ES IST SO SCHADE by DIE LASSIE SINGERS

GERMAN POP LYRICS: Die Hamburger Schule – Part 2
Girls find their Ideal man

Not all the bands in the Hamburger Schule actually came from Hamburg. Die Lassie singers came from Berlin, though perhaps to compensate they wrote a song called “Hamburg”. Moreover, they were friends with Blumfeld, and they contributed backing vocals to each others records. More importantly, their lyrics gave a female perspective on life in what could be a rather male dominated scene. I’ve already featured some tracks from their brilliant debut album on this blog, but it wasn’t until their third album that they enjoyed some commercial success. By this time the frontline had slimmed down to the songwriting duo of Christiane Rösinger and Almut Klotz. They were backed by the guitarist Frank Jürgen Krüger (who was in the NDW band Ideal in the early eighties) on “Stadt, Land, Verbrechen” (1994) and the single “Schade” made the German top 30.

ES IST SO SCHADE

REFRAIN:
Es ist so schade, dass du so bist, wie du bist,
Dass du leider nicht ein Anderer bist,
Dass du leider, leider ganz du selber bist.
 
Wärst du nur älter oder weiter,
Etwas größer, gern auch breiter,
Chevaleresker und charmanter
Oder einfach interessanter!
 
REFRAIN
 
Wärst du nur wärmer oder tiefer,
Lebendiger und lasziver,
Ein bisschen lustiger, ein bisschen heller,
Ein bisschen sexueller,
 
Dann könnt es sehr gut sein,
Dass aus uns mal noch was wird.
Doch wenn du du selbst bleibst,
Wird das nix.
Solang du so bist, wie du bist,
Wirds mit uns nix.
 
REFRAIN
IT'S SUCH A SHAME

CHORUS:
It's such a shame, that you are how you are
That unfortunately you aren't a bit different
That unfortunately you are completely yourself
 
If only you were older or further
A bit bigger, and wider too
More chivalrous and more charming
Or simply more interesting!
 
CHORUS
 
If only you were warmer, or deeper
Livelier and more lascivious
A bit funnier, a bit brighter
A bit more sexual
 
Then it could be good
That we would become something again
But if you remain yourself
Then nothing will happen
As long as you are as you are
Nothing will happen between us
 
CHORUS

THE LYRICS TRANSLATE TOP TEN MOST POPULAR POSTS FROM SPANISH POP LYRICS


When I started this blog the main idea was that you could look at the lyrics of a song in Spanish and English side by side. At the time most people were using a monitor to view the site. These days more and more people are using smaller screens, not least Smartphones, which rather spoils the effect. However, I have posted much (but not all) of my work on the site Lyrics Translate. If you are using a phone then my songs will be easier to read on this page.
Interestingly, the songs which are most popular on Lyrics Translate are quite different from those on my own site. Which is all the excuse I need for an alternative top ten.

1) LA PEREGRINACIÓN by ARIEL RAMÍREZ
I have translated all six songs from the brilliant Argentinian Christmas suite “Navidad Nuestra”. This is the most popular song.

2) EL CUMBANCHERO By CATERINA VALENTE
This must be one of the shortest and silliest songs I have ever translated. The album which it comes from is great fun.

3) TU MIRÁ by LOLE Y MANUEL
This flamenco track is featured in the movie ‘Kill Bill 2’ (directed by Quentin Tarantino).

4) EL CASCABEL by MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLÁN
The only artist to make it into both top tens but with different tracks.

5) PLAYA GIRÓN by SILVIO RODRÍGUEZ
Translating more poetic texts can be borderline impossible. I’m still not sure how close I got with this one!

6) VERDE by MANZANITA & ANA BELÉN
Another poetic text, here the lyrics are based on a poem by Lorca.

7) SERÍA FELIZ BY JULIETA VENEGAS
Mexico continues its impressive showing on these charts.

8) EL SITIO DE MI RECREO By ANTONIO VEGA
I have translated several songs by Vega’s band Nacha Pop but this solo effort has proved more popular.

9) YO NO SOY ESA by MARI TRINI
This was part of my series on Spanish pop and rock in the seventies.

10) LA LEYENDA DEL TIEMPO By CAMARÓN
Another lyric based on a poem by Lorca.

