Tag Archives: Ohrwurm

Ohrwurm: Teenage Bottlerocket – Ich bin Ausländer

Teenage Bottlerocket - American Deutsch Bag EP Artwork

Photo: Teenage Bottlerocket – American Deutsch Bag EP Artwork

Anyone learning German will at some point have used a variation on the lyrics of my current Ohrwurm, Teenage Bottlerocket – Ich bin Ausländer.

Whether it’s at the bank attempting to set up that first Konto, the dreaded Anmeldung at the Bürgeramt or just chatting with friends, we’ve all had to point out our shortcomings when it comes to our understanding of Deutsch.

My personal stock phrase in these moments, to the amusement of some of my friends, is ‘Es tut mir leid, mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut’.

This isn’t of course an experience exclusive to those learning German.  Anyone attempting to take their classroom or book knowledge of a new language to the next level and attempt a practical application of their skills will have been in a similar position.

That moment of utter confusion with a mixture of embarrassment and abject terror thrown in when you realise you no longer have any idea what the person in front of you is saying and you’ll have to let them know.

It all started well enough but then there was a word or two you didn’t understand.  Then while you were trying to work out what these elusive words were you missed the next ten or twenty.  You start practising the phrase you’ll use to interrupt them and now it seems that all that is coming out of the mouth of the person you are speaking to is a jumble of vowels and consonants.

And it seems American punk band Teenage Bottlerocket had some difficulties with language during their 2013 European tour as they released Ich bin Ausländer as part of their American Deutsch Bag EP.

Teenage Bottlerocket – Ich bin Ausländer

For those who don’t understand German, the English translation of the songs lyrics is:

I’m a foreigner and don’t speak German well.
I’m a foreigner and don’t speak German well.
Slowly please, slowly please
Speak slowly please
I’m a foreigner and don’t speak German well.

A quick google search of the title brings up what is presumably the original version from Uwe Kind.

It would seem that this is part of a language learning tool called Eine kleine Deutschmusik from a company called Lingotech but it comes across as a 1980s TV comedy sketch.

Uwe Kind – Ich bin Ausländer

Ohrwurm: Adel Tawil – Lieder

Und ich singe diese Lieder - still from the video for Lieder by Adel Tawil

Photo: Still from the video for Lieder by Adel Tawil

Lieder by Adel Tawil should possibly come with a warning as it is essentially 32 Ohrwürme in one (if my Maths is right).  The English translation of the title is ‘Songs’ and the lyrics refer to other songs, e.g. the first line ‘Ich ging wie ein Ägypter’ – I walk like an Egyptian – is a reference to the 1980s hit by The Bangles.

In my efforts to learn German, I have completed the whole Rosetta Stone course and I’m working my way through Duolingo.  Georg of Digital Cosmonaut has often suggested listening to German Hip Hop as a learning tool and when I heard this pop song I got a glimpse of how that might help.

The fact that so many of the songs used in Lieder are familiar to me makes translating the lyrics and working out the references a fun way to improve my Deutsch.

This video posted on Adel Tawil’s YouTube channel includes the lyrics and some pictures that make deciphering the references a little easier.

Adel Tawil “Lieder” (Lyric Video)

If after watching the video you’re still a bit unsure of the lyrics here is a very handy table from the Wikipedia.de article for Lieder by Adel Tawil.

