The Breitmann Ballads
by Charles G. Leland
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Uber Stein and Schwein,(Ger.) - Over stone and swine. Ueberschwengliche,(Ger.) - Transcendental, elevated. Uhr,(Ger.) - Clock, watch, hour, time. Used for "hour" in the ballad. Uhu,(Ger.) - Owl. Uliverus - Oliver, another of the twelve Paladins of Charlemagne, who fell at Roncesvalles (a Roland for an Oliver). Und lauter guter Ding,(Ger.) - And of thoroughly good cheer. Un-windoong,(Ger. Entwicklung?) - Unravelling. Unvolkommene technik - Unfinished style or method. Urbummeleid,(Ger. vulg.) - Arch-loafer's song. Urlied,(Ger.) - The song of yore.

Van't klein komt men tot't groote,(Dutch) - Great things have small beginnings. (Concordia res parvæ crescunt - Legend on the Dutch ducats; or "Magna molimur parvi.") Varus - The Roman commander in Germany, conquered by Arminius. Veilchen,(Ger.) - Violets. Vercieren,(Flem.) - Adorn; exalt. Verdammt,(Ger.) - D—-d. Verfluchter,(Ger.) - Accursed. Verloren,(Ger.) - Forlorn. Verstay, Verstehen - Understand. Versteh, Verstehen,(Ger.) - To understand. Vertyfeln, Verteufeln - To botch. Villiam - William Street at New York, inhabited by many Germans. Vivat! - The same as vive! in French. Hurrah! Vlaemsche - Flemish. Von - One. See Preface. Voonderly,(Ger. Wunderlich) - Wondrous, curious. Vorüber,(Ger.) - Past.

Wachsen,(Ger.) - Waxen. Wachsen,(Ger.) - To grow. "Komm'ich in's galante Sachsen Wo die schöne Maedchen wachsen." - Old German Song. Waechter,(Ger.) - Watchman. Waelder,(Ger.) - Woods. Wahlverwandtschaft,(Ger.) - Elective affinity, sympathy of souls. Wahrsagt,(Ger. Wahrsagen) - To foretell, soothsay. Waidmannsheil,(Ger.) - Huntsman's weal. Wald,(Ger.) - Wood. Wallowin - Walloon. Wälschen,(Ger.) - Of the Latin race. Wappenshield(Waffenschild) - Coat of arms. Ward all zu Steine,(Ger.) - Became all stone. Ward zu Wind,(Ger.) - Became a wind. Wechselbalg,(Ger.) - (formerly a popular superstitious belief), a changeling, brat, urchin. Weihnachtsbaum,(Ger.) - Christmas tree. Weihnachtslied,(Ger.) - Christmas song. Weingarts, weingärten,(Ger.) - Vineyards. Weingeist,(Ger.) - Vinous, ardent spirit. Wein-handle,(Ger. Weinhandel or Weinhandlung) - Wine-trade, wine-shop. Weinnachtstraum - Lit. Winenight's dream, for "Weihnacht," Christmas dream. Wellen und Wogen,(Ger.) - Waves and billows. Welshhen - Turkey hen. Werda?(Ger.) - Who's there? Werden, das Werden - The becoming to be. Wete(Wette) - Bet. We'uns, you'ns - We and you. A common vulgarism through the Southern States. "'Tis sad that we'uns from you'ns parts When you'ns hev stolen we'uns' hearts. Wie gehts,(Ger.) - How goes it? How are you? Wie Milch und Blut - Like milk and blood. Wild und Weh,(Ger.) - Wild and woebegone. Wilde Jagd - Wild hunt. Willkomm,(Ger.) - Welcome. Windsbraut,(Ger. poet) - Storm, hurricane, gust of wind. Wird,(Ger.) - Becomes. Wise-hood,(Ger. Weisheit) - Wisdom. Wised,(Ger. Wusste, from wissen) - Knew. Witz,(Ger.) - A sally. Wo bist du?(Ger.) - Where art? Woe-moody,(Ger. Wehmüthig) - Moanful, doleful. Wohl,(Ger.) - Well! Wohlauf,(Ger.) - Well, come on, cheer up. Wolfsschlucht,(Ger.) - Wolf's glen. Wonnevol,(Ger. Wonnevoll) - Blissful. Woon,(Ger. Wunde) - Wound. Word-blay - Word-play, pun, quibble. Wunderschéen(Wunderschœn) - Very beautiful. Wurst - A German student word for indifference. Wurst,(Ger.) - Sausage.