RUINS OF BERLIN by MARLENE DIETRICH

EUROPEAN POP LYRICS

It seems that Brexit is finally going to happen at the end of this month. Maybe I shouldn’t get too depressed about it, Europe has recovered from much worse. For some reason this song came to mind…

It is from the 1948 movie “A Foreign Affair”. Marlene Dietrich sings it in English, German, French and Russian, reflecting the fact that Berlin was divided into four zones at that time. More recently it has been covered by Udo Lindenberg.

RUINS OF BERLIN

ENGLISH:
Amidst the ruins of Berlin
Trees are in bloom as they have never been
Sometimes at night you feel in all your sorrow
A perfume as of a sweet tomorrow

That's when you realize at last
They won't return the phantoms of the past
A brand new spring is to begin
Out of the ruins of Berlin

GERMAN:
In den Ruinen von Berlin
Fangen die Blumen wieder an zu blühen 
Und in der Nacht spürst du von allen Seiten
Einen Duft, als wie aus alten Zeiten

FRENCH:
Dans les ruines de Berlin
Les arbres en fleur parfument ton chemin
RUSSIAN:
I na razwálinah Berlina
Nacnátsja nowaja wesná
RUINS OF BERLIN

ENGLISH:
Amidst the ruins of Berlin
Trees are in bloom as they have never been
Sometimes at night you feel in all your sorrow
A perfume as of a sweet tomorrow

That's when you realize at last
They won't return the phantoms of the past
A brand new spring is to begin
Out of the ruins of Berlin

GERMAN:
In the ruins of Berlin
The flowers start to bloom again
And at night you sense from every side
A fragrance, as if from old times

FRENCH:
In the ruins of Berlin
The trees in bloom perfume your path
RUSSIAN: 
In the ruins of Berlin
The new spring will start

VERSTÄRKER by BLUMFELD

GERMAN POP LYRICS: Die Hamburger Schule – Part 1
Moi? Je Chante En Allemand

Perhaps the most critically aclaimed of the bands in the Hamburger Schule was Blumfeld. They were formed in 1990 by Jochen Distelmeyer. His previous band was Die Bienenjäger who had been labelmates of Jetzt! on the Fast Weltweit label.

Blumfeld’s second album from 1994 has a French title – “L’État et moi”, and several of the songs have English titles. However, Distelmeyer (speak) sings everything, including the single “Verstärker”, in German, which was one of the key characteristics of the Hamburger Schule. The album often features on lists of the greatest German albums of all time – it was ranked 6th in a recent Musikexpress poll. The band also toured with the American indie band Pavement at this time, and the two groups once jammed together on a live version of “Verstärker”.

A couple of lines in the third verse seem to echo “Ask” by The Smiths: If it’s not love, it’ll be the bomb that brings us together. Also, the section near the end that starts “Und denk nanu?” references the Berliner Klopsgeschichte, an old poem in Berliner dialect.
An excellent live version of this song included on the reissue of the album incorporates parts of “Electric Guitars” by Prefab Sprout and “Everytime We Say Goodbye” by Cole Porter.

Thanks to Alsweider at Lyrics Translate for his translation. I have made a few changes, several based on suggestions by Koboldmaki, but this song seems challenging to translate and I still have doubts about several lines. I suspect I’m missing out on a lot of double meanings and references, so comments are welcome.

VERSTÄRKER

Merkst du, was ich merke
Wenn ich den Output verstärke?
Jeder geschlossene Raum ist ein Sarg
Als Text, der kein Behälter-Sarg sein mag
Schreib ich mich auf
Um nicht zu ex- oder zu implodieren
Platzangst reduzieren
Zieh ich mich zu und ab und zu aus
Und hör nicht auf, Prozess und Technik
Und mich selbst zu buchstabieren
Zeiträume neu 
im Sinn von weiter formulieren
Um dann wie hier später bei dir zu sein wie Tinte
Die sich ausstrecken will
Einsaugen lässt
In ein Bett aus Papier

Verstärker, Verstärker

Merkst du was ich merke
Was ich bis zur Rückkopplung verstärke
Hat als Effekt reflecting skin
Merkst du was? Ich merke:
Wo ich nicht war, komm ich nicht hin
Ich merk was auf der Haut und das macht Sinn
Falls du mich liest und darauf stehst
Dich von mir berühren lässt und mich berührst

