GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 3
Krautrock and the Neu! family tree

German rock and pop music is generally either unknown or laughed at in the UK. The main exception to this rule is Krautrock, a German version of progressive rock from the 1970s, which has become a hipster’s favourite. I recommend the book “Future Days” by David Stubbs for those who would like to investigate if further. One of the interesting things that Stubbs reveals is that most Krautrock bands were not popular in Germany at the time, and even today they are better known in the UK and the US than in their homeland.

Krautrock groups tended to concentrate on instrumentals, and when they did sing in was usually in English. Neu!, one of the most influential bands on the scene, were no different. The closest they came to a traditional song was the brilliant “Hero”. When they broke up their guitarist Michael Rother went on to Harmonia while drummer Klaus Dinger formed La Düsseldorf, and both these bands have already featured on this blog.

This song is from La Düsseldorf’s eponymous debut album which was released in 1976. Initially the lyrics switch between German, English, French and Italian, but the main body of the song is in German.


German: Zeit…
English: Time
French: Le temps
Italian: Il tempo
German: Zeit vergeht
French: Se passe
English: Goes by

German: Zeit
Meine Zeit - deine Zeit
Unsere Zeit - keine Zeit
Frühlingszeit - Mädchenzeit
Kinderzeit - Rollschuhzeit
Weihnachtszeit - höchste Zeit
Jede Zeit - neue Zeit
Zeit - Zeit

Zeit ist Geld - schwere Zeit    
Ohne Zeit - höfliche Zeit (?)
Omas Zeit - liebe Zeit           
Kurze Zeit - Ewigkeit    
Zeit - Zeit - Zeit - Zeit

Zeit vergeht…



Time goes by
Goes by
Goes by

My time - your time
Our time - no time
Springtime - girl time
Childhood - roller-skating time
Christmas time - highest time
Every time - new time
Time - time

Time is money - hard time
Without time - courteous time
Grandma’s time - loving time
Short time - eternity
Time - time - time - time

Time passes…




GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 2
Squatting in the German underground

In the 1970s, as in the 1960s, most German rock bands sang in English. English was cool: it was the language of rock. In contrast Deutsch was the language of Schlager and most German rock fans didn’t want to hear it.

One group who went against this trend were Ton Steine Scherben, an underground band who formed at the start of the Seventies. This is the title track of their self released debut album from 1971. It is an extraordinarily crude yet inspired effort that anticipates punk. The rebellious lyrics endeared them to the far left, not least the squatting scene. The first side of the vinyl, including this song, was recorded live.

Their somewhat mysterious name translates literally as ‘Clay Stone Shards’. However, Ton also has the meaning of sound (tone) and a Rolling Stones reference is clearly intended – The Broken Stone Tones?


Warum geht es mir so dreckig, 
was kann ich allein dagegen tun?

Sieben Uhr aufstehen, 
Kaffee trinken,
zur Arbeit fahren, 
freundlich sein, 
den Chef grüßen,
nicht sagen, was ich denke, 
nicht denken, was ich sage.
Ich möchte am liebsten tot sein 
und von allem nichts mehr sehen…

Fünf Uhr, Feierabend, 
zum Bus rennen,
„n' Abend Alter, n' Abend Alte“,
in die nächste Kneipe gehen, 
Bier trinken.
Ich möchte so besoffen sein, 
dass ich alles nicht mehr seh'…

Soll ich morgen abhauen
und gehen, wohin ich will?
Soll ich die Papiere holen 
und machen, was ich will?
Soll ich mir 'n Schuß machen
und von allem nichts mehr sehen?
Ich möchte endlich frei sein, 
aber wohin soll ich gehen?
Warum geht es mir so dreckig? …

Why do I feel so miserable 
What can I do about it on my own?
Get up at seven o'clock
Drink coffee
Go to work
Be friendly
Greet the boss,
Don’t say what I think
Don’t think what I say.
I'd rather be dead 
And not see anything else…

Five o'clock, work ends, 
Run to the bus,
“(Good) evening old man, evening old girl”
Go to the next pub, 
Drink beer.
I want to be so drunk 
That I can’t see anything anymore…
Should I do a runner tomorrow 
And go wherever I want?
Should I get my documents 
And do what I want?
Should I shoot myself 
and see no more of it all?
I’d like to finally be free
But where should I go?
Why am I so miserable? …