Yaeger,(Ger.) - Huntsman. Yaegersmann, Jaegersmann - Huntsman. Yager,(Jager, Ger.) - Hunter. Yar,(Ger. Jahr) - Year. Yartausend, Jahrtausend - A thousand years. Yellow pine - Mulatto. Yonge maegden,(Flem.) - Young girls. "I lost a maiden in that hour." - Byron. Yoompers - Jumpers. Rude sledges. Yungling, Jüngling,(Ger.) - Youth.

Zapfet aus,(Ger.) - Tap the barrel. Zigeuner - Gipsy. Zimmer,(Ger.) - Room. Zukunftig,(Ger.) - In future.

1. Liederchor is the word which serves as a basis for this designation.

2. Studio auf einer Reis', Lebet halt auf auf eig'ner Weis' Hungrig hier und hungrig dort, Ist des Burschens Logungswort.

This, with the other verses, may be found in the German Student's "Commersbücher."

3. Bachtallo dschaven is the prose form. Vide Pott's Zigeuner.

4. Stinging. An amusing instance of "Breitmannism" was shown in the fact that an American German editor, in his ignorance of English, actually believed that the word stinging, as here given, meant stinking, and was accordingly indignant. It is needless to say that no such idea was intended to be conveyed.

5. Then only you will be ready in German.

6. In Music and Song all thy life long.

7. Thy feet are white as chalk, my love, Thy arms are ivory bone, Thy body is all satin soft, Thy breast of marble stone @ @ @ @ @ @ Smooth, tender, pure, and fair. —Liederbuch Pauls von der Helst, 1602

8. Slibovitz.

9. The author does not know who wrote the first part of "Die Schöne Wittwe." It appeared about 1856, and "went the round of the papers," accumulating as it went several additions or rejoinders, one of which was that by Hans Breitmann.

10. I had not seen for many days The handsome widow's face; I saw her last night standing By her counter, full of grace. With cheeks as pure as milk and blood, With eyes so bright and blue, I kissèd her full well six times, Indeed, and that is true.

11. This ballad is a parody of Das Hildebrandslied. Consult Wackernagel's Lesebuch and Das klein Heldenbuch. "Ich vill zum Land ausreiten, Sprach sich Maister Hilteprand."

12. The Republicans in America were for a long time ridiculed by their opponents as if professing to be guided by Moral Ideas, i.e. Emancipation, Progress, Harmony of Interests, &c.

13. Gling, glang, gloria, was a common refrain in the 16th century, in German drinking songs. "Gling, glang, glorian, Die Sau hat ein Panzer an." - Tractatus de Ebrietate Vitanda.

14. The boot was a favourite drinking cup during the Middle Ages. The writer has seen a boot-shaped mug, bearing the inscription, "Wer . sein . Stiefel . nit . trinken . kan . Der . ist . fürwahr . kein . Teutscher . man."

There is an allusion to this boot-cup in Longfellow's "Golden Legend," where mention is made of a jolly companion

——"who could pull At once a postilion's jack-boot full, And ask with a laugh, when that was done, If they could not give him the other one."

15. The German equivalent for a native of Little Pedlington. It is a Suabian joke, commemorated in a popular song, to inquire in foreign and remote regions, "Is there any good fellow from Böblingen here?"

16. "Sonst etwas auf dem Rohr habem" - something else on the pipe or tube - meaning a plan or idea, kept to one's self, is a German proverbial expression, which occurs in one of Langbein's humorous lyrics.

17. "Nom de garce," as an anagram of nom de grace, occurs in Rabelais. G

18. An expression only used in reference to seeing again some jolly old friend after long absence - "Uns kommt der alte Schwed."

