Although the title is in German, the rest of this very contemporary song is in English. "Denn die Todten reiten schnell" is actually a very famous quote that will be familiar to students of Gothic literature. It is used by a superstitious (or maybe not so superstitious) peasant in the Bram Stoker novel Dracula
, when one of its leading characters, Jonathan Harker, is greeted by the coachman of the mysterious Count - who appears to have been the Count himself.
In fact the phrase - for the dead travel fast - predates the mythical Dracula (though not the real one
); it appears to have been used first in the narrative poem Lenore
, which was published in German by Gottfried August Bürger (1747-94). Lenore
is also the title of a famous poem by the American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49).
It remains to be seen if Bürger, Poe or Stoker would appreciate this musical interpretation; probably all three are turning in their graves.
Alexander Baron - London, England