H.M.S. Pinafore in Pennsylvania German

William H. Crane, promotional poster (gouache and graphite on paper, c. 1885).

H.M.S. Pinafore
oder Das Maedle and Ihr Sailor Kerl:
‘N translation fun dem bekannte Opera

Scene.—Deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. View of Portsmouth in the distance. Sailors led by Boatswain discovered cleaning brasswork, splicing rope, etc.

Opening Chorus

Mir fahren auf der meer,
Unser schiff iss shay und shteady;
M’r drinken nix oss beer,
Und m’r sinn aw immer ready
Wo’s fechterei iss sinn mir sphry,
Und mach’t der feind es fiehle;
Und wan’s ferbei iss, tzimlich glei
Gebt’s zeit genunk f’r shpiela.

Enter Little Buttercup with basket.

Recit

Buttercup—Hello! ihr shiffleit—kennen ‘r nimmie hara?
Sailors—Rushing towards her. Hello! glaene Buttercup.
Buttercup—waving them back. Nun, sagen mir: hen ihr betzawlsdawg kerzlich kotta?
Sailors—Airsht geshta.
Buttercup advancing Sell suit mich gude.
So kummen g’schwind dohaer,
Do kennen ‘r hendlich all euer geld fetzahra.

GESANG (Little Buttercup)

Sie haysen mich Buttercup—shay glaene Buttercup—
Und ich waiss gaw net warrum;
Doch bin ich die Buttercup—orum glay Buttercup,
Zu euer Buttercup kum.
Had duwok und shpella, und shayna korrella,
Und messer und watcha und sheer;
Und hingle und brilla, und zucker und pilla,
Das kennet ihr oll koffa fun mir.
Hab matches und taffy, bolognies und koffe,
Un naegel und frische pork chops,
Hab shnitz und kaduffla, und cigar und ruffla,
Und nummer ains peppermint drops.
Dann kofft fun euer Buttercup—shay glaene Buttercup,
Zu euer Buttercup kum.

Bos’n
Vell, little Buttercup, bisht du ols noch leddich? Du gukst yust so yung shmart und shay os wie olfort.

Buttercup
Yaw, aber kannst du mir sawga wass ess iss dos es hertz im kopf drawgt?

Bos’n
Well, nay, ich muss sawga ich hob noch net an so ebbes gedenkt.

Dick
Well—ich kann.

Sailors recoiling
Du?

Dick
Yaw—’N graut-kup.

Sailors
Um-m-m-m-m.

Buttercup
Wass fehlt sella kerl? Iss er net g’sunt?

Bos’n
Du musht ‘n net minda, er is olfort so—Er iss bissel drei-eckich.

Buttercup
Well, ich set sheer denka. Aber wer kumt do?

Bos’n
Sell iss der Relf Reckstraw, der besht kerl uff ‘m shiff.

Buttercup
Relf!—that name!—remorse—remorse.

Enter Ralph.

MADRIGAL

The Nightingales’ Song (Ralph)

Ez tsipchia peift
Und der boppagoi greisht zurick
Der hawhna graeht
Und der blo-fogle fresst der mick—
Doch lieb ich sie.

Chorus
Doch lieb ich sie.

Ralph
Es maedchen weint,
Ihr lieben schatz kumt nicht mehr,
Der shonshtay shmokt,
Und der brunne iss sheer gaw lehr—

Chorus
Doch lieb ich sie.

Recit. Ralph

Ich glaub wohl buwa os ihr’s recht,
Doch my undankbarkeit ‘r misst net ferdenka
Wann lieb und leida bol des herz verbrecht!
Ich lieb, yaw wohl, ich lieb der Cap sei tochd’r.

Buttercup
Er liebt—yaw wohl, er liebt der Cap sei tochd’r.

Sailors
Er liebt—yaw wohl, etc.

BALLAD
A Maiden Fair to See (Ralph)

Sie iss’n maedle shay,
Demuethig, gude und glay,
Der shensht zu mei’m gewissa;
Und ich ‘n or’mer drup,
Mit net fiel in der kup,
Und gar ken gelt im kossa.

Sailors
Er hut ken gelt im kossa

Ralph
Doch habe ich’s uff mich genomma, kreftiglich
Die Liebe in mei herz zu plantza:
Weiss wohl es bot mich nix,
My lieb iss in ‘ra fix—
Ich kann ken horn pipe danza.

