NEONLICHT by KRAFTWERK

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s – Coda
Light at the end of the Seventies

Let’s end this series with Kraftwerk, arguably the greatest German group of the seventies. They released several of their classic albums, including “Die Mensch-Maschine” (1978), in both German and English editions. The lyrics of “Neonlicht” translate pretty effortlessly into English, and you can compare the two sets of lyrics below.

NEONLICHT

Neonlicht, schimmerndes Neonlicht
und wenn die Nacht anbricht 
ist diese Stadt aus Licht
NEON LIGHTS

Neon lights, shimmering neon lights
And at the fall of night 
This city’s made of light
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LEDERHOSENTYP by HANS-A-PLAST

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 14
German Punk Rock

Germany developed its own punk scene in the late Seventies, but few recordings emerged before 1979. The debut album by Hans-a-Plast, with vocals by Annette Benjamin, was one of the first punk albums in Germany. It’s a ferocious record musically, but to appreciate it you really need to look at the lyrics, which are hilariously acerbic.

When independent bands like Hans-a-Plast started to sell a lot of records the major labels had to take notice. They started to sign up punk and new wave bands, and in the early eighties a much poppier, cleaned up version of new wave music (NDW) crossed over into the charts.

LEDERHOSENTYP

You're the one that I want...

Hey Typ, ich finde dich saugeil
Mit deinen kurzen schwarzen Locken
Der Blick aus deinen braunen Augen durchdringt mich
Und du hast 'ne schwarze Lederhose an
Und dein Nadelstreifenjackett
Das bringt's ja nun total
Du siehst so cool und lässig aus
Das machst mich noch ganz warm

REFRAIN:
Du bist so'n geiler Lederhosentyp
Ich kann dich ja so ab
Laß mich an deinen Lederarsch ran
Laß mich zwischen deine Beine haun

ERSTE STROPHE WIEDERHOLEN

REFRAIN

Geh doch nochmal für mich hier lang
Mit deinem herrlichen Django-Gang

REFRAIN

Ei,ei,ei du bist so süß!
Ah, komm, laß mich dich berühr'n
Zieh doch mal deine Lederklamotten aus
Und mach für mich einen Privat-Striptease!

REFRAIN

Geh doch nochmal für mich hier lang
Mit deinem herrlichen Django-Gang
LEATHER TROUSERS GUY

You're the one that I want ...

Hey guy, I think you're hot
With your short black curls
The gaze from your brown eyes penetrates me
And you’ve got black leather trousers on
And your pinstripe jacket
That's what it's all about
You look so cool and casual
That’s making me really warm

CHORUS:
You're such a hot leather trousers guy
I can actually stand you
Let me get to your leather ass
Let me grab between your legs

REPEAT FIRST VERSE

CHORUS

Do your catwalk for me one more time
With your magnificent Django strut

CHORUS

Ay, ay, ay, you’re so cute!
Ah, come, let me touch you
Take your leather clothes off
And do a private striptease for me!

REFRAIN

Do your catwalk for me one more time
With your magnificent Django strut

NB I think Django refers to a type of motorbike.

LAUBFROSCH BLUES by BAUER, GARN & DYKE

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 13
Germans sing the blues

The British drummer Roy Dyke was a member of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, who had a hit with “The Resurrection Shuffle” in 1971. Later he moved to Germany, becoming a member of this similarly named trio, and they released this single in 1979. Their guitarist Hannes Bauer later joined Udo Lindenberg’s Panik Orchester. Despite his impressive use of the mike stand in this clip the audience seem to be catatonically bored. Are they waiting for the 1980s?

LAUBFROSCH BLUES

Baby, hätt’st du gern einen Laubfrosch in dein’m Bett?
es liegt schon einer drin und der ist dick und fett

Baby, hätt’st du gern einen Laubfrosch in dein’m Bett?
vielleicht ist er ein Prinz, bist du zu ihm ein bisschen nett?

