Beethoven was not amused.

I was thinking about Mahler’s Rückert Lieder the other day. This put me in mind of both Schubert’s Rucksack Lieder (written while he backpacked through Europe in his early twenties, contracting hitherto uncataloged strains of syphilis) and also PDQ Bach’s Rückwärts Lieder, which, musicologically speaking. . . well, the charitable explanation is that he was high. (The second song in the cycle, “Ich atmet’ einen mellow Duft,” tells you all you really need to know, while the modulations in “ich bin der Welt totally abhanden gekommen” suggest a fit of slightly hysterical giggling. The penultimate song in the cycle is about Fritos. In addition, it is said that if you play the last song backwards, you can hear PDQ himself claiming, in German, that 1. he is the walrus and 2. Beethoven is dead.)

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