The Erlkönig

Ok I had to post this today, since it is of course Halloween(!) and this is a very nice Spooky animation with some cool Spooky music. The Erlkönig is about a Very Spooky fairy king (Erlking / Elf King) attacking a kid, basically. The music is really great (and I’d also highly recommend checking out Hilary Hahn’s performance of the solo violin version (Ernst)–it’s honestly amazing). The animation in this video has a sort of paper cutout / puppet style to it, and I really enjoy how well it works with the music. The color palette is also very fitting, and the layered effect and movements have a cool result. The video was made by Jeremy Hamway-Bidgood, and there’s more info about it in the YouTube video description.

You can hear the horse’s hoofbeats constantly throughout the song, and on top of that there are the distinct voices of the narrator, the boy, the father, and the Erlking (and again here is Hilary Hahn doing literally all of them at once !!!). Anyway, in case you couldn’t tell, I just think this is really cool and hope you enjoy it!

There are a few different translations of the lyrics. One version is in the YouTube video description. Literal translation (from Wikipedia):

Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy well in his arm
He holds him safely, he keeps him warm.

My son, why do you hide your face in fear? –
Father, do you not see the Elf-king?
The Elf-king with crown and cape? –
My son, it is a streak of fog. –

“You dear child, come, go with me!
(Very) beautiful games I play with you;
Many colorful flowers are on the beach,
My mother has many a golden robe.” –

My father, my father, and do you not hear
What the Elf-king quietly promises me? –
Be calm, stay calm, my child;
Through dry leaves the wind is sighing. –

“Do you, fine boy, want to go with me?
My daughters shall wait on you finely;
My daughters lead the nightly dance,
And rock and dance and sing to bring you in.” –

My father, my father, and don’t you see there
The Elf-king’s daughters in the gloomy place? –
My son, my son, I see it clearly:
There shimmer the old willows so grey. –

“I love you, your beautiful form excites me;
And if you’re not willing, then I will use force.” –
My father, my father, he’s touching me now!
The Elf-king has done me harm! –

It horrifies the father; he swiftly rides on,
He holds the moaning child in his arms,
Reaches the farm with great difficulty;
In his arms, the child was dead.

Happy Halloween!!

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