News from “Rolling Stone”

 I obsessively read the September 29, 2011 Rolling Stone, which I found at the free table of the Formerly Yours Thrift Shop, here in Phoenicia, New York. The most startling facts were: Mick Jagger has joined SuperHeavy, the first band he’s ever been in besides the Rolling Stones. It consists of a son of Bob Marley (Damian), the less interesting member of the Eurythmics (Dave Stewart), a "soul diva" named Joss Stone, and Bollywood composer A. R. Rahman. The magazine gives SuperHeavy’s first, eponymous album 4 stars. What’s it sound like? Get this:


On "Satyameva Jayathe," Jagger and Rahman trade Hindi verses over Celtic-Indian fiddle.


Meanwhile, what are the Insane Clown Posse working on? A rap-metal cover of "Leck mich im Arsch," a Mozart canon which means "Lick Me in the Ass." It’s produced by Jack White. (Rolling Stone awards it one star, due to their distaste for Mozart.) Did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart really write a song about ass-licking? Absolutely, says Wikipedia:


"Leck mich im Arsch" (literally "Lick me in the arse") is a canon in B-flat major composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, K. 231 (K. 382c), with lyrics in German. It was one of a set of at least six canons probably written in Vienna in 1782. Sung by six voices as a three-part round, it is thought to be a party piece for his friends.


A literal translation of the song’s title and lyrics into English would be "Lick me in the arse". A more idiomatic translation would be "Kiss my arse!"


Mozart died in 1791 and his widow, Constanze Mozart, sent the manuscripts of the canons to publishers Breitkopf & Härtel in 1799, saying that they would need to be adapted for publication. The publisher changed the title and lyrics to the more acceptable "Laßt froh uns sein" ("Let us be glad!"). Of Mozart’s original text, only the first words were documented in Breitkopf publishers’ catalogue of his works.


A new text version, which may have been the authentic one, came to light in 1991. Handwritten texts to this and several other similar canons were found in an historical printed edition acquired by Harvard University’s Music Library. The text rediscovered in 1991 consists only of the repeated phrases:


"Leck mich im Arsch"


Leck mich im A… g’schwindi, g’schwindi!

Leck im A… mich g’schwindi.

Leck mich, leck mich,


etc. etc. etc.


(where ‘A…’ obviously stands for ‘Arsch’; ‘g’schwindi’ means ‘quickly’).


And what is a canon? A musical form in which an initial melody is later imitated, often in a different key. The direction of the melody may also be reversed — which is also true of someone licking your ass.