DIE ZWEITE SONNE by IDEAL

GERMAN POP LYRICS: THE ANNETTE HUMPE STORY: PART 1


This is the first post in a short series focusing on Annette Humpe, a German songwriter who has enjoyed success with many different projects over the last forty years. A large chunk of her career is covered on the compilation “Zeitgeschichte – Das Beste von und für Annette Humpe”.

She first came into the spotlight when she joined Neonbabies, a punk band led by her younger sister Inga Humpe. The band soon proved too small to contain both of them, and Annette formed her own band Ideal. They became more popular that Neonbabies, in fact they were one of the most popular bands in the NDW (German New Wave) scene in the early eighties.

They had several hits but I’ve chosen one of their more experimental tracks, a song from their third and final studio album “Bi Nuu” (1982). It seems my choice is a bit too obscure for YouTube, there is no video for this song at the time of writing.

DIE ZWEITE SONNE

Die letzte Modenschau
Zeigt nur zwei Farben:
Anthrazit und Asphaltgrau
Bist du bereit?
Geschminkt wie Stahl
Schau in den Spiegel
Zum letzten Mal
 
Im letzten Film
Spielen alle
Ohne Gage
Die gleiche Rolle
Die Nacht wird Tag
Der Tag zur Nacht
Schau mich an
Und dann ins Licht
 
Die zweite Sonne
Strahlt ohne Schatten
Weißer Leuchtstoff
Fließt in die Stadt
Die zweite Sonne
Glüht durch die Wolken
Von Paris
Bis Leningrad
THE SECOND SUN

The last fashion show
Exhibits only two colours:
Anthracite and asphalt gray
Are you ready?
Made-up like steel
Look in the mirror
For the last time
 
In the last film
Everybody plays
Without a fee
The same role
The night becomes day
The day becomes night
Look at me
And then into the light
 
The second sun
Shines without shadows
White fluorescent light
Flows into the city
The second sun
Glowing through the clouds
From Paris 
To Leningrad

 

KAMERA SONG by THE INNER SPACE

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 9

1968: Student riots across Europe (including Germany) and the birth of the underground rock movement.

The Inner Space were an early incarnation of Can, one of the greatest rock groups to come out of Germany. This is the only song they ever recorded in German. It is from their soundtrack to the movie “Agilok & Blubbo” (1969) starring Rosemarie Heinikel. As ‘Rosy Rosy’ she provides the vocals on this track which appeared as one side of a single released in 1968.

Thanks to Hansi K Lauer at lyrics translate for transcribing the German lyrics.

KAMERA SONG

REFRAIN:
Komm näher
Komm ganz nah
Komm näher
Kamera
 
Mama! Ma-ma-ma!
 
Alles fließt in Zeit mir dahin
Nur ein Film von dir ist mir geblieben
Ich muss gehen, und fragen, wer ich bin?
Ohne Kamera und deine Liebe
 
REFRAIN
 
Komm!
Los!
Schieß!
Los komm!
Stop the war make peace
 
Und wie Hauch (m,-e) zerrinnt unsere Zeit
Deine Augen sehe ich nur durch Objektive (nt,-e)
Deine Hände kann ich nicht mehr sehen
Du bist weit entfernt von meiner Liebe
 
REFRAIN
 
Komm!
Schieß!
Make peace
CAMERA SONG

CHORUS:
Come closer
Come really close
Come closer
Camera
 
Mama! Ma-ma-ma!
 
Everything flows away from me over time
Only a film of yours has stayed with me
I have to go, and ask, who am I?
Without camera or your love
 
CHORUS
 
Come!
Come on!
Shoot!
Just come!
Stop the war make peace
 
And our time disappears like a breath of air 
I can only see your eyes through lenses
I can’t see your hands anymore
You are far away from my love
 
CHORUS
 
Come!
Shoot!
Make peace

 

ICH FAHR’ AN DIE KÜSTE by TRANSIT

My series on German rock in the sixties features a track by Team 4, one of the first groups in the Ostrock movement in East Germany. Groups in the GDR needed a licence from the state in order to perform and this was hard to get in the 1960s.

In the 1970s the regulations were relaxed somewhat and more of a scene started to develop, giving rise to bands like Transit. This is their most popular track from 1975. It features witty lyrics in which the singer returns home to stay with his parents on the coast when he gets sick of city life. In fact frontman Egon Linde did grow up on the Baltic coast.

ICH FAHR’ AN DIE KÜSTE

Heut’ hab’ ich mal die Nase wieder richtig voll
Vom Leben in der großen Stadt
Da fährt eine Menge ab      
Das find ich schon ganz toll
Doch auf die Dauer kann ich das nicht ab

Dann spüre ich in mir überhaupt keine Ruh
Es kribbelt mächtig unter meiner Haut
Das Kribbeln, ja das kenn ich
Und ich weiß schon was ich tue 
Ich renn' zum Zug, das Nötigste verstaut

Ich fahr’ an die Küste, zu Mutter
Zu den Möwen und dem Wind
Nicht nur wegen der gesunden Lüfte
Auch wegen zwei, drei Kumpel
Die dort aufzutreiben sind

Da bist du ja, sagt Mutter
Und sie freut sich so wie immer
Sie haut was in die Pfanne
Und ich erzähl ihr was von mir
Ich fühl mich wieder wohl
In meinem alten Zimmer
Ja irgendwie schön, das Zimmer hier

Nach paar Tagen 
Nervt dann Mutter über mein Benehmen
Und Vater gefallen die langen Haare nicht
Ich habe keine Lust mich dagegen aufzulehnen
Und sehne mich nach einem Stadtgesicht

Ich fahr’ von der Küste
Zurück zum Leben in der großen Stadt
Trotz der nicht so ganz gesunden Lüfte
Und meiner alten Bude ohne Bad
I’M GOING TO THE COAST

Today I’m completely fed up again
With living in the big city
There's a lot going on
I find it really great
But in the long run I can’t stand it

Then I feel totally restless
It tingles under my skin
Pins and needles, yes I know it
And I already know what to do
I run to the train, essentials packed

I’m going to the coast, to mother
To the seagulls and the wind
Not just because of the healthy air
Also because of two, three mates
Who can be found there

There you are, says mother
And she’s as happy as always
She slaps something in the frying pan
And I tell her something about myself
I feel well again
In my old room
Somehow it’s nice, the room here

After a couple of days
Mother nags me about my manners
And father doesn’t like my long hair
I don’t feel like rebelling against it
And I long to see a city face

I’m going from the coast
Back to life in the big city
Despite the not so healthy air
And my old bedsit without a bath

GERMAN READING:

If you are a Anfänger (beginner) looking for some graded readers I recommend the ‘leicht & logisch’ series’ featuring Kolja and his friends. There are 4 books at A1 level:

Drei ist einer zu viel

Neu in der Stadt

Die Sommerferien

Einmal Freunde, immer Freunde

ZWEI GITARREN by ALEXANDRA

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 8

Not everyone was swinging in the sixties. Alexandra sang melancholy songs in her deep rich voice, many of which could have come from an earlier decade. In fact this track is based on “Golden Earrings”, the title song of a movie from 1947 starring Marlene Dietrich. The English original was recorded by artists including Dinah Shore, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby and Alexandra herself. However I think this German version from 1967 with lyrics by Ernst Bader actually improves the song.

Alexandra’s life seems to have been as sad as her voice and she died in a car crash just two years later.

ZWEI GITARREN 

Zwei Gitarren
Erklingen übers Meer
Die Nacht ist voller Träume
Und mein Herz ist sehnsuchtsschwer
 
Zwei Gitarren
Erzählen mein Geschick
Die eine singt von Tränen
Und die andre singt von Glück

Du hast mir die Welt genommen
Und ich blieb allein
Du, wann wirst du wiederkommen?
Wann, wann wird das sein?
 
Zwei Gitarren
Erklingen sehnsuchtsschwer
Die Tränen werden bleiben
Aber du, du kommst nicht mehr
TWO GUITARS

Two guitars
Ring out across the sea
The night is full of dreams
And my heart is heavy with longing
 
Two guitars
Tell my destiny
One sings of tears
And the other sings of happiness

You took the world away from me
And I was left alone
You, when will you come back?
When, when will it be?
 
Two guitars
Sound heavy with longing
The tears will remain
But you, you won’t come anymore

REFRANES by GLORIA ESTEFAN

The Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan has enjoyed huge success singing in both English and Spanish. This song is from her fourth Spanish language album “90 Millas” (2007).
The lyrics of this song are mainly composed of proverbs and sayings, which are notoriously difficult to translate, but I’ve had a go anyway…

REFRANES

Buscando entre mis recuerdos
Abrí un cuaderno de escuela
Y la sorpresa fue grande
Al ver que era de mi abuela
Habían poemas de amor
Y con lujo de detalles
Pero lo que más me cautivó 
Fueron todos sus refranes

Amor y fortuna (Resistencia ninguna)
A cada pajarillo (Le gusta su nidillo)
A canas honradas (No encuentra puerta cerrada)
A casa de tu hermano (No ir a cada verano)
A cualquier dolencia (El remedio es la paciencia)
A casa de tu tía (Entrada por salida)
A la cena y la cama (Sólo una vez se llama)
No por mucho madrugar, amanece más temprano

Seguía leyendo con calma
La tinta estaba borrosa
Quién creía que la abuela
Desde joven tan jocosa
Voy a seguir sus consejos
Antes de que sea muy tarde
Bendición a to' los viejos
Y a mí abuela Dios la guarde

En el pais del ciego (El tuerto es el rey)
La cabra siempre busca (Pal’ monte)
En casa de herrero (Cuchillo de palo)
A padre ahorrador (Hijo gastador)
A quien le dan el pie (Se toma la mano)
Al que le duele una muel (Que la eche fuera)
Aquel amor Viejo (Ni lo olvido ni lo dejo)
No por mucho madrugar, amanece mas temprano

A falta de mano (Buenos son los pies)
A buen Capellán (Mejor sacristan)
Al ojo del amo (Le engorda el caballo) 
Al que mucho tiene (Más le viene)
Agua corriente (Sana a la gente)
Barco en varadero (No gana dinero)
Amor por interés (Se acaba en un dos por tres)
No por mucho madrugar, amanece más temprano

Y con ésta me despido
Espero tomes consejo
De los refranes de Abuela
Pa' que tu llegues a Viejo
PROVERBS

Looking through my mementos
I opened a school notebook
And it was a big surprise
To see it was my grandmother's
There were love poems
And with a wealth of detail
But what really captivated me
Were all her sayings

Love and fortune (No objections)
Every little bird (Loves its own nest)
Honest grey hairs (Open doors)
At your brother’s house (Don’t outstay your welcome)
For any illness (Patience is the remedy)
At your aunt’s house (Don’t outstay your welcome)
To dinner and to bed (You’re only called once)
Everything happens in its own time

I kept reading calmly
The ink was smudged
Whoever would believe that grandma
Was so funny when she was young
I'm going to follow her advice
Before it's too late
Bless all the elders
And my grandmother, god be with her

In the kingdom of the blind (The one-eyed man is king)
The goat always looks (For the mountain)
In the blacksmith’s house (A wooden knife) 
The father a saver (The son a spender)
Give someone a foot (They take a hand)
Someone with a bad tooth (Should take it out)
That old love (Never forget it or leave it behind)
Everything happens in its own time

If you don’t have hands (The feet are good)
A good chaplain (A better sexton)
The eye of the owner (Fattens the cow)
The more you have (The more you get)
Running water (Makes people healthy)
A boat in dry dock (Doesn’t make money)
Selfish love (Doesn’t last)
Everything happens in its own time

And with this I say goodbye
I hope you take the advice
Of grandmother's sayings
So that you reach a ripe old age

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
About the end already?
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…