Talk:Pied Piper of Hamelin

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This story is not to be found in the Brothers Grimm Collection of Fairytales. Is it possible that it is under a name other than The Pied Piper of Hamelin? If so that title must be noted on this article.

Apex156 (talk) 11:48, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

The story is Die Kinder zu Hameln (The Children of Hamelin) and is in Deutsche Sagen (German Tales). However, I am unclear where (or why) that "must be noted".Vygeshgya (talk) 18:19, 4 November 2011 (UTC)vygeshgya

Year 1284?[edit]

In the History section it says

"The earliest written record is from the town chronicles in an entry from 1284 which states:

It has been 10 years since our children left"[4]

Wouldn't this mean that the children left in 1274 rather than 1284? (talk) 23:57, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Eastern Europe, and the Pied Piper, in his elaborate garb, was metaphorical for a royal figure who ordered the migration. This theory is not addressed specifically as a forced migration of adults. The loss of native Hamelin residents via force, a painful happening, was then commemorated with the church window. I won't edit the article, but will put this out there for discussion. (talk) 14:05, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

That issue is now addressed quite fully in the article with references.LiPollis (talk) 04:41, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Side Note[edit]

Rat pipers are actually scam artists, they use stories to boost their reknown and never actually kill the rats, because rats can swim very well.

The above editor is correct. Rats of most species are, indeed, excellent swimmers. It should be noted that in the article, we editors have made every atempt to point out as much as possible and wherever possible that the RAT element of the story entered the folklore hundreds of years AFTER the original historic event which was likely a Church sponsored, recurited Emigration to lands in eastern Europe that had been depopulated by war with the Mongols. Linguistic evidence is very strong for this. It is in the article. But yes, rats SWIM VERY WELL! LiPollis (talk) 05:21, 15 November 2015 (UTC)


Why pied? Wiktionary lists it as the past of "to pi" or "to pie" but I see no reason to choose either verb as the proper origin of this "pied". This info is required.

Pied: 1. having patches of two or more colors, as various birds and other animals: a pied horse. 2. wearing pied clothing. [Origin: 1350–1400; ME; pie2 (with reference to the black and white plumage of the magpie)] Drutt 12:18, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Much thanks to Drutt for providing the etymology. But don't you think the word is obscure enough nowadays to warrant an explanation in the article? Keep in mind, people from all over the world are reading the English Wikipedia, not just native speakers. Still I'd bet the average American wouldn't be able to explain what pied means without consulting a dictionary. Plus I'd bet the word might even be too rare for most smaller dictionaries. --BjKa 07:22, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps. Even how it relates to the piper is unclear among speakers who know what it means -- some say it means his outfit was pied, others claim it was his skin that was pied (from freckles, scarring, acne, etc.) I've heard all of these given as "the" reason for his title at one time or another. -- (talk) 08:48, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Surely it is his costume that is pied. The character is a sort of wandering minstrel and seems to fall in the same tradition of the jester and harlequin for whom motely is traditional garb. (talk) 15:48, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

By all probality it's a refference to his clothing. For all I know, the pied piper is a tale which combines 2 (or more) pieces of history; first: a tale about a rat plague; second: the piper, who was probably a guy paid for gathering people to settle in unsettled land. They weren't rare in that time and wore colorfull clothing and played instruments to be easiely noticed.Arano (talk) 23:08, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Serious revisions needed[edit]

Whoever last edited this article was apparently playing some joke, because it provides no sign of the origins of the story or even explains how it plays out!

new section on contemporary literature added[edit]

My first wiki-edit here, so hopefully I didn't munge anything up. I added a section for contemporary literature, and an item in that section. I also changed the heading capitalization for "The Tale in Film" to "The tale in film" - I'm not sure what the standard is, but that matched what I'd seen on several other pages. Maldrin 18:38, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

