from the 1830s:
For us who live in Prussia's land
The King is always lord;
We live by law and the bonds of order,
Not like some bickering horde.
This one (page 351) dates from 1809, when Napoleon conquered Prussia:
Whiten with their scattered bones
Every hollow, every hill;
From what was left by fox and crow
The hungry fish shall eat their fill;
Block the Rhine with their cadavers;
Until, plugged up by so much flesh,
It breaks its banks and surges west
To draw our borderline afresh!

1 comment:

OBloodyHell said...

Heh. You should try listening to some Russian folk songs. Man, you talk about dark and dreary...They make The Police sound like "Katrina and The Waves"...