Posts Tagged ‘Oak Tree King’

Andries Bezuidenhout. Der Erlkönig en die Oak Tree King

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Josh Ritter se weergawe van Erlkönig is nie ʼn letterlike vertaling van Goethe se gedig nie. Sy melodie gebruik ook slegs temas uit Schubert se dramatiese toonsetting. ʼn Belangrike verandering wat intree is dat die Elwekoning in die oorspronklike gedig die kind gewelddadig met hom saamneem. Josh Ritter se “Oak Tree King” is meer subtiel – hy blyk die kind te oortuig om saam met hom te gaan. Die oproep tot die kind word die liriek se refrein.  Hier is ʼn weergawe daarvan wat ek opgespoor het. Ek het weer gaan luister en dit hier en daar reg (dalk verkeerd) getimmer:

Who is this that rides so late
Between the woods and the garden gate?
A father holds a child close,
Barely boy and almost ghost

Son why do you cry and hide your face?
Oh Father, the Oak King is king of this place,
With a crown made of thistle and sceptre of reeds
Son, there’s no Oak King, just the wind and the trees

My prince, my love, I knew you’d come
Now you must join the other ones
Cast your bloom upon the tide
Sleep all day, play all night

Oh Father, oh Father, don’t leave me I pray
The Oak King is closer than the dawn of the day
Than the dawn of the day, the edge of the woods
The Oak King is bad and he’ll take me for good

Oh Son, with his palaces of silver and gold
With a queen and his own pretty children to hold
With his own pretty children, why steal you from me?
What kind of a king would ever be such a thief?

My prince, my love, I knew you’d come
Now you must join the other ones
When the dancing begins at night
My daughters will hold you clear through till light

Oh Father, oh Father, scattered all along the path
The Oak King’s own children in the dark as we pass
The Oak King’s own children, they sing softly and they sigh
They don’t seem to care that they’re blooming at night

Oh Son, who would leave a child in this place?
To the wind and the dark and the rain on their faces
The rain on their face, mud on their feet
What kind of a king would dress his children in leaves?

My prince, my love, I knew you would come
Now you must join the other ones
Oh Father, oh Father, I must go away
The Oak King sings, I must obey

At the edge of the woods and the break of the day,
The father looked down where his son used to lay,
And in grief and in sorrow, in sorrow and grief,
Wondered what kind of king could ever be such a thief?