Højre Venstre

Nov. 8 - While playing some Danish children's music for Molli this weekend, I found myself understanding more of the lyrics than I used to. Among my favorites are the tunes from Kaj og Andrea, a Danish children's program starring Kaj, a frog, and his best friend Andrea, a parrot.

Kaj is a very proud and stubborn male frog, and Andrea a very fine and lovely female parrot. They are fairly standard representatives of the educational-children's-TV-puppet genre. Kaj would probably be right at home with Ernie and Bert, and Andrea with Big Bird.

(Kaj would probably be disappointed, however, to learn of his popularity as the centerpiece of a strange new sport, but what he doesn't know won't hurt him.)

Kaj's theme is a catchy little song whose lyrics are easily accessible even to Danish newbies—they consist mostly of his insistence that his name is Kaj. ("Kaj, Kaj, Kaj, ja, det er mig!") Hear it once and it stays with you forever.

Another song that I found coming back to me repeatedly over the course of the weekend was Højre Venstre ("Right Left"). Here are the lyrics in Danish and then in English (the translation is my own, and should be read accordingly):

Jeg er i højre side.
Højre—det er her.
Ja faktisk kan man sige,
at jeg er den til højre,
for den der er til venstre,
for venstre—det er der.

Jeg er i venstre side.
Venstre—det er her.
Ja faktisk kan man sige,
at jeg er lidt til venstre
for dem der er til højre,
og højre—det er der.

In English:

I am on the right side.
Right—that is here.
Yes, one can in fact say
that I'm to the right
of those to the left
'cause left—
that's over there.

I am on the left side.
Left—that is here.
One can in fact say
that I'm a bit to the left
of those to the right,
and right—
that's over there.

It was only after the forty-seventh time I caught myself humming it that I realized what had stuck with me was the political genius of the piece.

I am on the right side. One can in fact say that I'm a bit to the right of those to the left, and the left—that's over there.

* * *

Plenty of posts and comments to browse on Moron Abroad and in the Moronic Underground, if you're curious about the response to Friday's rantish blog.

The Original Little Tramp

On November 8, 1923, a general assembly of the Bavarian government began a meeting at a Munich beer hall at approximately 8:00 pm. At about 8:45 pm, the meeting was disrupted by a man in "a baggy, black suit that made him look like a waiter." The man leaped onto a table, fired a couple of shots into the ceiling, then forced his way onto the platform.

"The national revolution has begun!" he shouted.

Having gained everyone's attention, the strange little man announced that six hundred of his own men had the beer hall surrounded (they didn't), that the national and Bavarian governments had been taken (they hadn't), that the military and police barracks had been occupied (they weren't), and that he'd like a word or two in private with the three Bavarian leaders on the platform if it wouldn't be too inconvenient (it wasn't).

Once in a private room, the stranger informed the trio that he'd welcome their participation in his new government. They expressed no interest. He waved his revolver in their faces, but still they demurred. He held the pistol to his own head, then realized this wasn't very persuasive and simply returned to the general hall to announce that the leaders were behind him.

A little later, a prominent Bavarian general arrived at the beer hall and announced his support for the stranger. At this point the three leaders were released from their private room, and they too were suddenly in support of the little stranger. Feeling pretty swell about all this support, the stranger left the beer hall briefly to quell a dispute among some of his men outside the hall.

By the time he returned, he found that the three leaders had left the beer hall and were hastily making the rounds in Munich, retracting what they'd been forced to say. The stranger became apoplectic. He and the Bavarian general then came up with a contingency plan: they would gather some men and storm the government the following morning, November 9.

And so they did. Eighteen of their followers and four Bavarian policemen were killed in the conflict. Two days later, the stranger was arrested at the home of a friend, where he'd been hiding. Ten years later, the evil wingnut bastard was elected Chancellor of Germany.

Et Cetera

Today's birthdays include Parker Posey (1968), Mary Hart (1951), Bonnie Raitt (1949), Morley Safer (1931), Patti Page (1927), Esther Rolle (1920), and Margaret Mitchell (1900).

Happy Monday!

© 2004, The Moron's Almanac™

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