I just saw a Happily Ever After version of the Pied Piper, but I don't think I spotted it here. I think we should add it. (talk) 17:03, 27 March 2009 (UTC)'s comment on Terry Pratchett[edit]

I don't think The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is really a version of the Pied Piper story as such. It includes a character whose business is to go from town to town and to drive out the rats with a magic pipe, in an area where such professional pipers are not unheard of. In other words there is a clear reference, but that is as far as the similarity between the two plots goes. J Alexander D Atkins 19:05, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

ABBA - Hamelin[edit]

ABBA fans might have seen a connection between the Hamelin story and the band's famous "The Piper" song, judging by the lyrics:

"We're all following a strange melody We're all summoned by a tune We're following the piper And we dance beneath the moon We're following the piper and we dance beneath the moon for him and we dance beneath the moon sub luna saltamus." (chorus)

If this is true and there is a link between them, it should be posted on the main article of both the band and the story.

Other version of the story[edit]

Here's what William Manchester has to say in his book A World Lit Only by Fire: "The Pied Piper of Hamelin... was a real man, but there was nothing enchanting about him. Quite the opposite; he was horrible, a psychopath and pederast who, on June 20, 1484, spirited away 130 children in the Saxon village of Hammel and used them in unspeakable ways. Accounts of the aftermath vary. According to some, his victims were never seen again; others told of dismembered little bodies found scattered in the forest underbrush or festooning the branches of trees." (p.66) Note that the date in this version is 200 years later than the one in this article. Obviously, this version of the story is biased, but I'm going to add some of it (with a reference).-Elizabennet 22:14, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

does this "historian" cite a source? 700 years later he comes on with a theory never mentioned before???--Tresckow 00:36, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Uh... you may have a point. Honestly, it never occurred to me to doubt Manchester (I'm going to attribute that gullibility to the fact that I read it in high school). I went to the Straight Dope and found this entry analyzing the section and its heritage. It sounds like Manchester kind of made up all the lurid details, but we know the Pied Piper was somehow involved in the disappearance of a group of children (apparently the rat reference was added in the 1500s!). -Elizabennet | talk 22:41, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
Manchester's explanation is not widely accepted. I just added a little more info with citations about the emigration theory and on Manchester's pederast theory. His timing of the event is also at odds with all the other reports that date the event some 120 years earlier to a time when recruiters were actually going from town to town looking to sign up prospective settlers. The set-up was not unlike the colonization of The New World and the Americas. Potential settlers "sold" themselves to recruiters to pay off debts or were "sold" to recruiters by their parents or guardians. The recruiter would get a flat fee per head from the backers of the new settlement and he would, in turn, offer some kind of payment upfront for volunteers. The motivation for parents to offer their children up to take part in such an endeavor wasn't just the money. This was before the Black Death and populations were booming. Sending one or more of your pre-teen kids off to settle a new town might give them a leg up they wouldn't get if they stayed behind. They would likely be apprenticed in a Trade and expect to gain valuable training & experience. Sadly, the Black Death came along eventually and solved the population problem. I'm working on adding more sourcing and detaIl on the Emigration theory. I'm not having any luck finding any source other than Manchester for the Pederast Theory.LiPollis (talk) 18:41, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Your theory is extremely unlikely given the fact that the city itself keeps the tradition of not playing music on a particular street in town. And passages in a later account where it mentions an tragic event that befell the town. If the children were willingly sold, it would not be an tragic event (as you say selling children was "common"). Angry bee (talk) 23:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

An earlier musical reference[edit]

FWIW - About 1931 the Ray Noble Orchestra, with singer Al Bowlly, recorded "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" at the Abbey Road Studio. A neat song; I found the 78 version when I was a kid in the '50's, and wore it out! Source: Vocalion recording #CDEA 6010, "The HMV Sessions 1930-1934 Volume 2" Jim Kleiser

The Amazing Maurice[edit]

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is mentioned twice in the article. Also, the mention of an engineered plague is a little confusing - people may think of the bubonic plague, rather than a plague of rats. Andjam 11:25, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