Sailors
Er kann ken horn pipe danza.
Icnh bin net awrig g’scheit.
Mei larnung geht net weit.—
(Die Liebe war schumayshter)
Sie herschet mir in’s herz.
Mit sorga und mit schmerz,
Der Cap sei shayne tochd’r.

Bos’n
Ah! du or’mer drup, du groddelsht zu hoch; si hiaert dich net

Dick
Nay, des dut sie net.

Sailors
Shem dich doch!

Ralph
Deadeye, du bisht’n bopplemoul.

Dick
Relf, wos felt dew naws.

Enter Captain.

Captain
My gallant crew—good morning.

Sailors
Guda morryea.

Captain
I hope you are all quite well.

Sailors
All g’sunt—und du Cap?

Captain
I am in reasonable health and happy
To meet you all once more.

Sailors
Unser ganze achtung.

SONG (Captain)

Captain
I am the captain of the Pinafore!

All
Und ‘n nummer ains Cap bisht du.

Captain
You’re very, very good,
And be it understood,
I command a right good crew.

All
Danke shoen, dabei.
Muss es gude fershtana sei
Oss er hut’n first rate crew.

Captain
Though related to a peer,
I can hand, reef and steer,
And ship a salvagee;
I am never known to quail
At the fury of a gale,
And I’m never, never sick at sea.

All
Was; gar net!

Captain
Nay; gar net.

All
Was; gar NET?

Captain
Well, sheer gar net.

All
He’s hardly ever sick at sea!
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more
For the hardy captain of the Pinafore!

Captain
I do my best to please you all—

All
Und mir sin mit dir content.

Captain
You’re exceedingly polite,
And I think it only right
To return the compliment.

All
Mir sin ivveraus polite
Und er meent es wer yust right,
Wen er uns aw compliment.

Captain
Bad language or abuse,
I never, never use,
Whatever the emergency;
Though “bother it,” I may
Occasionally say,
I never use a big, big D—

All
Was, gar net?

Captain
Nay.

All
Was, gar net?

Captain
Well, sheer gar net.

All
Hardly ever swears a big big D—
Then give three cheers, and one cheer more
For the well bred captain of the Pinafore!

Exit all but Captain.

Captain (solus)
Es blogt mich der ganza dawg ‘n nagel im shoo. ‘Mol sehna ep ich ‘n net rous griega kann.

BALLAD (Josephine)

Thraenen und leid sin so der Liebe,
Schwer iss es herz oss hoft ohn hoffnung,
Krisslich die seiftzer shteigen auf,
Tief fum dem Herz der Lieb betruebef,
Tieff iss das elend und heftig die noth
Won Liebe erwecket und hoffnung iss tod.

Kald iss der tag won’s scheint ken sun,
Dunkel die nacht wo’s blickt ken mond;
Feicht iss die erd wen die wolke weinen,
Und shay die shtund die sterna scheinen.
Tief iss das elend, etc.

Captain
Tochd’r, wass iss letz? Du husht mir so awrig fun der Liebe g’sunga, es iss mir bang du denksht shun an die buwa.

Josephine
Oh, wass sul ich sawga!

Captain
Now, ‘s iss net d’wart oss du in a hurry bisht dot d’wega. Ich will dir shun ‘n mon rous picka won’s tzeit kummt.

Josephine
Dawdy, ich hab shun aner rous gepicked.

Captain
Der Dauzig!

Josephine
Nay aber’n kommona sailor uf deim egena shiff.

Captain
Und mensht du wetsht ihn hiara?

Josephine
Net bis er mich frawgt.

Captain
My gehorsames kind.

Josephine
My guda dawdy.

They embrace.

BARCAROLE (invisible)

Ueber das grosse wasser
Kummt der Josef Borter, K.C.B.
Doch mawg er geh wohie er will,
Krachen die grosse flinte shtill.
Greish ueber das grosse wasser
For der Josef Borter, K.C.B.

During this the crew have entered on tiptoe, listening attentively to the song.

Do kumt der old Sir Jo,
Mit ‘n boat-load harlich weibsleid.
Nun laszt uns danzen so,
Und singen wie net recht g’scheit.
Mir fahren auf der say,
Unser shiff iss shay und shteady,
Mir trinken nix oss TAY
Und mir sin aw immer ready.

Captain
My child, I grieve to see that you are a prey to melancholy. You should look your best today, for Sir Joseph Porter, K.C.B. will be here this afternoon to claim your promised hand.

