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The Hurdy-gurdy Man (1827) D911

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Winter Journey (D911)

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The Hurdy-gurdy Man

By the open road a hurdy-gurdy man
With his frozen fingers plays as best he can
Dogs are barking round him
People come and go
Still he plays his music
Shivering in the snow
Still he plays his music
Shivering in the snow
Though he’s old and broken
Though his feet are bare
No one seems to notice
No one seems to care
Everyone ignores
The saucer at his feet
Just another madman
Standing in the street
Just another madman
Standing in the street
I must journey onwards
Will you come along?
Play your broken music
To my broken song.


Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He was uncommonly gifted from a young age, but appreciation of his music was limited during his lifetime. His work became more popular in the decades after his death, and was praised by 19th century composers, including Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Liszt.

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