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 1
Flush your toilet if you like this song

Following on from my series on German pop and rock in the 1960s, I will now investigate the 1970s…

Vivi Bach and Dietmar Schönherr were a glamorous husband and wife team. They had a hit in Germany with their controversial TV show “Wünsch Dir Was” (“Make A Wish”) in the early Seventies. Three families, one each from Germany, Switzerland and Austria competed on Saturday evenings in the Deutsch speaking equivalent of “The Generation Game”. You could vote for the family you wanted to win by flushing your toilet – national water consumption at that moment was measured to choose the winner!

Here they duet on a truly bizarre number which mixes Schlager with proto-punk lyrics. It appears on the kitsch compilation “The In-Kraut”.

Thanks to Steena at Lyrics Translate. I also took some information from this page.


Kommt zur Molotov Cocktail Party, 
Cocktail Party, Cocktail Party
Und bringt 'ne Tüte Dynamit mit
Denn zur Molotov Cocktail Party, 
Cocktail Party, Cocktail Party
Bringt man statt Blumen Dynamit mit

Anarchisten und Faschisten,
Sind gebeten, unsere Feten 
Nur mit Sprengstoff zu betreten


Am heißen Büfett 
ist eine Puppe schnell 'ne blaue Bohnensuppe
Und die Gästen stehen so dumm, dumm rum
Die kalte Mamsell, die kommt herbei, 
verspeist ein Handgranatenei
Und bringt den Tellerminenwäscher um, um


Delinquenten und Agenten, 
Wir geraten, die Granaten 
Nicht in Barbeque zu braten


Come to the Molotov cocktail party, 
Cocktail party, cocktail party
And bring a carrier bag full of dynamite
‘Cos to a Molotov cocktail Party 
Cocktail party, cocktail party
You bring dynamite instead of flowers

Anarchists and fascists, 
Monopoly capitalists 
May only attend our parties 
With explosives


At the hot buffet 
A doll gobbles up a blue bullet soup
And the guests stand around so dumb, dumb
The cold Mademoiselle comes over
Eats a hand grenade egg
And kills the anti-tank mine washer


Delinquents and agents
Plastic bomb producers 
We advise, the grenades
Don’t fry them on the barbecue


NB “Blaue Bohnen” are literally blue beans but this is German slang for bullets. The lyrics also make a pun on dumdum bullets. More hard to translate wordplay: Tellermine is a land mine and Tellerwäscher is a dishwasher.
NB ‘ne which appears a couple of times in the lyrics is an abbreviation of eine.


Zu can mean ‘to’, as in going to a place. Zu is always followed by the dative case.
There are two contractions: zu dem = zum, zu der = zur.
Party in German is feminine:

Kommt zur Molotov Cocktail Party



Die Bienenjäger (The Bee Hunters) were the first group formed by singer-songwriter Jochen Distelmeyer. They only ever released four songs, and these appeared on cassette samplers by the independent Fast Weltweit (Almost Worldwide) label in 1988. “Was werden wir finden?” is a great track which bears comparison to early Aztec Camera.
Distelmeyer then went on to form the band Blumfeld. They are considered to be one of the key bands in the ‘Hamburger Schule’, a group of Hamburg based indie bands which became influential in the early 1990s.


Ein Brief von weit weg
So bist du mir nah
Wird das, was Du schreibst
Morgen Wirklichkeit sein?
Ein Sommer am See
Deine Haare voll Sand
Etwas Glänzendes in meinen Händen
Was werden sie finden?
Was… werden wir finden?
Lang, lang, lang, lang 
Lag ich wach
Und habe lang, lang, lang 
Daran gedacht,  
Was ich habe
Und was du suchst
Was ich sagen werde
Und ob du mir 
Dann wehtun wirst
Ein Bild von dir
So kann ich dich sehen.
Etwas Glänzendes in deinen Händen.
Was werden sie finden?
Was… werden wir finden?


A letter from far away
In this way you are close to me
Will this, what you write
Become reality tomorrow?
A summer at the lake
Your hair full of sand
Something  sparkling in my hands
What will they find?
What… will we find?
Long, long, long, long 
I lay awake
And long, long, long 
Have I remembered
What I have
And what you're looking for
What I will say
And if you 
will hurt me then
A picture of you 
So that I can see you
Something sparkling in your hands
What will they find?
What... will we find?