Enter Sir Joseph’s Female Relatives. They dance.

Relatives
Gayly tripping, lightly skipping, flock the maidens to the shipping

Sailors
Flieg der lumpa fum der fenshter
Laszt uns froehlich sei im ernster.

Relatives
Sailors sprightly, always rightly, welcome ladies so politely.

Sailors
Weibsleid oss so haerlich singen,
Werden lusht und freude bringen.

Enter Sir Joseph.

Captain
Do kumt der Jo; now geb drei cheers.

Hurray! hurray! hurray!

SONG (Sir Joseph)

(spoken) Ich hab so’n holve notion—das
Ich bin der kaynich fum der meer,
Das grosse shiff ich steer,
Die ganze welt iss mich bekannt.

Hebe
Und mir sin sei shwester und sei cousins und sei aunts

Relatives
Und mir sin, etc.

Sir Joseph
Ven at enker here I ride
My bozzum swells mit bpride;
Und I snep my fingers on der foeman’s taunts.

Hebe
Und so could sel schweshter und sei cousins
Oss er tzahla kann bei dutzens, und sei aunts.


Sir Joseph
Die buwa guken tzimlich sowa d’moyra.

Salors (saluting)
Danke shoen.

Sir Joseph
Sie sin feina kerls.

Sailors (salute)
Unser ganze achtung.

Sir Joseph
Dusht sie gude treat?

Sailors (singing)
“M’r drinken nix oss tay.”

Sir Joseph
Was; gar net?

Sailors (emphatically)
Nay—

Sir Joseph
You’ve a remarkably fine crew, Captain Corcoran.

Captain (suppressing them)
Sh-sh-h…! (leads Sir Joseph to front and whispers)—
Ols a’ mol.

Sir Joseph
So-o-o-o. Sawg seller kal sol mohl do raus kumma (pointing a general way to the sailors)

Captain (puzzled, imitates his motion and says)
Sawg, du, kum mol do rous; der Jo will mit dir schwetza.

Sailors (not knowing which one is meant, they all file up and surrounding Sir Joseph, salute)
Ich bin do.

Sir Joseph (furiously)
Zurick.

Sailors (retreat)
Ich bin zurick.

Sir Joseph
Ich hab sella kerl DAT gemehnt (pointing to Ralph)

Captain
Du grumnasicher; feesel die foula karper do funna.

Ralph
Was husht g’sawt?

Captain
Wie mensht? Ich glaub ich fershtay dich net.

Ralph
Wann ich so gude sei will.

Captain (angrily)
Was, du—

Sir Joseph (rebuking)
Tut-tut-tut. Er hut recht. Wann er so gude sei will.

Captain
Hum-m-m! Wann du so gude sei wit (Ralph comes forward)

Sir Joseph
For I hold dot on dem seas
Dot expression “off you blease”
A particularly gentlemanly tone implants.

Cousin Hebe
Und so thun sei schwester und sei cousins und sei aunts.

All
Sei schwester und sei cousins
Oss er tzahla kann bei dutzend,
Und sei aunts.


Sir Joseph
Captain, es war mir geshta g’sawt du hetsht so’n shaene tochd’r. Iss es waar?

Captain
Oh, hibsch, hibsch, sehr hibsch.

Sir Joseph
Gukt sie wie ihre Papaw?

Captain
Nay, gar net.

Sir Joseph (relieved)
Ah! dann kannsht du sie officially informa das ich sie sehne will im kabin und won sie mich suit du ich sie hiara naksht Sontag.

Exit Sir Joseph and Captain.

GLEE

A British tar is a soaring soul
As free as a mountain bird;
His energetic fist
Should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word. (Etc.)

Exit all excepting Ralph.

Ralph
Mei mind iss uff g’macht. Ich frag die Josephine der naksht mohl oss ich sie sehn. Ich bin yusht so gude oss anicha mann except der Jo—der Jo secht yo selvet im des shtick oss er uff g’macht hut, und s’iss aw die wahrheit. Ah! sie kumt!—Herz, mei herz, laszt no die ew’ge unruh (retires backstage as Josephine enters).

