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Deutscher Text

n the stroke of 4 a.m., the street lighting of the whole town is put out and the "Cliquen" (=carnival group) play their first march, called "Morgenstreich". From this moment , Basel is surrounded by an atmosphere of "magic" for the next three days, which can hardly be described, but has to be experienced.

The "Cliquen" start at the bar where they usually go to and from there, they walk towards the city centre. The drummers and the piccolo players are wearing many different costumes; there is no specific subject for the costumes at the "Morgenstreich"; everybody dresses up the way he/she likes to. On the masks , they usually have small lanterns, which show to what "Cliquen" they belong to. After a certain time, the members of a "Clique" divide themselves into smaller groups according to their age, called Binngis, Junge Garde, Stammverein, and Alte Garde and go different ways playing their own marches.

From time to time, they have a rest, because playing the drum as well as the piccolo takes quite a lot of effort ( the drummers have to bear the weight of their drum and playing the piccolo takes a lot of effort). When they have a break, they usually go to a bar to feel warm again. "Mehlsuppe" (made out of flour and onions) and onion and cheese pies belong to the "Morgenstreich" like Santa Claus to Christmas. They are delicious and especially recommended when it is cold outside.

At the "Morgenstreich" only drums and piccolos are played. Brass instruments and decorated wagons do not take part there. Tuesday evening is reserved for the "Guggen"-concert (=funny variations of popular songs played with brass instruments).
Around eight o’clock a.m., the groups go back to their bar from where they have started.

Most of the members will get some sleep then to be fit again in the afternoon when the "Cortège" starts (=carnival procession). For most active carnival members, the "Morgenstreich" is one of the most important events of the whole carnival.

The following poem is written in Swiss German by Blasius, taken from the volume "Der Baasler und sy Wält".

Vor de Dreie us der Glappe.
Gschwind e Kaffi wil me friert.
und e Cognac fir de Bappe!
Mach jetzt, dass men abmarschiert.
Iibernächtigt bisch und blaich...
Äntlig wider Moorgestraich!

Stohsch im Gässli, ääneduure
gsehsch dur d Nacht d’ Ladäärne koo
Naime iebt e Waggis Schnuure;
alles streggt der Hals dernoo,
ob er au die Rächte braicht.
Äntlig wider Moorgestraich!

Und de heersch si pfyffe, drummle,
dass s aim bis in d Zeeche frait.
Jetzt muesch druggen und di dummle,
sunscht verfählsch die Heerligkait.
Griegsch au Biff und Dritt und Spaich,
Äntlig wider Moorgestraich!

s bruucht e freschtlig Moorgeliftli,
bis i langsam maimzue stampf.
Us de Baize strycht e Diftli,
Larvelagg und Suppedampf.
s Häärz isch gligglig, d Gnei sinn waich...
Äntlig wider Moorgestraich!