The verb werden used on its own means to become. NB Bekommen means to get (something).

e.g. Ich werde müde – I’m becoming / getting tired

However, it is also used to talk about the future when followed by an infinitive.

e.g. Ich werde singen – I will sing / I’m going to sing
e.g. Was werden wir finden? – What will we find?

This form of werden could be translated in English using ‘will’ or ‘going to’.
NB It is actually much more common to use the present tense to talk about the future in German. In this respect it is similar to Spanish.

e.g. Wir kommen morgen – We’ll come tomorrow (literally: We come tomorrow)
e.g. Ich bin bald zurück – I’ll be back soon (literally: I’m back soon)

The future tense can be used to avoid ambiguity that might arise if the present tense is used. Compare the following two sentences:

Ich bekomme kein Antwort – I’m not getting an answer (it sounds like I am talking about the present)
Ich werde keine Antwort bekommen – I won’t get an answer (it is clear I am talking about the future)

The future test can also be used to describe probability in a similar way to English:

Sie wird wohl nicht da sein – She’s probably not in / She’ll be out


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Postscript

When I was looking for songs for my series on German rock in the 1960s I was really excited to find this track, purportedly by an obscure singer from 1965. Sadly I couldn’t include it the series since it appears to be a (rather convincing) fake, probably recorded around 2009 by friends of Andreas Michalke, the original blogger.
Despite this disappointment I think it still merits our attention, and if you are ‘Bernhard Frank’ please get in touch – I would love to see your band play live!
Thanks to Milia13 and Hansi K Lauer at Lyrics Translate for their help with the text.


Oh, es ist mir egal, 
was du von mir hältst.
Und es ist mir egal, 
wie du dir das mit uns beiden vorstellst.
Und es ist mir egal, 
was du von mir denkst 
(oh, was du von mir denkst).
Und es ist mir egal, 
ob du mir Beachtung oder Geschenke schenkst 
(oh, Beachtung oder).
Es ist mir schnurzpiepegal
Es ist mir schnurzpiepegal, 
Verdammt noch mal!
Es ist mir egal, 
wie du zu mir bist.
Und es ist auch mir egal, 
ob du mich an- oder dich verpisst.
Und es ist mir egal, 
was du mit mir machst 
(was du mit mir machst).
Und es ist mir egal, 
ob du mit mir oder über mich lachst 
(du mit mir oder).
(Was du von mir denkst
Beachtung oder
Was du mit mir machst
Mit mir oder)

Total egal

Oh, I don't care 
What you think of me
And I don't care 
What you think about us
And I don't care 
What you think of me 
(Oh, what you think of me)
And I don't care 
If you pay me attention or give me gifts 
(Oh, attention or)
I couldn't care less, 
Couldn't care less
I couldn't care less, 
Damn it!
I don't care 
How you treat me
And I also don't care 
If you annoy me or piss off
And I don't care 
What you do to me 
(What you do to me)
And I don't care 
If you're laughing with me or at me
(With me or)


(What you think of me
Attention or
What you do to me 
With me or)


All the same to me
Couldn't care less
Couldn't care less…



The German New Wave scene eventually went extremely pop. Markus enjoyed a number one hit with this novelty number in 1982.
This track was so successful that it inspired a movie ‘Gib Gas – Ich will Spaß’ (1983) which starred Markus alongside Nena, the biggest female star on the scene.


Mein Maserati fährt zweihundertzehn
Schwupp, die Polizei hat's nicht gesehen
Das macht Spaß!
Ich geb’ Gas, ich geb’ Gas!
Will nicht sparen, 
Will nicht vernünftig sein
Tank nur das gute Super rein
Ich mach Spaß!
Ich geb’ Gas, ich geb’ Gas!
Ich will Spaß, ich will Spaß!
Ich will Spaß, ich will Spaß!
Ich geb’ Gas, ich geb’ Gas!
Ich will Spaß, ich will Spaß!
Ich schubs die Enten aus dem Verkehr
Ich jag' die Opels vor mir her
Ich mach Spaß!
Ich mach Spaß, ich mach Spaß!
Und kost' Benzin auch drei Mark zehn
Scheißegal, es wird schon gehen
Ich will fahr’ n!
Ich will fahr’ n, ich will fahr’ n!

