Apfelboeck oder die Lilie auf dem Felde

Text by Bertolt Brecht, 1981

text: Bertolt Brecht
for synthesizer, harmonium, voice, chorus, cl 3'34

Mild was the light as Jakob Apfelboeck
Struck both his father and his mother down
And shut their bodies in the linen press
And hung about the house all on his own.

The clouds went floating past beneath the sky
Around his house the summer winds blew mild
Inside the house he passed the time away
Who just a week before was still a child.

The days went by, the nights went by as well
And nothing changed except a thing or two.
Beside his parents Jakob Apfelboeck
Waited to see what time would find to do.

The woman still delivers milk each day
Sweet thick cool skim milk, left behind the door.
What Jakob doesn't drink he pours away
For Jakob's hardly drinking any more.

The paper man still brings the paper round
He steps up to the house with heavy tread
And stuffs the paper in the letter box
But Jakob Apfelboeck leaves it unread.

And when the smell of corpses filled the house
Jakob felt queasy and began to cry.
Tearfully, Jakob Apfelboeck moved out
And slept henceforward on the balcony.

Up spoke the paper man then on his round:
What is that smell? Something gone off, I'd say.
The light was mild as Jakob Apfelboeck
Said: Just some dirty clothes I shut away.

Up spoke the milk woman then on her round:
What is that smell? I'd say that something's died.
The light was mild as Jakob Apfelboeck
Said: Just some meat that mother put aside.

And when they came to open the press door
Jakob stood by, the light was mild and clear
And when they asked him what he did it for
Said Jakob Apfelboeck: I've no idea.

A few days later the milk woman said
She wondered what would happen by and by:
Would Jakob Apfelboeck, the child, perhaps
Visit the grave where his poor parents lie?