Poodle Music

click to hear the final measures of Beethoven's Poodle-lied!

Poodle Music

Beethoven

Beethoven, Ludwig von. Lied: "Elegie auf den Tod eines Pudels", WoO 110 (1787). Here's the text (author unknown):

"Strib immer hin, es welken ja so viele
Der Freuden auf der Lebensbahn,
Oft, eh' sie welken in des Mittags Schwüle,
Fängt schon der Tod sie abzumähen an.

Auch meine Freude, du! Dir fliessen Zähren,
Wie Freunde selten Freunden weih'n,
Der Schmerz um dich kann nicht mein Aug' entehren,
Um dich Geschöpf, geschaffen, mich zu freu'n.

Allgeber gab dir diese feste Treue,
Dir diesen immer frohen Sinn
Für Tiere nicht! Damit ein Mensch sich freue,
Schuf er dich so, und mein war der Gewinn.

Oft, wenn ich, des Gewühles satt und müde,
Mich gern der eklen Welt entwöhnt,
Hast du, das Aug' voll Munterkeit und Friede,
Mit Welt und Menschen wieder mich versöhnt.

Du warst so rein von aller Tück' und Fehle
Als schwarz dein krauses Seidenhaar,
Wie manchen Menschen kannt' ich, dessen Seele
So schwarz als deine Aussenseite war.

Trüb sind die Augenblicke unsres Lebens,
Froh ward mir mancher nur durch dich,
Du lebtest kurz und lebtest nicht vergebens,
Das rühmt ach selten nur ein Mensch von sich.

Doch soll dein Tod mich nicht zu sehr betrüben,
Du warst ja stets des Lachens Freund,
Geliehen ist uns alles, was wir lieben,
Kein Erdenglück bleibt lange unbeweint.

Mein Herz soll night mit dem Verhängnis zanken
Um eine Lust, die es velor;
Du lebe fort und gaukle im Gedanken
Mir fröhliche Erinnerungen vor."

The gist of the text (author unknown): You've died; tears flow; gave loyal, happy companionship; black...yet without imperfection; comforted me...gaiety and peace; everything we love is only loaned to us; and finally, the last line: "du, lebe fort und gaukele in Gedanken, Mir fröhliche Erinnerungen vor..." (see above), very roughly: You live on joyfully in my happy memories. For sheet music of this song, which echoes the feelings of every person who has lost a beloved Poodle: Beethoven: Lieder und Gesänge mit Klavier (Munich: G. Henle, 1990), vol. 1, p. 72 (#29). Here are two recordings: MPS, 168.004 (33RPM): Bonner Lieder; Lieder op. 52; Dressler Variationen; and, more recently (and easy to find): three-CD set of Beethoven lieder, Capriccio recording CAP10343/45. Music historians apparently feel obliged to observe that Beethoven himself treated the "Pudelselegie" as an allegory, which, for dog-lovers who also strive for that balanced attitude of mind while mourning, rather misses the point. It should come as no surprise that the Poodle temperament described in the poem is similar to that described by Goethe in Faust, part one, lines 1147-76 (see ...Lit 101).

Sound recording thanks to Jerry Chapple (voice and piano), Nina Chapple (organizational support), Alex Chapple (technical support), and Mala Raynor, in happy memory of four great dogs who lived long and happy lives: Shelagh, Penny, Echo, and Kelly (d. March 1997). This recording represents the debut of the Lucy-Lu Sound Studio (Lucy is a Lab).

Haydn

Haydn, Franz Joseph (1732-1809). Lied: "Der schlaue und dienstfertige Pudel", Hob. XVIIa:39 (1790).

Der schlaue und dienstfertige Pudel
The Clever and Zealous Poodle

Zwe'n Freunde, Sebald und Petrill.
Von einem guten Stande,
Aus Coburg, wie man melden will,
Im edlen Frankenlande,
Verreiesten einst zur Wonne nur
:Selbander durch Gehölz und Flur.:
Two friends, Sebald and Petrill, took a walk through the forest...

