GOLDEN ZEITEN by HUBERT KAH

GERMAN POP LYRICS

For his third LP “Golden Zeiten” updated his sound somewhat, distancing himself from the NDW scene which was already over. Lyrically this track sounds like his sarcastic take on eighties yuppie culture. As a single it flopped, but it still sounds like one of his best songs to me. Kah responded to this commercial failure by switching to English language songs for the rest of the decade.

NB The title translates literally as ‘golden times’ but I think ‘golden age’ sounds better.

GOLDEN ZEITEN

Wir sehen besser aus
Wir sind der Zeit voraus
Wir fahren weiter fort

Wir werden schneller braun
Wir müssen kaum noch kauen
Wir treiben viel mehr Sport

Wir brauchen keine Sonne mehr, oh...
Wir sind so souverän

Wir kaufen teurer ein
Wir sind nicht mehr so fein
Wir denken nicht mehr nach

Wir sehen bunter fern
Haben uns selber gern
Und bleiben länger wach

Wir brauchen keine Sterne mehr, oh...

REFRAIN:
Es geht uns jeden Tag besser
Goldene Zeiten 
Das Paradies ist Wirklichkeit 
Oh wie schön 
Goldene Zeiten 
Ja es ist so weit 
Goldene Zeiten 
Die neue Welt ist endlich da 
Oh wie schön 
Goldene Zeiten 
Ja es ist… so weit 

Wir sagen lauter 'Nein' 
Richten uns schöner ein 
Und machen leichter Geld 

Wir hören mehr Radio 
Und sehen per Video 
Gewalt die uns gefällt 

Wir brauchen keine Phantasie, oh... 

REFRAIN
GOLDEN AGE

We look better
We are ahead of the times
We go further away

We’ll get a quicker tan
We barely need to chew
We do a lot more sport

We don't need the sun any more, oh…
We are so independent

We buy more expensive things
We’re not that nice anymore
We don’t think anymore
 
We watch more colourful TV
We like ourselves a lot
And stay up longer

We don't need the stars anymore, oh…
 
CHORUS:
Each day is better for us
Golden age
Paradise has become reality
Oh, how beautiful
Golden age
Yes, the time has come
Golden age
The New World is finally here
Oh, how beautiful
Golden age
Yes, the time… has come

We say 'no' more loudly
We furnish our apartments more beautifully
And we make money more easily

We listen to more radio
And watch violent videos
They give us pleasure

We don’t need any imagination, oh...
 
REFRAIN

 GERMAN LISTENING.

This BBC series for German learners from 1996 is worth checking out. The story takes a while to get going, but it’s relatively easy to understand and is full of useful language. It’s a shame the BBC don’t seem to make this kind of programme anymore…

MARMOR, STEIN UND EISEN BRICHT by DRAFI DEUTSCHER

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 7

Here is one of the biggest German hits of the sixties, a number one in 1965 sung by Drafi Deutscher. Still only 19 years old, Deutscher had become one of the biggest stars in Germany. However, in 1967 he drunkenly took a piss off a balcony, and sadly for him he was observed by a group of school children. The media outcry all but destroyed his career.

Deutscher also recorded a pretty good English version of this song entitled “Marble Breaks and Iron Bends” which reached #80 in the US charts.

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)
 
REFRAIN:
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)
 
REFRAIN x2

Nimm den goldenen Ring von mir
(Dam dam, dam dam)
Bist du traurig, dann sagt er dir
(Dam dam, dam dam)
 
REFRAIN x3
MARBLE, STONE AND IRON BREAK

Don't cry, when the rain falls 
(Dum dum, dum dum)
There's someone who will stand by you 
(Dum dum, dum dum)
 
CHORUS:
Marble, stone and iron break
But not our love
Everything, everything will pass
But we are faithful to each other
 
Sometime when I can't be with you
(Dum dum, dum dum)
Remember that you're not alone 
(Dum dum, dum dum)
 