Baby, so ein Prinz ist meistens höllisch heiß
auch wenn er dämlich aussieht, ist doch völlig gleich
Baby küss ihn schnell, 
sonst haut er wieder ab in 'n Teich
 
Küss den Laubfrosch…
Baby küss ihn gleich 
sonst haut er wieder ab in 'n Teich

Stell die mal vor, Baby, du, nie mehr arbeiten, 
immer auf'm goldenen Thron sitzen. 
Wie im Märchen vor fünfhundert Jahren. 
Dann muß der Prinz wohl auch schon so an die 
500 Jahre alt sein, was.
Bisschen tatterig und so, 
ich mein' wenn das was für dich ist, verstehst du?

Baby, hätt’st du gern einen Laubfrosch in dein’m Bett?
nimm doch lieber mich, ich bin doch auch ganz nett.

Ich bin kein Laubfrosch…
ich bin nicht ganz so kalt und auch noch nicht so alt.

Ich bin kein Laubfrosch Baby
TREEFROG BLUES

Baby, would you like a tree frog in your bed?
One’s lying in it already and he’s big and fat
	
Baby, would you like a tree frog in your bed?
Maybe he’s a prince, are you a little bit nice to him?

Baby such a prince is usually hot as hell
Even if he looks ugly it doesn’t matter at all
Baby kiss him quick 
or else he’ll run off back to the pond

Kiss the tree frog…
Baby kiss him straight away 
or else he’ll run off back to the pond

Just imagine baby, never working anymore
Always sitting on the golden throne
Like in the fairy tales from five hundred years ago
Then the prince must be about 
500 years old, or what
A little bit senile and so on, 
I mean, if that's for you, do you understand?

Baby, would you like a tree frog in your bed?
Why don’t you take me, I'm also really nice

I'm not a tree frog…
I'm not that cold and also not that old

I’m not a tree frog baby

IM WAGEN VOR MIR by HENRY VALENTINO & USCHI

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 12
The Hummable Evil of Schlager

The acts featured so far in this series weren’t exactly the biggest sellers of the Seventies. The charts were still dominated by Schlager, and hipper songs would have to wait until the early Eighties to invade the charts, when the German New Wave scene crossed over.

Schlager can be pretty terrible – just imagine a particularly bad edition of the Eurovision Song Contest where everyone is singing in German. Sometimes you might even detect a slightly sinister undercurrent to the jollity. This song, for instance, features a young woman who is worried that the driver behind her might be a stalker. I can’t quite decide whether it is brilliant or evil, but it’s certainly as hummable as hell.

Hans Blum (Henry Valentino’s real name) had a long and successful career as a Schlager writer before finding success as a performer in the Seventies. This single made the German top ten in 1977, and it has gone on to inspire many covers and parodies. The punk band Die Toten Hosen recorded a faithful cover with identical lyrics in 1987.

IM WAGEN VOR MIR

Im Wagen vor mir fährt ein junges Mädchen
Sie fährt allein und sie scheint hübsch zu sein
Ich weiß nicht ihren Namen 
und ich kenne nicht ihr Ziel
Ich merke nur, sie fährt mit viel Gefühl
 
Im Wagen vor mir fährt ein junges Mädchen
Ich möcht' gern wissen, was sie gerade denkt
Hört sie denselben Sender 
oder ist ihr Radio aus?
Fährt sie zum Rendezvous oder nach Haus?
 
Was will der blöde Kerl da hinter mir nur?
(Ist sie nicht süß)
Ich frag' mich, warum überholt der nicht?
(So weiches Haar)
Der hängt nun schon 'ne halbe Stunde 
ständig hinter mir
Nun dämmert's schon und der fährt ohne Licht
(So schön mit neunzig)
 
Der könnt' schon hundert Kilometer weg sein
(Was bin ich froh)
Mensch, fahr' an meiner Ente doch vorbei!
(Ich fühl' mich richtig wohl)
Will der mich kontrollieren 
oder will er mich entführen?
Oder ist das in Zivil die Polizei?
 
Wie schön, dass ich heut' endlich einmal Zeit hab'
Ich muss nicht rasen wie ein wilder Stier
Ich träum' so in Gedanken, 
ganz allein und ohne Schranken
Und wünsch', das schöne Mädchen wär' bei mir
 
Nun wird mir diese Sache langsam mulmig
(Die Musik ist gut)
Ich fahr' die allernächste Abfahrt raus
(Heut' ist ein schöner Tag)
Dort werd' ich mich verstecken 
hinter irgendwelchen Hecken
Verdammt - dadurch komm ich zu spät nach Haus!
 
Bye-bye, mein schönes Mädchen, gute Reise
Sie hat den Blinker an, hier fährt sie ab
Für mich wird in zwei Stunden 
auch die Fahrt zu Ende geh'n
Doch dich, mein Mädchen, werd' ich nie mehr seh'n
IN THE CAR IN FRONT OF ME

In the car in front of me a young girl is driving
She's driving alone and she looks really cute
I don't know her name 
and I don't know her destination
I only know she's driving with lots of feeling
 
In the car in front of me a young girl is driving
I'd really like to know what she’s thinking
Is she listening to the same station
or is her radio off?
Is she going on a date or going home?
 
What does the stupid guy behind me want? 
(Isn't she sweet)
I ask myself, why doesn't he overtake? 
(Such soft hair)
He's been on my tail for at least half an hour,
constantly behind me
Now it’s nearly dark and he’s driving without lights 
(She’s going ninety)
 
He could be a hundred kilometres away by now 
(Oh I'm happy)
Man - overtake me already! 
(I feel really happy)
Does he want to observe me
or does he want to kidnap me?
Or is he a plain clothes policeman?
 
How lovely that today I've finally got time
I don't have to race like a wild bull
I'm day dreaming 
all alone and without limits
I wish the lovely girl was by my side
 
This thing is gradually making me uncomfortable 
(The music is good)
I'm going to take the next exit 
(Today is a beautiful day)
So I can hide myself 
behind some hedges
Dammit - this is going to make me be late home!
 
Bye-bye my lovely girl, have a good trip
She has her indicator on, she's turning off
For me, in two hours
my journey will also end
But you, my lovely girl, I'll never see again

REQUIEM FÜR EINEN WICHT by HÖLDERLIN

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 11
More Poetic German Prog

Hölderlin’s debut album “Hölderlins Traum” (1972) features a subtle combination of folk and prog rock influences. Their main vocalist was Nanny de Ruig, a rare female voice in the underground. After this album she left the band and they dropped the umlaut from their name (replacing ö with oe).

I took most of the translation below from comments to the video, but I have made a few small changes. ‘Wicht’ has several possible translations, but a think dwarf is better than the somewhat archaic wight.

REQUIEM FÜR EINEN WICHT

Es war einmal ein Land,
in dem das Denken verboten.
Nur ein kleiner Wicht,
befolgte die Gebote nicht.
Er wurde bedrängt, er wurde bedroht,
denn auf das Denken stand der Tod.
 
Der König rief drei Häscher,
die kamen aus Südwest.
Sie fangen den Wicht
und nahmen ihn fest
Sie banden ihn und schlugen ihn
nahmen sein Augenlicht,
wie sehr sie auch suchten,
wie sehr sie auch fluchten,
sie fanden das Denken nicht.
 
Der König sprach:
„wer denkt, muss sterben.
Dies Leiden
darf sich nicht vererben,
dein Tod soll dafür werben,
dein Tod soll dafür werben.“
 
Die Häscher trugen ihn fort,
warfen ihn in des Flusses Lauf,
Dann nahm der Wicht sein Denken
und schenkte es den Wellen,
die Meere nahmen es auf.
 
Das Denken fand man bis heute nicht...
REQUIEM FOR A DWARF

Once upon a time there was a country
Where thinking was forbidden
Only a little dwarf
Didn’t follow orders
He was oppressed, he was threatened
Because thinking was punishable by death
 
The king called three henchmen
Who came from the south-west
They catch the dwarf
And arrested him  
They tied him up and beat him
Took his eyesight
However much they searched
However much they cursed
They didn’t find his thoughts
 
The king said:
“He who thinks must die
This disease
Must not be inherited
Your death shall promote this
Your death shall promote this.”
 
The henchmen carried him away,
Threw him into the course of the river
Then the dwarf took his thoughts
And gave them to the waves
The seas took them up
 
Thoughts not found until today...

WER SCHMETTERLINGE LACHEN HORT by NOVALIS

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 10
What’s the difference between Krautrock and German Prog?

Krautrock, which has become essential listening for hipsters, was basically a particularly characterful strand of German progressive rock. Germany also produced progressive rock bands who were more influenced by British bands like Genesis, but they are much less well known outside their home country.

One of the most successful of these groups was Novalis. This track is from their self titled second album from 1975 (they sang in English on their debut). At this point the band featured the guitarist Carlo Karges. He went on to success with Nena in the 1980s, co-writing their mega hit “99 Luftballons”.

Thanks to Coriander at lyrics translate for the translation. I have made a couple of tiny changes.

WER SCHMETTERLINGE LACHEN HORT 

Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört
Der weiß, wie Wolken schmecken
Der wird im Mondschein, ungestört
von Furcht, die Nacht entdecken
 
Der wird zur Pflanze, wenn er will
zum Tier, zum Narr, zum Weisen
und kann in einer Stunde
durchs ganze Weltall reisen
 
Der weiß, dass er nichts weiß
Wie alle anderen auch nichts wissen
Nur weiß er, was die anderen
Und auch er noch lernen müssen

Wer in sich fremde Ufer spürt
and Mut hat sich zu recken
Der wird allmählich, ungestört
von Furcht, sich selbst entdecken
 
Abwärts zu den Gipfeln
Seiner selbst blickt er hinauf
Den Kampf mit seiner Unterwelt
Nimmt er gelassen auf

Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört
Der weiß, wie Wolken schmecken
Der wird im Mondschein, ungestört
von Furcht, die Nacht entdecken
 
Wer mit sich selbst in Frieden lebt
Der wird genauso sterben
und ist selbst dann lebendiger
als alle seine Erben
WHOEVER HEARS BUTTERFLIES LAUGHING

Whoever hears butterflies laughing
He knows how clouds taste
He will in the moonlight, undisturbed
by fear, discover the night
 
He will become a plant, if he so desires
an animal, a fool, a wise man
and can in an hour
travel across the entire universe
 
He knows that he knows nothing
Just like everybody else knows nothing
He only knows what everybody else
As well as himself, still need to learn
 
Whoever senses in himself foreign shores
and has the courage to stretch
He will gradually, undisturbed
by fear, discover himself
 
Downhill from the summit
He glances up at himself
The battle with his underworld
He takes on calmly
 
Whoever hears butterflies laughing
He knows how clouds taste
He will in the moonlight, undisturbed
by fear, discover the night
 
Whoever lives in peace with himself
He will die the same way
And will be even more alive
than all of his heirs

FREMDE SCHATTEN by FRANÇOISE HARDY

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 9
Whatever happened to the Beat Fräuleins?

In my series about German pop in the 1960s I featured several cool female singers, both deutsche girls and French ye-ye girls singing in German. Sadly many of these women seem to have had career problems at the end of the sixties. Most of them either disappeared or embraced Schlager in order to survive. One notable exception was Françoise Hardy who continued to be effortlessly cool into the early seventies.

Hardy recorded this song on her second German language album “Träume” in 1970. She had previously recorded the original English version “Strange Shadows” and she also recorded a French version titled “L’Ombre” – I guess she really liked this song!

Three years earlier Johnny Hallyday had recorded his own French version “Son Amour Pour Un Jeu” (1967), with completely different lyrics. The original song was co-written by the English musician Mick Jones who worked with both Hardy and Hallyday as well as many other French artists.

FREMDE SCHATTEN

REFRAIN:
Warum macht man das Glück uns so schwer
Fremde Schatten sind rings um uns her
Rufen dich, rufen mich
Wo ist das Licht?

Fremde Schatten verdunkeln den Tag
Und das Licht, das ich suche, und frag
Wo das Glück für mich ist?
Das find ich nicht

Wo ist der, der mir Antwort gibt
Oder wer hört mir zu?
Wo ist der, der mich wirklich liebt?
Wo find ich endlich Ruh?

Keiner hat mir die Antwort gebracht
Und ich geh ganz allein durch die Nacht
Such mein Glück und das Licht
Und find es nicht

REFRAIN

Die Schatten, sie rufen
Die Schatten rufen dich und mich…
STRANGE SHADOWS

CHORUS:
Why is happiness being made so hard for us
Strange shadows circle around us
Calling you, calling me
Where is the light?

