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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"O mein Papa" is a nostalgic German song, originally as related by a young woman remembering her beloved, once-famous clown father. It was written by Swiss composer Paul Burkhard in 1939 for the musical Der schwarze Hecht [de] (The Black Pike), reproduced in 1950 as Das Feuerwerk (The Firework) to a libretto by Erik Charell, Jürg Amstein, and Robert Gilbert. In 1954 that musical was turned into the film Fireworks with Lilli Palmer.

Recordings

"Oh, mein Papa", an instrumental version by trumpeter Eddie Calvert, topped the UK Singles Chart in 1954,[1] and was also a Top 10 hit in the United States.

It was adapted into English by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons under the title "Oh! My Pa-Pa".[2] A recording by Eddie Fisher with Hugo Winterhalter's orchestra and chorus that was made at Webster Hall, New York City, debuted on the Billboard chart on December 12, 1953. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-5552 (in US)[3] and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10614. This recording became a No. 1 hit on the U.S. Billboard chart in 1954.

Fisher's version also made the UK Top 10; thus, in the UK, Calvert's version was number one while Fisher's made the top 10, but missed the top spot, and in the U.S., the opposite occurred. Calvert's version was the first UK number one hit recorded at Abbey Road Studios.[1] The song returned to Abbey Road when Brian Fahey conducted an instrumental version in 1960, to be used as a backing track for Connie Francis' English-Yiddish recording for her album Connie Francis Sings Jewish Favorites. Francis overdubbed her vocals in Hollywood. In June 1966, Francis overdubbed the same playback once more, this time with the original German lyrics for her German concept album Melodien, die die Welt erobern.

The song has been performed and recorded by numerous artists since its debut, including Lys Assia,[4] Siouxsie and the Banshees (on Join Hands (1979), as "Mother/Oh Mein Papa"), Björk (on Gling-Gló, as "Pabbi minn"), and many others. The opening stanza was momentarily quoted in Frank Zappa's song "Billy the Mountain" (1972) in place of the word "fissure", a reference to Eddie Fisher.[5] The song was in the episode "Like Father, Like Clown" of The Simpsons sung by Krusty the Clown.[6]

Lyrics

English lyrics

Oh, my Papa, to me he was so wonderful,
Oh, my Papa, to me he was so good.
No one could be so gentle and so lovable,
Oh, my Papa, he always understood.

Oh, my Papa, so funny, so adorable,
Always the clown so funny in his way.
Oh, my Papa, to me he was so wonderful,
Deep in my heart I miss him so today.

Gone are the days when he would take me on his knee
And with a smile he'd change my tears to laughter.[7]

German lyrics

The original German version of the song contains passages that more fully give the context to the listener; these don't appear in the English translation. It contains grammar errors (confusing masculine and feminine nouns and adjectives) and is sung with a foreign accent appropriate for the role of the Eastern European woman it is written for.

Papa wie ein Pfeil
sprang hinauf auf die Seil,
eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.
Er spreizte die Beine
ganz breit auseinand',
sprang hoch in die Luft
und stand auf die Hand.
Eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.

Er lachte: "Haha, haha"
und machte: "Hoho hoho",
ganz sachte: "Haha haha"
und rief: "Eh la hopp, eh la hopp
eh la hopp, eh la hopp
eh la hopp, eh la hopp
eh la hopp, eh la hopp."

Er ritt auf die Seil
ganz hoch in die Luft
eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.
Das konnte er machen
zwölfmal in ohne mieh;
er lachte dazu
und fürchtet sich nie.
Eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp

...
Refrain

Dann warf er sechs Bänder
hoch in die Luft
eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.
Er ließ sie tanzen
im feirigen Licht
und strahlte glicklich
im ganzen Gesicht.
Eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.

...

Er warf die sechs Bänder
hoch in die Luft
eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.
Und alles das macht er
auf schwindlige Heh;
Papa war die Clou
von die ganz Soirée.
Eh la hopp, eh la hopp, eh la hopp.

...
Refrain

Refrain:
Oh, mein Papa war eine wunderbare Clown.
Oh, mein Papa war eine große Kinstler.
Hoch auf die Seil, wie war er herrlich anzuschau'n!
Oh, mein Papa war eine schöne Mann.

Ei, wie er lacht,
sein Mund, sie sein so breit, so rot;
und seine Aug'
wie Diamanten strahlen.

Oh, mein Papa war eine wunderbare Clown.
Oh, mein Papa war eine große Kinstler.
Hoch auf die Seil, wie war er herrlich anzuschau'n!
Oh, mein Papa war eine schöne Mann.[8][9]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 12. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ ""Oh! My Pa-Pa" score title page". Ecx.images-amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  3. ^ "RCA Victor 20-5500 - 20-6000 78rpm numerical listing discography". 78discography.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  4. ^ "Eurovision's one hit wonders singing their way to fleeting fame" by Troy Lennon, The Daily Telegraph Australia, 22 May 2015
  5. ^ "Just Another Band From L.A. – Billy The Mountain". Robbert Heederik. Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2008.
  6. ^ Chen, Raymond. "Like Father, Like Clown". The Simpsons Archive. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
  7. ^ John Turner; Geoffrey Parsons (1948). "Oh, My Pa-pa". MetroLyrics.
  8. ^ Erik Charell; Jürg Amstein; Robert Gilbert. "Lys Assia – Oh, mein Papa" (in German and Dutch). In de Overtuin, Marijke van Freek.
  9. ^ "Oh mein Papa" from the film Feuerwerk (1954) on YouTube (Lilli Palmer)

Further reading

  • Flury, Philipp; Kaufmann, Peter (1979). O mein Papa... Paul Burkhard: Leben und Werk (in German). Zürich: Orell Füssli/Neue Schweizer Bibliothek. ISBN 3-280-01129-9. OCLC 6787865.
This page was last edited on 7 November 2021, at 16:55
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