CHORUS x2
 
Take the golden ring from me 
(Dum dum, dum dum)
When you're sad it will speak to you 
(Dum dum, dum dum)
 
CHORUS x3

EIN JAHR (ES GEHT VORAN) by FEHLFARBEN

GERMAN POP LYRICS

These days Fehlfarben’s debut album from 1980 is acclaimed as a classic by the German rock press. However, it wasn’t a great success at the time, and their singer Peter Hein quit the band and returned to his day job at Xerox (the band name is a reference to colour photocopies that go wrong). Maybe they were just ahead of their time, since this single belatedly became a hit in 1982. Here their brand of punk funk (which sometimes leads to comparisons with the UK band Gang of Four) is leavened with an ironic dollop of disco.

EIN JAHR (ES GEHT VORAN)

Keine Atempause
Geschichte wird gemacht
Es geht voran!
Keine Atempause
Geschichte wird gemacht
Es geht voran!

Spacelabs fallen auf Inseln
Vergessen macht sich breit
Es geht voran!
Spacelabs fallen auf Inseln
Vergessen macht sich breit
Es geht voran!

Berge explodieren
Schuld hat der Präsident
Es geht voran!
Berge explodieren
Schuld hat der Präsident
Es geht voran!

Graue B-Film-Helden
Regieren bald die Welt
Es geht voran!
Graue B-Film-Helden
Regieren bald die Welt
Es geht voran!

Es geht voran!
ONE YEAR (WE’RE MAKING PROGRESS)

No pause for breath
History is being made
We’re making progress!
No pause for breath
History is being made
We’re making progress!

Space labs fall on islands
Amnesia is spreading
We’re making progress!
Space labs fall on islands
Amnesia is spreading
We’re making progress!

Mountains are exploding
It’s the President’s fault
We’re making progress!
Mountains are exploding
It’s the President’s fault
We’re making progress!

Grey B movie heroes
Will soon govern the world
We’re making progress!
Grey B movie heroes
Will soon govern the world
We’re making progress!

We’re making progress!

 GERMAN LISTENING.

If you’re learning German and you need some listening practice then this series is good for beginners. They speak slowly and clearly and English subtitles are embedded in the videos.

UND DAS LEBEN GEHT WEITER by CONNY FROBOESS

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 6

Conny Froboess had her first German hit aged just eight, with the novelty number “Pack die Badehose ein” (Pack your swimsuit) which was written by her father. Eleven years later in 1962 she sang “Zwei kleine Italiener” (Two little Italians) at the Eurovision Song Contest. Though she finished in a disappointing 6th place her recording made number one on the German charts and re-launched her career.

Froboess generally sang upbeat Schlager tunes, but in 1966 she recorded this much hipper sounding track. Although she was still only 23 it turned out to be one her last recordings as she decided to concentrate on her successful acting career.

“Und das Leben gehe weiter” appears on the compilation “Beat Fräuleins – Female Pop In Germany 1964 – 1968”. For more about these girls check out this great site: http://www.readysteadygirls.eu/german-girls/4520782860

Thanks to Milia13 for transcribing the German lyrics.

UND DAS LEBEN GEHT WEITER

Du gabst mir den letzten Abschiedskuss.
Und ich wusste gleich, das ist der Schluss.
Du gingst einfach fort,      
Sagtest nicht ein Wort.
Und das Leben geht weiter…

Du gehst jetzt mit einer ander'n aus,
Stehst mit ihr wie einst mit mir vor'm Haus.
Warum muss das sein?
Ich bin so allein
Und das Leben geht weiter…

Ich geh' meinen Weg,
Meinen eig'nen Weg
Nun ohne dich.
Daran gewöhnt man sich
Mit der Zeit,
Mit der Zeit,
Mit der Zeit

