Sunday, October 19, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 17: Some More Songbooks For Schools (1879-1882)

  • W. Jütting & F. Billig, Liederbuch für die Mittel- und Oberklassen städtischer Volksschulen (auch
    gehobener Landschulen) und die unteren Klassen höherer Lehranstalten, Carl Meyer (Gustav Prior), Hannover, 1879 (at the Internet Archive)
  • A. Wille, Liederbuch für deutsche Schulen. Sammlung von 200 ein-, zwei- und dreistimmigen Liedern. Drei Hefte, 3. Auflage, Verlag der Buchhandlung des Pestalozzi-Vereins, Eberswalde 1882 (at the Internet Archive)
  • Liederbuch für preußische Volksschulen. Zusammengestellt von einem praktischen Schulmanne, 5. Auflage, G. Wilh. Leipner, Leipzig, 188 (at the Internet Archive)
  • C. H. Voigt, Volksweisen. Für die reifere Jugend, M. Bahn (früher C. Trautwein), Berlin, 1879/80
    1. Heft, 9. Auflage, 1880 & 2. Heft, 3. Auflage, 1879 (at the Internet Archive)
  • C. Landwehr, Jugendklänge. Sammlung von Liedern und Chorälen für höhere Töchterschulen. Nach unterrichtlichen Grundsätzen in vier Stufen geordnet. IV. Stufe, 2. verb. u. verm. Aufl., Siegismund & Volkening, Leipzig, 1877 [pp. 97-176] (at the Internet Archive)
  • Wilhelm Tschirch, Vierundfünfzig zwei- und dreistimmige Lieder und Gesänge für obere Knabenklassen von Volks- und bürgerschulen und für mittlere Klassen von Gymnasien und Realschulen, 4. Aufl., Siegismund & Volkening, Leipzig, 1878 (at the Internet Archive)
  • W. Volckmar & G. Zanger, Deutsche Lieder für Schule, Haus und Leben, 3 Hefte, Ed. Peter, Leipzig, 188 (at the Internet Archive)
Recently I ordered from an antiquarian bookshop a songbook for schools published in 1879. When I received it I was surprised to see that it was bound together with five more similar song collections from the same time period. I have scanned them all and added here one more songbook "für Schule, Haus und Leben" (also 1880) acquired separately. They are now all available at the Internet Archive as part of my series Deutsche Schulliederbücher 1850-1916.

These are the typical song collections compiled and produced for the use in schools, often sloppily printed and then sold cheaply so the pupils and the schools could afford them. This was a heavily contested but also also very promising market. If a book prevailed and was then even reprinted regularly the successful editor could expect a most welcome additional income. 

What we find in these books is the standard repertoire of this era that was recycled again and again by numerous editors and publishers. Notable is once again the extreme obsession with patriotic songs. I still can't get over Hoffmann v. Fallersleben's truly awful song about Kaiser Wilhelm:
Wer ist der greise Siegesheld, der uns zu Schutz und Wehr
für's Vaterland zog in das Feld mit Deutschland's ganzem Heer?
Du, edles Deutschland, freue dich,
Dein König hoch und ritterlich,
Dein Wilhelm, dein Wilhelm, dein Kaiser Wilhelm ist's. 
And I always thought it was Field Marshal von Moltke who had won the war. But nonetheless (nearly) everybody loved the old Kaiser, the former Kartätschenprinz (i. e. "Prince of Grapeshot", as he used to be called back in 1848, during the revolution). Of course the editors couldn't avoid including all the other classics of this particular genre like "Hurrah Germania", "Die Wacht am Rhein (Es braust ein Ruf wie Donnerhall)", "Heil Dir Im Siegerkranz" or "Deutsches Weihelied":
Alles schweige!
Jeder neige ernsten Tönen nun sein Ohr!
Deutschlands Söhne, laut ertöne euer Vaterlandsgesang!
Dem Beglücker seiner Staaten,
Dem Vollender großer Thaten
Töne unser Rundgesang!
Once again I can't help but feel deeply sorry for the poor children who were treated to this excessive amount of patriotic propaganda. But we should not forget that these kind of songbooks for the use in schools were not compiled with the intention that the pupils have fun singing. They were first and foremost regarded as a helpful tool for teaching them to be loyal, patriotic subjects (not citizens!). 

Besides that these books also include religious pieces of all kinds, "Volkslieder" and "volkstümliche Lieder" about Heimat, nature, Abschied, wandern, the yearly seasons and even occasionally a real good song like for example a German version of Thomas Moore's "The Last Rose of Summer" or Silcher's famous "Loreley", both immensely popular at that time. 

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