Ode to Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was pretty awesome. Awesome enough for me to own this shirt.

While I’ve always appreciated Bach for his robust theology and amazing musical ability – it was not until the weekend that I learned that Bach was a coffee snob. He wrote a cantata describing his love for the bean. The Coffee Cantata. Here’s a rough English translation of some of the lyrics:

Recitative Schlendrian
You wicked child, you disobedient girl, h! when will I get my way; give up coffee!

Lieschen
Father, don’t be so severe! f 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.

Aria 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!

The piece was a moral treatise on the place of coffee in daily life. The protagonists were a father and a recalcitrant coffee addicted daughter who would not forgo her daily java. The father demanded she do so lest she forfeit the right to marry and she relents… seemingly. Although in a sub clause of sorts she indicates she’ll only marry a fellow coffee snob – sage advice indeed.

The uplifting final movement brings the father, daughter and narrator together to sing a song expounding on the benefits of coffee and proclaiming it “natural”. Hurrah.

Here’s a performance from YouTube: