Radio 4 is serializing a biography of Walther Gropius, the architect and sometime lover and husband of Alma Mahler. Their love life was ‘steamy’ to say the least, and commenced while she was still married to Gustav Mahler.
Interested, as I’m a great fan of Gloomy Gustav, I did some Googling and came across a song that the humourist Tom Lehrer had written about Alma. He had seen her obituary in the New York Times which he described as “… the juiciest, spiciest, raciest obituary it has ever been my pleasure to read.”
Alma had three husbands and numerous lovers, and Lehrer celebrated these in his song, of which the second verse made me hoot:
The first one she married was Mahler
Whose buddies all knew him as Gustav.
And each time he saw her he’d holler,
“Ach, that’s the Fräulein I must have!”
Their marriage, however, was murder.
He’d scream to the heavens above,
“I’m writing Das Lied von der Erde,
Und she only vants to make love!”
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Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs