Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nun fließt dein rotes Blut

I got my hands on a German piano practice book for kids (Das Erste Klavierbuch, The first piano book).

It contains the following merry song:

"Ein Jäger, ein Jäger, der ging wohl in den Wald, und fröhlich, und fröhlich gar bald sein Jagdhorn schallt. 

Da kam ein junger Has' daher, der Jäger traf ihn gut. Ach Häslein, ach Häslein, nun fließt dein rotes Blut."

Freely translated to English:

"A hunter, a hunter, was walking in the woods. And merrily, and merrily, his hunting horn did toot.

A young rabbit came from the woods, was right away shot. Oh bunny, oh bunny, now flows your red blood."

(Competing translations are encouraged!)

Conclusion: Germany has its own idea about age-appropriate content.


  1. Sounds like a fairly old song. There are also lots of fairy tales and old educational stories for children which contain people being burned, eaten and otherwise mutilated and killed.
    Don't you have that in Finland?

    1. I can remember at least one old story, where a smith threatened to kill the messenger in a cruel way (pouring melted iron down his throat), if he brings bad news. But it was not educational.

      That one I just happened to bump into because I was going through my parents' old books when I was a kid. Normally, such stories are not told to kids. And such songs would not appear in piano books.

    2. I recall the teachers at school mentioning "Jörö-Jukka" (Struwwelpeter) in some context, but probably as an example of what old children's books were like.

      Back when I was a kid, I had a book of Grimm brothers' tales, but I get the feeling the book was a second-hand book (it looked worn already then).

  2. well, if you read the original versions of grimm's tales, you will find that those for example are quite brutal as well, so yes, in traditional literature/art germany really has no peaceful history, and its really just a thing of the post WW2 era, that violence is a taboo in books for children.

  3. It seems that death-related upbringing (if you don't behave, we'll feed you to fish) is still alive---I've read recently that 21 percent Chinese parents and 4 percent American parents use death threats. (via http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/erziehung-die-meisten-eltern-beluegen-ihre-kinder-zu-erziehung-a-879154.html) Would be interesting to know about Germans.

    At the same time, I must say that Russian fairy tails are quite necromantic (no real torture, but gloomy atmosphere).