SILVER LININGS & THE WORD FART
End Of Summer Tour Blog – continued.
Silver Linings… Every cloud has them. Rainbows have them. Some even say silver jackets might have them. For me it’s all about perspective. Through the windshield of a car your perspective is constantly shifting. The world flashes by and lives pass, they intertwine on the autobahn as people “ausfahrt” and “einfarht”. That is to say “exit” and ‘enter” as you do on all motorways in Germany. For those of you what don’t speak any German, “Ausfahrt” and “einfarht” – is how you do it!
“Fahrt” is a word that I love. It comes from the German word “fahren” – the verb to go or to travel. A driver is a “Fahrer”. One who rides (a bike), a “Radfahrer”; and to drive in a car, train or hot gas balloon is to “die Fahrt”. Strangely enough “Fahrt” is pronounced in almost the very same way as the english word “Fart”. Only sheep dogs, bats and dolphins can actually hear that super silent letter “H” as spoken by native German speakers. So you can only imagine the thought evoking scenarios for English speakers as they traverse the highways of all the German speaking lands. I should mention that the German language was not invented by the Germans. It was in fact the other way round and there are other countries that speak German and are not actually Germans, or of the country called Germany. Confused yet!
German speakers come from a specific tribe of people called “Germans” (Spear Men). Now this might be a little bit more general than it needs to be but I haven’t the space to go into the whole dynamics of the Germanians (as I like to call them); Germany the country being the latest and last edition to be made up of large group of German speakers. So you see… Germany does not have the copyright on German. Austria and Switzerland also speak German as their main language and mother tongue; of which Switzerland has in fact got four… main languages (Now I’m confused). I should also mention that in the past and in what is now Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldavia, Italy and Poland, many of the peoples in these territories spoke German. Even France, Italy and Russia had big German speaking populations. They still do. Following the second world war that all changed. But that’s a whole other book and blog right there and I’m only on tour.
I love the German language. It’s complex but very flexible. You can have a lot of fun with German making new words up from old. It’s cool, German speakers do it all the time and as a result of the “Reinheitsgebot” (the German, Austrian an Czech brewing laws of 1516 – which also covers words… I think), you are allowed and encouraged to do so – make up new words that is! If the Transformers were a language, they or it would be German… or “Deutsch” – if you’re speaking German. Awh man!
Now the word “fahrtwind” springs to mind and is one of my favourites. It is comprised of the words “Fahrt” and “Wind”. A “fahrtwind” is the breeze you feel when you are riding a bike or in car with the window open, describing the process perfectly. There are hundreds if not thousands of these German word constructs and that’s one of the reasons why I love the language. I am learning … slowly. I love the people too – you know who you are. All that said I have a healthy sense of humour and like with most things, and not just languages, I like to see the funny side… or maybe a lighter side. Hence silver linings.
Last night we had a great out door gig at Grafschaft, a small town just south of Bonn with Eva and Andi. Amazing hosts and a cool location. “Mulf and the Rheinsters” arrived as we were setting up. The scene was set. With a bush for a back drop and a massive thunder cloud beaming a rim of silver, from a distance we could smell the delectable scent of Gummi-bears as the Haribo sweet plant churned out creative chewable colours (they’r not vegetarian you know). Above us an orange red canopy covered the band and wrapped us in a blanket of security as our tour lights did the rest. The crowd joined us from start to finish. It was funny. It was funky. It was a lovely gig and after an eight hour drive it was exactly what we needed. The showers too. Thanks Eva… Thanks Andi!
Claudia and I have been listening to the Blind Boy Podcasts to add to all the surreal and creative conversations along the way. The fella’s a Limerick legend. Stories of families and feelings. And it’s true – people might be worlds apart but we are all the same. Being on the road is great for the mind. Blind Boy is cracking the positive whip and we find ourselves enthralled, shocked and laughing through an hour of madness and “Hot takes”. Loving it. It makes our journey to the Bremen Folk Festival all the more enjoyable. Thanks Sabine…
The motorway was hot. Not even a mouse stirs as wanting prey hovers over head. We are grateful even if there is a “stau” (German word for traffic jam). We look on the bright side. We will make the gig. Today will soon be tomorrow and tomorrow is a new day. But for now… the windows are down, the wind is blowing and we are enjoying some “fahrtwind”. Sure where else could you be and what else would you be doin…
Fart: An emission of intestinal gas – according to the Collins English Dictionary.
Ausfahrt: This German dictionary tells me it means “to exit”. I like this language. Enough said!