by Fenton Johnson (1888 - 1958)
Translation © by Paridam von dem Knesebeck (c1911 - 2000) and by Eva Hesse (1925 - 2020)

The Banjo Player
Language: English 
   There is music in me, the music of a peasant people.
    I wander through the levee, picking my banjo 
and singing my songs of the cabin and the field.  
At the Last Chance Saloon I am as welcome
as the violets in March; there is always 
food and drink for me there,
and the dimes of those who love honest music.  
Behind the railroad tracks the little children clap their hands 
and love me like they love Kris Kringle.
    But I fear that I am a failure. 
Last night a woman called me 
a troubadour. 
What is a troubadour?

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2004-12-28
Line count: 13
Word count: 100

Der Spielmann
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
In mir ist Musik, die Musik eines Bauernvolkes
 [ ... ]

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

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 69.


Authorship:

Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

    [ None yet in the database ]

This text was added to the website: 2015-04-30
Line count: 13
Word count: 92