GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s – Coda
Light at the end of the Seventies

Let’s end this series with Kraftwerk, arguably the greatest German group of the seventies. They released several of their classic albums, including “Die Mensch-Maschine” (1978), in both German and English editions. The lyrics of “Neonlicht” translate pretty effortlessly into English, and you can compare the two sets of lyrics below.


Neonlicht, schimmerndes Neonlicht
und wenn die Nacht anbricht 
ist diese Stadt aus Licht

Neon lights, shimmering neon lights
And at the fall of night 
This city’s made of light


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 14
German Punk Rock

Germany developed its own punk scene in the late Seventies, but few recordings emerged before 1979. The debut album by Hans-a-Plast, with vocals by Annette Benjamin, was one of the first punk albums in Germany. It’s a ferocious record musically, but to appreciate it you really need to look at the lyrics, which are hilariously acerbic.

When independent bands like Hans-a-Plast started to sell a lot of records the major labels had to take notice. They started to sign up punk and new wave bands, and in the early eighties a much poppier, cleaned up version of new wave music (NDW) crossed over into the charts.


You're the one that I want...

Hey Typ, ich finde dich saugeil
Mit deinen kurzen schwarzen Locken
Der Blick aus deinen braunen Augen durchdringt mich
Und du hast 'ne schwarze Lederhose an
Und dein Nadelstreifenjackett
Das bringt's ja nun total
Du siehst so cool und lässig aus
Das machst mich noch ganz warm

Du bist so'n geiler Lederhosentyp
Ich kann dich ja so ab
Laß mich an deinen Lederarsch ran
Laß mich zwischen deine Beine haun



Geh doch nochmal für mich hier lang
Mit deinem herrlichen Django-Gang


Ei,ei,ei du bist so süß!
Ah, komm, laß mich dich berühr'n
Zieh doch mal deine Lederklamotten aus
Und mach für mich einen Privat-Striptease!


Geh doch nochmal für mich hier lang
Mit deinem herrlichen Django-Gang

You're the one that I want ...

Hey guy, I think you're hot
With your short black curls
The gaze from your brown eyes penetrates me
And you’ve got black leather trousers on
And your pinstripe jacket
That's what it's all about
You look so cool and casual
That’s making me really warm

You're such a hot leather trousers guy
I can actually stand you
Let me get to your leather ass
Let me grab between your legs



Do your catwalk for me one more time
With your magnificent Django strut


Ay, ay, ay, you’re so cute!
Ah, come, let me touch you
Take your leather clothes off
And do a private striptease for me!


Do your catwalk for me one more time
With your magnificent Django strut

NB I think Django refers to a type of motorbike.


Missa Criolla: Part 2

Here is the second movement of the suite.
The traditional Latin text starts: Glória in excélsis Deo, et in terra pax homínibus bonæ voluntátis.


Gloria a Dios
En las alturas
Y en la tierra
Paz a los hombres
Que ama el Señor
Te alabamos
Te bendecimos
Te adoramos
Te damos gracias
Por tu inmensa gloria
Señor Dios, Rey Celestial
Dios, Padre Todopoderoso

Señor, Hijo Único, Jesucristo
Señor Dios, cordero de Dios
Hijo del Padre
Tú que quitas los pecados del mundo
Ten piedad de nosotros
Tú que quitas los pecados del mundo
Atiende nuestras suplicas
Tú que reinas con el Padre
Ten piedad de nosotros

Gloria a Dios
En las alturas
Y en la tierra
Paz a los hombres
Que ama el Señor
Porque tú, solo eres santo
Solo tú, Señor tú solo
Tú solo Altísimo Jesucristo
Con el Espíritu Santo
En la gloria de Dios Padre

Glory to God 
In the highest
And on earth 
Peace to the men 
Who love the Lord

We praise you
We bless you
We adore you
We glorify you
We give you thanks 
for your great glory
Lord God, celestial king
God, almighty Father

Lord, only son, Jesus Christ
Lord God, Lamb of God
Son of the Father
You take away the sins of the world 
Have mercy on us
You take away the sins of the world
Receive our prayers
You reign with the Father
Have mercy on us

Glory to God 
In the highest
And on earth 
Peace to the men 
Who love the Lord

For you, alone holy 
Only you, Lord you alone 
Only you, Jesus Christ, in the highest
With the Holy Spirit
In the glory of God the Father



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):


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
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


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

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




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).


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
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
Wir sitzen auf der Treppe
Um uns Geschichten zu erzählen
Wenn ich noch 'ne gute Lüge hätte
Würde ich mich nicht länger quälen

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
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
We sit on the stairs
To tell each other stories
If I had had another good lie
I wouldn’t torture myself any longer


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.


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 13
Germans sing the blues

The British drummer Roy Dyke was a member of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, who had a hit with “The Resurrection Shuffle” in 1971. Later he moved to Germany, becoming a member of this similarly named trio, and they released this single in 1979. Their guitarist Hannes Bauer later joined Udo Lindenberg’s Panik Orchester. Despite his impressive use of the mike stand in this clip the audience seem to be catatonically bored. Are they waiting for the 1980s?


Baby, hätt’st du gern einen Laubfrosch in dein’m Bett?
es liegt schon einer drin und der ist dick und fett

Baby, hätt’st du gern einen Laubfrosch in dein’m Bett?
vielleicht ist er ein Prinz, bist du zu ihm ein bisschen nett?

Baby, so ein Prinz ist meistens höllisch heiß
auch wenn er dämlich aussieht, ist doch völlig gleich
Baby küss ihn schnell, 
sonst haut er wieder ab in 'n Teich
Küss den Laubfrosch…
Baby küss ihn gleich 
sonst haut er wieder ab in 'n Teich

Stell die mal vor, Baby, du, nie mehr arbeiten, 
immer auf'm goldenen Thron sitzen. 
Wie im Märchen vor fünfhundert Jahren. 
Dann muß der Prinz wohl auch schon so an die 
500 Jahre alt sein, was.
Bisschen tatterig und so, 
ich mein' wenn das was für dich ist, verstehst du?

Baby, hätt’st du gern einen Laubfrosch in dein’m Bett?
nimm doch lieber mich, ich bin doch auch ganz nett.

Ich bin kein Laubfrosch…
ich bin nicht ganz so kalt und auch noch nicht so alt.

Ich bin kein Laubfrosch Baby

Baby, would you like a tree frog in your bed?
One’s lying in it already and he’s big and fat
Baby, would you like a tree frog in your bed?
Maybe he’s a prince, are you a little bit nice to him?

Baby such a prince is usually hot as hell
Even if he looks ugly it doesn’t matter at all
Baby kiss him quick 
or else he’ll run off back to the pond

Kiss the tree frog…
Baby kiss him straight away 
or else he’ll run off back to the pond

Just imagine baby, never working anymore
Always sitting on the golden throne
Like in the fairy tales from five hundred years ago
Then the prince must be about 
500 years old, or what
A little bit senile and so on, 
I mean, if that's for you, do you understand?

Baby, would you like a tree frog in your bed?
Why don’t you take me, I'm also really nice

I'm not a tree frog…
I'm not that cold and also not that old

I’m not a tree frog baby


GERMAN POP LYRICS: The 1970s Part 12
The Hummable Evil of Schlager

The acts featured so far in this series weren’t exactly the biggest sellers of the Seventies. The charts were still dominated by Schlager, and hipper songs would have to wait until the early Eighties to invade the charts, when the German New Wave scene crossed over.

Schlager can be pretty terrible – just imagine a particularly bad edition of the Eurovision Song Contest where everyone is singing in German. Sometimes you might even detect a slightly sinister undercurrent to the jollity. This song, for instance, features a young woman who is worried that the driver behind her might be a stalker. I can’t quite decide whether it is brilliant or evil, but it’s certainly as hummable as hell.

Hans Blum (Henry Valentino’s real name) had a long and successful career as a Schlager writer before finding success as a performer in the Seventies. This single made the German top ten in 1977, and it has gone on to inspire many covers and parodies. The punk band Die Toten Hosen recorded a faithful cover with identical lyrics in 1987.


Im Wagen vor mir fährt ein junges Mädchen
Sie fährt allein und sie scheint hübsch zu sein
Ich weiß nicht ihren Namen 
und ich kenne nicht ihr Ziel
Ich merke nur, sie fährt mit viel Gefühl
Im Wagen vor mir fährt ein junges Mädchen
Ich möcht' gern wissen, was sie gerade denkt
Hört sie denselben Sender 
oder ist ihr Radio aus?
Fährt sie zum Rendezvous oder nach Haus?
Was will der blöde Kerl da hinter mir nur?
(Ist sie nicht süß)
Ich frag' mich, warum überholt der nicht?
(So weiches Haar)
Der hängt nun schon 'ne halbe Stunde 
ständig hinter mir
Nun dämmert's schon und der fährt ohne Licht
(So schön mit neunzig)
Der könnt' schon hundert Kilometer weg sein
(Was bin ich froh)
Mensch, fahr' an meiner Ente doch vorbei!
(Ich fühl' mich richtig wohl)
Will der mich kontrollieren 
oder will er mich entführen?
Oder ist das in Zivil die Polizei?
Wie schön, dass ich heut' endlich einmal Zeit hab'
Ich muss nicht rasen wie ein wilder Stier
Ich träum' so in Gedanken, 
ganz allein und ohne Schranken
Und wünsch', das schöne Mädchen wär' bei mir
Nun wird mir diese Sache langsam mulmig
(Die Musik ist gut)
Ich fahr' die allernächste Abfahrt raus
(Heut' ist ein schöner Tag)
Dort werd' ich mich verstecken 
hinter irgendwelchen Hecken
Verdammt - dadurch komm ich zu spät nach Haus!
Bye-bye, mein schönes Mädchen, gute Reise
Sie hat den Blinker an, hier fährt sie ab
Für mich wird in zwei Stunden 
auch die Fahrt zu Ende geh'n
Doch dich, mein Mädchen, werd' ich nie mehr seh'n

In the car in front of me a young girl is driving
She's driving alone and she looks really cute
I don't know her name 
and I don't know her destination
I only know she's driving with lots of feeling
In the car in front of me a young girl is driving
I'd really like to know what she’s thinking
Is she listening to the same station
or is her radio off?
Is she going on a date or going home?
What does the stupid guy behind me want? 
(Isn't she sweet)
I ask myself, why doesn't he overtake? 
(Such soft hair)
He's been on my tail for at least half an hour,
constantly behind me
Now it’s nearly dark and he’s driving without lights 
(She’s going ninety)
He could be a hundred kilometres away by now 
(Oh I'm happy)
Man - overtake me already! 
(I feel really happy)
Does he want to observe me
or does he want to kidnap me?
Or is he a plain clothes policeman?
How lovely that today I've finally got time
I don't have to race like a wild bull
I'm day dreaming 
all alone and without limits
I wish the lovely girl was by my side
This thing is gradually making me uncomfortable 
(The music is good)
I'm going to take the next exit 
(Today is a beautiful day)
So I can hide myself 
behind some hedges
Dammit - this is going to make me be late home!
Bye-bye my lovely girl, have a good trip
She has her indicator on, she's turning off
For me, in two hours
my journey will also end
But you, my lovely girl, I'll never see again


“Bésame Mucho” must be one of the most famous Spanish language songs of all time. It was written in 1940 by the Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. I think this version from 1941 by Emilio Truero was the first recording. Truero, also from Mexico, was a star who appeared in dozens of films.

The song quickly spread around the world and it has been recorded by countless artists. The English version has been equally popular, though it’s interesting to note that the title always remains in Spanish. “Kiss Me A Lot” clearly sounds painfully unromantic compared to “Bésame Mucho”.

A great version by the Chilean singer Lucho Gatica was banned by Spanish radio in the 1950s. I guess they thought it was just too erotic for sensitive Spanish ears.

The Beatles performed a tongue in cheek version of the song, probably inspired by the cool version recorded by The Coasters in 1960.

Bésame, bésame mucho,
Como si fuera esta noche la última vez
Bésame, bésame mucho,
Que tengo miedo perderte, perderte despues
Quiero tenerte muy cerca
Mirarme en tus ojos
Verte junto a mi
Piensa que tal vez mañana
Yo ya estaré lejos
Muy lejos de ti

Kiss me, kiss me a lot
As if tonight was the last time
Kiss me, kiss me a lot
I'm scared of losing you, losing you afterwards
I want to hold you very close
To see myself in your eyes
To see you next to me
I think that maybe tomorrow
I will already be far away
Very far away from you



Rio Reiser was the frontman of Ton Steine Sterben. In the mid-eighties he went solo, partly because 15 years as a hero of the underground had left him penniless. This song is from his second solo album “Blinder Passagier” (1987). His old band were known for their sloganeering, but this is a quieter call to arms.


Du sagst, du willst die Welt nicht ändern
Und ich frag mich, wie machst du das nur
Du bist doch kein Geist in der Flasche
Und du bist auch kein Loch in der Natur
Denn nach jedem Schritt, den du gehst
Und nach jedem Wort, das du sagst
Und nach jedem Bissen, den du isst
Ist die Welt anders als sie vorher war

Wann, wenn nicht jetzt
Wo, wenn nicht hier
Wie, wenn ohne Liebe
Wer, wenn nicht wir

Du sagst, du willst die Welt nicht retten
Das ist dir alles 'ne Nummer zu groß
Und die Weltenretter 
war'n schon so oft da
Nur die meisten verschlimmbessern bloß
Und doch fragt mich jeder neue Tag
Auf welcher Seite ich steh
Und ich schaff's einfach nicht einfach zuzusehen
Wie alles den Berg runtergeht


Du sagst, du willst die Welt nicht ändern
Dann tun's eben andere für dich
Und der Wald, 
in dem du vor Jahren noch gespielt hast
Hat plötzlich ein steinernes Gesicht
Und die Wiese, auf der du gerade noch liegst
Ist morgen 'ne Autobahn
Und wenn du jemals wieder zurückkommst
Fängt alles von vorne an


You say you don’t want to change the world
And I wonder, how can you do that
You’re not a genie in a bottle
And you’re not a hole in nature either
Because after every step that you take
And after every word that you say
And after every bite that you eat
The world is different than it was before

When, if not now
Where, if not here
How, if without love
Who, if not us

You say you don’t want to save the world
That's out of your league
And the saviours of the world 
have already been here so many times
Only most of them make things even worse
And every new day I’m asked
Which side I stand on
And I can’t just sit back and watch
How everything is going downhill


You say you don’t want to change the world
Then others will do it for you	
And the forest 
where you used to play years ago
Suddenly has a stony face
And the meadow where you’re lying now
Will be a motorway tomorrow
And if you ever come back
Start everything again from scratch



Verse: D – D9 – D – G – G – G9 – D – x
Chorus: G – D/F# – Bm – A – D – F#m/C# – G/B (G9/B) – B (Bsus)


In previous posts I have looked at the false friends Wer (Who) and Wo (Where).
Another tricky pair is Wenn (If) and Wann (When).
You can practice all these question words, along with Wie (How), in the chorus of this song.



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