Entries in schlager (6)


A Schnitzelbahn History: all about Oktoberfest

We've received some feedback from readers that we should add "index" pages for specific content.
An index page is better than the Categories ("Navigation" on the right side of this page) because
you don't have to scroll through entries you've already seen -- instead, just go to the entry you want.

So, here is a brief index of our blog entries about Oktoberfest:

Preparing for the Party

- The most popular and important songs have associated hand movements to perform- learn them in this post.
- You should also practice the older, classic tunes that are certain to be played and sung in the beer tents.
- Many set lists of the bands will include songs you already know and can sing along with.
- Finally, be prepared for new "Wies'n Hits" that emerge each year. 

- Some time over the summer, the official beer price list will be released.  Budget accordingly.

- There are many alternatives to getting your own trachten to wear.
   Lederhosen and dirndls are available everywhere now, or you could make your own (posts 1, 2, 3...)
   Celebrities are donning dirndls and lederhosen too.

What to Expect

- The opening Saturday features a parade with the mayor, who then taps the first keg.

- On the second day (a Sunday) you can watch another parade with trachten from all over Europe.

- A typical day at Oktoberfest could include an outdoor concert, five hours in a beer tent, and fun games.

- The Wies'n lights up at night, when the carnival rides get even better.

- If you're especially lucky, you get an Oktoberfest experience like this.

If you can't wait until October...

- The Dauchauer Volksfest is a similar, smaller festival near Munich that is held in late August.

- The Auer Dult is another small festival in Munich that is staged three times a year.

- The Kocherlball is one day only, but has classic music and dancing in the English Garden.

We'll keep adding to this index page as more blog posts fall into this category...



Oktoberfest Songs 3 - The Songs You Already Know

In the first two posts, we learned some of the most popular Oktoberfest songs and dance moves.

First, the more recent Wies’n hits

Second, the older Traditional and Classic songs

Today, we’ll feature the other songs you’ll hear often, but should already know. 

Sorry to break the stereotypes, but you probably will not hear any Hasselhoff songs at Oktoberfest.  However, as anything that gets the crowd singing or dancing or swaying is fair game, you will hear quite a few popular American songs or covers of them.   

Here we’ll just give you the video and a link to the lyrics in case you need them, rather than taking up space with all the lyrics. 

Speaking of stereotypes….we’ll go straight to the #1 Oktoberfest song you already know 

Country Roads:

I don’t know what it is about this song, but it’s everywhere. My theory is that part of the passport application process for Germans is a test to see if they know the words.  Per capita, there probably are more Germans who know the words than Americans.  There’s even a bar in Bangkok called Country Roads, and they will definitely play it for you.

If you stay long enough in a tent or party where trachten is worn, you WILL hear Country Roads, and everyone WILL sing along.  If you don’t know them already, learn the words.  You’ll thank us later – and you’ll have a ready karaoke song next time you need to come up with one in Asia.   

The lyrics page just further supports my theory – they have an option on the left for 11 additional languages! 

The Ketchup Song & The Macarena:

Strangely, The Ketchup Song (actually titled Aserejé) seems to be more popular than the Macarena, though you probably will hear both. Apparently Aserejé swept Europe as a huge hit but didn’t quite capture the same success in the US. Here are the videos, to refresh you on the dance moves.  

You think I’m joking, but I’m not…we heard both at Pappasito’s a few weeks ago

I’ve shown the Spanglish version that’s most popular, but you can also check out the full Spanish version (lyrics shown here and video here

You may want to check out the lyrics, but definitely learn the dance moves.

And the Macarena (lyrics)


Walking on Sunshine:

Katrina and the Waves’ 1983 hit is a huge hit and really gets the crowd dancing on the benches. (Lyrics)


Hey Baby:

While most Americans will think of Dirty Dancing when they hear this one, it’s really DJ Ötzi's version that has driven the resurgence of this song.  If you’re a Rockies fan, you’ll hear this version during the 7th inning stretch.

While almost EVERYONE seems to have covered this song (including The Chipmunks), I think the Dirty Dancing and this version are the most popular. This one is similar to the original, but with the “ooohh, aahhh!” lyric added.


99 Luftballons:

While this one is a German song, it’s a big enough international hit that everyone will recognize it.  You’ll likely hear the German version, so we’ll show the lyrics and translation here.  Since Nena released a separate English version, the English song 99 Red Balloons isn’t really a translation from the German – it’s a different song, with the same spirit and tune.  


99 Luftballons

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich

Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich

Von 99 Luftballons

Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont

Denkst du vielleicht g'rad an mich

Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich

Von 99 Luftballons

Und dass so was von so was kommt


99 Luftballons

Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont

Hielt man für Ufos aus dem All

Darum schickte ein General

'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher

Alarm zu geben, wenn es so wär

Dabei war'n da am Horizont

Nur 99 Luftballons


99 Düsenjäger

Jeder war ein großer Krieger

Hielten sich für Captain Kirk

Das gab ein großes Feuerwerk

Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft

Und fühlten sich gleich angemacht

Dabei schoss man am Horizont

Auf 99 Luftballons


99 Kriegsminister -

Streichholz und Benzinkanister -

Hielten sich für schlaue Leute

Witterten schon fette Beute

Riefen Krieg und wollten Macht

Mann, wer hätte das gedacht

Dass es einmal soweit kommt

Wegen 99 Luftballons


99 Jahre Krieg

Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger

Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr

Und auch keine Düsenflieger

Heute zieh' ich meine Runden

Seh' die Welt in Trümmern liegen

Hab' 'nen Luftballon gefunden

Denk' an dich und lass' ihn fliegen 

99 Baloons (translation)

If you have some time for me,

then I'll sing a song for you

About 99 balloons

On their way to the horizon.

If you're maybe thinking about me now

then I'll sing a song for you

About 99 balloons

and what comes from such a thing.


99 balloons

on their way to the horizon

People think they're UFO's

so a general sent up

a fighter squadron after them

Sound the alarm if were so

but there on the horizon were

only 99 balloons.


99 fighter jets

Each one's a great warrior

Thinks himself a Captain Kirk

then came a great firework

the neighbors didn't understand

and felt provoked

so they shot at the horizon

at 99 balloons.


99 War Ministers -

matches and gasoline cans

They thought they were clever people

already smelled a nice bounty

Called for war and wanted power.

Man, who would've thought

that things would someday go so far

because of 99 balloons.


99 years of war

left no room for victors.

There are no more War Ministers

nor any jet fighters.

Today I'm making my rounds

see the world lying in ruins.

I found a balloon,

thought of you and let it fly away.


For the English Version:


99 Red Balloons (English Version):

You and I in a little toy shop

Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got

Set them free at the break of dawn

Til one by one, they were gone

Back at base bugs in the software

Flash the message, something's out there

Floating in the summer sky

99 red balloons go by


99 red balloons

Floating in the summer sky

Panic bells - it's red alert

There's something here from somewhere else

The war machine springs to life

Opens up one eager eye

Focusing it on the sky as 99 red balloons go by


99 Decision street

99 ministers meet

To worry, worry, super flurry

Call the troops out in a hurry

This is what we've waited for

This is it boys, this is war

The president is on the line

As 99 red balloons go by


99 knights of the air

Ride super high tech jet fighters

Everyone's a super hero

Everyone's a Captain Kirk

With orders to identify

To clarify, and classify

Scramble in the summer sky

99 red balloons go by


99 dreams I have had

In every one a red balloon

It's all over and I'm standing pretty

In this dust that was a city

If I could find a souvenir

Just to prove the world was here

And here is a red balloon

I think of you, and let it go


Summer of ’69:

Staying in 80s classics but moving back to North America, we have Bryan Adams’ 1985 anthem. (Lyrics)


New York, New York:

Moving backwards in the classics department, we get to Sinatra. Between its status as a classic and New York’s status in the German vacation preferences, everyone loves this one.

I doubt anyone needs the lyrics, but just in case…


Sweet Home Alabama:

And 4 or 5 years back further, we have Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama.  I was shocked the first 5 times I heard this played in Germany – at Oktoberfest, a fair, a fireworks competition, and the Women’s World Cup downhill – and then I realized how popular it is here.

Kid Rock’s All Summer Long that samples Sweet Home Alabama is also popular among the younger crowd.


Lyrics for the original, and for Kid Rock’s version.

Not the original, but a 2003 concert version:


And Kid Rock’s All Summer Long:


Or if you prefer, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd performing together, on some awards show.


Mambo No. 5:

Changing pace back to songs that we all love to hate (but secretly love), we have Lou Bega’s 19 hit.  In Germany’s defense, he is German…and spent his early years (until 15) in Munich. So, I guess this is appropriate for Oktoberfest after all.  (Lyrics)


Sweet Caroline:

Thank you, Niel, this is a great one for the crowds! (Lyrics)

If you haven’t had enough DJ Ötzi yet, he released a cover a few years ago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RacmAUst7g0&feature=related


La Bamba:

Another oldie and another one with a little Latin influence (in this case, a LOT!)…

There are quite a few versions out there, but here are Los Lonely Boys and Carlos Santana at the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards.

The Spanish lyrics are available here.


Off on a tangent…Berlitz did a cute commercial using this song to show misunderstandings.


Que Sera Sera:

Another of the oft-covered classics, Dutch group Hermes House Band’s version has become quite popular.  The lyrics are the same, just remixed and faster. 



Since the crowds love Fliegerlied and The Ketchup Song, it should be no surprise that YMCA is a popular Oktoberfest song.

I don’t think anyone really needs a refresher to the words or the song, but here’s the original video, which may be something most of us have never actually seen.


Is this the way to Amarillo:

For our final “oldie” on the list, we have Tony Christie’s 1971 hit. I hadn’t heard this one before moving to Germany.  Apparently it was a huge hit in the UK and continental Europe, especially Germany, where it topped the charts, but never was very popular in the US.  I’m not surprised about its success in Germany….it’s schlager and has a nice “lalalalalalala” chorus for the audience to sing.

The song has been remade several times and somehow has become a popular football chant in some UK and German stadiums.  A parody by British soldiers in Iraq in 2005 was so popular it crashed the Ministry of Defense servers! (see the video here)

So, maybe we should file it under “most popular American song that no Americans know” or something other than “songs you should know.”  The lyrics are simple.



