My Dark Hands = Mein dunklen Hände

Song Cycle by Günter Raphael (1903 - 1960)

Word count: 562

?. Da ich älter wurde [sung text not yet checked]

Es ist so lange her
 [ ... ]

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Confirmed with: Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, pages 7 and 9.


1. As I grew older [sung text not yet checked]

It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun--
My dream.

And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose slowly, slowly,
Dimming,
Hiding,
The light of my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky,
The wall.

Shadow.
I am black.

I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.

My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,

To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!

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Confirmed with: Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, pages 6 and 8.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Snail [sung text not yet checked]

Little snail,
Dreaming you go.
Weather and rose
Is all you know.
Weather and rose
Is all you see,
Drinking
The dewdrop's
Mystery.

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2. Die Schnecke [sung text not yet checked]

Kleine Schnecke
 [ ... ]

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Confirmed with Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, page 61.


3. Minstrel man [sung text not yet checked]

Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
And my throat
Is deep with song,
You do not think
I suffer after
I have held my pain
So long.

Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter,
You do not hear my inner cry?
Because my feet
Are gay with dancing
You do not know
I die?

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Confirmed with Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, page 24.


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

3. Bänkelsänger [sung text not yet checked]

Nur weil mein Mund
 [ ... ]

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Confirmed with Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, page 25.

1 Reutter: "Vom"
2 Reutter: "mein"

4. Desert [sung text not yet checked]

Anybody
Better than
Nobody.

In the barren dusk
Even the snake
That spirals
Terror on the sand --

Better than nobody
In this lonely
Land.

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4. Wüste [sung text not yet checked]

Irgendwer/ Ist besser als
 [ ... ]

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Confirmed with Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, page 59.


5. Drum [sung text not yet checked]

Bear in mind
That death is a drum
Beating forever
Till the last worms come
To answer its call,
Till the last stars fall,
Until the last atom
Is no atom at all,
Until time is lost
And there is no air
And space itself
Is nothing nowhere.
Death is a drum,
A signal drum,
Calling all life
To come, come,
Come.

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Confirmed with Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, page 32.


Researcher for this text: Sharon Krebs [Guest Editor]

5. Trommel [sung text not yet checked]

Wisse, Herz
 [ ... ]

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Confirmed with Mein dunklen Hände. Moderne Negerlyrik in Original und Nachdichtung, herausgegeben und übertragen von Eva Hesse und Paridam von dem Knesebeck, München: Nymphenburger Verlag, 1953, page 33.