19. Wurst, literally sausage, is used by German students to signify indiffer ence. When a sausage is on the table, and one is asked with mock courtesy which part he prefers, he naturally replies - "Why, it is all sausage to me." I have heard an elderly man in New England reply to the query whether he would have "black meat or breast" - "Any part, thank'ee - I guess it's all turkey." There are, of course, divers ancient and quaint puns in Pennsylvania, on such a word as wurst. Thus it is said that a northern pedlar, in being served with some sausage of an inferior quality, was asked again if he would have some of the wurst. Not understanding the word, and construing it as a slight, he replied to his hostess - "No, thank you, marm, this is quite bad enough." The literal meaning of this line, which is borrowed from Scheffel's poem of Perkéo, is "indifferent, and equal, to me."

20. It was, I believe, Ragnar Lodbrog who, in his Death Song, spoke, about as intelligently and clearly as Herr Breitmann, of a mass of weapons.

21. Is true art-enjoyment.

22. Where art thou Breitmann? - Believe it.

23. In the green wood.

24. Students in the streets.

25. Oh Fatherland! - how thou art far! Oh Time! - how art thou long!

26. Full details of this excursion were published in a pamphlet, entitled "Three Thousand Miles in a Railroad Car," and also in letters written by Mr. J. G. Hazzard for the New York Tribune.

27. In American-German festivals, cards are sometimes sold by the quantity, which are "good" for refreshments. This is done to avoid trouble in making change.

28. Breitmann and bride-man, breit and krumm (bride and groom), or broad and crooked, &c.

29. This refers to the passage of bills in the Legislature of a state by means of bribery. In Pennsylvania, as in many other states, bills which have "nothing in them" - i.e. no money - are rarely allowed to pass.

30. "Die Welt gleicht einer Bierbouteille."

31. Harrisburg is the capital of the state of Pennsylvania.

32. In a certain edition of the Breitmann Ballads, this phrase is said to have originated in 1845. In 1835, I heard it said that General Jackson in a letter spelt all correct "oll korrekt," and this I believe to be the real origin of the expression. - C.G.L.

33. This incident, and the one narrated in the preceding verse, are literally true.

34. "No more interlect than a half-grown shad," is a phrase which occurs, if the author remembers aright, in the Charcoal Sketches, by J. C. Neal. The Western people have carried this idea a step further, and applied it to sardines, as "small fishes," all of an average size, packed closely together in tin cans and excluded from the light of day. A man who has never travelled, and has during all his life been packed tightly among those who were his equals in ignorance and inexperience, is therefore a "sardine."

35. The incident narrated in this part, is told in Pennsylvania as having occurred to a well-known politician, who bore the sobriquet of "With all due deference," from his habit of beginning all his speeches with these words.

36. "Dese outpressions ish not to pe angeseen py anypodies ash schvearin, boot ash inderesdin Norse or Sherman idioms. Goot many refiewers vot refiewsed to admire soosh derms in de earlier editions ish politelich requestet to braise dem in future nodices from a transcendental philological standpoint." - FRITZ SCHWACKENHAMMER

37. Requisish. An abbreviation of the word requisition, which Breitmann had heard during the War of Emancipation. I once heard this cant term used in a droll manner, about the end of the war, by a little girl, six years old, the daughter of a quarter-master. She had "confiscated," or "foraged," or "skirmished," as it was indifferently called, a toy whip belonging to her little brother of four years, who was clamorously demanding its return. "I cannot let you have the whip," said she gravely, "as I need it for military purposes; but I can give you a requisish for it on my papa, who will give you an order on the United States Government." - C. G. L.

38. Bismarck.

39. Disraeli.

40. Uhu. An owl - the bird of kn-owl-edge.

41. Allons. Uhlan slang for go or went, as in America, they use the Spanish word vamos to express every person in every sense of the verb to go. Pronounced allon'd.

42. "O no, those are no angels Which sail so smoothly on, O no - they're cursèd Frenchmen, All in an air-balloon."

43. "And when she came adown Unto the earth's firm surface, She was Mrs. Robinson."

44. Those are thrashed Frenchmen.

45. "Der Uhlan was not shenerally wear pickelhäube, but dis tay der Herr Breitmann gehappenet to hafe von on." - FRITZ SCHWACKENHAMMER

46. "And art thou truly living?"

47. "All my property."

48. "O maiden fair in Heaven!"

49. Nancy, the "light of love" of Lorraine. - London Times, Dec. 6, 1870.

50. "I require you to surrender: I have thirty thousand men Not far from here, parbleu! But give me first champagne: I've a wondrous thirst, you know- About a dozen cart-loads; And then I'll let you go."