Deutschland, Deutschland, spürst du mich?
Heut’ Nacht komm ich über dich
Das macht Spaß!
Das macht Spaß, das macht Spaß!
Der Tankwart ist mein bester Freund
Hui, wenn ich komm, wie der sich freut
Er braucht Spaß!
Er hat Spaß, er hat Spaß!
Wir woll’n Spaß, wollen Spaß!
Wir woll’n Spaß, wollen Spaß!
Wir geb’n Gas, geben Gas! 
Wir woll'n spaß, wollen Spaß! …

My Maserati drives at 210 (km/h)
Whoosh, the police didn’t see it
That's fun!’
I step on the gas, I step on the gas!
I don't want to hold back 
I don't want to be sensible
I only fill up with Super petrol
I'm having fun!
I'm having fun, I step on the gas!
I want fun, I want fun
I want fun, I want fun
I step on the gas, I step on the gas
I want fun, I want fun
I shove the (VW) Beetles out of the traffic
I chase the Opels in front of me
I'm having fun!
I'm having fun, having fun!
And even if petrol costs 3.10 (Deutschmarks)
I don't give a shit, it will work out
I want to drive!
I want to drive, want to drive!

Germany, Germany, can you feel me?
Tonight I'm coming over to you
That's fun!
That's fun, that's fun!
The gas station attendant is my best friend
Oh, when I come, he's so happy
He needs fun!
He has fun, he has fun!
We want fun, we want fun
We want fun, we want fun
We step on the gas, we step on the gas
We want fun, we want fun…


This song includes some really simple lyrics, including some of the most important German verbs.
Spaß (pronounced /shpas/) is fun.
Ich will Spaß: I want fun, from the verb wollen (to want).
Ich mach Spaß: I’m having fun, but literally ‘I make fun’, from the verb machen (to make).
Er braucht Spaß: He needs fun, from the verb brauchen (to need).
Er hat Spaß: He’s having fun, from the verb haben (to have).
Also notice how the chorus at the end changes from “Ich will” (I want) to “Wir wollen” (we want).



The Comedian Harmonists were a German vocal harmony group that formed in the late 1920s. They became hugely popular around Europe and their five part close harmony vocals still sound impressive today. However, half the sextet was Jewish and when the Nazis came into power their career became difficult and they split up. This is one of their later recordings from 1934. The story of the group is told in the movie “Comedian Harmonists” (1997).

In recent years there has been a revival of interest in the sextet and the singer Max Raabe has revived many of their songs.


Wer nicht musikalisch ist, hat wenig von der Welt,
Weil doch die Musik fröhlich uns erhält.
Wer ein kleines Lied'l kennt und singt es einfach so,
Bleibt am Morgen und am Abend froh.
So ein kleines Lied singt ein jeder mit.
Ja, was wär' das Leben ohne Lied?
„Kannst du pfeifen, Johanna?“
„Gewiss kann ich das!“
„Pfeife weiter Johanna,
Denn Pfeifen macht Spaß.
Deine Lippen sind purpurn
Und deine Wangen rund.
Mädel, was hast du
Für einen wunderschönen Mund!
Kannst du pfeifen, Johanna?“
„Gewiss kann ich das!“
„Kannst du singen, Johanna?“
„Gewiss kann ich das!“
„Singe weiter, Johanna,
Dein Singen macht Spaß.
Deine Lippen sind purpurn
Und deine Wangen rund.
Mädel, was hast du
Für einen wunderschönen Mund!
Kannst du singen, Johanna?“
„Gewiss kann ich das!“
„Isst du Pfirsich, Johanna?“
„Gewiss tu ich das!“
„Du musst vorsichtig essen, Kind,
Du machst dich doch ganz nass.
Ja, es scheint, dass es dir gut schmeckt,
Denn du isst ja furchtbar laut.
Ach Gott, ich armer Mann,
Ich bin gestraft mit so 'ner Braut.“
„Iss doch weiter, Johanna,
Denn uns macht es Spaß.“
„Kannst du gurgeln, Johanna?“
„Gewiss kann ich das!“
„Gurgle weiter, Johanna,
Denn Gurgeln macht Spaß.
Hast im Hals du manchmal Schmerzen
Oder ist die Kehle wund?
Dann nimm essigsaure Tonerde
Und gurgle dich gesund.
Gurgle weiter, Johanna,
Ei, fein kannst du das!“
„Kannst du meckern, Johanna?“
„Selbstverständlich kann ich meckern,
aber ich möchte mir ein für alle-allemal ausgebeten haben, 
dass Sie diese Belästigungen zu unterlassen, mein Herr!“
„Mecker weiter, Johanna, 
dein Meckern macht Spaß.“
„Es steht Ihnen ja frei, zu gehen, 
wenn Ihnen mein Ton nicht passen sollte, mein Herr!“
Und sie meckert und meckert 
und hat 'nen großen Mund,
Aber dazu hat das Mädel doch nun wirklich keinen Grund!
„Mecker weiter, Johanna!“
„Ja, aber das ist doch die Höhe!“
Mäh, mäh, meck, meck, meck!
Aber jetzt, aber jetzt, aber jetzt…
„Kannst du schweigen, Johanna?“
„Gewiss kann ich das!“
„Schweige weiter, Johanna,
Denn Schweigen macht Spaß.“
„Ich, ich...“