Like Country Roads, Robbie Williams’ ballad hit big in Europe and SE Asia. Another good option to learn for your karaoke songs.


It’s My Life:

And we’ll end the list with one of my favorites, by Bon Jovi.  Catchy, energetic tune and the lyrics are well-suited to a crowd that wants to sing and scream.  


So now you’ll know a large percentage of the songs most commonly played at Oktoberfest.  If you really want to get the full singing experience, you should go in the evenings when the bands are playing more and the crowds are more energetic.  Herr J and I highly recommend the Kaiserschmarm Tent, which is a little smaller and intimate (it’s wine, prosecco, and cocktails, not beer) and has a great band playing songs everyone loves.  Wherever there’s an opportunity for props and costumes (YMCA, for example), they’ll take it.


And after Oktoberfest? If you want to keep singing? Many locals go to the après Wies’n parties at local clubs.  MünchenBlogger has a list of some common spots. Löwenbräukeller and Park Café are always popular hot spots, as are the usual clubs like P1 and 089. Or keep your eyes out around town for posters showing “Après Wies’n” parties.

Let us know your favourite Oktoberfest songs, and if we’ve missed any.


Oktoberfest Songs 2 - Traditional and Classic

Now that you’ve learned the moves to Fliegerlied and Cowboy und Indianer in our Wies’n Hits guide, it’s time to learn a few of the older songs.  Most are in this category due to age (i.e., before the 90s), though a few are here due to being traditional beer festival songs. While this section includes a wide range of genres, it will definitely add to your schlager repertoire! 

Ein Prosit:

If you learn to recognize only one song, make sure that it’s “Ein Prosit.” You probably will hear it every 15 minutes.  The procedure is this:  The band starts up the song, and everyone raises their glassed, sings along, and toasts each other at the song’s end with a big “Prost!” or “Zum Wohl!,” of course making sure make eye contact when you toast. (this is important in Germany!)

The words are simple:

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gemütlichkeit.

Oans, zwoa, drei, g'suffa! 

As “ein Prosit” means “a toast”, it’’s just a song about toasting each other. “A toast, a toast, to the comfort of everyone.” And at the end in Bavarian, “One, two, three, drink up!”


Wahnsinn (Hölle, Hölle, Hölle):

I confess, I have this on my workout mix.  It’s a prime example of an Ohrwurm (“ear worm”), a song that wriggles in through your ears and just won’t go away!

It’s basically an early Alannis Morrisette angry breakup song, but sung by a German dude (Wolfgang Petry).  The catchy tune and refrains for crowd participation make it a Wies’n Hit, albeit a classic.  

I chose a video of a faster version of the song by the Lollies, but the original video is worth a look once the song gets stuck in your head – let’s just say that it contains everything wonderfully cheesy about the 80s and is set in a steelmill...permed hair, molten steel, cheesy camera angles…


The crowd response is bracketed and in italics:

Wahnsinn (Hölle, Hölle, Hölle!)

Von Dir keine Spur, die Wohnung ist leer

und mein Herz wie Blei so schwer,

ich geh kaputt, denn Du bist wieder bei ihm.


Ich weiss nur eins: jetzt ist Schluss

und dass ich um dich kämpfen muss.

Wo bist Du? Sag mir wo bist Du?


[Chorus] Wahnsinn, warum schickst Du mich in die Hölle? [Hölle, Hölle, Hölle!]

Eiskalt lässt Du meine Seele erfriern.

Das ist Wahnsinn, Du spielst mit meinen Gefühlen. [Fühle, Fühle!]

Und mein Stolz liegt längst schon auf dem Müll. [Müll, Sondermüll!]

Doch noch weiss ich was ich will: ich will Dich. [Ganz allein!]


Ich lauf im Kreis von früh bis spät,

denn ich weiss, dass ohne Dich nichts geht.

Ich brauche Luft bevor mein Herz erstickt.


Und wie ein Wolf renn ich durch die Stadt,

Such hungrig unsere Kneipen ab.

Wo bist Du? Sag mir wo bist Du?




Doch noch weiss ich was ich will: ich will Dich.
[Ganz allein!]



Madness (Hell, Hell, Hell!)

No trace of you, the apartment is empty

and my heart is heavy as lead,

I’m destroyed, because you're back with him.


I only just one thing: now it's over

and I must fight for you.

Where are you? Tell me where are you?


[Chorus] Madness, why do send me to hell? [Hell, hell, hell!]

Ice-cold, you freeze my soul.

This madness, you play with my feelings. [Feelings, Feelings, Feelings!]

And my pride is long since thrown in the trash. [Trash, hazardous waste!]

But still I know what I want: I want you. [All alone!]


I run in circles all day long,

because I know that without you, nothing goes.

I need air before my heart chokes.


And I run like a wolf through the city,

Searching hungrily in our pubs.

Where are you? Tell me where are you?




But still I know what I want: I want you.
[All alone!]





Sierra Madre:

This is another one where most people just know the chorus. And you too will know it after hearing it once…

An 80s song by the Austria band Zillertauer Schürzenjäger* (roughly translated as the “Heartbreaker from Zillertau”), this is one where everyone sways, sometimes arm in arm, and sings along.  The band – and the song – are in the Alpen-Rock genre, which is a blend of folk, pop, and rock.


Sierra Madre

Wenn der Morgen kommt und die letzten Schatten vergeh'n

Schau'n die Menschen der Sierra hinauf zu den sonnigen Höh'n

Schau'n hinauf wo der weisse Kondor so einsam zieht

Wie ein Grüss an die Sonne erklingt ihr altes Lied


[Chorus] Sierra, Sierra Madre del Sur

Sierra, Sierra Madre.

Oh, oh,

Sierra, Sierra Madre del Sur,

Sierra, Sierra Madre.


Wenn die Arbeit getan der Abendfrieden nun beginnt

Schau'n die Menschen hinauf wo die Sierra im Abendrot brennt

Und sie denken daran wie schnell ein Glück oft vergeht

Und aus tausend' Herzen klingt es wie ein Gebet


Sierra Madre

When the morning comes and the last shadow goes

The people of the Sierra look up to the sunny heights

Look up where the white condor so lonely flies

Greet the sun like an old song you’ve heard


[Chorus] Sierra, Sierra Madre del Sur

Sierra, Sierra Madre.

Oh, oh,

Sierra, Sierra Madre del Sur,

Sierra, Sierra Madre.


When work is done the evening peace begins

The people of the Sierra look up where the sunset burns

And they remember how quickly luck often goes

And from a thousand hearts, it sounds like a prayer


*Schürzenjäger is a new favourite German word. It’s an old one, but since it literally translates to “blouse-hunter” I guess it’s the German equivalent of “skirt-chaser!”



Another prime example of classic 70s schlager is Costa Cordalis’ Anita, with the audience echoing Anita.



[Chorus] Ich fand sie irgendwo

allein in Mexiko

Anita (Anita)

schwarz war ihr Haar.

die Augen wie zwei Sterne so klar


Komm steig auf dein Pferd

sagte ich zu ihr

Anita (Anita)


Fiesta ist heut’

die Stadt ist nicht mehr weit

mach dich schnell bereit


Ich seh dir an

da schlummert ein Vulkan

du wartest auf die Liebe

ich will sie wecken

und alles entdecken

was keiner bisher sah



Reite wie der Wind

bis die Nacht beginnt

Anita (Anita)


dann sind wir da

und jeder soll es sehn

wie wir uns verstehn


Musikanten herbei

spielt ein Lied für uns zwei

bei Musik und bei Wein

woll'n wir heut glücklich sein




Ich bau für uns ein Nest

wo sich's leben Iässt

Anita (Anita)

in Mexiko

denn nur bei dir allein

werd ich immer sein.


Um uns herum

da sassen sie ganz stumm

und machten grosse Augen


die companeros

mit ihren sombreros

denn nun gehörst du mir



Heute ist die Nacht

nicht zum Schlafen da

Anita (Anita)

denn so ein Fest

gab es noch nirgendwo

hier in Mexiko


Musikanten herbei

spielt ein Lied für uns zwei

bei Musik und bei Wein

woll'n wir heut glücklich sein




Ich bau für uns ein Nest

wo sich's leben Iässt

Anita (Anita)    



[Chorus]  I found her alone

somewhere in Mexico

Anita (Anita)

Black was her hair,

Her eyes like two stars, so clear


Come, climb on your horse

I said to her

Anita (Anita)


Fiesta is today

the city isn’t far

Get ready quickly


I look at you

as a dormant volcano

you wait for love

I want to wake you

and explore everything

that no one saw before



Ride like the wind

Until the night begins

Anita (Anita)


then we are there

and everyone should see

how we understand each other


Musicians come here

play a song for us two

with music and wine

we’ll be happy today




I built a nest for us

where love can be

Anita (Anita)

In  Mexico

Then only with you alone

Will I always be.


All around us

as they sat quite silent

and made big eyes


the companeros

with their sombreros

because now you're mine



Today is the night

not for sleeping

Anita (Anita)

because such a party

there was still nowhere

here in Mexico


Musicians come here

play a song for us two

with music and wine

we’ll be happy today




I built a nest for us

Where love can be

Anita (Anita)



Another one from the 80s, this time by Austrian band S.T.S. This is a cool rock ballad about a musician who moved from to the big city (Vienna) and now just wants to go back home (to Fürstenfeld).  The original definitely has a more Austrian accent than you’ll hear at Oktoberfest. Sometimes you’ll get it in the original Austrian, sometimes more hochdeutsch.  And often the band may omit a few of the slower verses in order to get to the great chorus more quickly.

Give it a listen, it does speed up and is a great song


For extra fun, you can see the 80s original video here.



Langsam find't der Tog sei End, und die Nocht beginnt.

In der Kärntnerstroßen, do singt ana “Blowing in the Wind”.

Hot a grianes Reckerl an, steht do ganz verlur'n,

und der Steff'l, der schaut obi auf den ormen Steirer Buam.


Der hat woll'n sei Glück probieren in der großen fremden Stadt

Hat glaubt, sei Musik bringt ihn auf's Rennbahn - Express Titelblatt

Aus der Traum, zerplatzt wie Seifenblasen, nix is blieb

Als wie a paar Schilling in sein Gitarrenkoffer drin


Wochenlang steh' i scho do, wochenlang plog i mi oh,

i spül mir die Finger wund und sing sogor "Do kummt die Sunn".

Doch es ist zum narrisch werd'n, kana wüll mi singan her'n.

Longsom kriag i wirklich g'nua, i frog mi wos i do dua.


Da geht den ganzen Tag der Wind,

Nix als Baustellen, dass ka Mensch was find't

Die Burenhäut'ln sind ein Graus

Und im Kaffeehaus brenntst di aus


[Chorus] I wüll wieder ham, i fühl mi do so alla,

brauch ka große Wölt, i wü ham nach Fürstenföld.


In der Zeitung, do hom's g'schrieb'n,

do gibt's a Szene, do muaßt hin.

Wos die woll'n, des soll'n sie schreib'n,

mir konn die Szene g'stohl'n bleib'n.

Da geh' i gestern im U4, fangt a Dirndl an zum Red'n mit mir,

schworze Lippen, grüne Hoor,

do kannst ja Angst kriag'n, wirklich wohr.




Niemals spül i mehr in Wien,

Wien hot mi gor net verdient,

i spül höchstens no in Graz, Sinabelkirchen und Stinaz.


I brauch kan Gürt'l, I brauch kan Ring,

I wüll z'ruck hinter'n Semmering,

I brauch nur des bissl Göd für die Fohrt noch Fürstenföld.


[Chorus x3]    



Slowly the day ends and the night begins

In Kärtnerstrasse he sings "Blowing in the Wind"

Wearing green, looking so forlorn

And the Steffl looks down on the poor Styrian


He who wants to try his luck in the big foreign city

Who believes music brings him to the Rennbahn-Express front page

The dream is popped like a bubble, nothing is left

But a few shillings in his guitar case


For weeks I stand here, for weeks I’ve worked

I played my my fingers to the bone and even sang "Do kummt the Sunn"

It makes me crazy, no one wants to hear me sing

Finally I’ve had enough, I ask myself what I’m doing


Since the wind blows all day

One finds nothing but construction

The sausages are a horror

And the coffee houses expensive


[Chorus] I want to go home, I feel so alone,

I don’t need  a big world, I want to go home to Fürstenfeld

In the newspaper they write that

there’s a music scene, you must go

By writing that they make me want

the scene to stay lost to me

Yesterday I went to the U4, a girl started to talk to me,

Black lips, green hair,

It can be scary, that’s the truth




I won’t play anymore in Vienna

Vienna doesn’t deserve me

At the highest, I’d play Graz,  Sinabelkirchen or Stinatz


I don’t need The Gürtl, I don’t need The Ring

I want to go back behind The Semmering

I just need a little money for the trip to Fürstenfeld


[Chorus x3]


Bayern des samma mia:

This one isn’t technically a classic, since it was made in 1998 by Haindling, a Bavarian (niederbayrischen, to be specific…) NeuenVolksmusik band (“New Folk Music” genre). However, it’s in the traditional Bavarian beerhall style, so we’ll put it here as being traditional style music.  It’s a bit of a nonsensical song, just putting together some stereotypes about Bavarians into a Bavarian folk song, but it gets played often.  There are about 4 different lines to the song, which are then just mixed in different orders to form a song…definitely a beer drinking song, possibly even a good drinking game where you have to drink when you screw up the lines. Though not sure anyone would make it through!

Since we had Viva Colonia set to a video of Rammstein in the last post, you can also see Rammstein actually singing this one at the Olympiahalle in Munich. Not sure the story behind it…I hope it’s that they had seen all the YouTube videos people made using footage of them for the song, and decided to have a little fun at a concert.  


Bayern des samma mia

Seid’s freindlich – jawoi!

Seid’s freindlich hob I gsagt – jawoi!

Seid’s freindlich hob I gsagt no amoi –jawoi


Mir kannst no a Weissbier bringa !


Bayern, des samma mir! Jawoi!

Bayern, des samma mir! Jawoi!


Bayern, des samma mir!

Bayern jawoi des samma mir!

Bayern, des samma mir!

Mir samma mir des samma mir!


Bayern, des samma mir,

Bayern und des bayerische Bier!

Bayern und des Reinheitsgebot,

dies is unser flüssiges Brot!


[Chorus] Bayern des samma mir,

Bayern und des bayerische Bier!

Bayern, jawoi des samma mir!

Bayern und des bayerische Bier!

Bayern und des Reinheitsgebot,

deis is unser flüssiges Brot!

Bayern und des bayerische Bier,

Bayern jawoi des samma mir!


[Chorus 2x]


Bayern und des Reinheitsgebot, Bayern und des Reinheitsgebot...

Bayern des samma mir!


Seid’s freindlich!

Bavaria, that’s what we are

Be friendly – yes!

Be friendly, I tell you – yes!

Be friendly, I tell you again– yes!


You can bring me another weissbier!


Bavaria, that’s what we are! Yes!

Bavaria, that’s what we are! Yes!


Bavaria, that’s what we are!

Bavaria, yes that’s what we are!

Bavaria, that’s what we are!

That’s what we are, what we are!


Bavaria, that’s what we are!

Bavaria and Bavarian beer!

Bavaria and the Beer Purity Law,

This is our liquid bread!


[Chorus] Bavaria, that’s what we are!

Bavaria and Bavarian beer!

Bavaria, yes that’s what we are!

Bavaria and Bavarian beer!

Bavaria and the Beer Purity Law,

This is our liquid bread!

Bavaria and Bavarian beer!

Bavaria, yes that’s what we are!


[Chorus 2x]


Bavaria and the Beer Purity Law, Bavaria and the Beer Purity Law…

Bavaria, that’s what we are!


Be friendly!




Er Hat Ein Knallrotes Gummiboot:

So, I’m not really a big fan of this one, but it’s one you’ll probably hear, and luckily one that’s really simple to learn. The original 1970 #1 hit is by Norwegian songstress Wenche Myhre, who competed several times in the Eurovision Song Contest.  Here we have a video by popular Austrian singer Antonia aus Tirol, whose name is in reference to her first TV appearance with DJ Ötzi performing his hit Anton aus Tirol.


Er hat ein knallrotes Gummiboot

[Chorus] Er hat ein knallrotes Gummiboot

Mit diesem Gummiboot fahren wir hinaus

Er hat ein knallrotes Gummiboot

Und erst im Abendrot kommen wir nach Haus


Johnny, der fühlt sich wie Christoph Kolumbus

Und hat sogar einen Bart

Vor den Gefahren der christlichen Seefahrt

Warnt er mich vor jeder Fahrt

"Das Küssen an Bord ist verboten

Ich sage dir auch warum

Das Boot ist eine Konstruktion

Die kippt beim Küssen um."




Wir haben kein Segel und keinen Motor und keine Kombüse, oh nein

Wir schaukeln mit Liebe und sehr viel Humor in's große Glück hinein!




Johnny ist mutig und stolz wie Lord Nelson

Auch noch bei Windstärke Drei

Brausen die Stürme und plätschert der Regen

Ruft er verwegen "Ahoi!"

Und sollte die Luft uns entweichen

Ja das nimmt er gerne in Kauf

Die Fahrradpumpe ist im Boot

Und er, er pumpt es auf




La-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la

La-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la




He has a bright red rubber boot

[Chorus] He has a bright red rubber boot

With this rubber boat we go out

He has a bright red rubber boot

And we don’t get home until sunset


Johnny, who feels like Christopher Columbus

And even has a beard

Against the dangers of Christian navigation

He warns me before every ride

"The kissing is not allowed on board

I'll tell you why

The boat is a construction

That is overturned by kissing."




We have no sails and no engine and no galley, oh no

We rock with love and much humor into great luck!




Johnny is brave and proud like Lord Nelson

Even at wind strength three

Storms roar and rain splashes

He boldly calls "Ahoy!"

And should the air leak ou

Yes, takes into account

The bicycle pump is in the boat

And he, he pumps it up




La-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la

La-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la-la



Ich war noch niemals in New York:

One of the classic schlager songs by Udo Jürgens, it seems most everyone in Germany knows the words to this one.  There’s nothing particularly Oktoberfest about this one, but everyone seems to enjoy it, often linking arms and swaying together while singing.


Ich war noch niemals in New York

Und nach dem Abendessen sagte er,

laß mich noch eben Zigaretten holen geh'n,

sie rief ihm nach nimm Dir die Schlüssel mit,

ich werd inzwischen nach der Kleinen seh'n,

er zog die Tür zu, ging stumm hinaus,

ins neon-helle Treppenhaus,

es roch nach Bohnerwachs und Spießigkeit.

und auf der Treppe dachte er, wie wenn das jetzt ein Aufbruch wär,

ich müßte einfach geh'n für alle Zeit,

für alle Zeit...


[Chorus] Ich war noch niemals in New York, ich war noch niemals auf Hawaii,

ging nie durch San Franzisko in zerriss'nen Jeans,

Ich war noch niemals in New York, ich war noch niemals richtig frei,

einmal verrückt sein und aus allen Zwängen flieh'n.


Und als er draussen auf der Straße stand,

fiel ihm ein, daß er fast alles bei sich trug,

den Paß, die Eurochecks und etwas Geld,

vielleicht ging heute abend noch ein Flug.


Er könnt' ein Taxi nehmen dort am Eck oder Autostop und einfach weg,

die Sehnsucht in ihm wurde wieder wach,

nach einmal voll von Träumen sein, sich aus der Enge hier befrei'n,

er dachte über seinen Aufbruch nach,seinen Aufbruch nach...




Dann steckte er die Zigaretten ein und ging wie selbstverständlich heim,

durchs Treppenhaus mit Bohnerwachs und Spießigkeit,

die Frau rief "Mann, wo bleibst Du bloß, Dalli-Dalli geht gleich los",

sie fragte "War was?" - "Nein, was soll schon sein."




I have never been to New York

And after dinner he said,

“Let me just get some cigarettes.”

She called after him, “Take the keys with you,

I’ll watch the the kid.”

He closed the door, walked out silently,

Into the neon-lit stairwell,

It smelled of floor polish and smugness

And on the stairs he thought, “What if this were a departure,

I'd simply go for all time

For all time ...