Hält dich jene and're jetzt im Arm,
Fällt auch sie herein auf deinen Charme.
Denkt auch sie beim Kuss,
Heut' schon an den Schluss?
Und das Leben geht weiter…

Du gingst einfach fort,
Sagtest nicht ein Wort.
Und das Leben geht weiter…
AND LIFE GOES ON

You gave me the last farewell kiss
And I knew straight away, it’s the end
You just went away
You didn’t say a word
And life goes on…

Now you’re going out with somebody else
You take her home, like you used to do with me
Why must it be
I’m so alone
And life goes on…

I go my way
My own way
Now without you
You get used to it
Over time
Over time
Over time

Is somebody else holding you in her arms?
Does she fall for your charms?
Is she thinking while she’s kissing you
Today is already the end?
And life goes on…

You just went away
You didn’t say a word
And life goes on…

GERMAN GRAMMAR: THE PRÄTERITUM

The Präteritum is used to talk about the past, and it is similar to the Past Simple in English. The other main way to talk about the past in German is the Perfect tense (which is more common in speech).
Anyway, when you learn a new verb, particularly an irregular verb, it’s a good idea to learn the three forms together (infinitive, präteritum, perfect). This is something English learners also do.

e.g. Eat – Ate – Eaten

The first verse of this song includes examples of three important irregular verbs in the präteritum: geben (give), wissen (know) and gehen (go). There is also an example with sagen (say) which is regular.

Geben – Gab – Gegeben
e.g. Du gabst (you gave)

Wissen – Wuste – Gewusst
e.g. Ich wuste (I knew)

Gehen – Ging – Gegangen
e.g. Du gingst (you went)

Sagen – Sagte – Gesagt
e.g. (du) Sagtest nicht (you didn’t say)

FUGITIVO DE ALCATRAZ by LOS SAICOS

Los Saicos were a garage band from Peru. They were heavily influenced by Surf music but their crazed performances also anticipate punk rock. This track is from 1965.

FUGITIVO DE ALCATRAZ 

Woah! Woah! Arrrghhh…

Alcatraz, Alcatraz

Las luces ya se apagan en la prisión
Los guardias han cerrado ya el gran portón
Yo salto por el muro de la gran pared
Y corro, ocultándome en la oscuridad
Estoy fugitivo de alcatraz

Ow! Ow! Arrrghhh…

Alcatraz, Alcatraz

Los perros siento ya muy cerca de mi
Sirenas suenan locas suenan sin cesar
Yo pienso en tu amor y siento valor
Y sigo el sendero por el matorral
Estoy fugitivo de Alcatraz

Ow! Ow! Arrrghhh…
No, no, no, no…
FUGITIVE FROM ALCATRAZ

Woah! Woah! Arrrghhh…

Alcatraz, Alcatraz

The lights have gone out in the prison
The guards have closed the main gate
I jump onto the barrier from the main wall
And I run, hiding in the darkness
I am a fugitive from Alcatraz

Ow! Ow! Arrrghhh…

Alcatraz, Alcatraz

I feel that the dogs are closing in on me
Sirens sound like crazy, ceaselessly
I think about your love and I feel brave
And I follow the path through the undergrowth
I am a fugitive from Alcatraz

Ow! Ow! Arrrghhh…
No, no, no, no…

DELUXE (IMMER WIEDER) by HARMONIA

GERMAN POP LYRICS

When the duo Neu! broke up drummer Klaus Dinger went on to form La Düsseldorf, whose track ‘Geld’ featured recently on this blog. Meanwhile guitarist Michael Rother moved back to his other group Harmonia. Harmonia were basically an instrumental band, and this is the title track of their second album from 1975. These minimal lyrics are the only words that appear on the album, though they are repeated on the track “Monza (rauf und runter)”.

NB I couldn’t find a video of the original. This faithful cover by The Secret Machines will have to do.

DELUXE (IMMER WIEDER)

Immer wieder rauf und runter
Einmal drauf und einmal drunter
Immer wieder hin und her
Kreuz und quer, mal leicht, mal schwer
DELUXE (AGAIN AND AGAIN)

Again and again, up and down
One time on top, and one time under
Again and again, back and forth
Hither and thither, sometimes easy, sometimes hard

GRAMMAR: HIN UND HER, RAUF UND RUNTER

The lyrics looked pretty simple at first. Then I wondered, why ‘Rauf’ rather than ‘Auf’? And so begins another of my occasional voyages into German grammar…

If you are learning German, then after Wo? (where?) you soon come across Wohin? (where to?) and Woher? (where from?) NB Her is pronounced like “here”.
So Hin indicates direction away from the speaker, while Her indicates towards the speaker.
NB Hin and Her are separable.

Wohin gehst du? = Wo gehst du hin? (Where are you going?)
Woher kommst du? = Wo kommst du her? (Where do you come from?)

Hin and Her can also be used as prefixes to create new verbs.
e.g. Herkommen (Come here)

Komm bitte her! Ich muss mit dir redden. (Come here. I must talk to you.)

e.g. Hingehen (Go away/Pass)

Geht bitte irgendwo anders hin! Ich brauche Ruhe! (Please go somewhere else! I need quiet!)

Hin and Her with prepositions.

Hin and Her also combine with prepositions, and the result is usually abbreviated.

Aus (out) => Hinaus, Heraus => Raus

i.e. Both are abbreviated to Raus, which seems logical enough for Heraus, but less so for Hinaus!
NB Aus (out) must be used with an object i.e. out of something, but Raus can be used without an object.

Ich gehe aus dem Haus. I’m going out of the house.
Ich gehe raus. I’m going out.

Ein (in) => Hinein, Herein => Rein

Ich gehe in das Haus. I’m going into the house.
Ich gehe rein. I’m going in.

Auf (up) => Hinauf, Herauf => Rauf

Ich gehe (auf den Berg) rauf. I’m going up (the mountain).

Unter (under) => Hinunter, Herunter=> Runter

Ich gehe (in den Kellar) runter. I’m going down (to the cellar).

So finally we have rauf und runter from the song lyrics! The movement they are singing about doesn’t refer to any objects so rauf and runter are used, auf and unter can’t be used.

NB Most of the examples above are taken from this excellent page:
https://easy-deutsch.de/en/adverbs/hin-and-her/

ICH ZEIG’ DEN WEG by TEAM 4

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 5

My search for German beat groups who actually sing in German now takes me into East Germany. Singing in English wouldn’t have gone down well with the authorities on that side of the wall! In fact they even objected to the English name of Team 4, and this band was soon renamed Thomas Natschinski und seine Groupe, after their lead singer who also wrote this track. Team 4 were one of the first rock groups to record in the GDR, and this song was released in 1966 on the state label AMIGA. It was the beginning of Ostrock (ost is German for east).

ICH ZEIG' DEN WEG

Ich weiß den Weg…

Ich sag' dir komm lass uns gehen
Du weißt so lang ich bei dir bin
Dann ich sage lass uns gehen auf den Weg
Und ich weiß ganz genau wohin

Ich weiß den Weg…

Du wirst viele Dinge sehen
Die ich heute schon kenne
Du wirst neue Dinge sehen auf dem Weg
Die ich heute schon beim Namen nenne

Ich zeig' den Weg…

Wir werden nie zusammen gehen
Ich zeig' den Weg 
Und auch du wirst ihn verstehen
Ich zeig' den Weg 

Ich zeig' den Weg…
I’LL SHOW THE WAY

I know the way...

I tell you, come, let’s go
You’ve known for so long, I’m with you
Then I say, let's follow the way
And I know exactly where to go

I know the way...