Verstärker, Verstärker

Merkst du was ich merke
Wie sich Mystery und Hysteria und History verstärken?
Falls das nicht Liebe ist, wird es die Bombe
Beziehungsweise Kiste sein
Und ich als Text fall' immer wieder auf
Und in mich selber rein
Und denk nanu?
Nanu, denk ick
Jetz bin ick uff erst war ick zu
Dann geh ick raus und kieke
Und wer steht draußen? Icke
Jeder geschlossene Raum ist ein Sarg
Jeder geschlossene Raum ist ein Sarg
AMPLIFIERS

Can you feel what I feel
When I amplify the output?
Every closed room is a coffin
Like a text which doesn't want to contain a coffin
I'm writing myself down
So as not to ex- or implode
Reducing claustrophobia
I shut myself off, from time to time, and open up
And I don't stop, processes and technology 
And spelling myself out
Redefining timescales 
In the sense of defining them more broadly
To be with you here, later, like ink
Which wants to stretch out
Letting itself be sucked up
Onto a bed of paper

Amplifiers, amplifiers

Do you notice what I notice
What I amplify to the point of feedback
Has as an effect reflecting skin
Do you notice something? I realize:
Where I was not, I can not come
I notice something on the skin and that makes sense
If you are reading me and you are standing on it
Touch you of me and touch me

Amplifiers, amplifiers

Do you notice what I notice
How to ampliy mystery and hysteria and history?
If it’s not love, it'll be a blast
Or rather it’ll be bed
And as a text I keep standing out
And falling into myself
And I think: What’s this?
What’s this? I think
Now I am open, at first I was closed
Then I get out and look around
And who is outside? Me!
Every closed room is a coffin
Every closed room is a coffin

THE TOP TEN MOST POPULAR POSTS ON SPANISH POP LYRICS

Since it is the tenth anniversary of Spanish Pop Lyrics, the time seems right to look back at some of the most popular songs that I have posted. Although this blog is basically for my own amusement, it is gratifying to see that if attracts a steady stream of visitors. The most popular songs are generally ones that have featured in TV shows. Less predictably, many of the most viewed songs come from Mexico. Anyway, here are the top ten most popular posts from the last ten years. Click on the links for the lyrics and translations, or you can listen to all the songs in the playlist above.

1) NEGRO Y AZUL by LOS CUATES DE SINALOA
The clear winner in this chart is this song which was featured in the TV show Breaking Bad. Two other songs from the series, “He Venido” by Los Zafiros and “1977” by Anita Tijoux also get a lot of views.

2) ESOS OJOS NEGROS by DUNCAN DHU
In second place on the list is the second ever song I posted on Spanish Pop Lyrics. Although I have translated several other songs by Duncan Dhu, this is the one that remains enduringly popular with visistors to this blog.

3) LA MUJER DEL PELOTERO by CLAN 537
Latin dance pop, the cheesier the better, also gets a lot of hits on this blog. This track ties in third spot with another drunken dancefloor favourite, “Mueve La Colita” by El Símbolo.

4) CUÉNTAME by FORMULA V
A sixties classic, no doubt helped up the list by its association with the TV series Cuéntame Cómo Pasó.

5) CUCURRUCUCÚ PALOMA by CAETANO VELOSO
One of several posts on this blog which features in a film by Pedro Almodovar.

6) EL SON DE LA NEGRA by MARIACHI VARGAS DE TECALITLÁN
The Mariachi music of Mexico gets lots of love from visitors to this blog, not least this track.

7) BEGIN THE BEGUINE by JULIO IGLESIAS
When I started this blog I never imagined I would ever include Julio, but he has proved to be popular with visitors.

8) MARÍA DE BUENOS AIRES By ASTOR PIAZZOLLA
A classy entry from Argentina.

9) LA RUMBA DEL EMIGRANTE by JAVIER MORENO
This song was the theme to the YouTube series Spaniards in London, which sadly ended abruptly after five episodes.

10) FELIZ NAVIDAD by RAPHAEL & ALASKA
The number of visitors to this blog peaks over Christmas. This post is enduringly popular, with “La Marimorena” by Los Chunguitos not far behind.