Josephine
‘S iss gar net d’wart, ich kan der Joe net gleicha. Der Pap het’s of course awrig gern oss mir hiara det’n, und ich det sheer ainich ebbes f’r der Dawdy zu obliga aber DASS kann ich net; mei herz iss net mehr mein eigenes. ‘S iss yusht a nawme oss mich tsitter macht, und dass is—Ralph. (Ralph approaches tenderly and deferentially, and overcome at her confession, takes her hand and says:)

Ralph
Josephine, ich liebe dich! (Josephine looks startled a moment, but recovers herself and sternly repulses him)

Duett (Josephine and Ralph)

Josephine
Geh wek, du wieshta ding,
Du husht ken recht do;
Fergess net wer ich bin,
Und wem du schwetsht zu
(aside)
Doch lieb ich ihn fum herz und darf es gar net sawga,
Mei leida und mei schmerz muss ich alanich drawga—
Es iss mir bang das alend macht mich mawga,
Sei gruma naws dut mich so awrig plawga.

Ralph
Stolz lady, wie du’s husht—hard-herzig beauty.
Du sawgst, also ich muss—es iss mei duty;
Und du mei maedle bisht der Cap. sei tochd’r.
(aside)
Doch, kennt sie mich yusht gleicha waer ich ganz zufrida.
Sie shput und lacht, doch muss ich sie mei lieb owbida—
Fum noth und elend det ich sie b’heeta,
Und wie en airlich mensch ich det sie treata.

Josephine
Die naws, die naws iss grum.

Ralph
Mei herz, mei herz iss grawt.

Ralph (recit.)
Can I survive this overbearing
Or live a life of mad despairing,
My proffered love despised, rejected?
No, no; it’s not to be expected!
(calling of)
Messmates, ahoy!
Come here! Come here!
(Enter sailors, Hebe and relatives)

Chorus
Ya, mir sinn do,
Sinn do, sinn do.
Now sawg uns g’schwind
Was hut sie g’sawt?

Ralph (to cousin Hebe)
Es maedel secht sie wot mich net,
Sie kann mich gar net leida, lady;
Mei gruma naws gukt sie deruff,
Und shickt mich der Sals Rever nuff.

All
Oh, cruel one!

Dick
Sie will dich net, Oho! Oho!
Ich hab dir g’sawt es genkt dir so.

Chorus
Mir shtanden’s net. ‘S iss yo’n shond.
Lieb kumt zugleich zu niedrig und stolz/
Mir sinn all sowa, sober sailor leid,
Und missen mir es shtanda? Nay!

Dick
Ihr missen’s shtanda, eb ihr wollen
Oder net, Oho! Oho!
‘N lady sie—ich hab yo g’sawt
Es genkt euch so.

Ralph (drawing a pistol)
Mein freund der Tod sei Hand mir rechet,
Fur oh! mei herz—mei herz verbrechet;
Won ich kabud bin, oh! sawgen sie
Wie ich g’liebet hat—nur sie
Wich ich g’liebet hat—nur sie

During chorus he has loaded pistol.

Nem warnung, kumraade all,
Und bleiben immer leddich,
Fur Josephine ich fall!

Puts pistol to his head. Chorus stop their ears. Josephine enters.

Josephine
Sheese net—sheese net—ich lieb dich.

Chorus
Sheese net—sheese net—sie liebt dich.

Ralph (incredulously)
Liebt mich?

Josephine
Liebt dich.

Chorus
Ya, ya, ya, ya, sie liebt dich.

Dick Deadeye
Er meent er het sei Josephine,
Doch sinn sie all erbarmlich green.
Es kummt ‘n donnerschlag
Und reist die Liebe all zu nix.
Der Captain hut ‘n wort zu sawga—
Sie missen airsht der Dawdy fraga
Und wann sie dun—ich sawg’s gewiss
Das ganz unewa liebe kumt ins ew’ge Finsternis.

Josephine, Hebe, Ralph (alternating)
This very night with bated breath and muffled oar
Without a light as still as death we steal ashore.
A clergyman shall make us one at half past ten,
And then we can return, for none can part us then!

Dick
Forbear, nor carry out the scheme you’ve planned.
She is a lady—you a foremast hand!
Remember, she’s your gallant captain’s daughter,
And you the meanest slave that crawls the water!

All
Back, vermin, back, nor mock us!
Back, vermin, back, you shock us!
Let’s give three cheers for the sailor’s bride
Who casts all thought of rank aside—
Who gives up home and fortune too
For the honest love of a sailor true!
For a British tar is a soaring soul
As free as a mountain bird;
His energetic fist should be ready to resist
A dictatorial word!
His foot should stamp and his throat should growl,
His hair should twirl and his face should scowl,
His eyes should flash and his breast protrude,
And this should be his customary attitude.

