Wachsenden Ringen

by @nancycunning

Liner Notes

When @writeandwrong drew the #tower card for me in the #oraclechallenge, it felt like it was time to turn this #rilke #poem into a song. In the 5090 I said I would record a #german song, but I didn't get there til now.

Last month a good friend died, and suddenly those lines about not completing these rings we are in the middle of hit harder for me. We met when we were eighteen in a poetry writing class the first semester of college, so this feels like an offering. For me this is a song about #grief and #life and #death. It's also about going on and doing what I mean to do without waiting to be good enough.

#country #country_folk #non_english #waltz #acoustic_one_take #guitar

Lyrics

Wachsenden Ringen
(Based on the Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke)

Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen
Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen
die sich über die Dinge ziehen
Ich werde den letzten vielleicht nicht vollbringen
aber versuchen will ich ihn

Ich kreise um Gott, um den uralten Turm
und ich kreise jahrtausendelang
und ich weiß noch nicht: bin ich ein Falke, ein Sturm
oder ein großer Gesang

Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen
die sich über die Dinge ziehen
Ich werde den letzten vielleicht nicht vollbringen

Loose Translation by Nancy

I'm living my life in widening rings
They stretch themselves over the things
I may not complete the last one
But that's what I want to try

I'm circling God in the ancient tower
I've been circling a thousand years long
And I still don't know if I'm a falcon, a storm
or a gigantic song

I'm living my life in widening rings
They stretch themselves over the things
I may not complete the last one

Comments

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I love this, really pretty driving guitar chords and singing, and a great choice for a poem to turn into a song. Can't wait to try something like this myself after I finish all the other collabs and challenges, ha!
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Sehr berührend. Mein herzliches Beileid zu dem Verlust deines Freundes. Wie schön, dass du ihm hier so ein tolles Denkmal setzen konntest.
And from the comments I figure that German isn't even your mothers tongue? Wow, I didn't even notice... Beatifully done!
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Really great stuff, the melody feels timeless and your performance is powerful and clear. Sorry for your loss, but great work on a poignant tribute.
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Nancy - beautifully done. The melody, your guitar playing, and your vocals are just lovely and influence each other perfectly. Nice tribute to your friend.
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First of all, I am so sorry to hear about your loss 😢 Thank you for the English translations because, well, otherwise I would have gone to Google Translate hehe. Enjoyed the flow and the vocals. Your words offer an amazing meaning in relation to rings. Thanks so much for participating in the challenge! 😀
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Huh. Wenn ich hier bei FAWM etwas nicht erwartet hätte, dann von Rilke inspirierte Zeilen! 😀 Und dann noch so schön neu gestaltet und dargeboten. Very fine song! So traurig und schmerzlich der Anlass, so wundervoll tröstlich und hoffnungsstark verwandelst du das in nahegehende Musik. It's touching. My deepest sympathy for the loss of your friend, I know how that feels.
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Herzlichstes Beileid für den Verlust Deines guten Freundes. Möge er eine gute Reise haben.
Mit Deiner wunderschönen Stimme und dem Gitarrenriffs, dem Poem - großartig
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@karan
Oooooh, Rilke! Das ist eines meiner Lieblingsgedichte von ihm! This is the kind of song to be sung at a campfire, when the embers are glowing and the moon is rising over the trees ...
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@chroes
Eine wunderschöne Interpretation! And yes, I can relate to the pain you describe through your interpretation of Rilke's words. You deliver them with such hope and grace...
And isn't it strange how different our voices sound in different languages?
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You sing this beautifully. Thanks for sharing the tender backstory. I love Rilke’s poetry and it is wonderful to hear it sung by you!
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@musuko
Wow, so lovely. Has a nostalgic, slightly bittersweet feel. (In the best possible way.) I appreciate the beauty and passion of the voice and guitar together all in one take. It brings an energy and sincerity that is so uplifting. Looking forward to more. :)
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Oh, a collab would be really nice! What do you think about? I can offer bass, vocals, translation 😃🎵
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@ayais
What a great treatment of a poem! Yes, when. a friend dies, you lose a ring.
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What a lovely collab! Such a pretty and lilting melody - the waltz like timing makes it sound so soothing. I am very sorry about your loss of such a special person in your life who really knew you. The poem is beautiful, and so is your musical adaptation. I hope this gave you some healing and peace, and also the determination to keep making imperfect music like we pretty much all do - and silencing that voice that says wait until it is good enough.
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@safred
Very nice, very reflective in its delivery and structure, lovely work!
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@reklov
Rilke ist immer eine sehr gute Wahl! I recognized those words immediately.
It's interesting to hear those deep lyrics in a totally different new context as a pretty folk song with catchy melody! A few years ago I dd a similar attempt with "Liebeslied", here at FAWM.

Do you know "Rilke Prpjekt" by Schönherz & Fleer? This is very well spoken lyrics with underlayed ambient/jazz/pop music, sometimes really heart-wrenching!
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As good in English as in German. Great song!
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Wonderful song. Thank you for your talent and willingness to share! Just lovely!
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It's a lovely song for your friend.
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I don't know German but I quite enjoyed singing along and reading the translation as I went! Beautiful voice! Lovely lyric and delivery. Well done!
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A beautiful exploration of Rilke and love and death and life. I think I like each line in a different way, but they're all lovely.
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A strong tribute to your friend, your loss, and your "going on..." Beautiful, personal interpretation of Rilke , musically and lyrically.
Thanks for your kind comments on my song, too!
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Oh, ist das schööönnn!!! Eines meiner liebsten Gedichte von Rilke! Wunderbar interpretiert! Ganz, ganz toll!
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Sounds beautiful!
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Whoever says German can't sound beautiful should listen to you!
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I liked this! I've not explored Rilke before, but I'm enjoying the sound & rhythm of the words, and their deeper meaning. Your translation is much more poetic than my literal attempt at understanding with my self-taught German. (My need to Google Translate revealed that Gesang also means "Life" in Javanese, and the duality of song=life added a nice extra layer to the song's meaning for me.)
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This is really beautiful. My German is super rusty but I enjoyed listening anyway, swaying along, and then the translation is very touching too. The melody, guitar, and lyrics all complement each other beautifully.
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Such a lovely song - powerful words the melody beautifully captures that point of grief where the sadness sits in your bones but you still have your eyes to the sky.
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@nadine
Wow Nancy your German is really good! And I like the nice guitar.

It's fun that I read the German lyrics and didn't really understand what it's about though I'm native. So basically it's about the rings of trees = aging? Not knowing why you're living?
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Well that's just lovely! Terribly sorry about your friend. Always good to hear music bloom from grief. And the Rilke works great, you really nailed the rhythmic quality of the poetry
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I love how you put Rilke to music. The melody fits the lyrics perfectly. You could make a complete album alone on "Nancy Cunningham sings Rilke".
§ Roel
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@lowhum
Yeah, you do a good Rilke waltz, there are rings from pebbles after it ends
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im not to good at analyzing songs with german lyrics, but i really like the way you sing this...and the english translation stands alone as a strong poem.
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@clioem
Wonderful take on the German folk song. I've heard a lot of Rilke settings, mostly in classical contexts, and you've really captured the essence of what Schubert does in classical, but from the folk indie angle.
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Great interpretation of the poem and better German pronunciation than I could do (in spite of my Germanic last name).
[FAWM]