ES IST EIN ROS ENTSPRUNGEN

GERMAN POP LYRICS: FROHE WEICHNACHTEN

Hmm… the British people are making some strange choices these days. I am taking solace in old hymns, including this German Christmas carol which was first published in 1599. In it the rose symbolises the Virgin Mary. The lyrics also mention Jesse, a figure described in the Bible as the father of David, who became the king of the Israelites. There is also a singable English version of this carol: “Lo how a rose e’er blooming”.

ES IST EIN ROS ENTSPRUNGEN

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen,
aus einer Wurzel zart,
wie uns die Alten sungen,
von Jesse kam die Art
Und hat ein Blümlein bracht
mitten im kalten Winter,
wohl zu der halben Nacht.

Das Röslein, das ich meine,
davon Isaias sagt,
hat uns gebracht alleine
Marie die reine Magd
Aus Gottes ew'gem Rat
hat sie ein Kind geboren
Welches uns selig macht.

Das Blümelein, so kleine,
das duftet uns so süß,
mit seinem hellen Scheine
vertreibt's die Finsternis.
Wahr Mensch und wahrer Gott,
hilft uns aus allem Leide,
rettet von Sünd und Tod.
A ROSE SPRANG UP

A rose sprang up
From a tender root
As the elders sang to us
It descended from Jesse
And brought forth a little flower
In the middle of the cold winter
Halfway through the night

The little rose that I mean
Of which Isaiah told
Brought to us alone
Mary, the pure maiden
From God’s eternal advice
She has borne a child
Who makes us blessed

The little flower, so small
That smells so sweet to us
With its bright shine
It drives out the darkness
True man and true God
Helps us from all sorrows
Saves us from sin and death

I WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING by SPARKLING

EUROPEAN POP LYRICS

It’s (another) UK election today. Hey everybody, let’s be positive, let’s be European. Try to remember what it was like to be young. Think back to the days before Brexit!

Sparkling are a young band from Cologne, Germany. The lyrics at the start of the song are:
“I want to see everything / I want to see the world”
sung in (respectively) German, English and French.

I don’t think I need to add a translation for the whole song, but the German lyrics in the second half translate as:
“Let’s go together / See the world together” and
“Do we want to go together? / To understand the world together?”

I WANT TO SEE EVERYTHING

Ich möchte alles sehen

Ich möchte die Welt sehen

I want to see everything

I want to see the world

Je veux tout voir

Je veux voir le monde

(Repeat)

Lass uns zusammen gehen

Zusammen die Welt sehen

We can see everything

We can feel everything

Wollen wir gemeinsam gehen?

Gemeinsam die Welt verstehen?

We can see everything

Nous voulons

(Go back to the beginning)

ES WAR EINMAL IN DEUTSCHLAND by JETZT!

GERMAN POP LYRICS: Die Hamburger Schule – Prologue 2
German Music Is Dead

In one of their last recordings Jetzt! songwriter Michael Girke despairs at the state of German music in the late 1980s. What makes the song fascinating is the references he makes to his musical heroes and villains.

The first verse quotes from the song “Wenn ich mir was wünschen dürfte” (“If I could Wish For Something”), recorded by Marlene Dietrich in 1930.

In the last verse he mentions some of his heroes: Peter Hein (original singer with Fehlfarben), Hildegard Knef and Rio Reiser (all of whom have been featured on this blog).

He also refers to a couple of villains. Ralph Siegel has participated 24 times in the Eurovision song contest, most famously as the co-writer of Germany’s 1982 winner sung by Nicole. Michael Kunze was the lyricist for some of the biggest Schlager hits of the 1970s, including “Du” by Peter Maffay.

At this point Jetzt! split up, and this demo from 1988 was only officially released a couple of years ago. Thankfully, there were other German bands ready to take up the torch…

Thanks to the folks at Lyrics Translate who helped with the transcription of the lyrics, particularly Hansi K. Lauer.

ES WAR EINMAL IN DEUTSCHLAND

Ein Geschenk meiner Oma,
verstaubt und verkratzt.
Eine Schellackplatte
hat mir Schönheit gebracht.
Eine Marlene sang:
"Man hat uns nicht gefragt,
als wir noch kein Gesicht,
ob wir leben wollten,
oder lieber nicht."
 
