Todt zum Kirbepfeiffer:
WAs wölln wir für ein Täntzle haben,
Den Bettler oder schwartzen Knaben,
Mein Kirbehans, Spiel wär nicht gantz,
Wärst du auch nicht an diesem Tantz.
Death to The Musician|
Which dance are we going to have?
"The Beggar" or "Black Boy",
my carnival-Hans? The play wouldn't be complete
if you too were not in this dance.
KEin Kirb war mir Wegs halb zu weit,
Davon ich nicht hab bracht mein Beut:
Nun ists auß, weg muß ich mit Noth,
Die Pfeiff ist g'fallen mir ins Koth.
No church fair was so far away
that I didn't earn from it.
Now it's over, I'm obliged to go away.
The fife has fallen from me into the dirt.
"Kirbe" is local dialect for "Kirchweih". A "Kirchweih" is a church fair held in connection with the "Kirchweihe" - the annual celebration of the consecration of the church. Thus, a "Kirbepfeiffer" is a person who makes a living from playing the fife at church fairs.
I don't know what kind of box it is that Death has strapped around his waist. I must be a later addition because in Klein-Basel (picture to the left) Death has neither box nor fiddle.
Death suggests that they play "The Beggar" or "Black Boy". In fact there existed both a "Bettler-Tanz" and a folk-dance called "Der Schwarze Knabe". The latter might have been the same as the playground game named "Der Schwarze Mann", where every 9th dancer becomes "the black man".
Frölich's woodcuts originally didn't have a picture of the musician, but one was added in the later editions by Mechel (picture to the right). This woodcut places the scene within the city, whereas Merian (above) lets the meeting take place out in the field.
|English translation from Beck, 1852|
|Death to the Minstrel.||The Minstrel's reply.|
What reel or jig shall we now play?
No market was too far for me,
|Translation from Hess, 1841|
|Death to the Fairpiper.||Answer of the Fairpiper.|
What a dance, shall we now play,
No fair was to distant for my start,