You will see many things
Which I already know today
You will see new things on the way
Which I already know by name today

I'll show the way… 

We will never go together
I'll show the way
And you will understand it too
I'll show the way

I'll show the way…

UN AIR DU FOLKLORE AUVERGNAT by STELLA

FRENCH POP LYRICS

With France Gall featuring on German Pop Lyrics, the time seems right for a brief return to French Pop Lyrics…

Sheila was the most popular of the ye-ye girls in France, and one of her biggest hits was “Le folklore américain”. This was based on the American song “They Gotta Quit Kickin’ My Dog Around”, though the French lyrics don’t have much in common with the original words.

On “Un air du folklore auvergnat” Stella parodies Sheila’s hit with wonderful results.

Thanks to Mayasura at Lyrics Translate for the original translation. I have made a couple of tiny changes and added a few annotations.

UN AIR DU FOLKLORE AUVERGNAT

C'était un air du folklore auvergnat
Que j'avais entendu à "Salut les fouchtras"
C'était un air du folklore auvergnat
Que chantait Verchuren, le Dylan de là-bas
 
Certains rêvent d'aller en Amérique
Ils trouvent que c'est vraiment fantastique
New-York, ils trouvent cela excitant
On voit qu'ils ne connaissent pas Clermont-Ferrand
 
C'était un air du folklore auvergnat
Que j'avais entendu chanté par mon bougnat
C'était un air du folklore auvergnat
Que mon bougnat chantait en livrant ses boulets
 
Mon air ne parle pas de politique
Ni des dangers de la guerre atomique
Il ne juge pas des questions raciales
Car tout le monde est heureux dans le massif central
 
C'était un air du folklore auvergnat
Que j'avais entendu à "Salut les fouchtras"
C'était un air du folklore auvergnat
Que chantait Verchuren, le Dylan de là-bas
 
Fouuuuuchtra 
AN AUVERGNESE FOLKLORE TUNE

It was a tune from Auvergnese folklore
That I'd heard on "Hello, the fouchtras" (1)
It was a tune from Auvergnese folklore
That was sang by Verchuren, their (Bob) Dylan (2)
 
Some dream of going to America
They find that it's really fantastic
New York, they find that exciting
We see that they don't know Clermont-Ferrand (3)
 
It was a tune from Auvergnese folklore
That I had heard sung by my coal merchant
It was a tune from Auvergnese folklore
That my coal merchant sang while delivering his coal
 
My song doesn't speak of politics 
Nor the dangers of nuclear war
It doesn't judge questions of race
Because everyone is happy in the Massif Central
 
It was a tune from Auvergnese folklore
That I'd heard on "Hello, the fouchtras" 
It was a tune from Auvergnese folklore
That was sang by Verchuren, their (Bob) Dylan
 
Fouuuuuchtra (1)

(1) Fouchtra is slang for someone from Auvergne, but that is also sounds a bit like foutre, so it gives the impression she’s saying f**k, especially at the end of the song. Also “Salut les copains” was one of the most popular pop radio shows at the time, so “Salut les fouchtras” is presumably referencing this.
(2) Probably the lyrics are referring to André Verchuren, the virtuoso accordion player.
(3) A city in the Auvergne region.

DER COMPUTER NR. 3 by FRANCE GALL

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 4

Plenty of non-native female singers had a go at singing in German in a bid to break into the lucrative market there. One of the most successful was the queen of ye-ye France Gall. When her star in her native France was on the wane, she started to concentrate more time on the German market. This track is one the most memorable of these releases, and it finished (perhaps inevitably) in 3rd place in the German Schlager Festival of 1968 (a kind of homegrown Eurovision).

The contest was won by Siw Malmkvist, despite her hideous outfit (check out the video below). I think most sane people will agree that Gall looked and sounded much better. Moreover her futuristic lyrics talked about computers and AI assisted dating long before Kraftwerk had even released a record!

