This spiel about Colombus’ ship antics was the very first German folk-song I was introduced to by two young German girls, who came to stay with us at St. Joseph’s holiday home, Rathdrum, Co, Wicklow. I must have been approximately 14 years old at the time. It was a very unusual experience having non-institutional older girls’ residing with us. They were so kind and showed us so much affection – a thing we were starved of in our lives. We soaked up all the German songs and cultural games they taught us. We had no difficulty with singing in a foreign language, as we were used to singing in Latin and Irish, the latter of which is far more harder to grasp than German.
I like Bob’s rendition here. He has a lovely voice and plays the guitar really good. A good sense of theatrical humour to boot. Thanks Bob, you’re a born natural! Sie sind echt!
The following information sums it up nicely.
I had never heard or heard of “Ein Mann, der sich Kolumbus nannt” until coming across it in Hiev Rund. This is one of a few German seasongs that I learned at the behest of Ernst Richter.
This is a very light-hearted, unhistorical song about how America managed to get itself discovered. According to the song Columbus was a man who overcame his depression by discovering new countries at sea. Columbus was drinking his coffee over breakfast one day when he suddenly shouted hooray because the Spanish king was coming to visit him on the first train. The king said to Columbus that he had already achieved some fine deeds but he now wanted Columbus to discover America for him and Hispanic Glory. Being a man of deeds and not words, Columbus immediately set sail on the same day. A few days later he sighted land where the inhabitants were lined up silent on the beach. Columbus wished them good-day and asked them whether this was America to which all the inhabitants shouted “Yes”. The inhabitants were then very frightened and they all shouted, “We’ve been discovered!”. The chief of the inhabitants then exclaimed, “You must be Columbus”.
Well, I guess any American (North or South) will be astonished at this story but that’s the way they tell it here in Germany.