Sunday, November 7, 2010

Skt. Martinstag am 11. November




Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne, und meine Laterne mit mir.

Mein Licht ist schön, du kannst es sehn!

La-bim-mel, la-bam-mel, la-bum!

Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne, und meine Laterne mit mir.

Wenn jeder singt, wie schön das klingt!

La-bim-mel, la-bam-mel, la-bum!

Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne, und meine Laterne mit mir.

Laternenlicht, verlösch noch nicht!

La-bim-mel, La-bam-mel, la-bum!

Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne, und meine Laterne mit mir.

Mein Licht ist aus, ich gehe nach Haus!

La-bim-mel, La-bam-mel, la-bum!

Here's the dilemma in Germany: Many traditionalists are opposed to adopting Halloween, since it tends to reduce a community's interest in supporting the Saint Martin's tradition on November 11th of making lanterns and carrying them, ignited, while singing various St. Martin's songs with your neighbors, until everyone has gathered in the town square, for a brief but exciting play starring knights and horses. There is often a bonfire conclusion, but alternatively, some communities' traditions conclude by sending the young participants out to knock on neighbors' doors asking for donations for the poor.

Since there's danger involved in carrying around lighted hand-made torches, each child is drilled in safety issues, including developing a deep respect for fire at a very young age. The penalty for goofing around is to be sent home early (or potentially not being permitted to participate at all).

Here's another St. Martin's song I like for its simple vocabulary:

Laterne, Laterne

Sonne, Mond und Sterne (=sun, moon and stars)

Brenne auf, mein Licht! (=flare-up, my light)

Brenne auf, mein Licht!

Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht! (=but not my dear lantern!)

Laterne, Laterne

Sonne, Mond und Sterne

Bleibe hell, mein Licht (=stay bright, my light)

Bleibe hell, mein Licht

Sonst strahlt meine liebe Laterne nicht! (sonst strahlt = otherwise glows)

8 comments:

  1. Don't you love how Americas weird and boring traditions infulence and change the traditons of other countrys? like trick or treating on halloween?

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  2. why doesn't Americans have any of these awesome songs?

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  3. I remember singing these songs last year in class! In some ways Halloween and St.Martinstag are similar. On both holidays kids go around their neighborhood with friends and family. Although St.Martinstag has the cool songs and the play afterwards they go around and ask for donations for the poor. Many do that on Halloween instead of asking for candy. I think that we should have some songs to sing around Halloween time though. The torch does seem a little dangerous but at least they learn at a young age that playing with fire is bad.

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  4. What a cute little video! Sounds like a fun holiday.

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  5. Da ist ein sehr, sehr süß Lied! Ich denke die Deutschen Feiertage hat wichtiger dinge und Leute zu erinnern. Sie schein mehr logisch und sind am guter Grunden für Feiertage dann unsere Halloween.

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  6. I hope the German I students enjoyed singing this song like we did last year!

    The drama club at NKHS does something charitable on Halloween that I think is in the spirit of St.Martinstag: we go around (in costume) and collect canned goods for the food pantry.

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