"Pay the piper"[edit]

The claim that the expression "Pay the piper" derives from the Pied Piper legend needs to be supported by a reference, or removed. Another English expression, "He who pays the piper calls the tune", does not appear to have anything to do with the Pied Piper, but rather with requesting a tune at a dancing party where a (bag) piper is playing. Similarly, the idiom "to pay the piper" may just mean to pay the bill once you have enjoyed the entertainment. - Also, the claim that "facing the music" has anything to do with the Pied Piper needs to be substantiated. Nasorenga 16:56, 6 February 2007 (UTC) For a skeptical point of view with respect to a connection between "pay the piper" and the Pied Piper legend, see this link. Nasorenga 18:10, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

facing the music[edit]

Well, having just removed reference to the phrase "face the music" without reading this first, I'm pleased to see this comment.
I don't believe there is any association between the phrases, other than there is a reference to something musical in both. I would agree that the phrase "pay the piper" comes from "he who pays the piper calls the tune". Any association with the "Pied Piper" probably postdates it, bbut it is easy to perceive that there might be an association, because of the problem of the piper having been unpaid.
As for "face the music", it's got nothing to do with this topic and doesn't belong here. This is not the place for a general discussion of the occurrence of musical terms in English expressions.
The other matter of concern was the total muddle of a sentence concerning the so-called "Pied piper" effect in pedophiles. The information was valid, but the sentence never mentioned that it was pedophiles who have the characteristic that was being described by the author, and left one to wonder if perhaps it was the author himself.
--Amandajm 12:45, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

more on paying the piper[edit]

The expression has two parts- He who pays the piper calls the tune.
"Call the tune" has often been used without the first part. eg.Someone approaching a verbal confrontation might say "This time, I'm going to call the tune!" (lead the discussion along the track the party desires.) The phrase has taken off on its own, without the "He who pays the piper...". However, it is probably essential that the speaker feels (for whatever reason) entitled to "call the tune".
Likewise, perhaps "paying the piper" has aquired an extra meaning, disassociated from the right to "call the tune", and has become associated with a somewhat more sinister notion- the unpleasant consequences of not paying the piper (ie. the Pied Piper).

--Amandajm 13:09, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Stained Glass Window[edit]

Does anyone know more about that illustration used, reported to be a copy of the stained glass window? Text in the article, plus the very distictive art style, indicate it's not so much a copy as a 16th or 17th century 'reconstruction' of some sort, based on descriptions of the original window. -- 21:56, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The "Verstegan" date[edit]

Of July 22 1376, not an error but a deliberate falsification of the legend in 1605 in order to make it apply to a totally different event. This was the death of Simon Langham, Archbishop of Canterbury AND Cardinal of Avignon. He "drove the secular clergy from their college of Canterbury Hall, Oxford, and filled their places with monks". "Pied" refers to his bicoloured dress, scarlet and purple, of these two warring appointments. It perhaps also signifies 'tainted' or 'spotted'. His death marked the end of the facetiously named 'Babylonian Captivity', or 70 year exile of the Papacy to France, after which his 'children', the 13 cardinals, danced back across the bridge from the Papal Palace (famous for its choral music) to Rome, 'toutes en rouge'. ("How many miles to Babylon? Threescore and Ten"). The bridge was too narrow for dancing in a circle.

The legend is further anglicised by 'Verstegan' in his specious and spurious version, by trying to confuse the original Hamelin with Hamelin Plantagenet, a.k.a. Hamblyn; he was the son of the first Latin king of Jerusalem and married Isabella de Warrenne, from whom descends Richard "Copped Hat" Fitzalan, 3rd Earl of Arundel. Hence the peaked hat of the Piper, and the Kopped Hills. Journalist Richard Rowlands was a recusant Catholic with a secret press at Smithfield, with the later pseudo 'Verstegan'. Simon Langham incurred the displeasure of Edward III by accepting from Pope Urban V the appointment of Cardinal of Avignon without having obtained Royal permission. In retaliation, Edward took the extraordinary step of pronouncing the see of Canterbury void, and seizing the revenues; i.e. he declined to pay him for ridding the town of 'protestant rats'.