Sie merkten dies und jenes an
Beim Anblick jedes Steges;
Gespräche sind dem Wandersmann
Verkürzung seines Weges.
Petrill hat einen Pudel mit,
:Den lobt er fast auf jeden Tritt.:
Talking about this and that to shorten the way; Petrill constantly praised his poodle...

Sie red'ten von Geschicklichkeit,
Die mancher Hund besässe,
Wert, dasser seine Lebenszeit
Konfekt und Mandeln frässe.
Gesagt mit Eifer und Gewicht,
:Wie uns're Welt von Possen spricht.:
"He is so intelligent that he deserves to be fed pralines his whole life!"

Petrill sprach: Suchtest du das auch
In meines Hunds Vermögen?
Ich will hier unter diesen Strauch
Den harten Taler legen.
Er wies das Geld hin, stolz von Mut,
:Fast wie ein Taschenspieler tut.:
To prove the poodle's faculties, he hid a coin under a bush...

Lass eine Meile weit von hier
Uns uns're Füsse tragen,
Ich will alsdenn zu meinem Tier
"Hund, such Verloren!" sagen;
Er läuft die Meile weit zurück
:Und bringt das hingelegte Stück.:
"Let's go on for a mile; then I'll send the poodle back to fetch the coin."

Was wettest du? Einen Carolin?
Du lachst? Gilt eine Wette?
Mir ist's soviel, als wenn ich ihn
Bereits gewonnen hãtte.
Und ich parier hingegen Nein,
:Versetzte Sebald, topp schlag ein!:
With great confidence, Petrill bet on his dog's success.

Sie gingen, und indessen kam
So mutig wie ein Hirschchen
Des Weges, ohne Sorg und Gram,
Ein rüstig Handwerkspürschchen,
Das jüngst erst in die Fremde ging
:Und manche gute Lehr empfing.:
They went on their way; a young workman came along...

Der lagert sich an diesem Strauch,
Spielt müssig an dem Grase,
Denkt an sein Mãdchen zart und auch
An seine liebe Base,
Die ihm mit milder Hand gebot:
:Da, Vetter, leid ja keine Not!:
He lay on the grass and thought about his love...

Und, ei, jetzt sah er ohngefãhr
Das runde Silber blinken;
So lustig griff er zu: Komm her,
Du bist gut zu vertrinken.
Doch wer hat dich zu mir gesandt?
:Fortuna leb und mein Verstand!:
But soon looked around, saw the coin and was very happy with his good fortune...

Bald aber wird ihm auf dem Platz
Vor einem Anspruch bange,
Er steckt das Geld zum andern Schatz
Und fördert sich im Gange.
Nach Stunden Weile kam der Hund
:Und suchte nach, weg war der Fund."
He put it in a pocket in his trousers and went away. After a few hours, the dog came back.

Was tat der Hund? Er kam und sah,
Doch nichts mehr als ein Blinder;
Ein Mensch stünd ohne Rat nun da,
Der Hund verfolgt den Finder.
Allein zu schlau, zu ungestüm
:Gesellt er freundlich sich zu ihm.:
The dog couldn't find anything and followed the track of the Finder.

Geld und auch einen schönen Hund?
Das Glück muss für mich wachen,
So sprach und fing aus Herzensgrund
Der Jüngling anzu lachen.
Du Pudel bist zwar nicht für mich,
:Allein verkaufen kann ich dich.:
[When the dog caught up with the Finder] The working man was very happy, that, in addition to the coin, he'd now found a valuable dog, that he could sell!

Bis in der Herberg, ist das Tier
Geschäftig, mitzugehen;
Doch, ach, die Sprache der Begier
Will niemand recht verstehen.
So folgt er in das Schlafgemach
:Zuletzt auch noch dem Purschen nach.
The dog followed him into an inn; nobody understood what the dog intended.

