I enjoy the German language and all its silly, literal, über-logical composition of words. Even better is when it is being sung in really goofy music videos. Here is a collection of favorites of mine.
“Ich bin Ausländer (leider zum Glück)” – found through This International Life, which has a translation of the lyrics.
“Guildo hat euch lieb” – apparently this video was really the German submission to the Eurovision contest in 1998. If you’ve ever seen the Eurovision song contest you know it’s a crazy-fest of wacky art direction and dancing, sometimes taking itself very seriously, sometimes not – but I don’t think it usually manages this level of irreverence.
“Es Gibt Reis” – This video is atrocious. There’s a brief NSFW shot at the start but it’s the damage that the sound of the song will do to your brain that you should be worried about. The horrendous visuals just make it worse. Fortunately for you this copy has English subtitles to make sure you don’t miss any of the lovely lyrics. It’s one of the most epic, atrocious videos I think I’ve seen, and it will stick with you.
“Im Wagen vor mir” – This song is told from the points of view of two drivers. The male driver happens to be driving behind the female driver for a long stretch of road, and it describes the series of thoughts each of them has about the other. The man wonders dreamily if she’s listening to the same radio and so on, and the woman tries to stay calm about a man following her, finally deciding to turn off and wait for him to go by her. It’s mostly the creepy voice of the guy that makes this video I think… Although I love the huge “MDR” sticker on his radio to let you know what he’s listening to in his car. Also the fact that it’s “Schlager” music (literally a “hit” song) so apparently all Germans know it.
Also I frequently hear this song when I get off the interstate on the way home from work. :/ I’m never sure if I think it’s a cool song or not – on the one hand I think it’s creative and fascinating the differences between their thoughts, but on the other… it’s schlager.
“Drink doch ene met” – This is a Cologne classic by their beloved Bläck Fööss (you thought umlauts were bad when they came one at a time…). I can’t get over the way those guys look. I’m sorry, people who lived through that… This song is really, really popular during Karneval – the title means “go ahead and have a drink” in the local Kölsch dialect, and stands for their welcoming, easy-going partying style.
“Böörti Böörti Vogts” – This song is by probably the most well-known German comedian, about a German soccer player/coach, and how cool he is. Except that a lot of the lines are things like “who likes to play with Playmobil? Berti Vogts!” and “who, at ten, looked like twelve? Berti Vogts!”
“Blau blüht der Enzian” by Heino is a pretty typical Schlager song, I think. It’s also the sort of music everyone seems to think Germans listen to… I can attest, however, that Germans do seem to really like songs that make you want to clap along like that. My evidence for this is based mostly on the way I heard “Stille Nacht” performed at Christmas, I admit. How can it sound so bouncy and be talking about little tiny blue mountain flowers blooming?!
After all that, I think I’ll go watch the Trololol video…