[Chorus] I have never been to NY, I have never been to Hawaii,

Never walked through San Francisco in ripped jeans

I have never been to NY, I was never really free,

Once being crazy and crossing all limits


And as he stood outside on the street,

He realized that he was carrying everything with him,

The passport, the Eurocard and some money,

perhaps there was even still a flight this evening


He could take a taxi there at the corner

Or the stop and simply be gone,

The longing inside him again awoke, To be once full of dreams, To be freed from the limits

He thought of his departure, his departure




Then he put his cigarretes into his pockets, And of course went home,

Through the stairwell with floor polish and smugness

His wife called "Hey, where have you been, Dalli Dalli starts in a minute,"

She asked "Has something happened?" "No, what should have happened"



Skandal Im Sperrbezirk:

Another one on my workout mix, this one comes courtesy of the Neuen Deutsche Welle (German New Wave) school of music.  It was a #1 hit for the Bavarian band Spider Murphy Gang.  Perhaps it’s that my ear is partial to Munich German, but this is one of the easier ones to follow once you see the words. 

The song is a bit rebellious, telling the story of the fictional phone sex operator Rosie who takes good economic advantage of Munich politics.  As you’ve probably heard now thanks to Bonn’s new prostitute “parking meters,” prostitution is legal in Germany.  However, cities may designate a “Sperrbezirk,” or restricted area, in which prostitution is banned to protect the youth and public decency. 

So, our Rosie quite wisely just advertises in the daily paper, giving her number for customers to call, while the real working girls stand around, bored and flat footed, outside of the city center.


Skandal Im Sperrbezirk

In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus

doch Freudenhäuser müssen raus,

damit in dieser schönen Stadt

das Laster keine Chance hat!


Doch jeder ist gut informiert

weil Rosie täglich inseriert

und wenn dich deine Frau nicht liebt

wie gut, daß es die Rosi gibt!


[Chorus] Und draußen vor der großen Stadt

stehen die Nutten sich die Füße platt!

Skandal [Skandal]

im Sperrbezirk

Skandal [Skandal]

im Sperrbezirk


Skandal um Rosie!


Ja Rosie hat ein Telefon

auch ich hab' ihre Nummer schon.

Unter 32-16-8

herrscht Konjunktur die ganze Nacht.

Und draußen im Hotel d'Amour

langweilen sich die Damen nur,

weil jeder den die Sehnsucht quält

ganz einfach Rosies Nummer wählt.




Und draußen vor der großen Stadt

stehen die Nutten sich die Füße platt!

Skandal (Skandal)

im Sperrbezirk

Skandal (Skandal)

im Sperrbezirk


Skandal um Rosie!






Skandal um Rosie!

Scandal in the Restricted Zone

In Munich stands a Hofbräuhaus

But brothels have to get out,

so in this beautiful city

vice has no chance!


But everyone is well informed

because Rosie inserts a daily ad

and if your wife does’t give love

it’s good that Rosie’s there!


[Chorus] And outside the big city

Stand hookers on flat feet!

Scandal [Scandal]

in the restricted area

Scandal [Scandal]

in the restricted zone


Scandal over Rosie!


Yes, Rosie has a phone

and I've got her number already.

Under 32-16-8

economy goes throughout the night.

And outside the Hotel d'Amour

the ladies just feel bored,

because everyone tormented by longing

simply dials Rosies number.




And outside the big city

stand hookers on flat feet!

Scandal (scandal)

in the restricted zone

Scandal (scandal)

in the restricted zone


Scandal over Rosie!






Rosie scandal!


In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus:

Skandal im Sperrbezirk is an appropriate lead-in to the next one, also known as the Hofbräuhaus-lied (The Hofbräuhaus Song).  The first line of Skandal references this song, which the Hofbräuhaus describes on its site as a “musical love letter to the most famous beer hall in the world.”

Berlin composer Wiga Gabriel wrote the words to a friend in 1935, and another friend set it to Bavarian brass music, creating on of the best known German songs.  After springing to popularity through Karneval, this song has been remade in so many different ways over the years.  If you prefer the music-only version (no singing), here’s a good one.... Or Franzl Lang’s more Alpine version, complete with yodelling...Or band Onkel Tom’s heavy metal version which shockingly is more painful than the yodelling. 

A band may play the whole song, or may just play the chorus. We’ll give you the whole thing here, complete with scenes from Munich. The singing starts around 0:56. 

Did I mention that it’s full of late 80s cheesy TV production quality, bad hair, puffy sleeves and LOTS of sitting and swaying.  Klasse!


In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus

Da, wo die grüne Isar fließt,

Wo man mit "Grüß Gott" dich grüßt,

Liegt meine schöne Münch'ner Stadt,

Die ihresgleichen nicht hat.

Wasser ist billig, rein und gut,

Nur verdünnt es unser Blut,

Schöner sind Tropfen gold'nen Wein's,

Aber am schönsten ist eins:


[Chorus] In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus:

Eins, zwei, g'suffa . . .

Da läuft so manches Fäßchen aus:

Eins, zwei, g'suffa . . .

Da hat so manche braver Mann:

Eins, zwei, g'suffa . . .

Gezeigt was er so vertragen kann

Schon früh am Morgen fing er an

Und spät am Abend kam er heraus

So schön ist's im Hofbräuhaus.


Da trinkt man Bier nicht aus dem Glas,

Da gibt's nur "die große Maß!"

Und wenn der erste Maßkrug leer,

Bringt dir die Reserl bald mehr.

Oft kriegt zu Haus die Frau 'nen Schreck,

Bleibt der Mann mal länger weg.

Aber die braven Nachbarsleut',

Die wissen besser Bescheid!




Wenn auch so manche schöne Stadt

Sehenswürdigkeiten hat,

Eins gibt es nirgendwo wie hier:

Das ist das Münchener Bier.

Wer dieses kleine Lied erdacht

Hat so manche lange Nacht

Über dem Münchener Bier studiert

Und hat es gründlich probiert.




In Munich stands a Hofbräuhaus

There, where the green Isar flows,

Where everyone with "God Bless" greets you,

Stands Munich my beautiful city,

She has no peers.

Water is cheap, clean and good,

Only it dilutes our blood,

More beautiful are drops of golden wine,

But the best is this one:


[Chorus] In Munich stands a Hofbräuhaus:

One, two, cheers!

Since so many keg runs out:

One, two, cheers!

As it has so many good men:

One, two, cheers!

Shown what he can tolerate

Early in the morning, he began

And late in the evening he came out

So beautiful is it in the Hofbräuhaus.


There no one drinks beer from a glass,

There's only "the big mug!"

And when the first beer mug is empty,

The waitress brings you more soon.

Often the wives at home fear,

That the men stay away so long.

But the good neighbors,

They are better informed!




Though many beautiful cities

Have tourist sites,

One thing is nowhere like here:

This is the Munich beer.

Who thought up this little song

Has so many a long night

Studied Munich beer

And tasted it thoroughly.



Marmor Stein und Eisenbrick:

Another schlager classic that has stood the test of time. This one has a little bit of 50s and rock to it, so is well suited to being updated over the decades. And it’s easy for the crowds to sing.

Drafi Deutscher recorded this song in 1965. Impressive hair height and collar length…


Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht

Weine nicht, wenn der Regen fällt (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

Es gibt einen der zu Dir hält (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)


[Chorus] Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht

Aber unsere Liebe nicht

Alles, alles geht vorbei

Doch wir sind uns treu


Kann ich einmal nicht bei dir sein (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

Denk daran, du bist nicht allein (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)


[Chorus 2x]


Nimm den goldenen Ring von mir (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

Bist Du traurig dann sagt er dir (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)


[Chorus 2x]

Everybody now!

[Chorus 2x]


Marble, Stone and Iron Break:

Don't cry, when the rain falls (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

There's someone who will stick by you (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

[Chorus] Marble, stone and iron break

But not our love

Everything, everything will pass

But we are faithful to us


If I can't be with you some (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

Think about it, that you're not alone (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)


[Chorus 2x]


Take this golden ring from me (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)

If you're sad then it will tell you (Dam Dam, Dam Dam)


Everybody now!

[Chorus 2x]


Er gehört zu mir:

I’ve put a recent performance here for the video, but you can also check out the 1975 original version that premiered in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Er gehört zu mir

[Chorus] Er gehört zu mir,

wie mein Name an der Tür

und ich weiß er bleibt hier


Nie vergess’ ich unsern ersten Tag ,

denn ich fühlte gleich das er mich mag ,

ist es wahre Liebe, die nie mehr vergeht

oder wird die Liebe vom Winde verweht?




Alles fangen wir gemeinsam an,

doch vergess’ ich nie wie man allein sein kann ,

steht es in den Sternen was die Zukunft bringt

oder muss ich lernen das alles zerrinnt?


Nein ich hab es ihm nie leicht gemacht ,

mehr als einmal hab ich mich gefragt ,

ist es wahre Liebe die nie mehr vergeht

oder wird die Liebe vom Winde verweht


Er gehört zu mir

für immer zu mir

für immer zu mir



He belongs to me

[Chorus]  He belongs to me,

like my name on the door

and I know he’ll stay here


I never forget our first day,

because I felt right away that he liked me.

Is it true love, that never fades away

or will love be blown away by the wind?




We begin everything together,

but I never forget how alone one can be.

Is it in the stars, what the future brings

or must I learn that everything melts away?


No, I have never made it easy for him,

more than once I have asked myself:

Is it true love, that never fades away

or will the love blow away by the wind?


He belongs to me

Forever to me

Forever to me




I’ll leave you with a bonus video of Wolfgang Fierek’s 1986 hit I hol di mit meim Traktor ab, which translates to I’ll pick you up in my tractor.


There’s one more Oktoberfest Song megapost to come…the easy one full of Oktoberfest songs you already know (but didn’t know they were Oktoberfest songs) 


Oktoberfest Songs 1 - Wies'n Hits

So, it’s Oktoberfest time again, and we are excited!! 

Not so much for the crowds and beer drinking (we could do without hordes of drunk tourists and we can drink even better German beer any day of the year).

No, we’re excited to wear our trachten and sing silly songs and schlager!

For those of you planning to visit Oktoberfest this year, we’ve prepared a short introduction to some of the most common Oktoberfest songs.  While there are a couple that are specific to Oktoberfest, you’ll likely hear these at many festivals (e.g., Starkbierfest and Dachauer Folksfest), at après ski, and at many parties. 