Das Geld umdecken auf der Bank
Die Hosen vor dem Bette.
Ihm wird die Weile Schrecklich lang,
Der längst gern Urlaub hätte;
Er wacht besorgt, der Tag bricht an,
:Die Kammertür wird aufgetan.:
The dog waited for morning to come.

Die Jungfer Schwester ruft he! he!
Zum Aufatehn. Doch der schnarchet
Noch fest in müdem Gliederweh,
Dass man's ihm nicht verarget.
Nun nahm der Hund die Hosen gar,
:Als um ihn her kein Zeuge war.:
The working man was sleeping heavily, and when nobody was watching, the dog took his trousers.

Die beiden Freund' inzwischen nahm
Sein Aussenbleiben Wunder:
Am Morgen sahn sie ihn, er kam
Und trug den ganzen Plunder,
Die Hosen derb als einen Knaul
:Gekugelt und gepackt, im Maul.:
The two friends had wondered why the poodle stayed away; but he came in the morning with the trousers in his mouth.

Was Teufel! denkt der Wandersheld,
Hält mich ein Traum gebunden?
Bin ich verzanbert? Hosen, Geld
Und Pudel sind verschwunden?
Er steht in Naturalibus;
:Es ist kein Spass, solch ein Verdruss.:
The Wayfarer thought he was dreaming when he awoke and his trousers with the coin and the poodle had disappeared.

Ein Alter spricht: Mein, wiss ihr auch,
Dass Hunde stehlen können?
Ich rat euch, dem verwünschten Gauch
Von Stund an nachzurennen;
Nur in den Toren inquiriert,
:Wo so ein Pudel Durchpassiert!:
Somebody told him that dogs can steal and he should go to the gates of the town and ask for the poodle.

Die Macht des plaudernden Gerüchts
Hilft jeden Teil entdecken.
So werden Händel oft aus nichts
Und aus den Freuden Schrecken.
Dies kannzugleich die Welt erbaun,
:Dem grössten Glücke night zu traun.:
Moral: You should never trust in fortune.

"The great Austrian composer, Franz Joseph Haydn, composed a piece of music about a poodle. In 1780, a military officer's daughter from the German town of Coburg wrote a letter to Papa Haydn, as the beloved composer was popularly known. (Coburg is now part of Bavaria, but then, it was the capital of the small duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. One later member of the ruling family was Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort. His descendants changed the family name to Windsor, in reaction to anti-German feeling among the British people fostered by World War I.)

"In the young woman's letter, she told Papa Haydn how she and her lover, a young Captain, together with his Pudel and another friend, had taken a walk. The Captain had praised his dog's talents and offered a bet that the dog would be able to find a Thaler (a silver coin of some value, from which the English word dollar is derived) that he would hide under a bush. The friend accepted the wager. When the dog was not looking, the Captain hid the Thaler. Everybody then returned home. The captain then said to his poodle, 'Search, lost.' The dog took off immediately along the path where the party had taken their walk.

"In the meantime, by happenstance, a tailor, who was on a journey, had sat down in the shadow of the bush under which the Captain had hidden the Thaler. When the tailor saw the Thaler, he picked it up, and put it in his pocket. Soon thereafter, the Pudel arrived at the scene, smelled the Thaler in the man's pocket, and flattered the tailor. The tailor, delighted at having found within an hour both a Thaler and a fine Pudel, took the dog with him to his lodging in town. The Pudel watched over the tailor the whole night. But early in the morning, when the door to the room was opened, he snuck out with the tailor's trousers and brought them, with the Thaler still in the pocket, to his true master.

