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This little song bubbles with childlike high spirits as if the composer is laughing at one of his younger brothers, or indeed himself. The piano writing in a bustling 2/4 is laid out like the sort of Clementi sonatina which a boy of this age would be playing in his piano lessons; the hands are close together without leaps and jumps but there is a roguish complicity between the various strands of melody. In the manner of a Haydn song the voice part doubles the piano's right hand except at the final cadence where it is freed for a final flourish. The song sounds likes an apology for over-amative behaviour ('I can't help it - I was always like this since I was a boy') and Schubert takes great delight in this little Don Juan in the bud. The key of the song is E major, the quintessential Hölty tonality for scenes in field or garden which are flooded with sunlight from a happier, less complicated time. In that sense the song is nostalgic like many of this poet's settings.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995
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