Warum singt man solche Lieder nicht mehr?
Es war einmal in Deutschland, ist lange her
 
Die deutsche Musik ist tot,
Die deutsche Musik ist tot,
mausetot!
Tot, die deutsche Musik ist tot,
mausetot!
 
François Truffaut hat es gewusst:
"Musik, das ist das Beste was es gibt"
Er kannte wohl das deutsche Liedgut nicht?
Im Radio ein Heimatlied,
seitdem hab ich Zweifel, ob es Gott gibt
Im Radio ein Heimatlied,
seitdem weiß ich, 
dass es in mir Mordgedanken gibt

Warum singt man solche Lieder nicht mehr?
Es war einmal in Deutschland, ist lange her
 
Die deutsche Musik ist tot,
Die deutsche Musik ist tot,
mausetot!
Tot, die deutsche Musik ist tot,
mausetot!
 
Und sie wird niemals wieder aufstehen
weil ihr niemand, niemand aufhilft
 
Ist diese Zeit zu viel für ein Lied?
Ist diese Zeit zu viel für ein Lied?
Denn da ist nichts über das Glück, 
das wir suchen,
an vergessenen Orten, 
in den Häuserschluchten
und nichts über die Lügen, die wir finden
und nichts über das Leben, das wir leben
 
Peter Hein, wo bist du?
Hilde Knef, wo bist du?
Rio Reiser, wo bist du?
Ralph Siegel, wann stirbst du?
Ralph Siegel, wann stirbst du?
Bringt mir den Kopf von Michael Kunze
auf einem Silbertablett
ONCE UPON A TIME IN GERMANY

A present from my gran
Dusty and scratched
A shellac disc
Brought me beauty
One Marlene sang:
"We weren’t asked
When we were faceless
Whether we wanted to live
Or rather not."
 
Why don’t people sing such songs anymore?
Once upon a time in Germany, a long time ago
 
German music is dead
German music is dead
Stone dead!
Dead, German music is dead
Stone dead!
 
François Truffaut knew:
"Music, that's the best there is"
Didn’t he know German songs?
On the radio, a song from the homeland 
Since then I have doubted that there is a God
On the radio, a song from the homeland 
Since then I realise 
That there are murderous thoughts inside me

Why don’t people sing such songs anymore?
Once upon a time in Germany, a long time ago
 
German music is dead
German music is dead
Stone dead!
Dead, German music is dead
Stone dead!
 
And she will never rise again
Because no one, no one helps her up
 
Are these times too much for a song?
Are these times too much for a song?
Because there is nothing about the happiness 
That we are searching for 
In forgotten places
Between the tower blocks
And nothing about the lies we find
And nothing about the life we live
 
Peter Hein, where are you?
Hilde Knef, where are you?
Rio Reiser, where are you?
Ralph Siegel, when will you die?
Ralph Siegel, when will you die?
Bring me the head of Michael Kunze
On a silver platter

LA FLOR ENTRE LA VÍA by CHRISTINA ROSENVINGE


Last year Christina Rosenvinge released the album “Un Hombre Rubio”. This is the opening track.

LA FLOR ENTRE LA VÍA

No soy de la estirpe de ese cazador
Que probó la sangre y le gustó el sabor
No puedo demostrar valor
Tampoco gran puntería
 
No tengo proezas de conquistador
No tengo certezas como pensador
No entiendo nada de un motor
No soy de esa cofradía
 
(Estribillo:)
No soy toro, ni soy matador
Ni tornillo, el destornillador
No soy hijo de un antecesor
Soy la flor entre la vía
 
No él que habla en nombre del amor
Y tampoco el Ángel Exterminador
Ni Judas, ni tu salvador
No soy José, ni María
 
(Estribillo)
THE FLOWER BETWEEN THE TRACKS

I'm not from hunting stock
Those who tasted the blood and liked the taste
I can't demonstrate my courage
I'm not a great marksman either
 
I don't have the heroic deeds of a conquistador
I don't have certainty as a thinker
I don't understand anything about engines
I'm not from that brotherhood
 
(Chorus:)
I'm neither bull nor matador
Not screw, the screwdriver
I'm not the son of an ancestor
I'm the flower between the tracks
 
Not the one who speaks in the name of love
And not the exterminating angel either
Neither Judas nor your savior
I'm not Joseph or Maria
 
(Chorus)