Who is a BUMMEL-PETRUS and why does he know PAUL TELEMANN?

I mentioned months ago that my friend Bert gave me a huge box of old sheet music. This piece is from that box.

I wish I could say I found a lot of interesting information about the composer and illustrator of the sheet music. Nope. This is not to say I didn't find enough to keep me happy, but you'll have to create your own narrative out of what I provide.

Click on any of the following four images to see them larger. They are as follows: front cover, inside cover, first page of music, back cover. NOTE that I do not know who did the inside and back cover art.

Bummel-Petrus is a song once popular in Germany in the 1920s written by M. Werner-Kersten. As you can see, by the battle-of- the-bands below, it's apparently still popular. Think beer and pretzels as you sing along.

So what is a Bummel-Petrus?
Bummel-Petrus is a very amusing song from the 1920's about St. Peter creeping from heaven with a 'heavenly' young lady for a night on the town. Before leaving he locks the gates of Heaven. After a 'great' night out he arrives back only to find that he has lost the keys and is thus caught and all the angels in heaven are in stitches at the old saint's impropriety.

The Bummel-Petrus song was written 1920 after the WorldWar I in a crazy and high spirited Berlin. (SOURCE: Andre Rerieu Translations)
Click on the source above to go to a page which shows the songs words in German along with an English translation.

I find no biographical information about the composer, M. Werner-Kersten. Zip, nada, zero. Even in a hardback book full of biographies he or she didn't make the cut. Nor did I find any biographical information about the illustrator, Paul Telemann, which isn't to say I didn't find a lot of examples of his work, mostly sheet music.

The following images, all by Telemann, can be found online at Images Musicales along with many many more.

Here and here you will find bookplates done by Telemann in 1904.

Below is another piece of sheet music he illustrated in 1908.

(SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Hopefully someday I'll find more information about this illustrator. Until then oomp-pa-pa, oomp-pa-pa...

Okay, now for the hip-hop version...


  1. Ummm. I think you had me in mind when you put these up. I could be wrong, but - these are WONDERFUL!

  2. Oh yes. When I found these last night I thought, "Dave is going to LOVE these!"