Legend has it that around 1679 during the plague one evening when Marx Augustin (1643-1685) had gotten drunk, he fell asleep on his way home. The gravediggers picked him up thinking him dead dumped him with bagpipe and all into a grave with plague victims. When he awoke he couldn't get out of the grave so he started to play his pipe and people rescued him. Luckily he remained healthy. He composed this song in 1679.

Ach, du lieber Augustin - Austrian Children's Songs - Austria - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

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Yasmín told us the story of this song in her family, "My great-grandmother was Swedish and her name was Ines Johanson. She came by boat in 1911 with my great-grandfather Hipólito Acourt who was Uruguayan to meet in this land that, according to what she'd been told, was populated with Indians… She had four children and one of them was my paternal grandfather Augusto. Though I didn't know her, I feel her strong presence in my life.

While I was searching for the song that you so kindly helped me to find, I could remember how it sounded when my father would sing it to me when I was little, or when focused on something he would sing softly something like: 'ahhh tuliabugustin, agustin, agustin.

To be able to listen to the song with its actual lyrics and not with the strange sounds repeated from generation to generation was wonderful!"

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Ach, du lieber Augustin

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Yasmín Acourt Severi for pointing out this song and for sharing with us the story of it within her family.

Translated by Monique and Lisa.

Image from an Austrian postal stamp from 1998.

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