… because even I have certain qualms about putting rude words in German into the title of my page.
I have a rather wonderful picture book called Faithfully Mozart (currently buried behind stacks of boxes), which is more or less his biography shown through the letters he wrote throughout his life and through a CD of music referred to in his letters. The letters are full of music gossip and opportunities that haven’t worked out and compliments paid to his music and the loveliness of his dearest wife, Constanze, and also fart jokes. Mozart did love a fart joke. In fact, he enjoyed jokes of all sorts, and he even wrote a quite lengthy symphonic musical joke, which was apparently hilarious at the time, but doesn’t make much sense to modern ears, as a lot of the rules he was gleefully breaking are pretty much ignored in much romantic and later classical music. (It does sound kind of bizarre and unbalanced and not quite right, I think, just not especially funny. Maybe one has to know a lot about music theory to recognise all the things he shouldn’t be doing? Oh, alright. The minuet is fairly amusing.).
You can tell I’m not coping with the weather – I can’t stick to a point to save myself and keep getting distracted. I blame the heat, which is making my brain melt out of my ears. Anyway, Mozart also wrote a number of silly and/or rude songs, and, much like those written by Henry Purcell and his baroque drinking buddies, they still sound like rather gorgeous classical music, despite their lyrical content.
A case in point:
This particular round is called Leck mich im Arsch, which, being translated, means ‘lick my arse’, and continues on to inform us that we should be glad – grumbling is in vain, growling, droning is in vain and are the true bane of life and that we should thus be cheerful and merry and glad.
As you can see, Mozart was feeling quite happy and positive on the whole subject. And, lest you think that this was a one off, here’s another of his masterpieces, which goes by the title Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schön sauber“. Just in case you are fortunate enough not to know enough German to translate that one, it basically means ‘lick my arse nice and clean’, which is not really an improvement, and it goes on from there quite cheerfully in ways I am not going to share here, because the internet has enough filth without me adding my two cents worth.
The dreadful thing about this particular song is that the music is actually really quite lovely. It is also, sadly, probably not by Mozart (which may explain why I like it so much – Mozart is not generally a favourite of mine), though he definitely wrote the lyrics.
Wikipedia – which has never been known to lie – tells me that both these songs developed much cleaner lyrics on publication, which is perhaps not entirely surprising, some of which were then parodied by people who thought this Bowdlerisation was silly itself…
You can read more about Mozart’s dirty mind here, if you are interested.