The Annen Polka, composed (in 1852) relatively in Johann Strauss II’s career, embraces none of the innovations prevalent in Strauss’ later polkas. Annen Polka is in moderate polka tempo; four melodies have distinct eight-measure-halves and are repeated in their entirety. In May of the same year, Strauss was asked to guest conduct his Annen-Polka, Op. 117, at court.

Annen Polka in 2009 (Barenboim)
Neujahrskonzert 2009 (New Year Concert) with Wiener Philharmonikern
Directed by Daniel Barenboim

Annen Polka in 1987 (Karajan)
Neujahrskonzert 1987 (New Year Concert) with Wiener Philharmonikern
Directed by Herbert von Karajan

In 1852 Johann Strauss II, at the age of 27, had achieved such success as composer and director of dance music. He is also famous as a operetta composer. Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice) is an operetta in three acts, premiered in Berlin on 3 October 1883, the only one of the operettas of Johann Strauss II ever to be premiered outside Vienna. Its libretto was by F.Zell (Camillo Walzel) and Richard Genée based on Le Château Trompette by Jules Cormon.

Although the press at that time praised Strauss's music, the words that accompanied it were banal and silly, causing quite a lot of embarrassment from the audience. One example is the Schwipslied (Tipsy song) based on Annen-Polka, Op. 117.

Nevertheless, I can still enjoy the music in singing. Lyrics are silly indeed, but also fun and cute.

Soprano Barbara Bonney sings 'Schwips-Lied' from Johann Strauss' 'Ein Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice)'. Donald Schneider - piano



Mir ist auf einmal so eigen zumute,
irgend was prickelt und kitzelt im Blute,
irgend etwas trägt mich weit weg in Himmelsseligkeit;
und ich muß lachen, vor Glück mußich lachen,
auch weil ich Lust hab, was Dummes zu machen,
fast könnt das ein Schwipserl sein,
doch es ist kein Schwips, o nein.

Vorhin trank ich nur aus einem Glas,
jetzt trink’ich aus zwei’n, wie kommt den das?
Und dann denk’ich nach, wenn ich nur wüßt,
hab’ich heute schon geküßt?

Nein, nein, nein, nein, ha, ha, ha, ha...

Mir ist auf einmal so eigen zumute, usw.

Hopsasa, tralala, o, ich weiß, was ich weiß!
Alles steht schief herum, alles dreht sich im Kreis;
alles was fest war, ich merke es schon,
das ist nicht mehr verläßlich, es tanzt mir davon;
und wenn ich gehe, dann schweb ich leicht,
bis ich endlich das Ziel, das ich will, hab erreicht.

Ja, ja, ja, ja, ha, ha, ha, ha...

Mir ist auf einmal so eigen zumute, usw.

Translation (by Barbara Bonney)

Tipsy song

I suddenly feel so strange,
Something is prickling and tickles my blood,
Something carries me far away in heaven’s delight,
And I must laugh, laugh for joy,
Also, because I feel like doing something stupid,
Maybe I am a little tipsy,
No, no, it can’t be so.

Before I drank from one glass,
Now I am drinking from two, how did that happen?
And then I wonder, if I only knew,
Did I kiss someone already today?

No, no, no, no, ha, ha, ha, ha…

I suddenly feel so strange, etc.

Hopsasa, tralala, oh, I know what I know!
Everything looks crooked, everything is turning in circles,
Everything that was standing still, I can tell,
I can’t trust it any more, it is dancing away;
And when I walk I feel like I am floating,
Until I finally get to the place I am trying to reach.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, ha, ha, ha, ha…

I suddenly feel so strange, etc.

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