Strange shadows darken the day
And the light I’m searching for, and ask
‘Where is my happiness?’
I don’t find it

Where is the one who will give me an answer
Or the one who will listen to me? 
Where is the one who really loves me?
Where will I find peace at last?

No one has brought me the answer
And I go all alone through the night
Seeking my happiness and the light
And I don’t find it

CHORUS

The shadows, they’re calling
The shadows calling  you and me…

DIE HELDEN AUS DEM UNTERGRUND by LOTHAR MEID

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 8
Notes from the German Underground

Lothar Meid was the bassist for the Krautrock band Amon Düüll II in the early Seventies. After leaving the group he released his first solo album “Mensch, dieser Klaus!” in 1975. The guitar freak-outs of his old band were replaced by more conventional songs, and for the first time he sang in German. This track is a wry look back at his time in Amon Düüll II, who were a big fish in the small pond that was the German underground scene. A promo video was filmed for this song but sadly it isn’t available on YouTube at the time of writing.

Thanks to lyrics translate for their help, both with the transcription and the translation. I have made a few alterations to the original translation.

DIE HELDEN AUS DEM UNTERGRUND

Wir kamen von der Wenne
Und wir hörten Tag und Nacht
Die Rolling Stones
Die Beatles und den alten Blues
Led Zeppelin, Spooky Tooth,
Das ganze Zeugs
 
Und wir dachten, die Popstars bringen's voll
Mettigel, Rock 'n Roll und ein Rolls Royce
Und wir ließen uns die Haare wachsen
Und spielten die total Beknackten 
und machten eine Band
 
Wir hielten uns für Helden aus dem Untergrund
Die Leute sagten: "Hmm! Angesagt!"
Wir spielten uns jeden Tag die Finger wund
Auf nichtbezahlten Gitarren
 
Und dann zogen wir aufs Land hinaus
Und wohnten alle im selben Haus
"Togetherness"
Wir hatten kein Geld und keine Jobs
Und waren doch, man glaubt es kaum, 
fast weltbekannt
 
Und anstatt des Rolls Royce,
Da hatten wir 'n alten, morschen Cadillac
Der blieb bald steh'n und wir fuhren wieder
Mit dem Maxxrad
 
Denn wir waren Helden aus dem Untergrund
Die Leute sagten: "Hmm! Angesagt!"
Wir spielten uns jeden Tag die Finger wund
Auf nichtbezahlten Gitarren

Wir stehen in jedem Pop-Lexikon,
Im Melody Maker, im Rolling Stone;
Das nützt uns gar nichts,
Denn unsere Firma hat uns gefeuert.
Wir waren ihnen wohl doch zu teuer,
Nach all der Zeit.
 
Unsere Platten gibt's in 30 Ländern
Doch die Lage will sich nicht ändern
Noch immer gibt's kein Geld
Und jede Miete 
bringt uns dem Bankrott nah
 
Denn wir sind noch immer die
Helden aus dem Untergrund
Die Leute sagen: "Noch immer angesagt!"
Wir spielen uns noch immer die Finger wund
Auf immer noch nicht bezahlten Gitarren
 
[Werbeschreier]
"Nach Amerika und England
Rockt jetzt auch Deutschland!
Das Beste von der Deutschrockfront
Frisch auf Ihren Plattenteller!
Auf unserem neuen 
Deutschrock superfinsterem [?] Album
Sie hören die Glock'n [?]
Wurzelsepp, Gammastrahlen, Heckeldock [?], 
Waidmannsheil, Rohrbruch
Und viele, viele andere,
Zum einmaligen, super-sonder-Knallerpreis:
Nur siebzehnmarkneunzig!"
HEROES OF THE UNDERGROUND

We come from the (river) Wenne
And we listened day and night
To the Rolling stones
The Beatles and old blues
Led Zeppelin, Spooky Tooth
All that stuff
 
And we thought, pop stars get it all,
Meat hedgehogs*, rock ‘n’ roll and a Rolls Royce
And we let our hair grow
And we acted totally insane
And formed a band
 
We thought we were heroes of the underground
The people said, "Hmm! Hip!"
We played every day until our fingers were sore
On unpaid guitars
 
And then we moved to the countryside
And all lived in the same house
"Togetherness"
We had no money and no jobs
And yet, unbelievably
Almost world famous
 
And instead of a Rolls Royce
We had an old beat up Cadillac
That soon broke down and we went on
On a Maxxrad (bike)
 
Then we were heroes of the underground
The people said, "Hmm! Hip!"
We played every day until our fingers were sore
On unpaid guitars

We are in every pop encyclopedia
In Melody Maker, in Rolling Stone
That doesn't help us one bit
Because our (record) company has fired us
We were probably too expensive for them
After all this time
 
Our records are (released) in 30 countries
But the situation will never change
There’s still never any money
And every rent (bill) 
Brings us closer to bankruptcy

Then we’re still always 
Heroes of the underground
The people say, "Still hip as always!"
We play every day until our fingers are sore
On still unpaid guitars
 
[Radio/TV promoter]
After America and England
Now Germany is rocking too!
The best from the German Rock scene
Fresh on your turntable
From our new 
Super dark German rock album
You're listening to the sounds
Wurzelsepp, Gammastrahlen, Heckeldock,
Waidmannsheil, Rohrbruch
And many, many more
Once only at a super special discount price:
Only seventeen Marks ninety!

GERMAN GRADED READERS:

I recommend the Leichte Literatur (Light Literature) series by the publisher Hueber. These graded readers offer simplified versions (A2 level) of German classics. There are nine books in the series:

Faust (Goethe)
Werther (Goethe)
Die Räuber (Schiller)
Rumpelstilzchen (3 fairytales)
Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (3 fairytales)
Siegfrieds Tod (Nibelung saga)
Fräulein Else (Schnitzler)
Bergkristall (Stifter)
Der zerbrochene Krug (The Broken Jug)

IN DEN KOSMOS by STERN COMBO MEISSEN

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 7
Meanwhile, back in the GDR…

…they had been singing rock in German for years, especially since the early 1970s when the Ostrock scene started to blossom. Some fascinating music emerged, but rock fans in West Germany were mostly either unaware or uninterested in what was happening on the other side of the wall.

This song was recorded by Stern Combo Meißen in 1978. Their name means ‘stars of Meißen’, Meißen being the town in Saxony where they come from. Here their driving use of synths and sequencers (not typical of their output) invites comparisons to acts like Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. It appears on the compilation “Kosmos – Soundtracks Of Eastern Germany’s Adventures In Space”.

Thanks to Milia13 at lyrics translate for the translation.

IN DEN KOSMOS

Immer schneller voraus,
Immer weiter hinaus
Will der Mensch, mein Freund,
In dieser Zeit, mein Freund.
Und manche Zukunftsvision,
Die ist Wahrheit schon.
Es geht los, mein Freund,
Keinen Tag versäumt
 
Was uns die kosmische Welt
Noch verborgen hält,
Wirst du sehen, mein Freund,
Und verstehen, mein Freund.
Und dieser uralte Traum,
Nach fernen Welten zu schauen,
Der ist Wirklichkeit.
Komm, steig ein, mein Freund
 
Stoß mit der Flamme der Kraft
Dich von der Erde ab
Und flieg, und flieg
 
Was uns die kosmische Welt
Noch verborgen hält,
Wirst du sehen, mein Freund,
Und verstehen, mein Freund.
Und dieser uralte Traum,
Nach fernen Welten zu schauen,
Der ist Wirklichkeit.
Komm steig ein, mein Freund!
 
Stoß mit der Flamme der Kraft
Dich von der Erde ab,
Und flieg, und flieg…
INTO THE COSMOS

Always faster ahead
Always further out
Wants a human, my friend
In this time, my friend
And some vision of the future
Is already the truth
It starts, my friend
Didn't miss one day
 
What the cosmic world
hides from us
You'll see, my friend
And understand, my friend
And this very old dream
To look for far away worlds
Is reality
Come on, get in, my friend
 
Take off from the ground
with the flame of power
And fly, and fly
 
What the cosmic world
hides from us
You'll see, my friend
And understand, my friend
And this very old dream
To look for far away worlds
Is reality
Come on, get in, my friend
 
Take off from the ground
with the flame of power
And fly, and fly…

GERMAN GRAMMAR:

In (in German) can mean both in and into.
For position you use the dative case: In dem Kosmos
For movement you use the accusative case: In den Kosmos (as in the song).

JONNY CONTROLLETTI by UDO LINDENBERG

GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 6
The real birth of German language rock

German language rock certainly existed before Udo Lindenberg, but it was his pioneering efforts that showed that this music had a sizeable audience. This track is from “Ball Pompös” (Grandiose Ball, 1974), his second album with his band, the Panikorchester, who are referred to humourously in the lyrics. “Ball Pompös” was the first German language rock LP to reach the top ten in Deutschland. A couple of years later Lindenberg recorded a version of this song for his ill fated English language album “No Panic”, which you can hear below.

These days Udo Lindenberg is an icon of German music, a grizzled rock and roll survivor, a kind of homegrown Keith Richards.

NB The lyrics include a tiny bit of Italian (in italics).

JONNY CONTROLLETTI

Neulich war ich mal wieder in Amerika 
und da traf ich einen Herrn von der Mafia 
er lud mich ein in ein Makkaronirestaurant 
und ich dachte: Okay, gehst mal mit 
vielleicht wird das Ganze interessant 

Er sagt: Ich heiße Jonny Controlletti, 
buon giorno, Signor 
Ein kurzer Wink
und 'ne schwarze Limousine fuhr vor 
und später saßen wir da in der Chicago-Bar 
und nach jedem Glas Chianti 
rief er: Hallo Ober, noch 'ne Ladung 
und zwar avanti, avanti 
Und dann packt er sich das Glas, das volle 
und sagt: Alles unter Kontrolle

Er hatte 'n Streifenanzug an 
und Gamaschen wie Al Capone 
und die Beule in der Jacke, 
die kam von der Kanone 

Dann wollte er noch wissen 
wie's denn überhaupt so wäre 
mit dem Showbusiness in Deutschland 
und speziell auch mit meiner Karriere 
ich sag': Ich mach' da grad so'n Ding 
mit 'ner höllisch heißen Panik-Band 
Und Jonny Controlletti 
übernahm sofort das Management

Er sagt: Si, si, Signor 
wir machen das perfekt und schnell 
die Jungs vom Syndikat 
sind enorm professionell 
Und so saßen wir da in der Chicago-Bar 
und er sagt: Alles klar, mein Bester 
ich mach' dich über Nacht zum Superstar 
dich und dein Katastrophen-Orchester 
Und dann reicht er mir das Glas, das volle 
und sagt: Alles unter Kontrolle
JONNY CONTROLLETTI

The other day I was back in America
And there I met a gentleman from the Mafia
He invited me to a macaroni restaurant
And I thought: OK, if I go with him
Maybe the whole thing will be interesting

He says: My name is Jonny Controlletti
Good morning, sir
A quick signal
And a black Limousine drove up
And later we sat in the Chicago bar
And after every glass of Chianti
He shouted: Hello waiter, let's reload
And hurry up!
And then he grabs the glass, the full one
And says: Everything is under control

He was wearing a striped suit
And spats like Al Capone
And the bulge in his jacket 
That came from the gun

Then he wanted to know
How things are
With show business in Germany
And especially with my career
I say: I'm doing a thing
With the hellishly hot Panic band
And Jonny Controlletti
Took over the management immediately

He says: Yes, yes, sir
We'll do it perfectly and quickly
The guys from the syndicate 
Are tremendously professional
And so we sat there in the Chicago bar
And he says: Everything's OK, my dear
I'll make you a superstar overnight
You and your catastrophe orchestra
And then he hands me the glass, the full one
And says: Everything is under control

GERMAN GRAMMAR:

This song contains lots of songs in the präteritum (the German equivalent of the past simple).
One way to learn verbs is with the infinitive, the third person singular of the present (which is often irregular), the präteritum and past participle. Here are some of the verbs used in the song (in the präteritum) in all these forms.

treffen (meet): trifft – traf – getroffen
einladen (invite): lädt ein – lud ein – eingeladen
denken (think): denkt – dachte – gedacht
fahren (drive): fährt – fuhr – gefahren
sitzen (sit): sitzt- saß – gesessen
rufen (call): ruft – rief – gerufen
übernehmen (take over): übernimmt – übernahm – übergenommen