It is hardly credible that a learned antiquary could have accidentally got the date so completely wrong; besides which, there is no record of any other important event occurring on that date.Colcestrian 02:51, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Political Connotations[edit]

What is the relevance of this section? It seems more like an editorial than a part of an encyclopedia entry. This should either be further elaborated on to connect it more to the Pied Piper or removed altogether. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Puddum (talkcontribs) 21:47, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Mekeo (Papua-New Guinea) version[edit]

The following story was told by my elderly mother-in-law over fifty years ago - she had no English, and I believe it is a genuine old folk-tale with no link with the "European" version. It has many references to "custom" - including obsolete ones, like eating game rather than domesticated pork at a feast. I have left out some references, out of respect for the "owner" of the story.

Cassowary was an ugly sorcerer. The people of his village were in awe of his magic powers, but not afraid to use them to cure their sick children or make their gardens grow. Eventually however they grew jealous of his success in hunting and fishing, and drove him away into the forest. He plotted a terrible revenge. First he played on his magic panpipes, gathering all the animals of the forest into a hidden valley. Then he magically changed his appearance, so that he could pretend to be a messenger from the chief of another tribe. In his disguise he re-entered his old village, and invited the people to a great wedding feast in another village. As part of their preparations they went hunting - in order to capture animals to take to the feast for meat. Their hunting was completely unsuccessful, until, just three days before they had to leave for the feast, the hidden valley Cassowary had driven the animals to was discovered, and all the strong young men and women went there to gather meat for the feast - leaving their children with the old people. Cassowary returned to the village again - this time in his own shape, but playing once again on his magic panpipes. All the old people were paralysed, so that they could not move or cry out, but the children all ran from their houses to listen to Cassowary's magic piping. When they were all gathered he told them to gather their dancing finery and paint their faces for dancing. For himself, he put on an old blacked grass skirt and an old gourd head dress with no feathers in it. He told the children they would rehearse a new dance for the feast - then he started beating his magic drum - so that all the children were bewitched, and followed him (dancing) into the forest, and were never seen again.

But Cassowary became a great flightless bird, followed to this day through the forest by a train of his own children.

OK it's not the same story - but there are lots of spooky parallels! The moral (don't upset a piper if you have children you love) is obviously the same. I hesitate to put it into the article itself, for several reasons - but just in case somebody enjoys it.

--Soundofmusicals (talk) 21:45, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Pied vs. Pie-eyed[edit]

These words are similar sounding but do not mean the same thing. The article points out that the expression "pie-eyed" has sometimes been used to parody "pied" piper. It's just a typical comedic play on words, and instead of standing alone, it deserves an explanation for the benefit of a reader who might not get it. "Pie-eyed" means drunk or intoxicated. That doesn't mean the pied piper was drunk, either. It's just a joke used in cartoons and so on. Comedies of that era are full of plays on words. Nearly every WB title and every Stooges title, for example, is a play on words of some kind. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 03:11, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

The Pied Piper of Hamelin in popular culture[edit]

I'd like to remind the regular editors of this article that the one I linked in the title of this message is in dire need of references. - Mgm|(talk) 10:29, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

how can l draw a pied piper of hamelin —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I realize this question is years old, but in the event that someone cames here again, all one has to do is go to GOOGLE and type in the words: "Pied Piper of Hamelin Coloring Pages" and dozens of pages of images of the Piper will come up that you can print out and color or trace. here is one such search: Pied Piper Coloring Pages LiPollis (talk) 16:08, 10 October 2013 (UTC)


"In linguistics pied-piping is the common, informal name for the ability of question words and relative pronouns to drag other words along with them when brought to the front, as part of the phenomenon called Wh-movement. For example, in "For whom are the pictures?", the word "for" is pied-piped by "whom" away from its declarative position ("The pictures are for me"), and in "The mayor, pictures of whom adorn his office walls" both words "pictures of" are pied-piped in front of the relative pronoun, which normally starts the relative clause."

