Pied Piper of Hamelin

Posted by ESC on September 22, 2003

In Reply to: THE PIPER posted by Dave on September 22, 2003

: Hi all! People are talking about The Piper, about paying the piper, the piper plays and what not all the time in lyrics. Then I ask, who is this piper guy? Please enlighten me, I need to know...


Pied Piper of Hamelin -- The Pied Piper was promised a reward if he would drive the rats and mice out of Hameln (Westphalia). This he did, for he gathered them together by his pipe, and then drowned them in the Weser. As the people refused to pay him, he next led the children to Koppelberg Hill, where 130 of them perished (July 22nd, 1376). (See Hatto .)

"To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled,
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled ...
And ere three notes his pipe had uttered ...
Out of the houses rats came tumbling-
Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats,
Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats,
And step by step they followed him dancing,
Till they came to the river Weser."
Robert Browning.
Hameln, on the river Hamel, is where the Rattenfänger played this prank. It is said that the children did not perish in the mountain, but were led over it to Transylvania, where they formed a German colony.