Bertolt Brecht

Greatly Appreciated

Bertolt Brecht  (10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956) was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director of the 20th century.  He made contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter through the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene Weigel.  (More from Wikipedia)

On the following album, The Times They Are A-Changin’the targets are even more diffuse.  The structure of When the Ship Comes In was inspired – by way of the cultural tastes of Dylan’s former girlfriend Suze Rotolo – by a Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill song “Pirate Jenny”; the song comes from their play, The Threepenny Opera.  The song is closely associated with Weill’s wife, the Austrian singer Lotte Lenya, and her breakout role was in a 1928 production of The Threepenny Opera.  The most famous song from that play is “Mack the Knife”, which was an unexpectedly huge hit for Bobby Darin in 1959.  The lyrics in his version of the song even reference “Miss Lotte Lenya”.  Lenya is best known to Americans for her role as the villainous Rosa Klebb in the 1963 James Bond movie, From Russia with Love


(May 2013)


Last edited: March 22, 2021