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he who pays the piper calls the tune

Edit Cast Cast overview: Cregennan, Gwynedd, Wales, UK. Association of Cinema Technicians A. Add the first question. The piper accepted and played his pipe to lure the rats into the Weser River , where all but one, which was deaf, drowned. Despite the piper's success, the mayor reneged on his promise and refused to pay him the full sum reputedly reduced to a sum of 50 guilders even going so far as to blame the piper for bringing the rats himself in an extortion attempt.

Enraged, the piper stormed out of the town, vowing to return later to take revenge. On Saint John and Paul 's day, while the adults were in church, the piper returned dressed in green like a hunter playing his pipe. In so doing, he attracted the town's children. A hundred and thirty children followed him out of town and into a cave and were never seen again. Depending on the version, at most three children remained behind: These three informed the villagers of what had happened when they came out from church.

Other versions relate that the Pied Piper led the children to the top of Koppelberg Hill, where he took them to a beautiful land, [5] or a place called Koppenberg Mountain, [6] or Transylvania, or that he made them walk into the Weser as he did with the rats, and they all drowned.

Some versions state that the Piper returned the children after payment, or that he returned the children after the villagers paid several times the original amount of gold. The earliest mention of the story seems to have been on a stained-glass window placed in the Church of Hamelin c. The window was described in several accounts between the 14th and 17th centuries.

The Piper's Tune

Based on the surviving descriptions, a modern reconstruction of the window has been created by historian Hans Dobbertin. It features the colorful figure of the Pied Piper and several figures of children dressed in white. This window is generally considered to have been created in memory of a tragic historical event for the town. Also, Hamelin town records start with this event.


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  • The earliest written record is from the town chronicles in an entry from which states: Although research has been conducted for centuries, no explanation for the historical event is universally accepted as true. In any case, the rats were first added to the story in a version from c. A number of theories suggest that children died of some natural causes such as disease or starvation [11] and that the Piper was a symbolic figure of Death.

    Analogous themes which are associated with this theory include the Dance of Death , Totentanz or Danse Macabre , a common medieval trope. Some of the scenarios that have been suggested as fitting this theory include that the children drowned in the river Weser, were killed in a landslide or contracted some disease during an epidemic. Added speculation on the migration is based on the idea that by the 13th century the area had too many people resulting in the oldest son owning all the land and power majorat , leaving the rest as serfs.

    In her essay "Pied Piper Revisited", Sheila Harty states that surnames from the region settled are similar to those from Hamelin and that selling off illegitimate children, orphans or other children the town could not support is the more likely explanation. She states further that this may account for the lack of records of the event in the town chronicles.

    A Handbook , Wolfgang Mieder states that historical documents exist showing that people from the area including Hamelin did help settle parts of Transylvania.

    He who pays the piper calls the tune.

    In the version of the legend posted on the official website for the town of Hamelin, another aspect of the emigration theory is presented:. Among the various interpretations, reference to the colonization of East Europe starting from Low Germany is the most plausible one: The "Children of Hameln" would have been in those days citizens willing to emigrate being recruited by landowners to settle in Moravia, East Prussia, Pomerania or in the Teutonic Land. It is assumed that in past times all people of a town were referred to as "children of the town" or "town children" as is frequently done today.

    The "Legend of the children's Exodus" was later connected to the "Legend of expelling the rats". This most certainly refers to the rat plagues being a great threat in the medieval milling town and the more or less successful professional rat catchers.

    Pipers - Idioms by The Free Dictionary

    Thousands of young adults from Lower Saxony and Westphalia headed east. And as evidence, about a dozen Westphalian place names show up in this area. Indeed there are five villages called Hindenburg running in a straight line from Westphalia to Pomerania, as well as three eastern Spiegelbergs and a trail of etymology from Beverungen south of Hamelin to Beveringen northwest of Berlin to Beweringen in modern Poland.

    Udolph favors the hypothesis that the Hamelin youths wound up in what is now Poland.

    he who pays the piper calls the tune

    Udolph entered all the known family names in the village at that time and then started searching for matches elsewhere. He found that the same surnames occur with amazing frequency in the regions of Prignitz and Uckermark, both north of Berlin. He also found the same surnames in the former Pomeranian region, which is now a part of Poland. Udolph surmises that the children were actually unemployed youths who had been sucked into the German drive to colonize its new settlements in Eastern Europe. The Pied Piper may never have existed as such, but, says the professor, "There were characters known as lokators who roamed northern Germany trying to recruit settlers for the East.

    That opened the way for German colonization, and by the latter part of the thirteenth century there were systematic attempts to bring able-bodied youths to Brandenburg and Pomerania. The settlement, according to the professor's name search, ended up near Starogard in what is now northwestern Poland. A village near Hamelin, for example, is called Beverungen and has an almost exact counterpart called Beveringen, near Pritzwalk, north of Berlin and another called Beweringen, near Starogard.


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