Text Anspielung auf
1. Strophe
Ich ging wie ein Ägypter, Walk Like an Egyptian – The Bangles
hab’ mit Tauben geweint. When Doves Cry – Prince
War ein Voodoo-Kind, Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
wie ein rollender Stein. Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
Im Dornenwald sang Maria für mich, Maria durch ein Dornwald ging
ich starb in deinen Armen… (I Just) Died in Your Arms – Cutting Crew
…Bochum ’84. Bochum – Herbert Grönemeyer
Ich ließ die Sonne nie untergehen, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me – Elton John
in meiner wundervollen Welt. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
2. Strophe
Ich war willkommen im Dschungel Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses
und fremd im eigenen Land. Fremd im eigenen Land – Advanced Chemistry
Mein persönlicher Jesus Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
und im Gehirn total krank. Insane in the Brain – Cypress Hill
Und ich frage mich wann werd ich, werd ich berühmt sein, When Will I Be Famous – Bros
so wie Rio mein König für die Ewigkeit. König von Deutschland – Rio Reiser
Ich war am Ende der Straße…angelangt, End of the Road – Boyz II Men
war ein Verlierer, Baby! Loser – Beck
Doch dann hielt ich ein Cover in der Hand, Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine
darauf ein Mönch, der in Flammen stand,
Kurt Cobain sagte mir, ich soll kommen wie ich bin. Come as You Are – Nirvana
3. Strophe
Ich war einer von fünf Jungs, The Boyz
„One Minute“ aus, dann war’s vorbei. One Minute – The Boyz
Ich sang nur noch für mich,
für ’ne unendlich lange Zeit.
Dann traf ich auf sie Annette Humpe
und sie erinnerte mich. Du erinnerst mich an Liebe – Ich + Ich
Wir waren Welten entfernt Ich + Ich
und doch vom selben Stern. Vom selben Stern – Ich + Ich
Refrain
Und ich singe diese Lieder,
tanz’ mit Tränen in den Augen. Dancing with Tears in My Eyes – Ultravox
Bowie war für’n Tag mein Held, Heroes – David Bowie
und EMF kann es nicht glauben. Unbelievable – EMF
Und ich steh’ im lila Regen, Purple Rain – Prince
ich will ein Feuerstarter sein. Firestarter – The Prodigy
Whitney wird mich immer lieben I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
und Michael lässt mich nicht allein You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson

Source: Wikipedia

How Animals Eat Their Food (and What Does The Fox Say?)

How Animals Eat Their Food (T-Rex screen print from video)

Photo: Still from How Animals Eat Their Food by MisterEpicMann

I have reached an important turning point – my nephew is telling me about YouTube videos I should watch.

At the end of the summer, two weeks after I introduced him to Ylvis – The Fox (What Does The Say?), my nephew, Owen (who was 8 at the time), told me during our fortnightly Skype call that I had to watch How Animals Eat Their Food.

He then fell off the sofa because he was laughing so much listening to me laugh at the video.

I realise that as this was the most popular YouTube video in the UK in 2013 and has almost 94 million hits at the time of writing that it is likely that you have seen this already but just in case…I hope you find it as funny as Owen did.

How Animals Eat Their Food

Now, with over 334 million hits, it is even more likely that you have seen the video that inspired his suggestion – Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!

Ylvis – The Fox (What Does The Say?)

Ohrwurm: Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind

Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind (screenshot from YouTube video)

Photo: Still from ‘Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind’

Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind has been playing on repeat in my head since I heard it when I walked into a Berlin clothes shop last week.  I first heard the song when it featured in the BBC Sound of 2012 list but hadn’t thought of it since.

This unofficial video (the official video won’t play in Germany because of GEMA) features the acrobatics of Mouvance – trapeze artists Helen Turcotte and Luc Martin – which really matches the mood of the track for me.

Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind

Ohrwurm: The Lightning Seeds – Pure

The Lightning Seeds - Pure (screenshot from Official Video)

Reading about Ian Broudie‘s contribution as producer to my last Ohrwurm: The Coral Dreaming Of You, has given me another, The Lightning Seeds – Pure.

I remember buying the single on 7″ from a newsagent that was selling off old Jukebox records and driving my parents mad by playing the song on repeat.

For me, it’s a great song to banish the cold in Berlin and focus on the sun in the sky and imagine it’s a beautiful spring day.

The Lightning Seeds – Pure

Ohrwurm: The Coral – Dreaming Of You

The Coral - Dreaming Of You (screenshot from Official Video)

Photo: Still from ‘The Coral – Dreaming Of You’

The Coral – Dreaming of you has been an Ohrwurm for at least a week now and last night I heard it at Rock n Roll Bingo at White Trash Fast Food.

