Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed some of the most beautiful music known to the world during his short life. While the movie Amadeus, released in 1984, was based upon his life, it highly exaggerated Mozart’s partying lifestyle. He was more of a family man, especially after his son Johann died in 1786. That’s not to say he wasn’t a bit naughty.
Mozart, along with several famous classical composers, loved toilet humor. Officially called scatology, it concerns excrement, flatulence, and other unmentionable bodily functions.
Scatology has been around for as long as anyone can remember. Geoffrey Chaucer included scatological humor in The Canterbury Tales, written about 1400. Stop by any schoolyard of young teenagers and scatology will most certainly be present.
There is a character on the popular animated TV show, South Park, that is made out of poop. There are poop emojis and poop jewelry. Movies like Porky’s make millions of dollars. Scatology is a part of society and is most likely here to stay.
Many of Mozart’s personal letters and compositions written for friends included scatology.
According to the website lettersofnote, a letter to his cousin, Marianne, when he was a young man has very risqué phrases such as “Oh my arse burns like fire! what on earth is the meaning of this!—maybe muck wants to come out?… what a long and melancholic sound!”, “I now wish you a good night, poop in your bed with all your might, sleep with peace on your mind, and try to kiss your own behind,” and “Oui, by the love of my skin, I poop on your nose, so it runs down your chin.”
According to the letters that survive, the entire Mozart family seemed to be fond of scatological phrases when talking and writing among themselves. Most are just silly phrases that rhyme. Mozart also wrote Leck Mich Im Arsch, a six-voice canon which translates to “Lick me in the arse.”
Sometime between the years of 1786 and 1787, Mozart wrote Difficile lectu, a canon for three voices written in Latin for Johann Nepomuk Peyerl to sing on stage.
Peyerl had a heavy German accent, and when he attempted to pronounce some of the words they came out as the equivalent of, “It is difficult to lick my butt and balls” and “kiss my arse.”
On the reverse side of the music, Mozart wrote another quick ditty, “O du eselhafter Peierl” or “Oh, you asinine Peierl” and got the audience to sing it rather than applaud.
When he wrote horn concertos for his friend Joseph Leutgeb he added the remarks, “Wolfgang Amadé Mozart takes pity on Leutgeb, ass, ox, and simpleton, at Vienna, March 27, 1783.”
Mozart also took a canon written by Wenzel Trnka and replaced Trnka’s words with: “Lick my arse nicely…Everybody lick their arse for themselves.”
After Mozart’s death his widow, Constanze, sold his version to publishers Breitkopf & Härtel.
Because of his remarkable talent in the classical highbrow sense, some people are reluctant to accept that Mozart had a naughty streak. Former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, absolutely refused to believe Mozart had a foul mouth.
She had attended the theater to see Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus and chewed out the director, Peter Hall, for putting foul language in Mozart’s mouth. Even after he submitted copies of some of Mozart’s family letters, the Prime Minister refused to believe Mozart would cuss.
All too often we forget that classical composers, playwrights, and artists were just as human as everyone else. Mozart died at the age of thirty-five, still young enough to enjoy potty humor.
Some medical experts have suggested that Mozart suffered from Tourette’s syndrome, absolving him of all blame for uttering those words. Other scientists criticize these ideas and insist that, under the powdered wigs and formal clothes, Mozart was a husband, dad, and musical genius but had a childish sense of humor.