It’s just more fun when you know what people are singing, and many have motions or some sort of audience participation.

Since this will be an extremely long post, we’ll group them into three posts, splitting the songs into three categories: Wies’n Hits, Classics/Traditional, and Songs You Should Already Know

Let’s start with the most fun category - Wies’n Hits.  Though it will seem the entire tent knows these, the songs are not very old. Songs from before the 90s will be in the Classics/Traditional (wow, I’m starting to feel old…)

They’ve become popular in the last 10 years, but are incredibly well-known in the Munich area (and Austrian ski resorts and German beach resorts in Spain, if we’re being honest).  The truth is that many Bavarian traditions have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last 10 years or so. While visitors to Munich in the summer will likely see plenty of people dressed in tracht, this is a more recent development.  It’s fun, it’s cool, and many young people enjoy the traditions today.

In no particular order, but starting with a crowd favourite –


What I love about this one are the silly motions and the catchy tune.  It began as a children’s song but has become a favourite of beer festivals, après ski, and anywhere that involves a band and drinks. This one came to Oktoberfest 4 or 5 years ago from the children’s band Donikkl und die Weißwürschtl but was popularized by Tim Toupet’s top 10 cover version.

The full lyrics are below, but most important are the motions to the chorus.  Watch the crowd and singer in the video for examples, but we’ve listed them here next to the chorus:

Und ich flieg, flieg, flieg wie ein Flieger (fly your arms like a bird or airplane)
Bin so stark, stark, stark wie ein Tiger (make a muscle to show your strength)
Und so groß, groß, groß wie 'ne Giraffe (pump  your arms to the ceiling to show being tall)
So hoch oh, oh, oh (wave your hands up high)
Und ich spring, spring, spring immer wieder (hold your hands in front and jump like a kangaroo)
Und ich schwimm, schwimm, schwimm zu dir über (swim your hands in front of you)
Und ich nehm, nehm, nehm dich bei der Hand, (shake hands)
Weil ich dich mag, Und ich sag
Heut ist so ein schöner Tag
La-la-la-la-la (wave your hands and dance)


Ich lieg gern im Gras
Und schau zum Himmel rauf
Schauen die ganzen Wolken
Nicht lustig aus?
Und fliegt en Flieger vorbei
Dann wink ich zu ihm rauf
"Hallo Flieger!"
Und bist du auch noch dabei
Dann bin ich super drauf

[Chorus] Und ich flieg, flieg, flieg wie ein Flieger
Bin so stark, stark, stark wie ein Tiger
Und so groß, groß, groß wie 'ne Giraffe
So hoch oh, oh, oh
Und ich spring, spring, spring immer wieder
Und ich schwimm, schwimm, schwimm zu dir über
Und ich nehm, nehm, nehm dich bei der Hand,
Weil ich dich mag
Und ich sag
Heut ist so ein schöner Tag
Heut ist so ein schöner Tag
Heut ist so ein schöner Tag  

[Chorus 2x, then 1x slow] 

Flying Song

I like lying in the grass
And looking up into the sky
Don't all these clouds
Look funny?
And a plane flies past
Then I wave up to him
“Hello flyer!“
And if you're there, too
Then I have the time of my life

[Chorus] And I fly, fly, fly like a flyer

I'm so strong, strong, strong like a tiger
And so big, big, big like a giraffe
So tall, oh, oh, oh
And I jump, jump, jump again and again
And I swim, swim, swim over to you

And I take, take, take you by the hand,
'cause I like you
And I say
Today is such a beautiful day
Today is such a beautiful day
Today is such a beautiful day 

[Chorus 2x, then 1x slow]

Here is the best video tutorial about how to sync the movements with the song:

Here is what it's like in a festzelt at Oktoberfest.  The motions aren't so disciplined, but awesome ENERGY!

Viva Colonia:

The truth is that very few people know all the words to this song. It’s from Köln, not Bavaria, and is totally unrelated to Oktoberfest.  But still all the bands play it and everyone stumbles along until the chorus of “Viva Colonia” comes and they reach the two words they know. Don’t feel bad, just go with the flow and learn the tune and the two most important words. 

This one is fairly new, too, recorded in 2003 by De Höhner.  It was meant to sound like a song in the Cologne dialect (Kölsch), but to be able to be understood by most Germans. (…still pretty tough for non-native speakers like us!)  You’ll hear it often at Karneval or Köln area sporting events, but somehow it made it to Oktoberfest.  At Oktoberfest, you might hear a slightly altered version, replacing “Viva Colonia” with “Viva Bavaria.”

I’m just giving you the chorus, but if you really want the rest of the lyrics, you can find them online.

Viva Colonia (Chorus)

Da simmer dabei! Dat is prima! VIVA COLONIA!
Wir lieben das Leben, die Liebe und die Lust
Wir glauben an den lieben Gott und ham noch immer Durst    

Viva Colonia (Chorus)

Count us in! That's great! Long live Cologne!
We love life, love, and fun
We believe in the dear Lord God and are always up for a drink

I chose this particular video because it’s bizarrely funny – someone laid the sound track over a video of German heavy metal band Rammstein.


Cowboy und Indianer:

Also a song that has its own dance, the Lasso Dance (Lasso-Tanz), this song first came out in 2000, but became a hit several years later after the dance was popularized.  It almost cracked the German Top 5 (peaked at #6) in 2007.

During the chorus (which is sung a record FIVE times!!), follow the dance steps shown in the video. A quick intro:

Komm hol das Lasso raus (motion like you’re twirling a lasso) wir spielen Cowboy (point a gun with your finger) und Indianer (put a couple fingers behind your head to simulate feathers)...
wir reiten um die Wette (put hands at waist like riding with reins) ohne Rast und ohne Ziel (shield your eyes with your hand, looking at the horizon)
hast du mich umzingelt werd ich mich ergeben (put your hands up to surrender) stell mich an den Marterpfahl (put your hands like they’re tied behind your back)
komm hol das Lasso raus, (twirl the lasso again) so wie beim ersten Mal...


Cowboy und Indianer

 [Chorus] Komm hol das Lasso raus wir spielen Cowboy und Indianer...
wir reiten um die Wette ohne Rast und ohne Ziel
hast du mich umzingelt werd ich mich ergeben stell ich an den Marterpfahl
komm hol das Lasso raus, so wie beim ersten Mal...

So wie ein Cowboy in der Einsamkeit
auf seiner Suche nach Geborgenheit
reite ich immer weiter gegen den Wind
so lange bis ich endlich bei dir bin
Für dich ist mir kein Weg zu weit
Das bei dir vergesse ich die Zeit
nun bin ich da und ich hör nur wie du sagst...

[Repeat Chorus]

So wie ein Cowboy in der fremden Stadt
in der die Angst, noch einen Namen hat
bin wie besessen auf der suche nach dir
jede Gefahr nehme ich ins Visier.
Für dich ist mir kein Weg zu weit
Das bei dir vergesse ich die Zeit
nun bin ich da und ich hör nur wie du sagst... 

[Repeat Chorus 3x]  

Cowboy and Indians

[Chorus] Come get out the lasso, we’ll play cowboys and Indians ...
We ride against each other without rest or aim

Have you surrounded me, I'll surrender myself, put me on the stake
Come, take out the lasso, like the first time

Like a cowboy alone
in his quest for comfort
I ride on against the wind
until I’m finally with you
For you no way is too far
With you I lose track of time
Now I'm here and I just listen as you say ... 

[Repeat Chorus]

Like a cowboy in a foreign town
where fear still has a name
I'm obsessed with searching for you
I face every danger in my sight
For you no way is too far
With you I lose track of time
Now I'm here and I just listen as you say ...

[Repeat Chorus 3x]

Here is another great video tutorial about how to perform the movements with the song:


Living Next Door to Alice:

This is one of those songs that most English speakers will hear in Germany and then think to themselves “Wait, did I understand that correctly?” The answer is yes, you did. This one is an English-language Wies’n hit, where the crowd shouts the chorus, “Alice, Who the f--- is Alice?

The song originally was an early 70s song Living Next Door to Alice by the Australian group New World.  It was remade a few times, with the English band Smokie’s version topping the charts in the German-speaking region.  Finally the Dutch band Gompie released the more risqué version with the current title and chorus. While it only made it to #2 on the German charts, it secured a place in the Oktoberfest and après ski repertoires. 

Though it’s only one word, probably not safe to play loudly at work…


Living Next Door to Alice

Sally called when she got the word,
She said: "I suppose you've heard -
About Alice".

Well I rushed to the window,
And I looked outside,
But I could hardly believe my eyes -
As a big limousine rolled slowly
Into Alice's drive... 

[Chorus] Oh, I don't know why she's leaving,
Or where she's gonna go,
I guess she's got her reasons,
But I just don't want to know,
'Cos for twenty-four years
I've been living next door to Alice.
Alice, who the f-- is Alice

Twenty-four years just waiting for a chance,
To tell her how I'm feeling, maybe get a second glance,
Now I've got to get used to not living next door to Alice...
Alice, who the f-- is Alice



Grew up together,
Two kids in the park,
Carved our initials,
Deep in the bark,
Me and Alice.
Now she walks through the door,
With her head held high,
Just for a moment, I caught her eye,
As a big limousine pulled slowly
Out of Alice's drive.


Sally called back, asked how I felt,
She said: "I know how to help -
Get over Alice".
She said: "Now Alice is gone,
But I'm still here,
You know I've been waiting
For twenty-four years..."
And the big limousine disappeared... 


Now I'll never get used to not living next door to Alice...

Hände zum Himmel:

We included this in our classic Schlager list, but it’s big at Oktoberfest, too.

Originally done by Die Kolibris, the Hansi Hinterseer cover is well-known, too! 