CURTAIN


ACT II

Scene. Deck of H.M.S. Pinafore. Night. Captain discovered singing and accompanying himself on a mandolin. Little Buttercup seated on quarter deck, gazing sentimentally at him.

SONG (Captain)

Zu du, du gude mond
Will ich en solo singa.—
Ich glaub ich geh nous Vest,
Zu de Incha and onra sotta dinga.

Captain
Ah! Little Buttercup, still on board? That is not quite right, little one. It would have been more respectable to have gone on shore at dusk.

Buttercup
True, dear Captain—but the recollection of your sad, pale face seemed to chain me to the ship. I would fain see you smile before I go.

DUET (Little Buttercup and Captain)

Buttercup
Mein freund,
Sache sinn net alfort grawt wie sie guken,
Dick millich gukt wie rohm aber es iss net;
Und shay g’blackda shtuywel gucken wie patent-leather, aber sie sinn aw net:
Und ‘n micke-ware kann pohawna federa drawga.

Captain (puzzled)
Very true, so they do.

Buttercup
All trup shoaf huts schwatza dabei,
Alles was glaenzed iss net brass,
Der shoensht kerl im class kann shmaert oss’n bluck sei,
Und ‘s iss net alford de grest grut oss es weidsht jumpa kann.

Captain
Ich glaub es wohl alle mohl.
Ich denk dahinter steht was shrecklich,
Ueberaus, und ganz unglicklich
—’S iss nich waar.

Buttercup
Es iss waar.

Captain
Well,
Ich hais mich net so ueberaus g’scheit,
Aber so kennt ich shwetza fum now bis naksht Grischdawg;
Es war mohl ‘n katz hut die gichdera kotta.
Wo’s feier hut, hut’s aw shmoke.

Buttercup
Frequentlee I agree.

Captain
M’r kann oft guka was m’r net gern sawga det.
Es liderlich kind set’s briggle shpeera,
‘N tayleffle molossich iss besser oss gar ken zuker im koffe.
Der geitzich hund shloaft ols noch im geilsdroag.

Buttercup
Ich glaub es wohl alle mohl.

Captain
Paw of cat the chestnut snatches,
Worn out garments show new patches,
Only count the chick that hatches;
Men are grown up catchy catches.

Buttercup
Yes, I know that is so
Aside Though to catch my drift he’s striving,
I’ll dissemble—I’ll dissemble;
When he sees at what I’m driving
Let him tremble—let him tremble.

Captain
Ich denk dahinter shteht was schrecklich,
Ueberaus und ganz unglicklich;
Doch ich glaub sie schnitzled hesslich,
Es iss waar, ganz und gar.
Doch ich glaub sie schnitzled hesslich,
Was sie sawgt iss ungewisslich;
Ihr gedanken sinn unmesslich,
Ess iss waar.

Buttercup
‘S iss nicht waar.

Exit Little Buttercup melodramatically.

Captain
Incomprehensible as her utterances are, I nevertheless feel that they are dictated by sincere regard for me. But to what new misery is she referring? Time alone can tell!

Enter Sir Joseph

Sir Joseph
Captain Korkoran, I was very much disappointed mit your daughter. I don’t dink she vil do.

Captain
She won’t do, Sir Joseph?

Sir Joseph
Dot vos it. Der fact vos, dot although I have urge my suit mit as much eloquence as vos inconsistent for an official utterance, I don’t vos successful. How you make dot oud?

Captain
Really, Sir Joseph, I hardly know. Josephine is of course sensible of your condescension.

Sir Joseph
Yaw, dot vos drue.

Captain
But perhaps your exalted rank dazzles her.

Sir Joseph
You dink it vould?

Captain
I can hardly say; but she is a modest girl; and her social position is far below your own. It may be that she feels she is not worthy of you.

Sir Joseph
Dot vos really a very sensible suggestion of human nature as I had given you credit fo.

Captain
See, she comes. If your lordship would kindly reason with her, and assure her officially that it is a standing rule at the Admiralty that love levels all ranks, her respect for an official utterance might influence her to look upon your offer in its proper light.

Sir Joseph
Dot vos not unlikely. I vill took your suggestion. But hush! I hear feetsteps!


