BRIGITTE MIRA, Die alte Clofrau, 1963

clofrau-frontdie-alte-clofraumit-dem-triebwagen-nach-italienMost people will probably only shrug their shoulders when they hear these songs, but to me this record seems almost unreal. It´s like this record was made for Berlin Beatet Bestes and on so many levels!

1. It is an advertisement record,

2. It was privately pressed for a Berlin car dealer

3. It´s got a cartoon sleeve

4. The two  risqué songs are sung by local Berlin star Brigitte Mira, an actress who frequently worked with Fassbinder

5. The music is in sort of a Dixieland Jazz style

6.  Of course it´s also never been reissued.

What more can I ask for?

In a way these two risqué songs, backed by Heinrich Riethmüller, predate Brigitte Mira´s bold later work. For some unknown reason the Berlin car dealer Bunde had the idea to advertize for his business with some naughty songs. Some sleeves even had “Der kesse Gruss vom Autohaus Bunde” ( Naughty greetings from Autohaus Bunde) stamped on the front. You can see this stamp on a copy that some greedy person is trying to sell on Ebay for the ridiculous amount of 35 Euros.  Of course nobody will ever buy it. Listen to the songs and you´ll see why. Last week I paid less than 50 cents in a thrift store and I think that´s  much more appropriate. Most likely it was the name that got the seller to put a higher price tag on this record.

Brigitte Mira (1910-2005) was most famous for the work she did with Rainer Werner Fassbinder. It was Fassbinder´s genius to cast people like Brigitte Mira for his art films. She had been  a popular German actress since the 1940s, but was mostly known for her comedies. Mira´s personal courage made her steer off the beaten path and towards serious, more challenging roles, like in Ali:Fear Eats The Soul (1974).

By the early 70s Fassbinder regularly worked for German television. “Wie ein Vogel auf dem Draht” was a TV-show directed by Fassbinder for Brigitte Mira. German television never got more campy than this:

Despite her adventurous career, in the eyes of  the majority of the German public,  Brigitte Mira remained „the archetypal funny old Berlinerin with a heart.” (The Guardian). But in the 70s Brigitte Mira basically had two careers, appearing in cutting-edge art films and also starring in funny popular films and on television (most prominently in the series Drei Damen vom Grill).

Finally: the music.

Die alte Clofrau translates to “The Old Toilet Lady”. In the song she tells the story of her life as a bathroom attendant. A blues song about how she flushes the toilet for the very last time…

BRIGITTE MIRA, Die alte Clofrau, 1963

Triebwagen is railcar, but Trieb also means sex drive. Mit dem Triebwagen nach Italien translates to “Travelling to Italy by railcar”.  The lyrics deal with the cliché that Italian men are sexually potent. So horny female German tourists travel to Italy in search of sexual adventures…

BRIGITTE MIRA, Mit dem Triebwagen nach Italien, 1963

The artwork of this record is not signed. I have a vague suspicion who could have done it but so far I can not put a name to it.

clofrau

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9 Comments on “BRIGITTE MIRA, Die alte Clofrau, 1963”

  1. breitschuh says:

    I’m not sure the cover is Nick Knatterton’s Manfred Schmidt’s work., but it’s cetainly in a similar style.

  2. mischalke04 says:

    Sorry, dass ich auf deutsch antworte, aber es ist einfacher. Den passenden Zeichner finden wir sowieso nur uns Comicspezialisten. Die Augen macht Manfred Schmidt tatsächlich ähnlich: kleine Nullen mit Punkten. Aber irgendwie ist zu viel “Zeichnung” auf dem Plattencover und zu viel Schraffur. Manfred Schmidt war doch eher der König der reduzierten, eleganten Andeutung. Also ich bin noch nicht überzeugt….

  3. Herr Klaus says:

    “Denn es geht die Sage dort
    treibt man sehr viel Hodensport.”

    Aua.

  4. mischalke04 says:

    Es wäre schön wenn sie zu dieser Zeit schon so freizügig gewesen wären. Sie singt aber “Bodensport”.

  5. John says:

    Great find, Andreas! I really enjoyed all the videos that went along with it as well. Mira was so good in Ali: Fear Eats the Soul — that clip makes me miss Fassbinder. Her voice, however, kind of reminds me of Mrs. Miller:

  6. mischalke04 says:

    Thanks! Her voice does sound like Mrs. Miller! They were also both almost the same age. Brigitte Mira was born in 1905 and Mrs. Miller in 1907. They must have had the same influences.

  7. Herr Ärmel says:

    Thank you very much for the presentation of this rare gem!
    btw: you are a really great blog. congratulations!

  8. Thomas ex Gotha says:

    “Mit dem Triebwagen nach Italien”: Wow, das ist wirklich starker Tobak über den Sextourism reifer Damen vor 50 Jahren. Und so anspielungsgesättigt obendrein, dass ein Dechiffriersyndikat seine Freude hätte: teils deutlich (“voller Sehnsucht unterm Mieder”), teils halb (der scheinbar missglückte Reim “steiler” / “forscher”), teils ganz versteckt (“Knüller” ist schwedischer Slang für Geschlechtsverkehr) geht es ums Eine, nur vor dem Kalauer, das “nach” im Titel durch “gen” zu ersetzen, schreckten die Autoren zurück.
    Danke fürs Bereitstellen..

  9. mischalke04 says:

    Freut mich, dass dir dieses absonderliche Stück Berliner Musikgeschichte dir gefällt und eine treffende Analyse wert war.
    Schöne Grüsse
    Andreas


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