What does "Kommienezuspadt" mean?
June 22, 2006 12:54 PM   Subscribe

It's the name of a song on Tom Waits' album Alice, in which he repeats the word over and over. I assume it's German, but I can't find any translations. If it's not an actual word, does it at least sound like something in German?
posted by monsterhero to Writing & Language (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Komme nie zu spät" means "never be late"
but I don't know if that's what he's actually singing.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 12:55 PM on June 22, 2006

Just listened to the Amazon extract and it does sound like that's what he's singing. This site seems to suggest the same.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:02 PM on June 22, 2006

Is it track 5, Kommienezuepadt? Nope, not German. Doesn't sound enough like 'komm nie zu spät", either. Sounds like Tom Waits mumbling with a Dutch accent, or possibly some sort of Bavarian mumbo-jumbo.
posted by xanthippe at 1:03 PM on June 22, 2006

Ach so, so it is. That's what i get for only looking at the misspelled title on the Amazon track list.

The lyrics mean "Don't ever be late... be on time (punctual)!"
posted by xanthippe at 1:05 PM on June 22, 2006

And what's the "zaiboglish" that he sings in the same song?
posted by evariste at 1:13 PM on June 22, 2006

the actual song title is Kommienezuspadt which must be a kind of bastardisation of 'komme nicht zu spät' (which means what ClarissaWAM says it means - the album 'Alice' was recorded (or at least the songs were premiered) in Germany. The other line is 'Sei pünktlich' which means 'Be on time!'.

I think it's a brilliant song. Shame the liner notes give no idea of where the lyrics came from.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:15 PM on June 22, 2006

I liked it better when I still thought he was maniacally singing "zaiboglish! zaiboglish!".
posted by evariste at 1:30 PM on June 22, 2006

awww... sorry, evariste, for raining on your parade.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:37 PM on June 22, 2006

Well, the question has been answered, but I just thought I'd chime in and say the song is a perfect example of Tom Wait's crazy genius.
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:05 PM on June 22, 2006

It's worth noting that the song makes more sense in the context of a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. The narrator of the song is (one can only assume) The March Hare, talking about how he can't be late. Contrast this song with the words and music of that other Alice musical, and that in a nutshell is the "crazy genius" of Tom Waits.
posted by Hildago at 4:52 PM on June 22, 2006 [1 favorite]

altolinguistic-don't worry about me, I'll live.

posted by evariste at 7:47 PM on June 22, 2006

Hildago-wow, that's a great little find.
posted by evariste at 7:48 PM on June 22, 2006

What's he building in there?
posted by bingo at 8:44 PM on June 22, 2006

No One Knows I'm Gone
posted by altolinguistic at 5:41 AM on June 23, 2006

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