The Fat Lady Sings: Die Lotosblume and Mondnacht

I prepared these two German pieces for an audition and they’re both so floating and lovely! 

“Die Lotosblume” (“The Lotus Flower”) is a poem written by Heinrich Heine, and published in his Buch der Lieder (The Book of Songs, 1827). Set to music by Robert Schumann in 1840, this Lied is part of Schumann’s Myrthen collection (op. 25 no. 7)) and Six Songs for MΓ€nnerchor (op. 33 no. 3). It is written in the key of F Major, and set in 6/4 time. The piece speaks of the blooming of a lotus flower, who hides from the sun and only reveals herself at night to her lover, the moon.

“Mondnacht” is part of Liederkreis, Op. 39, a song cycle composed by Robert Schumann. The line “She must only dream of him” is very interesting in translation, because it is not necessarily referring to a human female and a human male. In the German language, there are feminine and masculine definite articles, which refer to other nouns as well. Looking back to the original German text, the sky (German: “der Himmel”) is masculine, while the Earth (“Die Erde”) is feminine. Knowing this, perhaps von Eichendorff is trying to create a personified relationship of sorts between the two, saying the earth must “only dream” of the sky. In the grander scheme of the poem, it can be said that von Eichendorff aimed to create an ethereal, dream-like scene, in order for the listener to understand the feelings of the narrator.

(Thanks for both of those song descriptions, Wikipedia!)

This isn’t a recent video, but I’m re-sharing it as a way of releasing old body shame. When this video was taken, I was bothered by the way my fat body moved on stage, and even more distressed by listening to my own voice. I wasn’t able to give myself the grace and vulnerability of acknowledging that I was learning and growing, but now I’m ready to extend that love to myself. I belonged on that stage, I still do, and I always will.

Hi there! I'm Lindley. I create artwork that celebrates the unique beauty of bodies that fall outside conventional "beauty" standards at Body Liberation Photography. I'm also the creator of Body Liberation Stock and the Body Love Shop, a curated central resource for body-friendly artwork and products. Find all my work here at