15 Feb 2011 17:13
Someone points out a typo to me. I wonder why the typo was made. I learn a bunch of cool stuff. It’s one of my favorite story lines, and here’s today’s episode. [Related post on stevekass.com: “Why not?”]
Readers will know that as The Dessoff Choirs’ self-appointed language guru, I routinely prepare IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) transliterations of upcoming concert music. [see Graphemes to Phonemes Made Easy]
Over the years, I’ve learned I can count on certain fellow singers, especially alto section leader Lisa Madsen, to scrutinize my work. Recently, Lisa noticed a small discrepancy between a word (and) in my transliteration and the corresponding word (an) in our printed score.
Georg Friedrich Daumer’s poem “Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel”
da tat es ihm, dem Glücklichen, nicht an, which should have been nicht and.
Johannes Brahms’s Liebeslieder waltz, Opus 52, #6
S. verifies that and is correct according to several authoritative sources.
S. looks up and fails to find and in several German dictionaries.
S. hypothesizes that and is a poetic substitution for an for rhyme’s sake (cf., antun, to harm).
While drafting his WordReference post, B. (S.’s brother) phones S. and asks “What are you doing?”
B. offers to ask G. (B.’s friend, an erudite scholar of German) S.’s question, which offer S. accepts.
Subsequently, S. receives an even more informative answer [see Appendix C] from G.
One of Johannes Brahms’s Liebeslieder-Walzer (1865) contains this stanza from a poem by Georg Friedrich Daumer (1800-1875):
Der Vogel kam
in eine schöne Hand,
da tat es ihm,
dem Glücklichen, nicht and.
Is the final word and a poetic alteration of an (separated from antun) to make the rhyme with Hand? If not, what is it?
Also, how might this come across to a present-day native German speaker (in the context of a sung poem, where a rhyme is expected)?
It’s a dated form (=> and). "Es tat ihm nicht and" means "es tat ihm nicht leid".
However, it’s still used in the East Franconian dialect:
and tun, es tut mir and
Aussprache: des dud mer and
Bedeutung: "es tut mir leid" oder "ich habe Sehnsucht danach"
Satzbeispiel: Noach mein Vauweh is mer heind no and
(aus Wassertrüdingen, Landkreis Ansbach)
"Ich denke heute noch mit Wehmut an meinen VW-Käfer"
Herkunft: mittelhochdeutsch ant "schmerzlich"
aus althochdeutsch anan "atmen, seufzen" (vgl. deutsch ahnen)
"Da tat es ihm nicht and".
"and tun" in Eastern Frankish dialect (dialect geographically prevalent in Southern Germany- its eastern border was near Nuernberg, where Georg Friedrich Daumer was born and lived) is/was used to express "to be hurtful" "to cause pain". It is also used in Middle High German. Today you would use: "Da tat es ihm nichts an."
"Da tat es ihm nicht and" could therefore be translated as: it didn’t cause him any pain.
I.e: the fact that the bird flew on his lady’s hand did not bother him all that much – no competition for his affection.
Another reason Georg Friedrich Daumer used this archaic and/or dialect expression is that he studied and used Arabic and Persian rhyme schemes during certain periods in his creative life, which were much stricter about perfect rhyme endings than was customary in Germany poetry – other than during the German classical period.
I hope I could help you out.
Yes, G., you could and did help me out. Thanks.