Ich + Ich have been inactive since 2010 and Adel Tawil has started a solo career. Meanwhile Annette Humpe has returned to writing and production for other artists. Perhaps her most notable recent project has been writing two albums for Max Raabe.

Raabe is an eccentric character and his style is something of a throwback to the German popular music of the 1920s and 1930s, not least that of the Comedian Harmonists. He has been a beloved character in Germany for many years, but the two albums with Humpe are by far his most successful to date, both reaching the top 3 of the national charts. “Langsam” is from “Für Frauen ist das kein Problem” (2013). I think Humpe does a great job of writing in a different style, though sometimes the Palast Orchester (Palace Orchestra) who usually accompany Raabe are missed. I recommend this album to German learners as the lyrics are relatively easy to understand and they are clearly sung by Raabe.

NB This song is not available on YouTube, so I have had a go at singing it myself. This is my first attempt at singing in German.

So there you have it, four songs from four different decades. And here the story ends, at least for now…


Der Mond geht auf, mhhh, mhhh,
Ganz langsam.
Er nimmt seinen Lauf, mhhh, mhhh,
Ganz langsam.

Es weht ein warmer Sommerwind,
Die Wolken ziehen,
Wir beide sind… allein.

Du bist bei mir,
Es ist ganz still,
Ich weiß genau,
Was ich jetzt will… mhhh

Ich komm auf dich zu, mhhh, mhhh,
Ganz langsam.
Ich weiß, was ich tu, mhhh, mhhh,
Ganz langsam.

Manchmal geht's am Tage,
Manchmal in der Nacht, mhhh,
Manchmal kann es schnell gehen,
Bei mir geht es ganz sacht, mhhh,
Nimm Dich in Acht

The moon rises, mhhh, mhhh,
So slowly.
He takes his course, mhhh, mhhh,
So slowly.

A warmer summer breeze blows,
The clouds drift by,
We are… alone.

You’re with me,
It's so quiet,
I know exactly,
What I want now… mhhh
I go up to you, mhhh, mhhh,
So slowly.
I know what I'm doing, mhhh, mhhh,
So slowly.
Sometimes it happens by day,
Sometimes at night, mhhh,
Sometimes it can go fast,
With me it happens so gently, mhhh,
Take care of yourself


C – Ab – G – C
C – Ab – G – C
F – Fm – C – C7
F – Fm – C/G – G




Annette Humpe finally returned to the public eye in 2004 when she formed the duo Ich + Ich with singer Adel Tawil. Humpe sang occasional lead vocals but Tawil was clearly the frontman.

The optimism of this song, the title track of their second album from 2007, is a world away from the nihilism of Ideal. In interview Humpe has said it was written to try and inspire a friend who had fallen into a deep depression. It is also interesting to note that here was an older woman writing songs for a younger man to sing, an inversion of one of the (generally regretable) cliches of the music industry.

Ich + Ich were hugely successful: the album “Vom selben Stern” has sold over a million copies. Arguably they were one of the few listenable groups on mainstream German radio in the noughties.


Steh auf, zieh dich an
Jetzt sind andere Geister dran
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir

Fenster auf, Musik ganz laut
Das letzte Eis ist aufgetaut
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir
Wir alle sind aus Sternenstaub
In unseren Augen warmer Glanz
Wir sind noch immer nicht zerbrochen
Wir sind ganz
Du bist vom selben Stern
Ich kann deinen Herzschlag hören
Du bist vom selben Stern
Wie ich…
Weil dich die gleiche Stimme lenkt
Und du am gleichen Faden hängst
Weil du dasselbe denkst
Wie ich…
Tanz durch dein Zimmer, heb mal ab
Tanz durch die Straßen
Tanz durch die Stadt
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir

Lass uns zusammen unsere Bahnen ziehen
Wir fliegen heute noch über Berlin
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir

Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir
Ich nehme den Schmerz von dir

Get up, get dressed
Now different spirits take their turn
I'll take your pain away
I'll take your pain away

Window open, music really loud
The last ice has melted
I'll take your pain away
I'll take your pain away
We are all made of stardust
A warm glow in our eyes
We are still not broken
We are whole
You're from the same star
I can hear your heartbeat
You're from the same star 
As me…
Because the same voice is guiding you
And you're hanging by the same thread
Because you're thinking the same 
As me…
Dance around your room, float up
Dance through the streets
Dance through the town
I'll take your pain away
I'll take your pain away
Let's take the same path together
Today we'll fly over Berlin
I'll take your pain away
I'll take your pain away

I'll take your pain away
I'll take your pain away





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 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 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 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




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