Die Hände zum Himmel

Wenn du heut' nicht in der Stimmung bist
Lass doch alles so sein, wie es ist
Wir wollen trinken, noch einen trinken
Weil man die Sorgen dann vergisst 

Fühltst Du dich manchmal auch so allein
Glaub mir das brauchte gar nicht zu sein
Denn heute abend, gehn wir feiern
Die ganze Welt ist ein Verein 

[Chorus]Und dann die Hände zum Himmel
Komm lasst uns fröhlich sein
Wir klatschen zusammen und keiner ist allein
Und dann die Hände zum Himmel
Komm lasst uns fröhlich sein
Wir klatschen zusammen und keiner ist allein  

Wir tun nur noch das was uns gefällt
Tanzen, singen im Saal oder Zelt
Nicht alleine denn das will keiner
Uns gehört die ganze Welt

Und an morgen wird heut nicht gedacht
Wir feiern weiter - die ganze Nacht
Lasst uns heben, einmal schweben
und dabei wird nur gelacht 

[Chorus 2x]

Wir klatschen zusammen und keiner ist allein 

Hands to Heaven

If today you aren’t in the mood
Let everything be as it will be
We want to drink, even one drink
To forget our worries 

You feel so alone sometimes
Believe me that doesn’t have to be
So tonight, let's go celebrate
The whole world is a club

[Chorus] And then put your hands up to heaven
Come let us be merry
We clap together and no one is alone
And then hands up to heaven
Come let us be merry
We clap together and no one is alone

We do only what we like
Dance, sing in the hall or tent
Not alone – no one wants that
We own the whole world

And today we don’t think of tomorrow
We celebrate more - the whole night
Let us lift, float once
and just laughing

[Chorus 2x]

We clap along and no one is alone


Joana (Du geile Sau):

Peter Wackel’s  party version of an old song by Roland Kaiser became a big hit in 2006 (especially in Mallorca) and is now a top Wies’n hit.

Not the best recording in the world, but you get an idea of the crowd reaction and where to sing along.  Like Wahnsinn, there are expected crown refrains in bracketed italics.  This one is a tougher one to translate, as the crowd refrains are all slang and depending on the translation could range from playful to downright vulgar. I went with the more playful translation, and since you’ll be singing along with the crowd, there is nothing to worry about. But I’d be careful about calling someone a “geile Sau...

There’s a better version here, but it’s blocked in the US.  Perhaps it will work for our European friends…  


Joana, geboren um Liebe zu geben
Verbotene Träume erleben
Ohne Fragen an den Morgen 

Wie ein Stich ins Herz traf mich dein Blick
Und ich sah, für mich gab's kein zurück
Und Dein Wunsch flog mir entgegen
Doch er machte mich verlegen
Ein Gefühl, das längst verloren schien 

[Chorus] Joana, [du geile Sau]
geboren um Liebe zu geben [du Luder]
Verbotene Träume erleben [du Drecksau]
Ohne Fragen an den Morgen danach aha aha

Oh Joana, [du geile Sau]
Dein Lächeln ist fordernd und flehend [du Luder]
Mit mir all die Wege zu gehen [du Drecksau]
Die ein Mensch allein nicht findet 

'Ich wohn' in der Stadt nicht weit von hier'
Sagtest Du wie nebenbei zu mir
Und ich sah in Deinen Augen
Die zur Schüchternheit nicht taugen
Dass Du halten wirst was Du versprichst
aha aha

[Chorus 2x]


Joana, born to give love
To experience forbidden dreams
Without questions in the morning 

Like a stab in the heart I met your gaze
And I saw there was no turning back
And I flew to your wish
And was embarrassed by
A feeling that seemed long-lost

[Chorus] Joana, [you dirty sow]
to give birth to love [you hussy]
Forbidden Dreams do [you swine]
without questions in the morning after aha aha
Oh Joana, [you dirty sow]
Your smile is demanding and pleading [du hussy]
To go all the way with me[you swine]
So a person is not alone

“I live in the city not far from here,”
You said casually to me
And I saw in your eyes
That shyness doesn’t suit you
That you keep your promises
aha aha 

[Chorus 2x] 

'54, '74, '90, 2006:

This one really is a World Cup song, but everyone liked it so much that it’s played at Oktoberfest and après ski.  If you plan to be in Germany for long (or during World Cup or Euro Cup), you should learn this one.

Written by Sportfreunde Stiller for the 2006 World Cup, it mentions Germany’s championships in 1954, 1974, 1990, and it’s hoped-for 2006 championship. Last summer we heard the updated '54, '74, '90, 2010 version and at this year’s Women’s World Cup '54, '74, '90, 2011… with the 2012 EuropaCup coming soon. Not sure what will happen to they lyrics when Germany next wins….

'54, '74, '90, 2006

[Chorus] (Eins und Zwei und Drei und)
Vierundfünfzig , Vierundsiebzig, Neunzig, Zweitausendsechs,
Ja so stimmen wir alle ein,
Mit dem Herz in der Hand und der Leidenschaft im Bein
Werden wir Weltmeister sein.

Wir haben nicht die höchste Spielkultur,
Sind nicht gerade filigran,
Doch wir haben Träume und Visionen
Und in der Hinterhand nen Masterplan
Für unsere langen Wege aus der Krise
Und aus der Depression
Lautet die Devise:
Nichts wie rauf auf den Fußballthron. 


Die ganze Welt greift nach dem goldenen Pokal,
Doch nur einer hält ihn fest, so ist das nun einmal.
Die ganze Welt spielt sich um den Verstand,
Doch der Cup bleibt in unserem Land. 


Beim ersten Mal wars n Wunder,
Beim zweiten Mal wars Glück,
Beim dritten Mal der verdiente Lohn
Und diesmal wirds ne Sensation. 


'54, '74, '90, 2006

[Chorus] (One and Two and Three and)
Fifty-four, seventy-four, ninety, two thousand six,
Yes we all agree,
With the heart in the hand and passion in the leg
Will we be world champion.

We don’t have the highest game culture,
Are not exactly delicate,
But we have dreams and vision
And in the hindquarters a Master Plan
For our long ways out of crisis
And out of depression
The motto is:
Nothing like being up on the Football throne


The whole world reaches for the golden cup, 
But only one holds it, this is the case now
The whole world revolves around the tension,
But the Cup will remain in our country. 


The first time was a wonder,
Second time was luck,
The third time the reward
And this time a sensation. 



Ab in den Süden:

Another summer hit that became a Wies’n hit.  The band and/or the crowd usually will change the words to fit Oktoberfest.  This one is a sort of German reggae-hiphop summer anthem, by Buddy and DJ The Wave in 2003.

For the Oktoberfest lyrics, user chickmunks has posted them on Toytown here (middle of the page).  “Sommer, sonne, sonnenschein” are replaced with “Hendl, Brezn, und a Bier,” as well as changing many of the lyrics to fit Oktoberfest.


Ab in den Süden

Oh willkommen, willkommen sonnenschein!
Wir packen unsere sieben sachen in den flieger rein.
Ja wir kommen, wir kommen, wir kommen macht euch bereit,
Reif für die insel, sommer, sonne, strand und zärtlichkeit.

[Chorus] Raus aus dem regen,
Ins leben,
Ab in den süden,
Der sonne entgegen,
Was erleben,
Einen heben,
Und dann bikinis erleben.
Jetzt kommt es dick mann,
Ich rette den tag,
Ich sag, ab geht die party,
Und die party geht ab. 

Und ich sag:
Eeeeeeeeey, ab in den süden,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht.
Ja ich sag:
Eeeeeeeeey, ab in den süden,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht. 

Sommer, sonne, sonnenschein,
Sommer, sonne, sonnenschein,
Sommer, sonne, sonnenschein,
Sommer, sonne, sonnenschein,
Sommer, sonne,
Sommer, sonne,
Sommer, sommer, sommer.

Oh wir kommen, wir kommen, wir kommen sonnenschein!!!!!
Den ganzen tag am strand ziehn wir uns die melonen rein.
Ja tequila, tequila, tequila, wonderbrah,
Und heute nacht machen wir noch die ganze insel klar.


[Sing 2x] Eeeeeeeeey, ab in den süden,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht.
Ja ich sag:
Eeeeeeeeey, ab in den süden,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht,
Der sonne hinterher,
Ey joh, was geht.

Off to the South

Oh welcome, welcome sunshine!
We packed our 7 bags into plane.
Yes, we’re coming, we’re coming, get ready

Ready for the island, summer, sun, beach and tenderness.

[Chorus] Out of the rain,
Into life,
Off to the south,
Into the sun,
What experience,
Lift a cold one,
And then experience bikinis.
Now man it’s getting late,
I'll save the day,
I say down, “Party down”,
And the party goes off. 

And I say:
Eeeeeeeeey, off to the south,
The sun behind,
Ey whatever comes,
The sun behind,
Ey whatever comes.
Yes, I say:
Eeeeeeeeey, off to the south,
The sun behind,
Ey joh what works,
The sun behind,
Ey joh what goes.

Summer, sun, sunshine,
Summer, sun, sunshine,
Summer, sun, sunshine,
Summer, sun, sunshine,
Summer, sun,
Summer, sun,
Summer, summer, summer.

Oh, we’re coming, we’re coming, we’re coming sunshine !!!!!
The whole day at the beach the melons pull us in.

Yes, tequila, tequila, tequila, Wonderbra,
And tonight we’ll make the whole island clear. 


[Sing 2x] Eeeeeeeeey, off to the south,
The sun behind,
Ey joh what works,
The sun behind,
Ey joh what goes.
Yes, I say:
Eeeeeeeeey, off to the south,
The sun behind,
Ey joh what works,
The sun behind,
Ey joh what goes.

Das geht ab:

This is another one you should know for any football related activity, though its refrain applies to many occasions.  It’s a 2009 Top 5 hit collaboration between DJ Manny Marc and the group Frauenarzt.

This is a German rap song, so often you’ll hear just the chorus rather than the entire song. FC Bayern fans love to cheer it at games.