DER COMPUTER NR. 3

REFRAIN:
Der Computer Nummer drei
Sucht für mich den richtigen Boy
Und die Liebe ist garantiert
Für beide dabei

Der Computer weiß genau
Für jeden Mann die richtige Frau
Und das Glück fällt im Augenblick
Aus seiner Kartei

Denn einer von vielen Millionen
Der wartet auf mich irgendwo

Gross: einszwoundachtzig
Kragen: neununddreißig
Schuhgröße: sechsundvierzig, stop!

REFRAIN

Lange war ich einsam
Heute bin ich verliebt
Und nur darum ist das so
Weil es die Technik
Und die Wissenschaft
Und Elektronengehirne gibt

REFRAIN

Der Computer weiß genau
Für jeden Mann die richtige Frau
Und das Glück fällt im Augenblick
Aus seiner Kartei

Denn einer von vielen Millionen
Der wartet auf mich irgendwo

Alt: zweiundzwanzig Jahre
Schwarze Haare
Von Beruf Vertreter
Kennzeichen: Geld wie Heu

REFRAIN
COMPUTER NO. 3

CHORUS:
Computer number three
Searches for the right boy for me
And love is guaranteed
For both of us
 
The computer knows exactly
The perfect woman for every man
And happiness pops out instantly
From its card index
 
Because one out of many millions
Is waiting for me somewhere
 
Height: one (metre) eighty-two
Collar: thirty-nine
Shoe size: forty-six, stop!
 
CHORUS
 
I was lonely for a long time
Now I'm in love
And that's only
Because there is technology
And science
And electronic brains
 
CHORUS
 
The computer knows exactly
The perfect woman for every man
And happiness is drawn instantly
From its cards
 
Because one out of many millions
Is waiting for me somewhere
 
Age: twenty-two years old 
Black hair
Job: sales rep
Distinguishing feature: loads of money
 
CHORUS

HOY NO ME PUEDO LEVANTAR by MECANO

Recently this blog featured a great German song about being too lazy to get out of bed. Here is a Spanish one on the same topic.

This was Mecano’s debut single in 1981. The group’s huge popularity in Spain (and elsewhere, notably Mexico) has led to them produce their own jukebox musical, which is named after this song.

HOY NO ME PUEDO LEVANTAR

Hoy no me puedo levantar 
El fin de semana me dejó fatal 
Toda la noche sin dormir 
Bebiendo, fumando y sin parar de reír

Hoy no me puedo levantar
Nada me puede hacer andar
No sé que es lo que voy a hacer
Me duelen las piernas, me duelen los brazos
Me duelen los ojos, me duelen las manos

Hoy no me puedo concentrar
Tengo la cabeza para reventar
Es la resaca del champagne
Burbujas que suben y después se van

Hoy no me levanto, estoy que no ando
Hoy me quedo en casa guardando la cama
Hay que ir al trabajo, no me da la gana
Me duelen las piernas, me duelen los brazos
Me duelen los ojos, me duelen las manos

Hoy no me puedo levantar
Nada me puede hacer andar

Hoy no me puedo levantar 
El fin de semana me dejó fatal 
Toda la noche sin dormir 
Bebiendo, fumando y sin parar de reír

Hoy no me puedo levantar…
I CAN’T GET UP TODAY

I can’t get up today
The weekend left me wrecked
All night without sleep
Drinking, smoking and non-stop laughing

I can’t get up today
Nothing can make me walk
I don’t know what I'm going to do
My legs hurt, my arms hurt
My eyes hurt, my hands hurt

I can’t concentrate today
My head feels like it’s about to explode
It's the champagne hangover
Bubbles that fizz up and then fizz away

I'm not getting up today, I'm not walking
Today I’m staying at home, staying in bed
I have to go to work, I don’t feel like it
My legs hurt, my arms hurt
My eyes hurt, my hands hurt

I can’t get up today
Nothing can make me walk

I can’t get up today
The weekend left me wrecked
All night without sleep
Drinking, smoking and non-stop laughing

I can’t get up today…