"This little adventure was set in verse with the title, 'Der schlaue und dienstfertige Pudel' (The Clever and Zealous Poodle). In her letter, the young woman asked Papa Haydn to set the verses to music. She described her limited financial means, and said that she had heard high praises of the composer's good heart. So, she wrote, she hoped that he would accept the Ducat (another coin) that she had enclosed, as payment for the musical composition. Haydn immediately composed the music, and sent both the manuscript and the Ducat back to the young woman, along with a letter of explanation. Haydn wrote that he did not want the young woman to think that he would only use his talent for monetary compensation, especially for someone as charming as she. So, he asked for a pair of knit garters instead. The ribbons in red and white silk with a painted garland of forget-me-nots arrived a while later, and Papa Haydn preserved them carefully amongst his other treasured possessions.

"The Hoboken Catalog reference for Papa Hadyn's piece for Voice and Keyboard, 'Der schlaue und dienstfertige Pudel.' is given as Hob. XVIIa:39, although specifies it as XXVI:38 and also specifies an earlier date (1780-1787) than other references (1790). (The Hoboken Catalog, compiled by the Dutchman, Anthony von Hoboken, is the standard catalog of Haydn's works.)

"If you would like to hear the melody of Papa's composition about the clever Pudel, you can download this MIDI file.

"On his second tour to England, in 1794, Papa Haydn visited the town of Bath and, while he was there, was the house-guest of one Signor Rauzzini, a famous castrato, who by this time had lived in Bath for 19 years. Upon his departure, Haydn thanked Signor Rauzzini very much for the hospitality with a fine reciprocal gesture. Mr. Rauzzini had had a dog, Turk, to whom he was greatly attached. Turk had died and was buried in the garden of Signor Rauzzini's house. A gravestone marked the site, and it had an inscription which ended with the words: 'Turk was not a man - he was a dog'. Papa Haydn took some notes about this, and later composed for Signor Rauzzini a Canon for Four Voices, 'Turk was a faithful dog.' The piece is listed as Hob. XXVIIb:45.... Performances of this and other of Haydn's Secular Canons by the Gyor Girls' Choir were recorded and made available on the Hungaroton label, Catalog No. HCD-12890-2." (J.J. McVeigh, 11 January 2007, aided by notes by Heinz Brockmann.)

Chopin

Chopin, Frédérick François (1810?-1849). "La valse du petit chien" (also known as "The Minute Waltz"), Opus 64, #1 (1847). Chopin was "associated with" Georges Sand (pseud.: Amantine Lucile Aurore, Baroness Dudevant, 1804-76) from 1837-47; "La valse du petit chien" was inspired by the frolics of one of her Poodle puppies. See: Krystyna Kobylanska Frederick Chopin (Munich: G. Henle, 1977), p. 138. Recordings are readily available (including played on the trombone!). For "garden-variety" on the piano as originally intended: CD, London 433 070-2. Sheet music: Alfred Cortot, Chopin Valses (NY: Editions Salabert, 1976), p. 44. For more about Georges Sand, see Companions to genius (and etc.).

More Poodle Music!

Butera, Sam. French Poodle / Handle With Care. Recording: Sam Butera and The Witnesses, 45 white label promo on Capitol F-4119. This old-timer is available on CDs: Ultra-Lounge Vol.5: Wild, Cool & Swingin' (Rawls et al), 1996 and Wild, Cool & Swingin': The Artist Collection (Sam Butera and The Witnesses), 1999.

Cohane, Jay. Gimme, Gimme / Poodle. Recording: Backing The Triads. Special Recordings, test pressing, Detroit, MI. 78.

Gaillard, Slim (1916-1991). Serenade To A Poodle. This song is on track #6 of CD Laughing in Rhythm: The Best of the Verve Years; Gaillard's Verve years spanned the turn of the 1950's.

Glover, David Carr, Jr., Fifth Avenue Poodle (NY: Mills Music, Inc., 1954), 6 pp. "Moderately bright" early grade piano solo designed to "appeal to the young student." Cover shows a Poodle in a moderate Continental standing under a handy lamp post, with a stylized skyscraper in the background.