I think this needs some clarifying. If I understand the rule correctly, in "For whom are the pictures?" "for" is pied-piped by "whom," from the sentence when moved from "The pictures are for whom?" Whom moves to the front, and would become "Whom are the pictures for?" but pied-pipes "for" and becomes "For whom are the pictures?" I'm pretty sure this is what the rule is describing, but not sure enough to think we couldn't make this a lot more clear.

The mayor example is worse. What is the relative pronoun that normally would start that sentence? Yes, I suppose I could read the wikipedia article on relative pronouns and figure it out, but I think also providing the non-pied-piped version would make this easier to follow. I'd like to see a step-by-step process of pied-piping. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:41, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Frankie Gammyfoot?[edit]

What is this reference to the Piper being called Frankie Gammyfoot? I have never seen such an assertion anywhere else, so I assume that it is vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Judging by the rest of the article's referral to an 'Unnamed Piper', it was a vandalism, so I removed it. The sad thing is how many pages show up in Google having used this as a source and believed that it was true! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Reverted Vandalism[edit]

The Plot section was vandalized by on Dec. 7th. They have a history of vandalizing articles and have been banned in the past. I don't know how to report someone for abuse, so if someone could do that—or tell me how for future reference—that would be great.

I reverted the changes they made to this article. -- (talk) 16:45, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I have it watched and will keep an eye on it. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 17:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Led "implicitly to their death"[edit]

    I always pictured them as enslaved for the duration of the piper's life. Could we have a ref -- at least on this talk page -- for the contrary death claim? Any specific opinion of a relevant scholar is of interest, tho what we deserve is a ref for a definitive survey by a relevant scholar of the opinions that have been expressed by their colleagues.
    To boot, "implicitly" is ambiguous:

    If you say "Ambrose Bierce disappeared into Mexico", i consider it implicit in your wording that you intend me to understand he never returned from there, since you would have said more than that unless you know more (or are trying to mislead me).
    If i know that Bierce disappeared into Mexico with intentions related to his sympathy with Emiliano Zapata's then current revolutionary activities (but don't find plausible Charles Fort's suggestion that someone may have been collecting Ambroses that year), and that none of the many people interested in him ever produced anything credible to suggest he left Mexico, i consider it not proven that he never returned, and in fact died in Mexico, but reasonably implied by that set of facts.

In the case of a fictional work, the author may chose words that would be inappropriately suggestive of early death if their scenario is extended slavery, or may explicitly state events that (despite the flexibility of fantasy worlds compared to the real world) make their death seem the only plausible option; either case implicitly states their death. We must make clear which sense applies, if we are to say "implicitly".
    Oh! This source seems to attribute to Grimm the following words at the closing of the abduction's description:

The mountain near Hameln where the the children disappeared is called Poppenberg. ... Some say that the children were led into a cave, and that they came out again in Transylvania.

(That goes well with the German folklore Wagner invoked by having Tannhäuser spend months or years screwing Venus at her court inside the Venusberg.) Pending evidence that Grimm said nothing to that effect, i'm removing the statement as not only unsourced, but probably also wrong. If there's reason to put back something similar it must be done better.
--Jerzyt 02:05, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Pay the piper[edit]

"Pay the piper" is a well-known idiom for assuming responsibility for something and paying the price.[1] It's quite well established, in fact.[2][3] It's just being used here in passing because it's relevant; there is no claim that it's connected directly to the Pied Piper story (though such a connection is often drawn.[4])--Cúchullain t/c 15:33, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

