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In the Black Whale of Ascalon

German University Song

Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon or In the Black Whale of Askalon is a jovial German University song about a man getting thrown out of a tavern. In the ancient Assyrian Empire a stranger stays and drinks for days at the Black Whale Inn of Ascalon, against the warnings of the inn-keeper. Finally. the waiter brings the bill to him written in the cuneiform alphabet on clay tablets. The man tries to excuse himself on the grounds that his money is in Nineveh, whereupon he is thrown out.

The setting, with its marble tables and cuneiform tablets is a reference to the history studies of German students.

Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon was composed by Josef Viktor von Scheffel in 1854. It is set to the traditional German tune of “Es war einmal ein Zimmergesell”.



Lyrics:


Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon,
Da trank ein Mann drei Tag',
Bis daß er steif wie ein Besenstiel,
Am Marmortische lag.
Bis daß er steif wie ein Besenstiel,
Am Marmortische lag.

Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon,
Da sprach der Wirt: "Halt an!
Der trinkt von meinem Dattelsaft,
Mehr als er zahlen kann."
Der trinkt von meinem Dattelsaft,
Mehr als er zahlen kann."

Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon,
Da bracht' der Kellner Schar
In Keilschrift auf sechs Ziegelstein',
Dem Gast die Rechnung dar.
In Keilschrift auf sechs Ziegelstein',
Dem Gast die Rechnung dar.

Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon,
Da sprach der Gast: "O weh!
Mein bares Geld ging alles drauf,
Im Lamm zu Niniveh!"
Mein bares Geld ging alles drauf,
Im Lamm zu Niniveh!"

Im schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon,
Da schlug die Uhr halb vier,
Da warf der Hausknecht aus Nubierland,
Den Fremden vor die Tür.
Da warf der Hausknecht aus Nubierland,
Den Fremden vor die Tür.


English translation:


In the Black Whale in Ascalon,
A man once drank for three days,
Until he lay stiff as a broomstick,
On the marble table.
Until he lay stiff as a broomstick,
On the marble table.

In the Black Whale in Ascalon,
Then, the host spoke: "Stop!
Nobody drinks of my good brandy more
Than he can pay."
Nobody drinks of my good brandy more
Than he can pay."

In the Black Whale in Ascalon,
Then, the waiter brought through the crowds,
In cuneiform upon six tablets,
The bill of the stranger.
In cuneiform upon six tablets,
The bill of the stranger.

In the Black Whale in Ascalon,
Then, the stranger spoke: "Alas!
My ready money all went
As a lamb to Nineveh!"
My ready money all went
As a lamb to Nineveh!"

In the Black Whale in Ascalon,
Then, the clock struck half past three,
Thereupon the Nubian servant threw,
The stranger out the front door.
Thereupon the Nubian servant threw,
The stranger out the front door.




Askalon sheet music
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