Bach's Coffee Cantada

To honor the Fifth Evangelist - and in honor of a groggy morning, here is J.S. Bach's Coffee Cantata (Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, BWV 211).

Written for and performed by Bach's Collegium Musicum, at Zimmerman's Coffee House in Leipzig. The libretto (text) was penned by Bach's frequent collaborator, Christian Friedrich Henrici.



Narrator (Recitative)
Be quiet, stop chattering, and pay attention to what's taking place: here comes Herr Schlendrian with his daughter Lieschen; he's growling like a honey bear. Hear for yourselves, what she has done to him!
Schlendrian (Aria)
Don't one's children cause one endless trials & tribulations! What I say each day to my daughter Lieschen falls on stony ground.
Schlendrian (Aria)
You wicked child, you disobedient girl, oh!
When will I get my way? Give up coffee!
Lieschen (Aria)
Father, don't be so severe!
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat.
Lieschen
Mm! how sweet the coffee tastes,
more delicious than a thousand kisses, mellower than muscatel wine.
Coffee, coffee I must have, and if someone wishes to give me a treat, ah, then pour me out some coffee!
Schlendrian (Recitative)
If you don't give up drinking coffee then you shan't go to any wedding feast, nor go out walking.
Oh! when will I get my way? Give up coffee!
Lieschen
Oh well! Just leave me my coffee!
Schlendrian
Now I've got the little minx! I won't get you a whalebone skirt in the latest fashion.
Lieschen
I can easily live with that.
Schlendrian
You're not to stand at the window and watch people pass by!
Lieschen
That as well, only I beg of you, leave me my coffee!
Schlendrian
Furthermore, you shan't be getting any silver or gold ribbon for your bonnet from me!
Lieschen
Yes, yes! only leave me to my pleasure!
Schlendrian
You disobedient Lieschen you, so you go along with it all!
Schlendrian (Aria)
Hard-hearted girls are not so easily won over.
Yet if one finds their weak spot, ah! then one comes away successful.
Schlendrian (Recitative)
Now take heed what your father says!
Lieschen
In everything but the coffee.
Schlendrian
Well then, you'll have to resign yourself to never taking a husband.
Lieschen
Oh yes! Father, a husband!
Schlendrian
I swear it won't happen.
Lieschen
Until I can forgo coffee?
From now on, coffee, remain forever untouched! Father, listen, I won't drink any.
Schlendrian
Then you shall have a husband at last!
Lieschen (Aria)
Today even dear father, see to it! Oh, a husband!
Really, that suits me splendidly!
If it could only happen soon that at last, before I go to bed, instead of coffee I were to get a proper lover!
Narrator (Aria)
Old Schlendrian goes off to see if he can find a husband forthwith for his daughter Lieschen;
but Lieschen secretly lets it be known:
no suitor is to come to my house unless he promises me, and it is also written into the marriage contract,
that I will be permitted to make myself coffee whenever I want.
Trio
A cat won't stop from catching mice, and maidens remain faithful to their coffee.
The mother holds her coffee dear.
The grandmother drank it also.
Who can thus rebuke the daughters?


(Translation found on Wikisource, and assumed to be public domain)

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