Various – Warum ist die Banane krumm ?

Warum ist die Banane krumm ? LP front cover
Warum ist die Banane krumm ? LP back coverErnst Jandl's Gedichte für Kinder
Warum ist die Banane krumm ? seite B

Klaus Wagenbach founded Verlag Klaus Wagenbach in 1964 in West Berlin, the publisher of prominent German-speaking contemporary writers like Gunter Grass, Ingeborg Bachmann, Erich Fried or Ernst Jandl. In 1968, Wagenbach implemented his own version of Collectivism among staff members, with equal wages, collective decision-making (including voting for books under consideration for publication) and a decidedly Marxist ethos. Wagenbach went as far as publishing several Rote Arme Fraktion‘s manifestos in 1971, for which he was sentenced to a fine and prison on probation (info from German Wiki). Wagenbach launched the Quartplatten LP series in 1967 to release the sound poetry of Ernst Jandl (‘Laut und Luise’), Wolf  Biermann‘s anarchist songs (‘Drei Kugeln auf Rudi Dutschke’) and documents the GRIPS‘ children’s theater-cum-political activism stage productions.

♫ The 1971 sound poetry compilation Warum ist die Banane krumm ?, or Why is a banana bent?, alternates children reading short poems (written or collected by Peter Rühmkorf) with writers performing their own texts. The latter include poetry, short prose pieces, non-sensical tales and free rock. The playfulness of Jandl’s Gedichte für Kinder, or Poems for children, is plainly approachable even to non-German speakers, as are Peter Rühmkorf’s nursery rhymes. Floh de Cologne contribute a fine collection of imaginative, miniature protest songs, complete with Marxist sloganeering typical from the band (see video below). Generally speaking, contributors come from various parts of the Federal Republic and East Berlin, plus Swiss Peter Bichsel and Austrian Ernst Jandl. Some, but not all, belong to the Wagenbach Verlag roster of writers, like Wolf Biermann, Ernst Jandl, Peter Rühmkorf or Günter Bruno Fuchs.

01 Kindermund (:10)
02 Günter Bruno Fuchs Aus dem Notizbuch des Abendkönigs (7:36)
03 Kindermund (:08)
04 Wolf Biermann Erster Mai (:58)
05 Kindermund (:13)
06 Günter Herburger Birne macht Reklame (5:09)
07 Kindermund (:19)
08 Ernst Jandl Gedichte für Kinder (4:38)
09 Kindermund (:21)
10 Reinhard Lettau Auftritte verschiedener Herren (3:18)
11 Kindermund (:11)
12 Peter Rühmkorf Altes und Neues (1:14)
13 Kindermund (:05)
14 Floh De Cologne Scheißschlamassellied (4:31)
15 Kindermund (:10)
16 Peter Bichsel Ein Tisch ist ein Tisch (7:46)
17 Kindermund (:09)
18 Christa Reinig Die Fliege/Der Fischotter (2:04)
19 Kindermund (:23)
20 Wolf Biermann Das Märchen vom Märchenerzähler (4:55)
21 Kindermund (:14)
22 Peter Rühmkorf Abzählverse (4:14)

Total time 48:40
LP released by Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, ref. Quartplatte 7, Berlin, 1971


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12 Responses to “Various – Warum ist die Banane krumm ?”

  1. 1 dispo May 25, 2011 at 7:16 am

    haha, I have this record. keep the leftist kids records coming, continuo!

  2. 2 Scott May 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm


  3. 3 continuo May 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    @dispo: thanks for supporting this kind of projects. I do have more obscure German releases planned on the blog in the following months. See you around.
    @Scott: you’re welcome.

  4. 4 Johnny Quarantäne August 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    thank you!!! had this record as a kid, man, it freaked me out, but i had to keep playing it :-)

  5. 5 continuo August 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Maybe the record was merely trying to lure into DKP sympathies…

  6. 6 -Otto- February 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Hi continuo,

    Stumbled across this post a few days ago. What a surprise to see this LP posted. I remember this Wagenbach Quartplatte quite well – mostly from my little brother’s childhood. Unfortunately the multiup is up no more, and so the links are all unaccessible. I hope it’s not too late to have it fixed…

  7. 7 continuo February 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    No re-upload planned at this point, sorry.

  8. 8 steph March 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I´m looking for this record a long time….had it in my childhood! But its not available anywhere. Any idea how to get an mp3 version?

    Thanx, Steph

  9. 9 continuo March 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Leave a comment on the 2012 Re-ups page to request a re-upload. Maybe one reader will take care of it.

  10. 10 bubchev March 11, 2013 at 10:59 am

    fantastic. smart part of my childhood. re-up, pls!

  11. 11 lena November 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Wonderful! The entire record has been uploaded on youtube, though the quality is quite bad:

  12. 12 Betsie February 28, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I had this as a child (and no, didn’t join the DKP yet…), I LOVED it (though was weird indeed…) and just now my bro brought a CD of the record. He’s found it at Woolworth for 1,- €. Wow. Biermann’s contributions are not on the CD, coz he didn’t give his permission, They were fun and good, but seeng what has become of him now I don’t mind.

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