One who is not musical has little of the world,
because music keeps us cheerful.
One who knows a little song, and sings it just so,
Stays happy in the morning and in the evening.
So everyone sings along to a little song.
Yes, what would life be without song?
"Can you whistle, Johanna?"
"Certainly I can!"
"Keep whistling Johanna,
because whistling is fun.
Your lips are purple
and your cheeks are round.
Girl, what a
wonderful mouth you have!
Can you whistle, Johanna?"
"Certainly I can!"
"Can you sing, Johanna?"
"Certainly I can!"
"Keep singing, Johanna,
your singing is fun. 
Your lips are purple
and your cheeks are round.
Girl, what a
wonderful mouth you have!
Can you sing, Johanna? "
"Certainly I can!"
"Do you eat peaches, Johanna?"
"Certainly I do!"
"You should eat carefully, child,
you’re making yourself completely wet.
Yes, it seems you find it tasty,
because you eat dreadfully loudly.
Oh God, poor me,
I’m sentenced to such a bride."
"Keep eating, Johanna,
Because we’re having fun."
"Can you gargle, Johanna?"
"Certainly I can!"
"Keep gargling, Johanna,
because gargling is fun.
Do you sometimes have a pain in the neck
or is your throat sore?
Then take aluminium diacetate
And gargle healthily.
Keep gargling, Johanna,
Oh, you can do that well!"
"Can you whine, Johanna?" 
"Naturally I can whine,
but I would like to ask once and for all
that you stop harassing me, Sir!"
"Keep whining, Johanna, 
your whining is fun."
"You are free to go, 
if you don’t like my tone of voice, Sir!"
And she whines and whines 
and has a big mouth,
but the girl doesn’t really have a reason for that!
"Keep whining, Johanna!"
"Yes, but that’s the limit!"
Baa, baa, whine, whine, whine!
But now, but now, but now…
"Can you be silent, Johanna?"
"Certainly I can!"
"Keep quiet, Johanna,
because silence is fun."
"I, I..." 


After the introduction each verse is based on a verb.

Pfeifen – to whistle
Singen – to sing
Essen – to eat
Gurgeln – to gurgle
Meckern – to complain, to bleat (like a sheep)
Schweigen – to be silent

With the structure “Kannst du…?” you simply add the infinitive.

“Kannst du pfeifen, Johanna?” etc.
However, the third verse changes the pattern, making the question with an inversion. Here the verb (essen) is conjugated, and it is irregular.
“Isst du Pfirsich, Johanna?”



Rockhaus were one of the most popular bands in East Germany in the 1980s. This single is from 1987.


Ich geh' irgendwo hin,
Wo ich nicht alleine bin.
Ich such mir in dieser Stadt
Einen Laden wo noch was passiert.

Doch der Typ meint, verpiss dich,
Du siehst doch, hier ist immer voll.
Und ich zahl ihm ein Lächeln,
Und die Tür schließt hinter mir.

Der Plattenleger liebt den Soul,
Doch ich weiß auch nicht
Was ich davon halten soll.
Und jemand meint…

Bleib cool, bleib cool 
Und fall nicht vom Stuhl
Lehn dich zurück 
Und versuch dein Glück
Doch bleib cool, bleib cool, Baby
Bleib cool, bleib cool

Eigentlich sind wir alle gleich
Doch die Schale kriegst du hier nicht weich.
Und man spürt es in jedem Takt,
Sie haben Angst vor dem Kratzer im Lack.

Ich suche mir Augen die anders sind,
Doch dann endet diese Nacht,
Wieder mal allein.
Und jemand meint…


I'm going somewhere
Where I’m not alone
I'm looking in this city for
A club where something’s still going on (1)

But the guy says “Piss off
Can’t you see, here is always packed”
And I give him a smile
And the door closes behind me

The DJ loves soul
But I don’t know 
What to make of it
And someone says ...

Stay cool, stay cool
And don’t fall off your chair
Lean back 
And try your luck
But stay cool, stay cool, baby
Stay cool, stay cool

Actually, we’re all the same
But you won’t get under the hard shell here
And you can feel it in every beat
They’re afraid of having a hair out of place (2)

I'm looking for eyes that are different
But then this night ends
Alone again
And someone says ...


1) Ein Laden means a shop, but a club makes more sense in context. Maybe it was slang in the GDR?
2) Literally something like “They’re afraid of scratching the paint”.


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Coda

Click here to hear the song (not on YouTube)

I will end this series by going back to where it all started – Beatlemania. The Beatles released one German language single in 1964, comprising of reworkings of “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (the lyrics were adapted by Camillo Felgen). Apparently The Beatles were not too keen on the idea, since they realised that Germans were quite happy to buy the English originals. Despite this, and the fact that they learnt the lyrics phonetically, this version of “She Loves You” sounds pretty good. Wisely they refrained from changing “yeah, yeah, yeah” into “ja, ja, ja”!

Translation by absolutelsewhere at lyrics translate, but I have made a few slight changes.


Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Du glaubst sie liebt nur mich
Gestern hab' ich sie gesehen
Sie denkt ja nur an dich
Und du solltest zu ihr gehen

Oh, ja sie liebt dich
Schöner kann es gar nicht sein
Ja, sie liebt dich
Und da solltest du dich freuen
Du hast ihr weh getan
Sie wusste nicht warum
Du warst nicht schuld daran
Und drehtest dich nicht um

Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sie liebt dich, yeah, yeah, yeah
Denn mit dir allein
Kann sie nur glücklich sein
Du musst jetzt zu ihr gehen
Entschuldig dich bei ihr
Ja, das wird sie verstehen
Und dann verzeiht sie dir

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You think she loves only me
I saw her yesterday
She only thinks about you
And you ought to go to her

Oh, yes she loves you
It couldn't be any better
Yes, she loves you
And so you should be glad
You hurt her
She didn't know why
You weren't to blame
And you didn't turn around


She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
Because only with you
Can she be happy
You have to go to her
Apologize to her
Yes, she'll understand that
And then she'll forgive you

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


To celebrate the 300th post on this blog I will look at how to sing “Happy Birthday”, arguably the most famous song in the world, in several different languages. The English original first became popular in the USA around the start of the 20th century.


Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear (NAME)
Happy birthday to you


Cumpleaños feliz
Cumpleaños feliz
Te deseamos todos
Cumpleaños feliz

The 3rd line means “We all wish you”. There are variants but I think it is more common to say ‘todos’ rather than the person’s name, at least in Spain.


Joyeux anniversaire
Joyeux anniversaire
Joyeux anniversaire (NOM)
Joyeux anniversaire

NB There is a liaison between the “x” at the end of “joyeux” and “a” at the beginning of “anniversaire”, so the “x” will be pronounced with a “z” sound.


Zum Geburtstag viel Glück
Zum Geburtstag viel Glück
Zum Geburtstag liebe(r) (NAME)
Zum Geburtstag viel Glück

Der Geburtstag is masculine and zum is the contraction of ‘zu dem’ using the dative case, meaning “to you”. So the first line translates literally as “Good luck to you on your birthday”.

NB Use liebe with a female name and lieber with a male name.