51. "O Lord, Lord, Lord! We are ruined!"

52. "We will take the ready gelt."

53. "Yes, give a hundred thousand francs 'Tis all to me, you know."

54. "Ah, that will make you trouble, Which I would not gladly see; So follow all my counsels, And take advice from me. I have two thousand bottles, The best"-

55. "From the wrath of the Northmen, deliver us, Lord!"

56. There is a German student's song which begins with this couplet.

57. La Redoute - the gambling-room at Spa.

58. Spa is famous for painted ornamental wooden ware, such as fans and boxes.

59. "And to him who sung this song, God give a happy year!"

60. "If wine is better than loving, Or if love doth much more than wine."

61. "Yes, when the flower is plucked, And taken from the stem."

62. "What is sweeter than this drinking? Yes - naught can better be Naught is sweeter, though, than loving; It tastes better than wine to me. There's nothing like the maidens, There's nothing like good beer, And he who does not love them both Can be no cavalier."

63. "The colours are not unknown to me."

64. "Ils etaient deux alors; ils sont mille aujourd'hui. Sur ces temps primitifs le doux progrés a lui, Et chacque jour le Rhin vers Cologne charrie De nombreux Farinas, tous 'seul, 'tous 'Jean Marie.'" - Le Maout,"Le Parfumeur," cited by Eugene Rimmel in Le Livre des Parfums, Paris, 1870.

65. Bierstadt - Herr Schwackenhammer had evidently here in view, not only the American artist BIERSTADT, but also the great city of Munich, specially famous for its manufacture of beer.

66. Rattenkönig, or Rat-king, is a term applied in German to a droll mixture of incidents or details. It is derived from an extraordinary story of twelve rats, with one (their king) in the centre, which were found in a nest with their tails grown together, firmly as the ligament which connects the Siamese Twins.

67. "Lucifers." The first name applied in America to friction matches, and one still used by many people.

68. Scalawag - an American word, of very doubtful origin, signifying a low, worthless fellow.

69. "If we can in our monastery collect our rents, we do not care a red cent for infallibility."

70. This verse is parodied from the lines of a ribald old Latin song, "Viginti Jesuiti nuper convenêre."

71. "If I could throw myself outside of, or around, a glass of Rhenish wine." "If I could see a glass of whisky," said an American, "I'd throw myself outside of it mighty quick." Since writing the above, I have seen the expression thus given in a copy of La Belle Sauvage. - Bill of the Play, London, June 27, 1870.

"Nay these natives - simple creatures- Had resolved that for the future Each his own canoe would paddle, Each his own hoe-cake would gobble, And get outside his own whisky."

72. "Deus se fecit olim homo,"&c. A very curious epigram to this effect was placed upon "Pasquin" while the writer was in Rome, during a past winter. It was as follows:- "Perchè Eva mangio il pomo Iddio per riscattarci si fece uomo, Ed ora il Nono Pio Per mantenerci schiavi, si fa Dio."

73. M'Closky. An Irish adventurer, admirably depicted by Mr. Charles Lever.

74. "Do you not see that if you are infallible, and wish to give it out."

75. "During its life."

76. "Thou art a very puppy."

77. This was the late Charles Astor Bristed of New York, to whom many of these ballads were addressed in letters.

78. Lines from Gudrun, each of which is freely translated by the lines following it.

79. "Go forth, my book, through all the world, Bear what thy fate may be! They may bite thee, they may tear thee, So they do no harm to me!"

80. "Pull on your boots so rough and tough, And whet your sword beside, We have been lazy long enough, The road is worth the ride."

81. Schicksal, Destiny.

82. Menschheitsidéal, Human Ideal.

83. A little stream in Cincinnati, beyond which lies the German quarter, is known as the Rhine.

84. That was a dark young gypsy.

85. Ah, Rosalie, my lovely one!

86. Blood-coloured is the lovely rose.

87. Who roses picks his finger pricks No matter what befall; In winter-time he finds them gone And gets no rose at all. Our petting and caressing here, Our joy or misery It all shall rest sub rosa, love, And our own secret be!

88. "Thou'rt right, my darling son."

89."Good-bye, my friend, my Frederick!"

90. Woppenshield, coat of arms.


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