This is Rammstein at their most accessible. Alongside the expected heavy riffs you get some Morricone-esque whistling and guest female vocals (from “Bobo”). It comes from their best album, 1997’s “Sehnsucht”.


Wer zu Lebzeit’ gut auf Erden
wird nach dem Tod ein Engel werden
den Blick gen Himmel fragst du dann
warum man sie nicht sehen kann

Erst wenn die Wolken schlafengeh’n
kann man uns am Himmel seh’n 
wir haben Angst und sind allein
Gott weiß ich will kein Engel sein

Sie leben hinterm Sonnenschein
getrennt von uns unendlich weit
sie müssen sich an Sterne krallen (ganz fest)
damit sie nicht vom Himmel fallen


Whoever is good during  their life on Earth
Will become an angel after death
You look at the sky and ask yourself
Why can't people can't see them

Only once the clouds have gone to sleep
Can you see us in the sky
We are afraid and we are alone
God knows I don't want to be an angel

They live beyond the sunshine
Separated from us, infinitely far 
They have to cling to the stars (really tight)
So that they don't fall from heaven



Tito Larriva was born in Mexico but is based in the USA. He started out in the punk band The Plugz which eventually evolved into Los Cruzados. In the early Nineties he formed Tito & Tarantula, and the band contributed this song to the soundtrack of the movie “From Dusk ‘Till Dawn” (1996).


Cucarachas enojadas
Fumando Marijuana
Buscando una Fiesta
Y un kilo de Coc-a
Cucarachas fumando marijuana

Angry cockroaches
Smoking marijuana
Looking for a party
And a kilo of Cocaine
Cockroaches smoking marijuana



Following on from the previous post it seems only fair to let us hear from Max himself, here singing one of his own songs. If dates from 1992 but it sounds more like 1932.

The title is difficult to translate. I realise swine is old fashioned in English, but I think it suits the retro style of the song. Bitch is too harsh, and “No-one ever calls me” (suggested on Wikipedia) is a bit too bland.


Kein Schwein ruft mich an
Keine Sau interessiert sich für mich
Solange ich hier wohn’
ist es fast wie Hohn
schweigt das Telefon
Kein Schwein ruft mich an
Keine Sau interessiert sich für mich
Und ich frage mich,
denkt gelegentlich
jemand mal an mich?
Den Zustand find’ ich höchst fatal
für heut’ geh’ Zeiten nicht normal
wo jeder nur darüber klagt
das Telefon an Nerven nagt
Ich traue mich kaum mehr aus der Tür,
denn stets hab’ ich vermutet,
dass, kaum dass ich das Haus verlass’
es klingelt oder tutet.
Vielleicht, dass manche mich
im Land der Dänen wähnen.
Oder fern von hier,
wo die Hyänen gähnen.
Denn... Kein Schwein ruft mich an.
Keine Sau interessiert sich für mich.
Doch liegt es nicht an mir,
ich zahle monatlich die Telefongebühr.
Das war für mich kein Zustand mehr
Es musste eine Lösung her!
Das war für mich sofort
der Anrufbeantworter
Und als ich dann nach Hause kam,
war ich vor Glück und Freude lahm
Es blinkt mir froh der Apparat
dass jemand angerufen hat
Die süße Stimme einer Frau
verrät mir und erzählt:
“Verzeihen Sie mein werter Herr,
ich habe mich verwählt.”

Not one swine rings me up
Not one cow is interested in me
As long as I’ve lived here
it’s almost as if
the silent telephone is mocking me
Not one swine rings me up
Not one cow is interested in me
And I ask myself
does someone else
think of me from time to time?

The condition I find myself in is most disastrous
because today's times are not normal
where everyone just complains about it
the phone gnaws at my nerves
I hardly dare to step out of the door
because I always suspect
that as soon as I leave the house
it rings or toots

Maybe some people believe me to be
in the land of the Danes
Or far from here
Where hyenas yawn

Because… Not one swine rings me up
Not one cow is interested in me
Though it’s not my fault
I pay my monthly telephone bill

I couldn’t stand my condition anymore
A solution was needed urgently
It came to me that instant
the answering machine
And when I got home
I was weak with happiness and joy
The phone blinked happily at me
that somebody had called me

The sweet voice of a woman
Revealed itself to me and explained:
“I beg your pardon my dear man,
I’ve dialed the wrong number."



By 1983 both Ideal and Neonbabies had split up and the Humpe sisters found themselves working together in the novelty project DÖF with a couple of Austrian comedians. Perhaps surprisingly DÖF were hugely successful, in particular the single “Codo”. After this the sisters remained together, recording two pop albums together as Humpe & Humpe. Sung mainly in English, they both charted.

The 1980s were very successful for Annette Humpe. However, her first (and so far only) solo album in 1990 missed the German charts. This track was released as a single, but it didn’t chart either. After this relative flop Humpe decided to concentrate on songwriting and production for other artists, notably Die Prinzen. Though she remained an important figure in the German music industry it seemed like her time in the spotlight was over…


Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Sie müssen schon verzeihen
Nur für einen Tag
Sollen Sie ihn mir leihen

Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Küssen wird mich heilen
Nur für einen Tag
Sollen Sie ihn mit mir teilen 

Die Welt ist schlecht
Und viele sehe ich frieren
Und an einem Tag
Kann nicht viel passieren 

Sie kriegen ihn sofort zurück
Völlig unversehrt
Und bevor es dunkel wird
Ist er zurückgekehrt


Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Küssen wird mich heilen
Nur für einen Tag
Sollen Sie ihn mit mir teilen 

Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Nur für fünf Minuten
Nein, es ist nicht so
Wie Sie vielleicht vermuten

Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Ich find' ihn so sympathisch
Fünf Minuten nur
Ist doch nicht dramatisch

Ich hab' das gar nicht nötig
Männer liegen mir zu Füßen
Aber grade heute
Heute will ich küssen


Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Er bleibt unversehrt
Und bevor es dunkel wird
Ist er zurückgekehrt

I’m kissing your man
You should forgive me
Just for one day
You shall lend him to me

I’m kissing your man
Kissing will heal me
Just for one day
You shall share him with me

The world is rough
And I see many people freeze
And in one day
Not much can happen

You will get him back immediately
Completely unscathed
And before it gets dark
He will have returned


I’m kissing your man
Kissing will heal me
Just for one day
You shall share him with me

I’m kissing your man
Just for five minutes
No, it is not the way
That you might think

I’m kissing your man
I think he’s so nice
Just for five minutes
It’s not so dramatic

I don't really need it
Men fall at my feet
But just today
Today I want to kiss


I’m kissing your man
He remains unscathed
And before it gets dark
He will have returned


When you start learning German and how to conjugate verbs, you come across ihr, the personal pronoun for you (plural form) in the nominative case.

Ihr seid meine Freunde (You are my friends)

However ihr is also used as a possessive pronoun for sie (all forms) i.e. her, their and your (formal). In the title of the song the singer is using the Sie formal form. The verb küssen is used with the accusative case, and since the object is masculine (the man) –en is added to Ihr.

Ich küsse Ihren Mann (I’m kissing your man)

To confuse matters further, there is a third use of ihr. It is used for feminine personal pronouns with the dative case. Consider the following sentence:

Ich gebe der Frau ihr bier (I give the woman her beer)

Here ihr is a possessive pronoun. However, we can now replace der Frau with a dative personal pronoun, since geben goes with the dative i.e. I am giving the beer to her.

Ich gebe ihr ihr bier (I give her her beer)

Interestingly English has the same confusing repetion in this example. To complete the set we can know change from I to you (plural):

Ihr gibt ihr ihr bier (You give her her beer)


This tango was written by Astor Piazzolla and Fernando Solanas for the Argentine film “Sur” (1988).

Here is Caetano Veloso’s chilled out version from his Spanish language album “Fina Estampa” (1994).

NB This great translation is not my work, I took it from this site:



Vuelvo al Sur
Como se vuelve siempre al amor
Vuelvo a vos
Con mi deseo, con mi temor

Llevo el Sur, 
como un destino del corazon, 
soy del Sur, 
como los aires del bandoneon. 

Sueño el Sur, 
inmensa luna, cielo al reves, 
busco el Sur, 
el tiempo abierto, y su despues. 

Quiero al Sur, 
su buena gente, su dignidad, 
siento el Sur, 
como tu cuerpo en la intimidad. 

Te quiero Sur, 
Sur, te quiero. 

Vuelvo al Sur, 
como se vuelve siempre al amor, 
vuelvo a vos, 
con mi deseo, con mi temor. 

Quiero al Sur, 
su buena gente, su dignidad, 
siento el Sur, 
como tu cuerpo en la intimidad. 
Vuelvo al Sur, 
llevo el Sur, 
te quiero Sur, 
te quiero Sur...

I return to the South 
like one always returns to the love, 
I return to you , 
with my longing, with my anxiety. 

I carry the South 
like a destiny of my heart, 
I am from the South 
like the melodies of the bandoneon. 

I dream of the South, 
a huge moon, the sky reversed, 
I am looking for the South 
the open time, and its thereafter. 

I love the South, 
its good people, its dignity, 
I feel the South, 
like I feel your body in intimacy. 

I love you South, 
South, I love you. 

I return to the South 
like one always returns to the love, 
I return to you 
with my longing, my anxiety. 

I love the South, 
its good people, its dignity, 
I feel the South 
like I feel your body in intimacy. 
I return to the South, 
I carry the South, 
I love you South, 
I love you South...




I mentioned in a previous post the confusing German fact that Wer (which sounds like Where) actually means Who. This song should help you remember this.

Die Prinzen were one of the first groups from East Germany to cross over into the German charts after the fall of the Berlin wall. This track is from “Das Leben ist Grausam” (“Life is Cruel”, 1991) which was their first and most successful album. Arguably their upbeat sound reflected the sense of optimism in the newly reunited Germany.

Die Prinzen were basically a group of cheeky ex-choir boys who were trained at Thomaskirche in Leipzig where none other than J.S. Bach was once choirmaster. The mix of their great harmonies with dance beats may sound a bit cheesy these days, but their clear and simple lyrics make them appealing to many language learners.

The album was produced by Annette Humpe and she also co-wrote this song.


Ich weiß, wann die Tagesschau beginnt
Ich weiß, wie viel fünf mal sieben sind
Ich weiß immer, wie spät es ist
Ich weiß, Karl Marx war Kommunist

Ich weiß, wer den Bundeskanzler wählt
Ich weiß, jeder zahlt, was er bestellt
Ich weiß, von Bananen wird mir schlecht
Ich weiß, meine Oma hat immer recht

Doch ich weiß nicht:
Wer ist der Typ da neben dir? 
Wer ist der Typ, und was will der hier?
...bitte sag es mir!
Wer ist der Typ da neben dir?

Ich weiß, wann die Sonne untergeht
Ich weiß, was nachts am Himmel steht
Ich weiß, im Winter ist es kalt
Ich weiß, in ein paar Jahren bin ich alt


Du warst doch mal so wählerisch
Und jetzt zieht der dich übern Tisch
Du fällst auf seine Sprüche rein
Es muss doch rauszukriegen sein:


I know, when the evening news begins (1)
I know, how much five times seven is
I always know, what time it is
I know, Karl Marx was a communist
I know, who elects the Federal Chancellor (2)
I know, everybody pays for what he orders
I know, bananas make me sick
I know, my granny's always right
But I don't know:
Who's the guy next to you?
Who's the guy and what does he want here?
...please tell me!
Who's the guy next to you?

I know, when the sun goes down
I know, what's in the sky at night
I know, in winter it's cold
I know, in a couple of years I'll be old
But you were so choosy
And now he's cheating on you
You're falling for his chat up lines
The truth must be revealed

  • 1) This is a reference to the TV news on ARD (the public service broadcaster, comparable to the BBC) which is transmitted at 8pm. A more idiomatic British translation could be something like “I know when the news at 10 begins”!
  • 2) The German Chancellor, equivalent of the Prime Minister in the UK. Here grammatically it is a man (which was true at the time of the song), but at the time of writing it is a woman, Angela Merkel.

At the beginning or the end of a word the letter y sounds the same as in English. 
These words are typically imported from other languages:
e.g. der Yoga, das Handy, die Party

However, in other positions it acts as a vowel and makes the same sound as the German ü 
i.e. a long ‘oo’ sound made with pursed lips. So typ sounds something like ‘toop’ (rhymes with loop) 
and nothing like the English work ‘type’. 
See this previous post for more about this sound and the other vowels with umlauts.

Here are some more examples of words that look very similar to their English equivalents but are pronounced differently for this reason:
die Pyramide, die Hymne, der Rhythmus, die Physik


 Les Négresses Vertes were a French group who combined elements of rock and world music. They generally sang in French but this song from their final studio album ‘Trabendo’ (1999) is a rare example of them singing in Spanish.


Hasta llegar a la ermita
No me digas que me quieres
Hasta llegar a la ermita
No me digas que me quieres
Quiero que la virgencita
Bendiga nuestro querer
Por mi la cara llorando
Cuando salí de mi Huelva
Por mi la cara llorando
Y le dije vuelva mía
Por mi la cara llorando
Tanto como te quería
Hasta llegar a la ermita
No me digas que me quieres
Hasta llegar a la ermita
No me digas que me quieres
Quiero que la virgencita
Bendiga nuestro querer

Until we arrive at the chapel
Don't tell me that you love me
Until we arrive at the chapel
Don't tell me that you love me
I want the Virgin Mary
To give us her blessing
My face covered in tears
When I left my Huelva
My face covered in tears
And I told her, come back my darling
My face covered in tears
As much as I loved you
Until we arrive at the chapel
Don't tell me that you love me
Until we arrive at the chapel
Don't tell me that you love me
I want the Virgin Mary
To give us her blessing



Laïs are a femal vocal trio who have recorded some stunning a cappella material. They are Flemish but they occasionally sing in French. This track is from their debut album, released in 1998.
‘Grand Jacques’ is a cover of a Jacques Brel song that originally appeared on his first album in 1954. The title is a reference to his childhood nickname (he was the tallest in his class at school).


C'est trop facile d'entrer aux églises
De déverser toute sa saleté
Face au curé qui dans la lumière grise
Ferme les yeux pour mieux nous pardonner

Tais-toi donc, grand Jacques
Que connais-tu du Bon Dieu ?
Un cantique, une image
Tu n'en connais rien de mieux

C'est trop facile quand les guerres sont finies
D'aller gueuler que c'était la dernière
Ami bourgeois vous me faites envie
Vous ne voyez donc point vos cimetières

Tais-toi donc grand Jacques
Laisse-les donc crier
Laisse-les pleurer de joie
Toi qui ne fus même pas soldat

C'est trop facile quand un amour se meurt
Qu'il craque en deux parce qu'on l'a trop plié
D'aller pleurer comme les hommes pleurent
Comme si l'amour durait l'éternité

Tais-toi donc grand Jacques
Que connais-tu de l'amour ?
Des yeux bleus, des cheveux fous
Tu n'en connais rien du tout

Et dis-toi donc grand Jacques
Dis-le-toi bien souvent
C'est trop facile,
C'est trop facile,
De faire semblant.

It's too easy to enter churches
To pour out all of our filth,
Facing the priest who, in the dim light,
Closes his eyes to pardon us better

So keep quiet, big Jacques,
What do you know of the Good Lord?
A hymn, a picture
You know nothing better.

It's too easy when wars are over
To go around shouting that it was the last.
My middle class friends, I envy you
You never see your cemetries at all

So keep quiet, big Jacques,
Let them cry out,
Let them weep with joy,
You who were never a soldier yourself.

It's too easy, when a love affair dies,
That cracks in two because we've bent it too far,
To go about weeping like all men weep,
As if love lasted for eternity

So keep quiet, big Jacques,
What do you know about love?
Some blue eyes, some crazy hair
You know nothing about it at all

And so tell yourself, big Jacques,
Tell yourself quite often:
It's too easy,
It's too easy,
To pretend.



I plan to include some French songs on this blog in the next few months. So French Pop Lyrics will be a kind of blog within the blog. The reason for this (as you can probably guess) is that I have been learning a bit of French.

Pink Martini are an American band who perform songs in several languages including French and Spanish. In fact their lead singer China Forbes (who co-wrote this song) has recorded in at least ten different languages, which would surely impress even the great Caterina Valente.

This is the title track of Pink Martini’s first album released in 1997. It’s a kind of Edith Piaf pastiche, with words that are loosely based on Apollinaire’s poem ‘Hôtel’. The lyrics are sung extremely clearly which makes it ideal for beginners. NB I took most of my translation from the video above.


Ma chambre a la forme d’une cage
Le soleil passe son bras par la fenêtre
Les chasseurs à ma porte
Comme les petits soldats
Qui veulent me prendre 

Je ne veux pas travailler
Je ne veux pas déjeuner
Je veux seulement l’oublier
Et puis je fume

Déjà j’ai connu le parfum de l’amour
Un million de roses n’embaumerait pas autant
Maintenant une seule fleur dans mes entourages
Me rend malade


Je ne suis pas fière de ça
Vie qui veut me tuer
C’est magnifique être sympathique
Mais je ne le connais jamais


My room is in the form of a cage
The sun passes its arm though the window
The hunters at my door
Like little soldiers
That want to take me away

I don't want to work
I don't want to have lunch
I only want to forget
And so I smoke

I already knew the perfume of love
A million roses couldn't smell so sweet
Now even a single flower around me
Makes me sick.


I'm not proud of
This life that wants to kill me
It's magnificent to be likeable
But I never know how



The verb vouloir means to want (to).

Note the different forms used in the lyrics:

Je veux seulement l’oublier – I (only) want to forget

Qui veut me teur – (It) wants to kill me

Qui veulent me prendre – (They) want to take me away


French negatives use ne….pas around the verb.

Je veux travailler – I want to work

Je ne veux pas travailler – I don’t want to work


F - Dm (2nd verse stay on F)
Gm - C7 - F
F - G
G - C - C+
Chorus: Je ne veux pas...
F - Dm - Gm - C7
F - Dm - Gm - C7
F - A - Dm - Bbm
F - C7 - F
Bridge: Je ne suis pas...
Bbm - F
Bbm - F
E7 - Am
Bbm - C - C+


Part 12: Rock Barrial and Nuevo Rock Argentino

During the 1990s many of the most popular bands in Argentina were part of ‘Rock Barrial’. This was a kind of back to basics rock and roll movement (with a big Rolling Stones influence), which is musically rather conservative. Imagine pub rock bands on steroids playing to a stadium full of boozed up lads and you’re half-way there. In fact, it’s also known more pejoratively as ‘Rock Chabón’, which means ‘Dumb Rock’, but also implies that it is for working class hooligans. Perhaps ‘Lad Rock’ is the British equivalent, culturally if not musically.
However, at this time there was also a movement known as ‘Nuevo Rock Argentino’ which included bands like Babasónicos who were more eclectic and playful. Babasónicos formed in the early 90s, but this single is from their seventh LP ‘Infame’ (2004). It includes some of the simplest and most repetitive lyrics ever featured on this blog!

¿Y QUÉ? 

¡Oh sí! 
Estoy mirando a tu novia 
¿Y qué? 
No tengo nada que decirte 
Ella me gusta y yo a ella también 
¡Oh sí! 
¿Y qué? 
¿Y qué?

Oh yes!
I'm looking at your girlfriend
So what?
I don't have anything to tell you
She likes me and I like her too
Oh yes!
So what?
So what?