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”.




The conversation in this song takes place in the Volkspark Friedrichshain, the oldest public park in Berlin. During the Second World War the Nazis made use of the park, constructing flak towers (concrete anti-aircraft towers) there. As a result much of the park was destroyed by Allied bombing. At the end of the war the park was restored, with the huge amount of rubble being used to create two artificial mountains. The larger one (78 metres tall) was given the nickname Mont Klamott, which translates into something like “Rubbish mountain”. The official name is Großer Bunkerberg, while the smaller one (48 metres tall) is known as Kleiner Bunkerberg.

Due to the loss of men in the war the work was mainly carried out by women. Known as Trümmerfrau (literally rubble women), they were not assisted by heavy machinery. Typically they worked with shovels and barrows in what must have been both hazardous and exhausting work. In the GDR (and elsewhere) the Trümmerfrau became a symbol of the woman as worker, reflecting a breaking down of gender stereotypes.

Over time the woodland at Mont Klamott has asserted itself and the hills now appear to be a natural part of the landscape.

Mitten in der City 
zwischen Staub und Straßenlärm
Wächst 'ne grüne Beule        
aus dem Stadtgedärm
Dort hängen wir zum Weekend 
die Lungen in den Wind
Bis ihre schlappen Flügel 
so richtig durchgelüftet sind
Neulich sitz ich 
mit 'ner alten Dame auf der Bank
Wir reden über dies und das
da sag ich: "Gott sei Dank
Da ist ihnen mal was eingefall'n
den Vätern dieser Stadt
Dass unsereins 'n bissel 
frische Luft zum Atmen hat"

Mont Klamott - auf'm Dach von Berlin
Mont Klamott - Sind die Wiesen so grün
Mont Klamott - auf'm Dach von Berlin
Mont Klamott - Sind die Wiesen so grün
Die alte Dame lächelt matt:
"Lass sie ruh'n, die Väter dieser Stadt
Die sind so tot seit 
Deutschlands Himmelfahrt
Die Mütter dieser Stadt hab'n 
den Berg zusamm'gekarrt"
In the middle of the city 
between dust and street noise
A green bulge is growing 
from the bowels of the city
There, for the weekend, we hang
our lungs out in the wind
Until their worn out wings
are completely refreshed with air
The other day I’m sitting
with an old lady on the bench
We talk about this and that 
then I say: “Thank God
They finally realised,
the fathers of this city,
that the likes of us need a bit
of fresh air to breathe”

Mont Klamott - On the roof of Berlin
Mont Klamott - The fields are so green
Mont Klamott - On the roof of Berlin
Mont Klamott - The fields are so green
The old lady smiles wearily:
“Let them rest, the fathers of this city
They've been so dead since 
Germany's ascension to heaven
The mothers of this town 
put the mountain together cart by cart”



My series on German rock in the sixties features a track by Team 4, one of the first groups in the Ostrock movement in East Germany. Groups in the GDR needed a licence from the state in order to perform and this was hard to get in the 1960s.

In the 1970s the regulations were relaxed somewhat and more of a scene started to develop, giving rise to bands like Transit. This is their most popular track from 1975. It features witty lyrics in which the singer returns home to stay with his parents on the coast when he gets sick of city life. In fact frontman Egon Linde did grow up on the Baltic coast.


Heut’ hab’ ich mal die Nase wieder richtig voll
Vom Leben in der großen Stadt
Da fährt eine Menge ab      
Das find ich schon ganz toll
Doch auf die Dauer kann ich das nicht ab

Dann spüre ich in mir überhaupt keine Ruh
Es kribbelt mächtig unter meiner Haut
Das Kribbeln, ja das kenn ich
Und ich weiß schon was ich tue 
Ich renn' zum Zug, das Nötigste verstaut

Ich fahr’ an die Küste, zu Mutter
Zu den Möwen und dem Wind
Nicht nur wegen der gesunden Lüfte
Auch wegen zwei, drei Kumpel
Die dort aufzutreiben sind

Da bist du ja, sagt Mutter
Und sie freut sich so wie immer
Sie haut was in die Pfanne
Und ich erzähl ihr was von mir
Ich fühl mich wieder wohl
In meinem alten Zimmer
Ja irgendwie schön, das Zimmer hier

Nach paar Tagen 
Nervt dann Mutter über mein Benehmen
Und Vater gefallen die langen Haare nicht
Ich habe keine Lust mich dagegen aufzulehnen
Und sehne mich nach einem Stadtgesicht

Ich fahr’ von der Küste
Zurück zum Leben in der großen Stadt
Trotz der nicht so ganz gesunden Lüfte
Und meiner alten Bude ohne Bad

Today I’m completely fed up again
With living in the big city
There's a lot going on
I find it really great
But in the long run I can’t stand it

Then I feel totally restless
It tingles under my skin
Pins and needles, yes I know it
And I already know what to do
I run to the train, essentials packed

I’m going to the coast, to mother
To the seagulls and the wind
Not just because of the healthy air
Also because of two, three mates
Who can be found there

There you are, says mother
And she’s as happy as always
She slaps something in the frying pan
And I tell her something about myself
I feel well again
In my old room
Somehow it’s nice, the room here

After a couple of days
Mother nags me about my manners
And father doesn’t like my long hair
I don’t feel like rebelling against it
And I long to see a city face

I’m going from the coast
Back to life in the big city
Despite the not so healthy air
And my old bedsit without a bath

If you are a Anfänger (beginner) looking for some graded readers I recommend the ‘leicht & logisch’ series featuring Kolja and his friends. Though aimed at teenagers they are more readable than most of the competition. There are 4 books at A1 level:

Drei ist einer zu viel*
Neu in der Stadt*
Die Sommerferien
Einmal Freunde, immer Freunde

The series continues with 4 more books at A2 level:

Hier kommt Paul*
Neue Freunde
Frisch gestrichen
Kolja und die Liebe*

NB You can read the books in any order, but I have tried to arrange them in a logical story order. I have put an asterisk by the books I enjoyed most.


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1960s – Part 5

My search for German beat groups who actually sing in German now takes me into East Germany. Singing in English wouldn’t have gone down well with the authorities on that side of the wall! In fact they even objected to the English name of Team 4, and this band was soon renamed Thomas Natschinski und seine Groupe, after their lead singer who also wrote this track. Team 4 were one of the first rock groups to record in the GDR, and this song was released in 1966 on the state label AMIGA. It was the beginning of Ostrock (ost is German for east).


Ich weiß den Weg…

Ich sag' dir komm lass uns gehen
Du weißt so lang ich bei dir bin
Dann ich sage lass uns gehen auf den Weg
Und ich weiß ganz genau wohin

Ich weiß den Weg…

Du wirst viele Dinge sehen
Die ich heute schon kenne
Du wirst neue Dinge sehen auf dem Weg
Die ich heute schon beim Namen nenne

Ich zeig' den Weg…

Wir werden nie zusammen gehen
Ich zeig' den Weg 
Und auch du wirst ihn verstehen
Ich zeig' den Weg 

Ich zeig' den Weg…

I know the way...

I tell you, come, let’s go
You’ve known for so long, I’m with you
Then I say, let's follow the way
And I know exactly where to go

I know the way...

You will see many things
Which I already know today
You will see new things on the way
Which I already know by name today

I'll show the way… 

We will never go together
I'll show the way
And you will understand it too
I'll show the way

I'll show the way…