- Archive F-W-G -

 

Kusellied

 

 

The words of the Kusellied were written high on the Münster tower in his first month in Freiburg.

From these dizzy heights he looked longingly in the direction of his hometown. He put onto paper the following verses:

 

   
  Mein Kusel in der Pfalz (My Kusel in the Palatine Country)

We were sitting in a friendly circle in the beautiful Black Forest.
The evening breeze caressed us and nobody said a word.

One came from the Northsea shore, another from Vienna.
The third came from Schwabia, another from Berlin..

Homesickness was our guest, insinuating itself into our mood.
The wind took hold of the homesickness and carried homewards my song:

There is a little town in the Pfälzerland, in a valley so beautiful
There it is, my cradle, where I go in my dreams.

The old castle looks proudly over the valley, speaking of old times, It witnessed so much of my childhood happiness.

The Mühlberg hill saw our joyful play, the brook was our sea,
The forest was our favourite place, I loved it so much.

If I go out into the world one day, then I'll pray to God:
Preserve my village, my birthplace, my Kusel in the Pfalz.

Kusellied (Pfälzer Heimatlied)
First version.

 
     
 
     

Premiere of the Kusellied in Kusel?

 

That the first performance of the Kusellied took place in Kusel, is well documented in press reports. It cannot be established 100 per cent, but the reports speak for themselves.

On 2nd October 1953, the Kuseler Press announced the following:

"After many requests Fritz Wunderlich will sing his own composition 'Mein Kusel' as an encore during 'Das Lied der Völker' concert".

On 5th October we read:

"Fritz Wunderlich with his final song 'Mein Kusel' filled the evening with jubilation and touched all hearts. Much more could be said about this. Town clerk Louis expressed with flowers and goodwishes the thanks of the audience for an outstanding evening. We close with the profound conviction that a true son of the city, with this performance has given us a gift we shall never forget."

The fact that the Kusellied was much requested must mean that the people of Kusel already knew of and had heard the song.

Years later in 1965, Fritz Wunderlich recorded this song for "Deutsche Grammophon". Text and melody were slightly modified by Franz Josef Breuer. In a letter of Franz Josef Breuer of 8th January to Haiko Bockstiegel he states:
"For his Lied he sacrificed the first two stanzas and recommended a two part song, beginning with the verse 'A village lies in the Pfalz'. As a result of this he had composed an engaging and folk tune like melody with exact instructions for the performance which now only remained to be arranged for the orchestra and choir. He gave me a free hand to do as I wished with it. I worked on the song, made small additions and changes. The whole thing was going to be a surprise for Wunderlich: I had asked Herrn Wunderlich to arrive a little later because I had to rehearse the choir and the orchestra. During the last run through Fritz Wunderlich came into the studio, I went up to him to greet him while the choir was singing and the orchestra was playing. He was so overcome to hear it so beautifully presented that his eyes filled with tears".

 

   
 

Mein Kusel in der Pfalz (My Kusel in the Palatine Country)

There is a little town in the Pfälzerland, in a valley so beautiful
There it is, my cradle, where I go in my dreams.

The old castle looks proudly over the valley, speaking of olden times, It witnessed so much of our childhood happiness.

The forest was our favourite place, the brook was our sea,
The Mühlberg hill saw our joyful playing. Our childhood never comes back.

If I will go out into the world one day, then I will pray: "God preserve my village, my birthplace, my Kusel in the Pfalz.

We were sitting in a friendly circle in the beautiful Black Forest.
The evening breeze caressed us and nobody said a word.

One came from Schwabia, another from Vienna.
The third came from the North sea shore, the fourth came from Berlin.

Homesickness was our guest, insinuating itself into our mood.
The wind took hold of the homesickness and carried homewards my song:

There is a little town in the Pfälzerland, in a valley so beautiful
There it is, my cradle, where I go in my dreams.

The old castle looks proudly over the valley, speaking of old times, It witnessed so much of our childhood happiness.

The forest was our favourite place, the brook was our sea,
The Mühlberg hill saw our joyful playing. Our childhood never comes back.

If I will go out into the world one day, then I will pray: "God preserve my village, my birthplace, my Kusel in the Pfalz.

Kusellied (Pfälzer Homesong)
Second and final version (recorded).