Josephine
The hours creep on apace,
My guilty heart is quaking!
Oh, that I might retrace
The step that I am taking.
It’s folly it were easy to be showing,
What I am giving up and whither going.
A simple sailor, lowly born,
Unlettered and unknown,
Who toils for bread from early morn
Till half the night has flown!

Sir Joseph (coming down)
Josephine, it has been represented to me dot you vas oxcited by my exalted rank. I vould like to told you officially dot off your hesitation vos attributed to dat circumstance it vos uncalled for.

Josephine
Oh! then your lordship is of opinion that married happiness is NOT inconsistent with discrepancy in rank.

Sir Joseph
I vos offically mit dot opinion.

Josephine
That the high and lowly may be truly happy together, provided that they truly love one another?

Sir Joseph
Josephine, I vould like to told you OFFICIALLY—dot vos it.

Josephine
I thank you, Sir Joseph. I DID hesitate, but I will hesitate no longer. (Aside) He little thinks how eloquently he has pleaded his rival’s cause. (Captain has entered, during this speech he comes down.)

TRIO (First Lord, Captain and Josephine)

Josephine
Never mind the why and wherefore.
Love can level ranks and therefore
I admit its jurisdiction!
Ably have you played your part,
You have carried firm conviction
To my hesitating heart.

All
Laszt die glocken jubeltoenen, Reisst die luft mit lust gesang, etc.

Sir Joseph
Frag uns net f’r explanation,
Sei zufrida wann mir sawgen
Dass es kann ken dif’rence mache
Eb du gelt husht oder net,
Es kennt mich net besser pleasa
Wann der Dawdy millyona het.

Captain
Sir Joseph, I cannot express to you my delight at the happy result of your eloquence. Your argument was unanswerable.

Sir Joseph
Captain Korkoran, dot vos one of ther habbiest karackteristics of dis happy guntry, dot official utterances could invariably be regarded as unanswerable.

Captain
At last my fond hopes are to be crowned. My only daughter is to be the bride of a cabinet minister. (During this speech Dick Deadeye has entered.)

Dick (Mysteriously)
I’m come to give you warning.

Captain
Indeed Do you propose to leave the navy then?

Dick
No, no; you misunderstand me; listen!
Gude Cap, ich det dir gern mohl eppes sawga,
Singt hey tra la, gude Captain oss du bisht;
Doch ‘s iss mir bang es wird dir wenning plaga.
Singt hey tra la, gude Captain oss du bisht.
Tra la mei guda Captain.—

Captain
Tra la, du narrish sailor.

Dick
Gude Cap. dei glaene tochd’r hut ‘n plawn gesetzt,
Tra la, mei guda Captain oss du bisht.
Auf diese nacht mit Ralf zu heiarawden yetzt,
Tra la, mei guda Captain oss du bisht—
Tra la, mei guda Captain.—

Captain
Dick Deadeye, I thank you for your warning. I will at once take means to arrest their flight. This boat cloak will afford me ample disguise. So! (Envelopes himself in a mysterious cloak, holding it before his face.)

Dick
Aha! Sie sinn g’fixed! sie sinn g’fixed! (Enter crew on tiptoe, with Ralph and Boatswain, meeting Josephine, who enters from cabin on tiptoe with bundle of necessaries, and accompanied by Little Buttercup. The captain, shrouded in his boat cloak, takes the stage unnoticed.)

(Captain stamps.)

All (much alarmed)
Was der dausig war dann dass?

Dick
Sei’n doch shtill, es war die katz!
Pull ashore, in fashion steady,
Hymen will defray the fare,
For a clergyman is ready
To unite the happy pair.

(Stamps as before)

All
Was der dausig—war shon wider dass?

Dick
Se’in doch shtill, es war die katz!

All
Shon wieder war’s die katz!

Captain
Sie hen recht—es war die katz.

(throwing off cloak)
Hullup!
Shoen tochd’r fun mei’m,
Sei so gude mir zu sawga,
Wohie oss du geh wit
Mit die salors vun mei’m.
Sinn first rate-a kerls und kennten
Anich ebba dresha.
Doch sinn sie net gude company
Mei lady, fur dich.

Ralph
Proud officer, that haughty lip uncurl!
Vain main, suppress that supercilious sneer.
For I have dared to love your matchless girl—
A fact well known to all my messmates here!

Captain
Oh, horror!

Ralph and Joseph
I (he) humble, poor and lowly born.
The meanest in the port division—
The butt of epauletted scorn—
The mark of quarter-deck derision—
Have (has) dared to raise my (his) wormy eyes
Above the dust to which you’d mould me (him),
In manhood’s glorious pride to rise.
I am (he is) an Englishman.

