Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein

Flash: Miss Erika, one of our remote correspondents, has sent along this communiqué.

re: Nazi Blog

Are you aware of the nazi sweetheart march "Erika" ,1939, by composer Herms Neil (was the marching song of the Waffen SS)? I feel it needs a place in your blog as it has such a forceful & catchy refrain.

here are video links (montages, etc):

German Military Composer Herms Neil blurb:

Lyrics in English:

1. On the heath there grows a little flower

And its name is Erika

A hundred thousand little bees

Swarm around Erika

Because her heart is full of sweetness,

Her flowery dress gives off a tender scent

On the heath there grows a little flower

And its name is Erika

2. In the homeland lives a little farm maid

And her name is Erika

This girl is my true treasure

And my luck, Erika

When the flower on the heath blooms lilac red,

I sing her this song in greeting.

On the heath there grows a little flower

And its name is Erika

3. Another little flower blooms in my small room

And its name is Erika

In the first rays of the morning and in the twilight

It looks at me, Erika

And it seems to me it speaks aloud:

Are you still thinking of your little bride?

Back home a farm maid weeps for you

And her name is Erika

Name "Erika" had been derived from the heather plant (German: Heide, Erika; Latin: Erica). Vast heather-yards are one of the proud symbols of German natural heritage.

Just thought I'd bring this to your attention.

The small room of the third verse no doubt a prescient image of the small room his corpse will inhabit soon. It is in fact a fine example of the excessively sentimental and jingoistic Soldier Marching Song, like so many others, e.g., Just Before the Battle Mother ("Farewell, mother, you may never / Press me to your heart again"), with a tune that, although needing to be carried along with the heavy rucksack, lightens the load, and reminds the bit of cannon fodder why they are fighting and dying, romanticizing the blown apart bits of body and blood mixing with the bittersweet tears of the girl and/or mother left behind. Once heard, these tunes are hard to forget, and I have found myself since Erika Deer's dispatch humming the chorus as I have gone about my day-to-day.

And I find myself hoping that, in the new coed & don't-don't-ask-don't-tell army of the US of A, there will be both gender-neutral and gender-preference-neutral marching songs as stirring as this, sung by legions of men and women and all points in between, marching to their deaths filled with a heady and passionate joy.

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