Song of the Orphan, from Einstein’s Dreams (Day 86)

Albert Innaurato found a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke called “Song of the Orphan” that conjured up strong feelings for us about little Liesrl, the abandoned love child of Einstein and Mileva. I mingled the text of the original German poem with Albert’s English translation, and Meg Hubbarth (now Meg Steiner, living and working and raising a daughter in Austin).

Ich bin niemand,
und werde auch niemand sein.
Jetzt bin ich ja zum Sein nicht so Klein aber auch später.

I am nobody, nobody, and will always be.
I’m almost too little to live,
right now, and also later. and also later.

Mothers and fathers,
Mütter und Väter,
have mercy on me!

Yet it’s not worth your worry.
I’ll still be mowed down.
There’s no use for me,
it’s too early and tomorrow is too late!
Jetzt ist es zu früh und morgen is es zu spät!

This particular piece of music has been in and out of the trunk several times, and Einstein’s Dreams is not its last appearance. The music for the second section of this composition (beginning around “Mothers and fathers…”) was actually composed for a 1978 production of The Marquis de Sade’s Justine at Theater Express, the company that commissioned my musical Assassins. The music for the first section was added when I adapted this into a cue for the Delaware Theater Company’s production of The Glass Menagerie in 1980. And I recently dusted the second theme off and used it again in Macbeth as the “love theme” between Mac and Lady M. You’ll hear it around :55 in the second Battle Music cue I posted here.

This particular composition features a violin obbligato, and the violin figures prominently in all the music for Einstein’s Dreams, since Einstein was a violinist himself. There were actually two violinists in the ensemble for the 2007 workshop; on this track, you hear a fellow named Sasha (whose last name I’ve forgotten, I’m sorry to say), and on tomorrow’s track, you’ll hear them both!

If you missed them, these are the songs already posted on Project 194; the links on the right are songs chosen at random from previous posts. Want to contribute to my interactive composition, “Hear My Song?” Read more here. Want to receive daily songs delivered direct to your inbox? Sign up here!

One thought on “Song of the Orphan, from Einstein’s Dreams (Day 86)

  1. Pingback: Time is a Mirror, from Einstein’s Dreams (Day 87) | Notes from a SAVI Savant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *