BOTH SIDES by CONCORD

GERMAN POP LYRICS

Fronted by Julia Lubcke, Concord were a German indie band on the fringes of the ‘Hamburger Schule’. They supported Die Sterne on tour and released a few tracks on the hip L’Age D’Or label, but a full album never materialized. This track appeared on the various artists compilation “Musik für Junge Leute” in 1997. Unusually the lyrics are split fairly evenly between German and English, and I have translated the German sections below.
For more information you can see their ‘Indiepedia’ entry (in German): https://www.indiepedia.de/index.php?title=Concord

BOTH SIDES

Weder für mich noch für euch 
ist die Geschichte gemacht
Wir haben viel Zeit damit verbracht, zu hören 
was andre erlebten und nun
sitzen wir hier und haben nichts mehr zu tun

‘cause we
‘cause we heard it all
 
We heard it all (x3)… yeah
 
Wir geben nicht mehr her, 
was einmal uns gehört
und passen auf, 
dass nur das wegkommt, was stört
Jeder Fleck, ein Zitat, 
das nichts mit uns zu tun hat

‘cause we heard it all
 
REFRAIN:
Always have to hear both sides of the story
Ist nicht dasselbe wie 
You always have to try
Always have to hear both sides of the story
Ist nicht dasselbe wie 
Always have to try
 
Jahrelang ging's ohne uns
doch jetzt geben wir das Maß der Dinge vor
Auge um Auge, von Ohr zu Ohr

Wir wissen, wer wo steht, 
wo's langgeht auf jeden Fall (x4)

We heard it all (x3)… yeah

REFRAIN
BOTH SIDES

Neither for me nor for you
is history made
We’ve spent a lot of time, listening to
what others experienced, and now
we sit here and have nothing more to do

‘cause we
‘cause we heard it all
 
We heard it all (x3)… yeah

We won’t give up any more
what was once ours
And we’ll be careful
that only things which bother us get away
Every stain, a quote
that has nothing to do with us

‘cause we heard it all

CHORUS:
Always have to hear both sides of the story
It’s not the same as
You always have to try
Always have to hear both sides of the story
It’s not the same as
Always have to try

For years it went on without us
but now we set the rules
An eye for an eye, from ear to ear

We know who is who 
We know the way in any case

We heard it all (x3)… yeah

REFRAIN
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DIE INTERESSANTEN by DIE STERNE

GERMAN POP LYRICS

Die Sterne were one of the most succesful German indie bands of the 1990s, a scene which was known as the Hamburg School.
This single is the title track of their 1997 album. Well, actually the title of the album is the complete chorus of this song (see below).

DIE INTERESSANTEN

Ich bleibe an der Haustür stehen
Um noch mal nach dem Haus zu sehen
Die Tür ist auf, die Wohnung leer
Ich glaub mein Leben gibt nichts her
Wir sitzen auf der Treppe
Um uns Geschichten zu erzählen
Wenn ich noch 'ne gute Lüge hätte
Würde ich mich nicht länger quälen
 
REFRAIN:
Denn von allen Gedanken
Schätze ich doch am meisten
Die Interessanten
 
Ein Koffer auf der Parkbank
Harmloses Ding, wie man meint
Und innen glitzert es schon
Bevor das erste Licht hereinscheint
Den habe ich eben erst geklaut
In einem zwielichtigen Laden
Sie hatten mir vertraut
Jetzt haben sie den Schaden
 
REFRAIN
 
Wir sitzen auf der Treppe
Um uns Geschichten zu erzählen
Wenn ich noch 'ne gute Lüge hätte
Würde ich mich nicht länger quälen
 
REFRAIN
THE INTERESTING ONES

I stop at the front door
To look at the house again
The door is open, the flat is empty
I think my life gives nothing
We sit on the stairs
To tell each other stories
If I had had another good lie
I wouldn’t torture myself any longer
 
CHORUS:
Because of all thoughts
I treasure most
The interesting ones
 
A suitcase on the park bench
Harmless thing, as they say
And it glitters inside
Before the first light comes in
I just stole it
In a seedy store
They had trusted me
Now they have the damage
 
CHORUS
 
We sit on the stairs
To tell each other stories
If I had had another good lie
I wouldn’t torture myself any longer
 
CHORUS

EXTR@ (LANGUGAGE SERIES).

I recommend this show which dates from around 2004. Extr@ uses a sitcom format and it was clearly influenced by shows like ‘Friends’. There are versions to learn German, French, Spanish and English. There are also related exercises and materials available for each episode. It starts out reasonably easy and gets a bit more difficult as the series progresses.

ENGEL by RAMMSTEIN

GERMAN POP LYRICS

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”.

ENGEL

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

REFRAIN:
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

REFRAIN
ANGEL

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

CHORUS:
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

CHORUS

CUCARACHAS ENOJADAS by TITO & TARANTULA


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

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

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

KEIN SCHWEIN RUFT MICH AN by MAX RAABE

GERMAN POP LYRICS


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

REFRAIN:
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.
 
Doch... REFRAIN
 
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

CHORUS:
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
 
But... CHORUS

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."

ICH KÜSSE IHREN MANN by ANNETTE HUMPE

GERMAN POP LYRICS: THE ANNETTE HUMPE STORY: PART 2

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

REFRAIN:
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

REFRAIN 

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

REFRAIN

Ich küsse Ihren Mann
Er bleibt unversehrt
Und bevor es dunkel wird
Ist er zurückgekehrt
I’M KISSING YOUR MAN

CHORUS:
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

CHORUS

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

CHORUS

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

GERMAN GRAMMAR: IHR

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)

VUELVO AL SUR by CAETANO VELOSO

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:

http://www.planet-tango.com/lyrics/vuelvosu.htm

VUELVO AL SUR

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

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...

			

WER IST DER TYP by DIE PRINZEN

GERMAN POP LYRICS

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.

WER IST DER TYP

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

REFRAIN:
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

REFRAIN 

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

REFRAIN
WHO'S THE GUY

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
 
CHORUS
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
 
CHORUS
 
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

CHORUS

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.

GERMAN PRONUNCIATION:

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

HASTA LLEGAR by LES NÉGRESSES VERTES

 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

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

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
*

GRAND JACQUES by LAÏS

FRENCH POP LYRICS

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).

GRAND JACQUES

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.
BIG JACQUES

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.
*