Chorus
Guk’n mohl aw!
Er iss ‘n Englisher.

Boatswain
Oss er iss ‘n Englisher,
Und er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt

Chorus
Oss er iss ‘n Englisher.

Captain (trying to repress his anger)
In uttering a reprobation
To any British tar,
I try to speak with moderation,
But you have gone too far.
I am sorry to disparage
A humble foremast lad,
But to seek your captain’s child in marriage,
Fadultzei, ‘s iss zu awrig.

All (shocked)
Oh!

Captain
Yaw, fadultzei, ‘s iss zu awrig. (During this Sir Joseph has appeared on deck. He is horrified at the bad language.)

Sir Joseph
My pain und my distress
I found it was not easy to express
May amazement, my surprise
You may found out by looking on my eyes.

Captain
My lord, one word: the facts are not yet before you:
The word was injudicious, I avow!
But hear my explanation, I implore you,
And you will be indignant, I avow!

Sir Joseph
I vill hear of no defence.
Attempt none, vos you sensible.
Dot vord of evil sense
Vos wholly indefensible.
Go, ribald, got you hence
To your kaeben mit celerity.
Dis vos der gaonsequence
Of ill-advised asperity!

(Exit Captain, disgraced, followed by Josephine.)

Sir Joseph
Now, you told me how it vos dot your Captain swear at you. It vasn’t your fault, vos it?

Ralph
Please, your honor, it was thus wise. You see I was only a topman—a mere foremast hand—

Sir Joseph
Don’t be ashamed of dot. Your position as topman vos a very oxalted one.

Ralph
Well, your honor, love burns as brightly in the foksle as it does on the quarter deck, and Josephine is the fairest bud that ever blossomed upon the tree of a poor fellow’s wildest hopes.

Enter Josephine; she rushes to Ralph’s arms. Sir Joseph is horrified.

All
Ah-h-h-h!

Sir Joseph
Insolent sailor, you shall repent dis outrage. Seize him!

The marine seizes him and handcuffs him.

Josephine
Oh, Sir Joseph, spare him, for I love him tenderly.

Sir Joseph
Got oud!—I teach dot presumptuous marine to discipline his affections. Haf you got such a ding as a penitentiary on board?

Amnes (lugubriously)
Um-m-m.—Yaw.

Sir Joseph
So-o-o! Vell, you tie a chain on him and take him righd avay pooty qwick oud.

At the end Ralph is led off in custody.

Sir Joseph
My pain and my distress I found itw as not easy to oxpress. My amazement, my surprise, you may found out by looking on my eyes. Josephine, I would like to told you officially dot I vos hurt. You! a daughter of a Captain in der Royal Navy—

Buttercup advancing
Hullup! Ich hab eppes zu sell zu sawga.

All
Du!

Buttercup
Yaw, ich! Ralph, kumm haer. (Ralph comes forward and kneels on her left.)
Captain, do rous mit dir. (Captain comes from Cabin and kneels at her right.)
J
o, mach die awga zu. (Joseph obediently shuts his eyes. Marine brings tray to Buttercup and transformation begins.)

SONG

Buttercup
Bout fertzich yahr zurick—
Un ‘s iss aw net geluga—
Wie ich noch yung und shay war,
Hab bavies uff getzuga.

Chorus
Now this is most alarming,
When she was young and charming,
She practiced baby farming
A many years ago.

Buttercup
Zwee war’n mir mohl gebracht,
Der ain’d war wiesht und orrum:
Der onner reich und shmart—
‘N rechter hoch geborner.

All (explaining to each other)
Now this is the position:
One was of low condition,
The other a patrician,
A many years ago.

Buttercup
O, schwer iss meiner kreuz,
Wie hab ich’s dann du kenner?
Ich hab sie uff gemixt—
Die orrum glaener kinner.

All
How could you do it?
Some day, no doubt, you’ll rue it.
Although no creature knew it
So many years ago.

Buttercup
Dann kumt amohl ‘n zeit,
Die bavies mich verlossen.
Der wieshter war der Cap,
Der onner Ralph ihr cousin.

All
They left their foster mother,
The one was Ralph our brother,
Our captain was the other
A many years ago.

Transformation takes place during this song, and at the end Ralph rises as Captain, and Captain as Ralph.

