Thursday, May 22, 2003

Prepare yourself for singalongs


Tunes lose something in translation to English

Like all German restaurants, the Hofbrauhaus likes singalongs. One of the favorites:

Ist Das nicht ein Schnitzelbank?

Ja das ist ein Schnitzelbank!

O-Die Schoen-heit ender Wand-Ja das ist ein Schnitzelbank.

Which means:

Isn't that a cobbler's bench?

Yes, that is a cobbler's bench!

Oh, the beauty on the wall, isn't that a cobbler's bench.

You then substitute other things for "Schnitzelbank," such as, "Ist Das nicht ein Schies Gewehr?" or "Ist Das nicht ein Schnickelfritz?" and then repeat all of them on the chorus.

The Hofbrauhaus has a poster with little pictures of the different items whose identity the singer is wondering about.

Translating them from German to English doesn't really improve my understanding of the whole deal, but here it goes anyway:

Kurz und Lang: Short and long

Hin und Her: Here and there

Kreuz Und Quer: Criss and cross

Schies Gewehr: Shooting Gun

Wagen Rad: Wagon wheel

Krum Und Grad: Crooked and straight

Grosses Glas: Big glass

Oxen Blas: Oxen bladder

Hauffen mist: Heap of manure

Schnickelfritz: Naughty boy

Dicke Frau: Heavy woman

Fette Sau: Fat sow

Langer mann: Tall man

Tannenbaum: Fir tree

Hochzeit Ring: Wedding ring

Gefahrliches Ding: Dangerous thing

(If you ask me, if you can't tell the difference between a heap of manure and a shooting gun, you've probably been drinking too much heffeweissen.)

By the way, there is no official verse that goes "Ist das nicht Otto von Schnitzelpusskrankengescheitmeyer?", though that's the way the WB's Animaniacs sang it in one episode.

Polly Campbell



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