The Pope
Heidelberg's dance of death, Pope

Death to The Pope

Her bobist merkt off meyner pawken don
Ir sullet dornoch hie springen schon
Ir dorfet keyns dyspensiren
Der tod wil euch den tancz hofyren
Mr. Pope, notice the tone of my kettledrums;
you shall soon dance to them.
You may not get any dispensation;
Death will strike up the dance for you.
 
Ich was eyn heiliger bobist genant
Die weyle ich lebete ane forchte bekant
Nw werde ich gefurt frefillich
Czum tode ich were mich oppiglich
I was called a holy pope.
While I lived I didn't know fear.
Now I'll be outrageously lead
to Death. I defend myself vainly.
Kleinbasel, Pope
Kleinbasel, pope
Großbasel, Pope
Grossbasel, pope

The figure of Death with drums strapped around his waist, while fetching the pope, has inspired the dance of death in Basel. An amusing difference is that Death in Kleinbasel (picture to the left) says Her der bopst Merct vff der pfiffen ton (= "Mr. Pope, notice the tone of the fife"), even though he's beating a drum.


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