Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: “Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja” from Die Zauberflote

Papageno serves as the comic relief in Die Zauberflote. I think of him as a kind of Puck-like character but with the veniality of say, Fred Flinstone.

He lies, he drinks, he chases women, but he sings an incredibly joyful and sweet aria in the first scene:

The birdcatcher am I,
And always merry, tra la la!
I wish I had a trap for girls–
I’d catch them by the dozen then!
I’d keep them in a cage at home,
And all the girls would be mine alone.

If all the girls were mine alone,
Some I’d trade for high-grade sugar;
Then to the one I like the best
I’d give all the sugar she wanted.
And if she then kissed me tenderly.
She’d be my wife and I her husband.
She would sleep beside me
And I would rock her like a child.

I find this mix of fantasy, coarseness and tenderness to be quite refreshing. Who else would I choose to identify with? Despite all my self-wallowing, self-pity, I have remained most of my life a puckish, but very optimistic, imp.

Buy CD or download MP3s of Die Zauberflote


About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

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