We’ll go with their original video:

Das geht ab

ich hab dieses gefühl
ja das wird heut´n riesen ding
das ist die party des jahres
ja das sagt mir mein instinkt
heut´ sind alle dabei
es ham sich hier alle com getroffen
wir feiern bis zum abwinken
hier wird konfetti geschossen
hebt die hände in die luft
und macht die ganze nacht krach
damit auch jeder partymuffel geht
weil er abkackt
kackst du ab hast du verkackt
denn die party geht erst los
wenn die bässe richtig pumpen
bis in jeden hinterhof
das ist atzenmusik
bei uns da brennt jeder club
es wird gefeiert wie noch nie
schmeiß die hände in die luft

[Chorus] hey das geht ab!
wie feiern die ganze nacht
die ganze..
hey das geht ab!
wir feiern die ganze nacht
die ganze..
hey das geht ab
wir feirn die ganze nacht
die ganze..
hey das geht ab!
wir feiern die ganze nacht
die ganze nacht

heute sind wir nicht alleine
heute wird nur noch gefeiert
alle atzen sind dabei
das ist das absolute highlight
die löcher fliegen durch den käse
blankenese polonaise
lass die sau mal richtig raus
denn heut´ gibts keine pause
deutsche party
atzen machen faxen und sind laut
wir sind auf jeder party
und drehn´ anlagen auf
wir ham den mob mitgebracht
wir toben mit in der menge
wir rasten richtig aus
wir schlagen voll über die strenge
die fraun´ sind hier sehr freizügig
sie zeigen was sie ham
wir sind bekannt für wilde partys
und das schon seit vielen jahren

[Chorus 2x] 

It’s going off (it’s awesome)

I have this feeling
Yes, today’s going to be big
It’s the party of the year
Yes instinct tells me
Today everybody will be there
All will meet
We celebrate until dawn
Here we’ll shoot confetti
Raise our hands into the air
And make noise all night
So that every party-pooper leaves
Because he sucks
If you suck you're a loser
Because the party’s just starting
When the bass is really pumping
Up to every backyard
This is homie music
We burn every club when we're there
We'll celebrate as never before
Throw our hands into the air

[Chorus] Hey, that's awesome!
We celebrate the whole night
The whole ...
Hey, that's awesome!
We celebrate the whole night
The whole ...
Hey, that's awesome!
We celebrate the whole night
The whole ...
Hey, that's awesome!
We celebrate the whole night
The whole night

Today we’re not alone
Today we'll just party
All our homies are there
That's the absolute highlight
The holes fly through the cheese
Blankenese, Polonaise
Let it all hang out
Because today there will be no break
German party
Homies make a ruckus and they're loud
We're on every party
And put the music louder
We've brought the mob with us
We rage with them
We really freak out
We get totally carried away
The women here are really generous
They show what they've got
We are known for wild parties
And that already for many years

[Chorus 2x]

Anton aus Tirol:

This is one of the many hits of DJ Ötzi, king of the après ski and Wies’n…A number one hit in both Austria and Germany in 2000, this one is about Anton, the (annoying) ladies man from Tirol.

I’ll just let the video and lyrics speak for themselves. But if you spend enough time in Munich or skiing, you’ll hear it. 

Anton aus Tirol

[Chorus] Ich bin so schön , ich bin so toll. Ich bin der Anton aus Tirol.
Meine gigaschlanken Wadln san a Wahnsinn für die Madln.
Mei Figur a Wunder dar Natur.
I bin so stoak und auch so wild.
Ich treib es heiss und eisgekühlt.
Wippe ich mit dem Gesäß, schrein die Hasen SOS und wollen den Anton aus Tirol. 

Blaue Pille, Sellerie - des braucht so a Anton nie.
Koa Tattoo und koane Schmäh, a koa Piercing und koa Juche.
Bin koa Softie, bin koa Tiger. Girls, so an Typ wie mi, des gab´s noch nie. 


Abends dann im Discostadl zoag i mi mit 15 Madl, denn gewinnen kann nur i.
Ui, so schön woai no nie.
Lass alle Buam im Regen stehen.
Koana is so urig schön.
Ahhh, bin i schön. Ahhhh, is der schön, stoaka Bua, von dir kriag i net gnua.
Komm her und mochs mit mia, mein Tiroler Stier. 



Anton from Tirol

[Chorus] I am so beautiful , I am so great, I am Anton from Tirol.
My mega-slim calves make all the girls crazy,

My physique, is a wonder of nature.
I am so strong, and also so wild,
I play it hot, and icy cool.
When I wiggle my butt, all bunnies scream SOS and want Anton from Tirol.

Blue pill, ginseng root, Anton never needs those,
No tattoo, no shoes, and no piercings, no yahoo!

I’m not a softy, I’m a tiger. Girls… a guy like me, there has never been! 


Evenings then at the village disco, I show up with fifteen babes, because I’m the only winner
O yeah, i was never before so beautiful
Leave all the other boys out in the rain,
Noone is so beautiful,
Ahhh I am so beautiful! Ahhhh he’s beautiful, Strong boy, I never get enough of you,
Come here and cuddle with me, my Tirolean steer




Ein Stern (der Deinen Namen Trägt):

This is a much better DJ Ötzi one, a 2007 Number One in both Germany and Austria.  I like this version he did with Andre Rieu and his orchestra in 2010, though there are many dance and acoustic versions out there. It’s an incredibly popular song here! 


Ein Stern

[Chorus] Einen Stern der Deinen Namen trägt
Hoch am Himmelszelt
Den schenk ich Dir heut Nacht
Einen Stern der Deinen Namen trägt
Alle Zeiten überlebt
Und über unsere Liebe wacht 

Seit Jahren schon leb ich mit Dir
Und ich danke Gott dafür
Dass er mir Dich gegeben hat
Als Erinnerung an unser Leben
möchte ich Dir heut' etwas geben
Ein Geschenk für alle Ewigkeit


Irgendwann ist es vorbei
Und im Himmel wird Platz für uns zwei
Doch Dein Stern bleibt oben
für immer und ewig stehn
Und auch noch in 1000 Jahren
wird er Deinen Namen tragen
Und immer noch
der schönste von allen sein

[Chorus 2x]

A Star

[Chorus] A star which bears your name
High on the firmament
That one I give to you tonight
A star which bears your name
Survives all time
And watches over our love 

For years I have been with you
And I thank God for this
That he gave you to me
As a memory of our life,
I want to give you something today
A gift for eternity


Someday it will be over
And in heaven there’ll be a place for us two
But your star remains above
For ever and ever
And even in a 1000 years
It will bear your name
And forever
It will be the most beautiful of them all 

[Chorus 2x]


The last few of this group are recent official Wies’n Hits and contenders, so may not be as widely played as the old favorites.  There definitely seems to be a trend toward making them sound more Bavarian (whether it’s accurate or not, I’m no judge!).  I wouldn’t worry about learning the words, but here are the videos:

Wies’n Hit 2010: Fassl voll Bier

This was the official Wies’n hit for 2010, by the band HoAß, appropriately about a keg of beer and some fun after the guy’s girlfriend goes out.




Wies’n Hit 2009 Runner-up: 10 Meter geh’

This song by Chris Böttcher mocks Top Model and and superstars with a catchy tune to be elected the 2009 Wies’n Hit. It’s pretty catchy but an odd, funny video.


Before those were Fliegerlied (2008), Ein Stern (2007), and 54, 74, 90, 2006 (2006), which have all stood the test of a few years.


What will be selected as 2011’s Wies’n Hit?  Most people's money is on Austrian Andreas Gabalier’s song:

I sing a Lied für di

This one has become popular in the Austrian summer festivals, “I sing a song for you.”


Other contenders include:

I am from Bavaria:

Amusing and full of stereotypes (and in English):


Kuh Yvonne:

I think this one is probably trying too hard with silly animal theme, motions, and traditional sound mixed with pop. But, it’s out there….

By the way, for those of you who haven’t heard of her, Yvonne is the fugitive cow (kuh) who escaped the slaughterhouse.

Scharfe Möpse:

As Herr J mentioned earlier, this one is a play on words. Möpse is both the plural of pug (the dog) and boobs, which are often accentuated by the dirndls at Oktoberfest. 


And finally we end with a little fun. Not going to be a Wies’n Hit, but still catchy and cute: (and the guy scuba diving in the beer mug is cute)


For the other two groups, head to our later posts:

Classic/Traditional Oktoberfest Songs (long live the 80s!)

Songs You Should Already Know


Eurovision Song Contest

This week is an important week in Europe, and a good example of another pan-European love that is a mystery to most Americans. Yep, it's the 56th annual Eurovision Song Contest.  This is something that, unless we've had the fortune to have British friends, most of us never hear of in the US.  However, it's the most viewed non-sports broadcast on earth - EBU estimates 125 million viewers per year, with more watching worldwide online.

This week in Düsseldorf, musical acts from 43 European countries will compete for the coveted title, decided by a combination of experts and the voting public.  The whole week is a festival of parties, rehearsals, and performances, with all of the national delegations, journalists, and fans coming into town for the festivities.

On each broadcast, the contests will perform live (recommended 3-3:30 minutes). An interval act will perform after the contestants, while the votes are being tallied. The winners (or 10 advancing to the Finals) will be announced, but the actual scores and rankings will not be released until after the Finals are complete.

Eurovision is fun...it's usually mainline pop (think modern schlager music), with glitzy costumes, choreography, and wind and smoke machines. Celine Dion launched her international career with a 1988 win, and ABBA has been Eurovision's biggest success story. (Yes, think ABBA when you think of what's popular in Eurovision!).

And yet sometimes there are surprises...Germany's schlager hit Dschinghis Khan won the 1979 contest and we LOVE the 2006 winner, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi. It's hard to describe, but it's a little bit like KISS meets the aliens that you'd find in a bar on Star Trek DS9

For the most part, the entries are more along the lines of well-produced, formulaic pop that will appeal widely and are fun....a lot like this


The rules are somewhat complex and often changing, but the current key rules are:


  • Each member of the European Broadcasting Union may submit 1 song to represent its country (the number of competitors varies per year)
  • Member countries can select the entry by any method - Sweden hosts the Meolodiefestivalen extravaganza competition; others have reality shows to select the candidate; and yet others just recieve an invitation from the national broadcasting company
  • The song cannot have been previously commercially released
  • Performances are broadcast live with no recorded vocals permitted
  • Unless it cannot, the winning country always hosts the next year's competition


  • The "Big Five" Germany, France, UK, Spain, and (recent addition) Italy plus the host country automatically qualify for the final.
  • The other entrants compete in one of two semi-final rounds, with the top 10 from each Semi-final going on to the Final
  • It's determined by draw who will be in which Semi-final

Voting: (this one is complex)

  • Each country casts a single "vote" which ranks the other acts in the round.
  • This "vote" awards 12 points to the favorite act, 11 to the second favorite, and so on down to 1 point
  • The points awarded to the countries are tallied to come up with the winners
  • Each country's vote is determined 50% by the public and 50% by a professional jury in that country. Public voting is by phone and SMS - each person can vote a max of 20 times, but not for his/her own country
  • In the Semi-Finals, only the participants from that round can vote, plus the designated 2 or 3 from the Big Five (this year Spain & UK vote in 1st Semi, the others in the 2nd)
  • In the Finals, all 43 nations can vote, with the same voting system

Voting often is controversial (even more so than in the Olympics), with accusations that countries often vote in blocs to ensure their positions relative to others. But the system of awarding a fixed number of points does now ensure that the large countries don't have an unfair advantage due to larger populations voting.

