Kids Commute Young Voices Week! Wednesday

Oct 11, 2017

Kids Commute Episode 27 - The Vienna Boys' Choir sings the "Chit-Chat" Polka by Johann Strauss II

Welcome to Day Three of Young Voices Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!  

This week on Kids’ Commute, we are celebrating young voices from around the world.

The music throughout the week will feature children’s choirs singing songs from different cultures and in different languages.

Today, we'll travel to Austria to hear the Vienna Boys' Choir perform the, "Chit-Chat" Polka by Johann Strauss II.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Ep. 27
The Tritsch-Tratsch (Chit-Chat) Polka
Vienna Boys' Choir


Here's today's Kids Commute:

Today, we take a trip to Austria to visit the world famous Vienna Boys Choir, and their version of a polka by Johann Strauss, written in 1858. The name of this song is called the Chit-Chat Polka, or as it’s called in German, the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka.

The song begins with what we think of as idle chit-chat, like when you pass a friend in the street -  “Hey!” “What’s up?” “How’s it goin’?” “OK, busy gotta go!” - and so on.  The rest of the song is about how people are always in such a hurry they never slow down to stop and talk, so the only conversations they ever have end up being...just idle chit-chat, or, in German, Tritsch-Tratsch.

Then again, there’s a theory the polka was named after Strauss’s wife’s poodle. That sounds like a pretty good name for a poodle, huh?!

What do you think the song was named after?

Music piece for today:
“Chit-Chat Polka” by Vienna Choir Boys, with the Vienna Philharmonic

Listen to the Kids’ Commute live on Classical IPR every weekday morning at 7:40ish or listen to the archived episode at the top of the post.

German Lyrics:

Wie geht’s? Wie steht’s?
Schon lange nicht geseh’n! 
Nicht schlecht! Nicht recht!
Es muss halt weiter geh’n.
Woher? Wohin?
Ich hab’ jetzt keine Zeit.
Daher! Dahin!
Es hat mich sehr gefreut.

So rast die Zeit mit Geschwindigkeit
Hier und dort, immerfort,
und keiner hat für den andern Zeit
weil die Hast keine Zeit lasst.
Wetter ziehen, Wolken fliehen,
Blitze brennen, Menschen rennen,
ja, da schlägt das Ungewitter mitten in die Hast hinein.
Und die Uhr bleibt nicht stehen
Und die Zeit muss vergehen,
weil die andern weiterwandern.

Emsig wie die Bienen, summ summ,
flirren, summ summ,
schwirren, summ, summ,
hin und her im Grünen, summ summ,
muss man muss man fleissig Zeit gewinnen, summ summ summ.

Doch einmal wird es ohne Eile gehen
Dann bleibt die Uhr für jeden einmal stehen
Wird auch die Erde lange sich noch drehen.
Es hat mich sehr gefreut! Gute Nacht!
Die Augen zu, nun gute Ruh’, gute Nacht!


English Lyrics:
Translated by Tina Breckwoldt

How’s things? How’s tricks?
Haven’t seen you in a while!
Not bad! Not good!
Life must go on; there is nothing else for it.
Where are you going? From where are you coming?
I’ve got no time.
To! And fro!
Very pleased to meet you, I am sure.

So time flies with speed,
Here and there, all the time,
And no one has time for anyone else
As haste leaves no time.
Storms brew, clouds chase, 
Lightning strikes, people flee,
And the storm strikes at the heart of all the haste.
And the clock doesn’t stop
And time must go on,
Because the others wander on.

Busy as the bees, buzz, buzz,
Fly, buzz, buzz,
buzz, buzz, buzz.
To and fro in nature, buzz, buzz,
You have to gather time, buzz, buzz, buzz.
But eventually all haste must cease
The clock stops for everyone
Even if Earth continues to spin.
Very pleased to have been here, I am sure! Good night!
Eyes closed, and good rest, good night!