The song, released in 2002, was taken from the band’s debut album and was produced by Ian Broudie of The Lightning Seeds fame.

The Coral – Dreaming Of You

Ohrwurm: Die Toten Hosen – “Tage wie diese”

Die Toten Hosen - "Tage wie diese" (screenshot from Official Video)

Photo: Still from ‘Die Toten Hosen – “Tage wie diese”‘

The refrain from Die Toten Hosen – “Tage wie diese” has been my Ohrwurm for days, though I found out on the weekend that I had completely the wrong lyrics in mind.

This was one of the songs that was played at Schmankerl-Hüttn and has stuck with me after it closed.

The video mixes live footage and studio shots of the band, with a few shots from Berlin thrown in for good measure – for instance, The Berlin Holi Open Air features a fair bit.

The name of the band ‘Die Toten Hosen’ literally translated is the ‘The Dead Trousers’ – a German term used to describe a person or an event as ‘boring’, it can also mean ‘nothing going on’ and is therefore used as a slang term for ‘impotent’.

Tote Hose is just one of many German terms that has been explained on Twitter with #dailydeutsch – a hashtag created by the folks over at überlin to help people learn German.

Die Toten Hosen – “Tage wie diese”

Ohrwurm: David Hasselhoff – Looking For Freedom

David Hasselhoff – Looking For Freedom (Live in Berlin) sung on the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve 1989

Source: David Hasselhoff – Looking For Freedom (Live in Berlin)

Today’s Ohrwurm is David Hasselhoff – Looking For Freedom, which seems appropriate on a day when the people of Berlin are again protesting at the wall.

David Hasselhoff singing on top of the Berlin Wall, with the Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop, on New Year’s Eve 1989 came at a time when people were celebrating the fall of the wall.

In fact, according to this BBC article, the Hoff is disappointed that his role in uniting the people of East and West Germany is not more widely acknowledged.

My friend Gilly and I recently discussed the Hoff’s contribution to Berlin and the possibility of a street being named after him.  Hasselhoffstrasse anyone? Or maybe the Hackesche Höfe could become the Hassel Höfe?

Today, Berliners will gather at the East Side Gallery to protest against the removal of a section of the wall to build a block of luxury flats.  The East Side Gallery is a 1.3km stretch of the wall on Mühlerstrasse near the Spree covered in murals by international artists, as an “international memorial for freedom”.

Dmitri Vrubel - Fraternal Kiss (Brezhnev and Honecker embrace) - one of the paintings on the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery

It seems perverse that such a symbol could be torn down, especially in a city that has so many empty and abandoned buildings.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s famous speech in Berlin on 12 June 1987, the message to Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit is:

Mr Wowereit, DON’T tear down this wall!

A petition has been started to halt the destruction of the wall and currently has over 53,000 signatures.  If you’d like the East Side Gallery to remain unchanged you can sign here.

David Hasselhoff – Looking For Freedom (Live in Berlin)

The song starts at 0:55 if you want to skip the introduction from the Hoff.

Ohrwurm: Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty – For Lovers

Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty - For Lovers (screenshot from Official Video)

Photo: Still from ‘Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty – For Lovers’

There was a time in the UK when it seemed you couldn’t open a newspaper or switch on the TV without seeing a story about Pete Doherty.  And I never really got the hype.

Sure, The Libertines produced a few good tracks but his erratic behaviour and often shambolic performances meant it was always likely that the band would implode.

That’s why I was surprised at how much I liked Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty – For Lovers.  There is something about Doherty’s voice that conveys the desparation of running away to start a new life together.

Wolfman feat. Pete Doherty – For Lovers

Ohrwurm: The Vaccines – Teenage Icon

The Vaccines - Teenage Icon (screenshot from the Official Video)

Photo: Still from ‘The Vaccines – Teenage Icon’

I first heard The Vaccines – Teenage Icon on one of the Berlin videos I was considering when I put together the posts for my Video Week.  The refrain ‘I’m no teenage icon, I’m no Frankie Avalon’ has been stuck in my head ever since.

The Vaccines – Teenage Icon