Blast from the Past: #204 of #365 A Prompt A Day For Bee ~ Guten Abend, gut Nacht…

April 2019


December 2014

Lately, I hear the melody of a lullaby my mother sang to me when I was young a lot. I think, what I am hearing, is the beginning of a version of “Santa Clause is coming to town” but it reminds me of the German lullaby. The German words of the lullaby are

Guten Abend, gut Nacht
mit Rosen bedacht
mit Naeglein besteckt
schlupf unter die Deck.
Morgen frueh,
so Gott will,
wirst Du wieder geweckt.
Morgen frueh,
so Gott will,
wirst Du wieder geweckt.

Oh, I just found out that it is a song composed by Brahms called “Wiegenlied“. Well, I never knew my mother brought me up that sophisticated ;-). It is a lovely song but when I sing the words today, I feel a bit awkward because the last two lines mean: Tomorrow if God pleases you will wake up again!

That I find a bit harsh and scary for a child to hear every night. No wonder children are afraid to sleep. I am, however, also aware that this “if God pleases” was rather a knowing in the olden days that you do not have everything in your power and that lots of things can happen. It was not meant to scare children. I cannot remember that I was scared at those words when I was young. I just always wondered why I should be picked by nails.

“Naeglein” is an old-fashioned word for “Cloves” which I did not know as a child. I thought it meant the diminutive of “Naegel” which means “nails”. Never mind.

To cut a long story short: When listening to the Christmas song that starts with Brahms’ melody I was inspired to write a poem to the song:

video source: Fledermaus1990 via YouTube


You tiptoe in my memory
when Santa comes to town
a soft lullaby
on your lips.
How long
are gone!
Not coming back
to town
like Santa
year after year.

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