Hohman, Johann Georg, Drey wonderbare neue Geschichten oder Lieder. Das erste von einen kleinen Kinde und einem Pudelhund...(Ephrata: 1828). Three wonderful new tales or songs. The first of a little child and a Poodle, which occurred in Russia in the year 1808, during springtime... If you are a diva with access to a recording studio and a yen to make a million, World Catalogue accession number is: 11269977.

Johnson, Charles L. (1876-1950). Pink Poodle One-Step (1914). Recording online at Charles L. Johnson, Pink Poodle One-Step.

Kalder, Connie, A Poodle in Paris (Montreal: La Montagne Secrète, 2004). Illustrated by Fil & Julie. A 12-song CD with a 36-pages hardcover illustrated book. Plus musical charts, illustrations and lyrics on the disc (PDF files). Story is about a Poodle named "La Grande Fifi" who lives in Paris. Lead song: "A Poodle in Paris."

Luhrs, Grant. "It's Hard To Be A Cowboy With A Poodle By Your Side" track in CD "Grant Luhrs You Gotta Laugh" (EMI 1997). Luhrs is a member of the Australian Country Music Association.

Reich, Margarite E., Playful Poodle Piano Solo, edited by Wesley Schaum (Schaum Publications, 1968). Cover shows a Disney-esque pink Poodle playing with a ball and a puddle of water.

Reno, David, The Poodle Man Song. Go to: Alaska Mushing Poodles in the Iditarod! a website which includes "The Poodle Man Song" by Dave Reno.

Tampa Red. Let Me Play With Your Poodle ["dog"]. CD: Complete Recorded Works [of Tampa Red] in Chronological Order, Vol. 12, 1941-1945, track #12 (Audio CD, February 14, 1994). Many more recordings of this double entendre favorite; to obtain a list, go to Amazon.com, popular music, and search on the title. Four variations(?): Let Me Play Your Poodle on CD: Great Piono/Guitar Duo 1941-46 (Tampa Red & Big Maceo), 1998; Play With Your Poodle (among these, Lightnin' Hopkins, several CDs contain his version); Play With You Poodle on CD: King Of The Blues (B.B. King), 1992; and I Want To Play With Your Poodle, see Nasty Blues (Carter et al), 1989.

Williams, Luther (Corky) (1937- ). Apricot Poodle--Albion B.C. [1992?}. Sound recording, National Library of Canda.

NB: Here's a list of references which, if you have a special interest in Poodle (dog) music, you may wish to check for dog-content.

  • Digital Poodle (musical group).
  • There's a Mecca Normal CD (31500) / LP (20700) The Eagle and the Poodle; also The Poodle Lecture, in CD You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore--Vol.6 (Frank Zappa), 1995; well, you can check it out, but we're pessimistic.
  • Bijou The Poodle on CD: Gettin' Together (Art Pepper), 1988; 1994.
  • Another Art Pepper: Susie The Poodle which is available on at least five CDs as of 9/99.
  • The Flame Had A Poodle on CD: Prayers Of A Snowball In Hell (Asa Brebner), 1996.
  • Digital Poodle (other than the musical group?), Funky Poodle, Larry, The Spinning Poodle, The Poodle Bites, Poodle Calf, Poodle Mouth, Poodle Party, and especially Poodle Dog on CD: Dirty Mother For You (Roosevelt Sykes), 1998: we'd like to know more!
  • The Piping Poodle appears on at least two CDs: The Piping Centre 1997 Recital Series, Vol. 1 (William McCallum...) 1998, and Strathspeys & Reels (William McCallum), 1996.
  • Your Poodle Dog: track 12 on CD: Blues Collection, 1994; contains Johnny Otis, B.B. King, Billie Holiday, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, etc. so it's an old-timer, but we haven't yet tracked down more information about this piece.
  • The Pied Piper Poodle, on CD: Hop, Skip, & Jump (The Collins Kids), 1994.
  • Poodle, on CD: Brilliant Mistake (Tsunami), 1997.

    Go back to Poodle Lit. 101