GERMAN POP LYRICS
Rheingold were part of the Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW) scene. They were one of the first of these groups to enter the mainstream charts in Germany when this single made the top 20 in 1981. The playful lyrics are by Lothar Manteuffel who went on to work with Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk.
The group actually recorded a version of this song in English entitled “Triad Dimensions” (see below), which is OK if a bit awkward compared to the original. The chorus goes:
Triad dimensions keep singing
Light play impressions keep swinging
NB Thanks to Maria Schreier at Lyrics Translate for the original translation, though I have made a few changes: http://lyricstranslate.com/en/dreiklangsdimensionen-three-sound-dimensions.html
DREIKLANGSDIMENSIONEN Auftakt im Takt im Viertakt soll es klingen REFRAIN: Dreiklangsdimensionen sind taktvoll Lichtspielimpressionen sind farbvoll Farbton Halbton und synchron dazu schwingen REFRAIN Wohlklang Illusionen die um uns herum tanzen REFRAIN Klänge für Millionen Überwinden die Distanzen. REFRAIN Ausklang Abgang Sequenzen ohne Grenzen. REFRAIN
THREE DIMENSIONAL SOUNDS Upbeat On the beat In four time It should sound CHORUS: Three dimensional sounds Are full of rhythm (1) Playful light impressions Are full of colour Shade of color Semitone And synchronous To swing to it CHORUS Harmony Illusions That dance Around us CHORUS Sounds For millions Overcome The distances CHORUS Conclusion (2) Exit Sequences Without frontiers CHORUS
(1) Taktvoll: I think this is a play on words. Literally it means ‘tactful’, but in context ‘full (voll) of rhythm (Takt)’ makes more sense.
(2) Ausklang means ‘conclusion’ but you could translate it as ‘sound (Klang) out (aus)’. I guess this ambiguity is intentional.
When you start learning German you can’t help but notice lots of ridiculously long and complicated looking words. Basically these are compound words, so to understand them you have to first recognise the constituent parts. For example the title of this song breaks down into drei (three), Klang (sound) and Dimensionen (dimensions). I think the band made up this word for the song, but it is still a good example of how German words can work.