Sir Joseph
Hm-m-m! Now dot vos a very singular circumstance (pointing to Captain). Sawg sella Kerl set mohl do do’rous kum.

Ralph (as Captain)
Sawg, du grumnaisicher; feesel dei foula karper do funna.

Captain
Was husht g’sawt?

Ralph
Wie mensht? Ich glaub ich versteh dich net.

Captain
Wann ich so gude sei will.

Sir Joseph
Er hut recht! “Wann er so gude sei will.”

Ralph
Why certainly. Wann du so gude sei wid. (Captain steps forward.)

Sir Joseph to Captain
Du bisht ‘n first rate-a kerl, gella?

Captain
Falluss dich druf.

Sir Joseph
So it seems dot you vos Ralph and Ralph vos you.

Captain
So it seems, your honor.

Sir Joseph
Vell, I need not told you dot on top of dis I don’t marry Josephine.

Captain
Don’t say dot, your honor; love levels all ranks.

Sir Joseph
Yes, he do pooty much, but he don’t lefel ‘m gvite so much as all dot. (Hands Josephine over to Ralph and calls Hebe to himself.)

QUARTETTE

Oh joy, oh rapture unforeseen
The clouded sky is now serene!
The god of day, the orb of love,
Has hung his ensign high above,
The sky is all ablaze
With wooing words and loving song
We’ll chase the lagging hours along.
And if he finds the maiden coy,
We’ll murmur forth decorous joy
In dreamy roundelay.

Captain
I shall marry with a wife
In my humble rank of life!
(Turning to Buttercup)
And you, my own, are she—
I must wander to and fro,
But wherever I may go,
I shall never be untrue to thee!

Sailors
Was, gar net?

Captain
Nay, gar net.

Sailors
Was, GAR NET

Captain
Well, ols amohl.

All
Hardly ever be untrue to thee! Then give three cheers and one cheer more for the faithful seaman for the “Pinafore.”

Buttercup
Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup,
Und ich waiss gar net warrum;
Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, shay glaene Buttercup,
Zu dei glay Buttercup kim.

Chorus
Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup,
Und mir wissen gar net warrum.
Doch gleicht er sei Buttercup, orrum glay Buttercup,
Iss er now net hesslich dum!

Sir Joseph
Ich bin der kaynich fun der meer,
Und ven ich hiar dir (to Hebe)
I vos true mit dot devoton vot my lofe implants.

Hebe
Then good-bye to his sisters and his cousins and his aunts!
Especially his cousins,
Who he reckons up by dozens,
His sisters and his cousins and his aunts!

Chorus
Ols er iss ‘n Englisher,
Und er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt.
Yaw, er hut’s yo selvet g’sawt,
Ols er iss ‘n Englisher.

CURTAIN


This Pennsylvania German version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor was serialized in The Morning Call (Allentown) newspaper on May 16, May 23, and May 1959.

The Pennsylvania German translation of Pinafore was first published in Allentown in 1882 as H.M.S. Pinafore, oder Das Mædle und ihr Sailor Kerl: ‘n Translation fun dem bekannte Opera. That text was presented in parallel Pennsylvania German and the original English libretto, and translated by Alfred C. Moss and Ellwood Newhard. It was revived in 1901 in Allentown, Altoona, Bethlehem, Easton, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading, Scranton, and other Pennsylvania towns to great regional acclaim. A second revival focused in eastern Pennsylvania took place in 1910 and was still recalled by scholars and residents of Northampton County and Lehigh County in the 1960s.

The Pennsylvania German text digitized here was edited and corrected by Preston Albert Barba (1883-1971) in 1959 and published in his ‘S Pennsyvaanisch Deitsch Eck (The Pennsylvania German Corner) column with notes and commentary. A third text was prepared in the 1970s or 1980s in typescript for an unknown purpose by the Rev. Dr. Richard Druckenbrod, a German Reformed United Church of Christ pastor and president of the Pennsylvania German Society.

Dr. Barba notes: “The Pennsylvania German version is not in the best Lehigh Countian Pennsylvania German and contains many errors, but it was meant to be burlesque. Joined with the light music of Sullivan and Woody Newhard’s dialect ad libs it proved a roaring success.”

This text was transcribed by Richard Mammana in 2022 for purposes of free use non-commercial language study with no further assertion of copyright.

November 1977 article from The Morning Call.

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Filed under Bibliography, Pennsylvania German, Personal

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