Brusque Busking

She loves me again
I fall on the floor and I'm laughing"🎶
Lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel's song, "Cecilia" warble
off-key through the air, competing with the squeal of train brakes.

On any given day, though more often on Fridays and Saturdays, you can find street musicians performing around the Zug Bahnof. (They are not allowed inside or on the platforms.)
One day it could be a couple of guys with guitars:

Another day it could be a ukulele/accordion duo:

And yet another day it could be a violin/accordion duo:

I wish I had a picture of the woman in a gold hat playing a crank organ. Joe kept hoping for a mini monkey to pop out of her hat.

Buskers are big in Zug, but out right begging is not. In 2013, Canton Zug passed a law making begging a crime. Anyone who is clearly soliciting money from the general public in Zug risks a standard fine of CHF 100.00. Built into the Swiss constitution is the fact that no one in Switzerland should be in a position where they need to beg: Title 2, Chapter 1, Article 7 states: "Human dignity must be respected and protected." And Article 12 states: "Persons in need and unable to provide for themselves have the right to assistance and care, and to the financial means required for a decent standard of living."

I suppose buskers aren't necessarily begging, but their open instrument case combined with their questionable musical talent makes me wonder. Below is my tiny poem about the street musicians we've been forced to listen to encountered in Zug:

brusque musicians play
instrument case beckoning -
free concert?
©2017, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Update: On September 12th I wrote a post about the Zug Bull Parade. In the paper yesterday, it was reported that the fundraiser raised 33,200CHF for youth sports and culture programs. Pretty cool...


  1. There are many buskers in our downtown and on the Boulder street mall, but beggars sadly are a way of life here, on every corner on every busy city street. I do try to help the women, but it is hard to know what to do. What would happen if there was a law? I don't know. It feels like we should do more, but when I read articles about it, they list many shelters, and they are full! I didn't know there were still 'crank organs'. It is fun to read and see what's going on in your life, Bridget. Happy Weekend!

    1. Homelessness and pan-handlers have been common in every place we've lived except Switzerland. I love that they safeguard every citizen in their constitution. And the street musicians aren't that bad, it was just extra noisy when we lived in the flat that was at the train station. Thanks for always sharing your life, too, Linda. =)

  2. Now I am humming the song Cecelia....

    1. I know, right? Those two guys also sang The Dark Side of the Moon...sort of. Thanks for commenting, Sheila! I appreciate it. =)


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