The original phrase was "he who pays the piper calls the tune" (ie the worker doesn't get to decide how to do his job), but yes, meanings do change and "pay the piper" has been reanalysed by some to mean something very different from its original meaning. However, this new meaning is not universal so while it reads fine for some people, it is confusing to others. I note that the sources you cite all appear to be from the US (although I didn't think you were....)
Notice that I didn't delete the reference entirely, merely the quotemarks. Without the quotemarks, the phrase is no problem at all because it can be understood literally. But with the quotemarks, you are drawing attention to it, which makes the reader try to think idiomatically. With my different understanding of the idiom, the sentence made no sense but I wouldn't have even noticed the reference if the quotemarks weren't there.
It's a bad idea to use idiomatic expressions in wikipedia as the readership is so broad that we cannot safely assume that we all have a common understanding of the expression. I think it's a particular mistake to do so in the lead paragraph, which needs to be very clear.
Prof Wrong (talk) 13:59, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
"He who pays the piper calls the tune" isn't the original phrase. The sense of "pay the piper" meaning, "if you want to hear the music you have to pay the price" - the sense that's relevant here - dates to at least the 17th century.[5][6][7] Obviously this means it's not only an Americanism. There are related phrases with the same meaning, such as "Those that dance must pay the music", "pay the fiddler", etc. The idiom is very well established, to the point that I'm sure most readers will understand it. I, for one, would find it odd to use it literally without so much as touching on the famous idiom.--Cúchullain t/c 15:57, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'm wrong about the history of the phrase. However, "most readers" isn't enough. If it looks this wrong to me, it's clearly not universally acceptable even to native speakers. This is an encyclopedia, so we're expected to write prosaically and literally, not figuratively.Prof Wrong (talk) 16:30, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Hypotheses for the origin of the legend (Natural Causes)[edit]

I have read that the Pied Piper myth has it's roots in a Medieval Ergot poisoning 'event'. I have no supporting material that would lead me to include it here but if you do can you add it to the article? Pafcwoody (talk) 05:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Since wikipedia is an Encyclopedia, we as editors cannot add ideas that might sound interesting or unsourced theories and opinions. That would violate the No original Research rule. However, if you or any other editor can find a source in a book, magazine or reputable website that gives good supporting evidence that the event in Hamelin is considered part of the still theoretical Ergot poisoning notion behind the "Burning Times" withcraft outbreaks, please leave us a link to the source and we'll try to include it. Do you recall where you read that theory? if you can recall any detail at all, it may help me track it down for you. That would help us meet the requirement for Reliable Sources.
Be that as it may, I must say, however, that in all the years of considerable research i have done on this subjerct as an Anthropologist and Folklorist, not ONE colleague has ever mentioned Ergot poisoning as the basis for the story and indeed, this story predates the time period in which proposed Ergot Posioning resulted in increased belief in witchcraft by several hundred years. In fact, most evidence points to this being an actual, historic event in which a substantial number of young people emigrated FROM Hamelin to other, further eastern regions of europe as part of a Church-sponsored attempt to repopulate lands that had once been in Christian hands but which had become depopulated due to warfare resulting from the Mongol Invasions. The logic being that should those lands remain open for settlement, the resulting vacuum of power might inivte future "pagan" intrusions and colonization.
These details and their supporting evidence is coverered in the article under the subchapeter called "The Emigration Theory" and that is a bit misleading since most scholars support this finding. The article has been expanded and contracted several times and that utter nonsense about a serial killer which was a hypothetical suggestion by ONE author with no supporting research is now the first mentioned explanation. Further all the popular media metnions being listed as "versions" of the story when all they trun out to be are mere references are weighing the article down with trivia.
Even so, in an effort to make sure I haven't missed something that you may have caught in your own explorations of the story, I will do a google book search and see if any credible historian links the legend with Ergot poisoning. if I find anything I'll post it here. Thanks for asking here on the talk page first. That was very kind of you. I apologize for taking so long to notice your questionLiPollis (talk) 16:01, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
I've heard this theory linking the pied piper to ergot as well, and a little looking around yielded at least this citation: "The Legend of the Pied Piper in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Grimm, Browning, and Skurzynski" by Mary Troxclair Adamson.[1] This is an article by an independent scholar published on a website, and she cites an earlier print article: Queenan, Bernard. “The Evolution of the Pied Piper.” Children’s Literature. 7 (1978): 104-114.[2]
Because neither of these are rigorous historical research, it might make sense to distinguish between likely historical explanations and popular theories. But I think keeping the latter is still worthwhile, since this story remains a piece of folklore and it's continued popularity is, in part, tied to the contemporary discussion of its historical origins, however fanciful these may sometimes be. Yndus (talk) 18:21, 24 May 2017 (UTC)