Being something so loved in the UK, there of course are bookmakers and odds on Eurovision results....


So who do I predict to win the first rounds? 

It could all change with the live performance, but based on their video submissions, my predictions for who will go on to the Finals are:

1st  Semi-final: Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Malta, Georgia and Norway.
2nd Semi-final: Denmark, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Ireland, Israel, Estonia, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and Moldova

Finals: We'll see who makes it to the final, but the UK will be a tough one to beat. Italy and France seem too slow and classical to win; Spain is fun and makes you want to dance but isn't outstanding; and sorry, but Germany's entry is too much a pale shadow of last year's Eurovision winner (the beats are strangely similar, but Taken by a Stranger doesn't quite work as well as last year's hit Satellite):

 And this year's German entry (also by Lena):


This years entrants....a mix of pop, rock, classical, folk, and seventies....Click on the country name to see their official video for this year's entry:

First Semi-final (10 May 2011)





Aurela Grace

Feel The Passion



Boom Boom


Pardise Oskar

Da Da Dam



One More Day


Stella Mwangi

Haba Haba


Magdalena Tul



Alexj Vorobjov

Get You





Anna Rossinelli

In Love For A While


Yüksek Sadakat

Live It Up


Ell and Nikki

Running Scared





Loukas Giorkas feat. Stereo Mike

Watch My Dance


Kati Wolf

What About My Dreams


Sjonni’s Friends

Coming Home


Evelina Sašenko

C'est Ma Vie


Glen Vella

One Life


Homens da Luta

Luta É Alegria

San Marino


Stand By


Second Semi-final (12 May 2011)





Nadine Beiler

The Secret Is Love


Witloof Bay

With Love Baby

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Dino Merlin

Love In Rewind


Christos Mylordos

San Aggelo S'agapisa


Zdob și Zdub

So Lucky

The Netherlands


Never Alone



I'm Still Alive


Eric Saade



Mika Newton



Anastasiya Vinnikova

I Love Belarus


Poli Genova

Na Inat


A Friend In London

New Tomorrow


Getter Jaani

Rockefeller Street





Dana International

Ding Dong



Angel In Disguise

F.Y.R. Macedonia

Vlatko Ilievski



Hotel FM



Maja Keuc

No One


Final (14 May 2011)





Amaury Vassili



Lena Meyer

Taken By A Stranger


Raphael Gualazzi

Madness of Love


Lucía Pérez

Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao

United Kingdom


I Can


Top 10 scorers from 1st Semi-final


Top 10 scorers from 2nd Semi-final



After seeing videos from some of this week's rehearsals, I have high hopes for lots of glitter, dancing, and wind machines! We'll post some of the best videos from the semi-finals and give you our picks for the finals this weekend.

I'm curious to see how it's presented. There are a lot of interesting stories behind the songs and performers, and if this were an American show, I'd expect the focus to be on the story behind the scenes...Norway's entry by a Kenyan immigrant inspired by her grandmother's words (put into a song that makes you want dance).....How Iceland's entry is being sung by "Sjonni's Friends," after Sjonni himself died suddenly this year....Israel's beautiful transgender diva (and 1998 Eurovision Winner)...or Finland's cute, simple entry by a guy who just wanted to get some feedback on his music, not win a competition.....  I'm imagining it will mostly be about the performances, but the stories behind them often are equally interesting.


Schlager Music

When most of us think of Germany's musical contributions, we think Bach, Beethovern, Brahms, or Wagner. Or Nena, The Scorpions, Tokio Hotel, new wave, techno, or oompah bands.

But when you spend enough time in Germany (especially Southern Germany), you find out about Schlagermusik.

The closest translation of "Schlager" is "hit." It was very popular in the 60's and 70's across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and has had a huge revival in the last 10 years. So hard to describe, but at its best, Schlager is kitschy, cheesy, often ballad-style, usually upbeat, and a lot of fun. Throw in some bad hair, glittery costumes, choreography, props and the usual pop production tricks, and there you have it. There's a beat to clap along with and catchy lyrics for the audience to sing...and there's a big niche in the Schlager for songs inspired by Spanish, Mexican, and Carribean rhythms (or lyrics that refer to their beaches). I'm guess it has something to do with the German love for great sun & sand vacations, but who knows?  They don't stray too far from home though - the music videos and Sunday morning TV programs often have Alpine backgrounds and dirndl-type attire in the performances.

Schlager started in the 60s with a sound similar to popular American folk music (reminds me of The Lawrence Welk Show type performances, The Carpenters, Petula Clark, and so on), then moved on to some full-on 70s craziness, and a little more pop rock in the 80s. Today, well...think of the music of Neil Diamond and persona of Tom Jones (his music works too)...they're cheesy, a bit dated, and so much fun.

There are endless CDs and DVDs sold on late night TV, television specials, Schlager Star Parade tours throughout Germany, and the annual Schlager Nacht auf Schalke at the Veltins Arena. And the annual Eurovision Song Contest is heavy on the Schlager style! But where you'll hear endless schlager is at Oktoberfest, any après ski hut, and in surprisingly many bars in Mallorca and other similar spots full of German tourists. It's everywhere...but no one really wants to admit how much they enjoy it.

(On a side note, the Danish have taken on the Schlager baton, and are adding a great cheesy tecnopop spin to it.)

Herr J and I are having a great time investigating this aspect of German culture. Good research requires us to go to concerts, musicals, skiing, beer festivals, and such.  The closer it's tied to Oktoberfest or the Alps, the more there's some accordion and folk influence (including the electronic and techno versions!). We're working on a little guide of songs you need to know for Oktoberfest and Skiing. But for now, here are some of the most popular Schlager hits. Even if you don't understand a single word, they're very catchy and fun.

Ein Stern (der deinen Namen trägt):
I'll start you off easy, with one that's a good, solid pop song (check out the studio version here - more modern, but it's some guy's star picture slideshow). You'll also get the full effect from the crowd (they do not help combat the stereotype of rhythmless white people) and the dancers. This one is a live version, performed at a summer concert in Maastrict last year.

It's a sweet love song, with lyrics about giving your loved one a star in their name, and very catchy.

Classic Schlager - Ich war noch niemals in New York:
A classic hit by one of the schlager masters, Udo Jürgens. Translated as "I've never been to New York," it's about unfulfilled dreams. A husband goes out to buy cigarettes after dinner and starts thinking about all the things he's never done and realizes he could just hop on a plane now and see them. But in the end he buys his cigarettes and goes back home.
You can find the lyrics here, and in English. I heard this one at every beer festival and fair! (The lady who sings New York, New York has a pretty great voice!)

Schlager with dance steps - Fliegerlied (So ein schöner Tag):
I admit without shame I love this song. And last year I finally got the words and motions. Don't worry, we'll cover the steps when we get you ready for Oktoberfest and après ski...
There are better recordings of the song, but I like how this video captures the alpine setting and has people in animal costumes.

70s Schlager - Dschinghis Khan:
Yes, like Ghengis Khan, but in German words starting with the "J" sound are spelled with "Dsch". So, "Jungle" sounds almost the same as the German word "Dschungel."

This one is more funny than good, and was Germany's entry into Eurovision 1979. The 1979 part of it shows! These guys were not a one-hit wonder, they were quite popular...the intro to their song Moskau reminds me a lot of the Knight Rider theme. Anyway, Herr J and I saw this video on an infomercial and couldn't stop laughing.

70s Schlager - Anita
Not suprisingly, this is about a girl named Anita he falls in love with in Mexico. Costa Cordalis came to Germany from Greece as a teenager and became a big Schlager star...and is still performing his hits today in the tours.

80s Schlager - 1000 un 1 Nacht:
This one's about a girl and a guy who are friends. For a thousand nights, he's loved her but "nothing happened". The lyrics of the chorus say that they "Touched a thousand times; A thousand times nothing happened. But on the 1001st night... Boom!"

Rock Schlager - Wahnsinn (Hölle, Hölle, Hölle):
This one is a big hit in Oktoberfest and après ski. Entitled "Madness (hell, hell, hell)," it's basically a song about a girl who drives him crazy and makes his life hell, but he still wants her. What really appeals to the crowd (beyond the usual pop rock beat and melody tricks), is that there are many parts of the song where the crowd is supposed to yell something at the end of a verse, e.g., after "And my pride is long in the garbage" the crowd yells "Garbage, hazardous waste!" (Müll, Sondermüll!)

Die Hände zum Himmel:
Basically it says "Hands up to heaven" and is about rejoicing, celebrating life, and knowing that tonight you are not alone. This video in particular is a great example of the full television special production and a song with some leanings toward folk music. This one may be one of the Fasching parties that have been on TV the past week. But you'll definitely hear this one at Oktoberfest, and it's also one of the FC Bayern fan songs, and the Austrians seem to be big fans too. I don't know what words to use to begin finding out what this thing is, but we saw this guy at the World Cup Alpine Ski.


And then there's the man who has it all....the hair, the suit, the name, and the fantastic light shows....Hansi Hintersee!


Some are even performed on a stadium-rock scale.  Here are the East German group Puhdys singing "Hey, wir wollen die Eisbär sehen" (Hey, we want to see the Polar Bears).  It's the anthem for the Berlin Polar Bears, a professional ice hockey team.

Really, it's a genre unique to this area, but there are a few foreign performers who could be included.  For comparison (and your listening pleasure)....Sweet Caroline and Sex Bomb....both songs we often hear here too. The crowd went wild at Oktoberfest when the band played Sweet Caroline. I wouldn't say Neil Diamond's music generally is similar, but this song is close, when played with some energy. Tom Jones, however....he's all Schlager!

I'm sure it's purely coincidence that The Carpenters performed at the White House for visiting West German chancellor Willy Brandt, but you could switch the words to German and it would have fit perfectly into any 1970s schlager show!