Does Robert Browning's version allude that the children were later turned into vampires? "in Transylvania there's a tribe Of alien people..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


In the first sentence, is "a great many children" proper English grammar? --jesselong — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jesselong (talkcontribs) 21:33, 28 August 2012 (UTC)


The article stated: Another possible meaning of the words 'to calvari bi den koppen verloren' could refer to the Low German 'koppen' which means heads. It could therefore be a double poetic meaning of 'lost in the hills', as well as 'lost their heads'. The latter could mean they were beheaded, or killed, or perhaps imply that they went mad, and lost the traditional way of their parents' thinking.

Calvari which translates directly to 'Calvary' refers to the Christian religion 'place of the skulls' where the crucifixion took place and could also refer to a situation involving great suffering. This would explain some of the above theories. In the sense of the exodus from Europe, it could mean that the people who stayed in Hamelin assumed that the people who had left with the 'piper' or lokator had been convinced to make the worst possible choice and had gone to 'calvari' being presumed dead. The piper in this sense being a good 'orator' able to convince a crowd as in religion. Related in Germanic languages to the word 'koppen' is the word 'to buy' but this may be unrelated to the story although it took place on market day of the Saints.[according to whom?]

The herb valerian was used by rat-catchers to attract the rats and entice them away as it has a smell that attracts rats. Valerian can also be used to attract cats, leading one to believe that the piper may have led the cats away first and then threatened to take their children. There is a possible theory that the piper gave the children valerian and that this had a relaxing effect on them much like alcohol or perhaps some were given an overdose. [citation needed]

An alternate meaning of the poem [according to whom?] , relating to theories cited above and unrelated to the legend and stories written by the Brothers Grimm and other creators of fairy tales, is that the piper himself was executed on this day, perhaps because he had misled or abused the children, or for another reason. However, the double meaning referring to the children as victims having 'lost their heads' as well as being 'lost in the hills' does provide a typical ambiguous poetic explanation.[citation needed]

Unsourced, maybe partialls referring to theories already referenced, in other cases OR. I have mived it here. -- Zz (talk) 11:05, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Bandwagon Effect Moral Reference?[edit]

This story smacks of a cautionary tale against the bandwagon effect. The kids join a train of other kids following a person playing music... to their doom.

I'm not sure if you're kidding but I would say that if you read the entire article, it is clear that an ACTUAL historical event seems to have been at the bottom of all this and the rat catching story added on later. Most of the Historical and Linguistic evidence support the Emmigration Thoery as part of the larger experience of the mass resettlement we call the Ostsiedlung. It helps to read BOTH articles.LiPollis (talk) 09:59, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

double entry[edit]

there is another stub article about the same or a similar topic: Der Rattenfänger von Hameln — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:17, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Why Rackham?[edit]

This is a popular story that has been illustrated many times, why is Arthur Rackham's 1934 illustration given in the first paragraph?Kdammers (talk) 14:11, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

Good point. Why indeed? I'm sure it and he are both notable, but yes ... is it so outstanding that it must be in the lead? Seems unlikely. DBaK (talk) 16:52, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

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