I have decided it’s German week! The beauty of writing your own blog is that you can do things like that, on a whim.
I wanted to try and find a variety of great songs that are sung in German. I am undecided as to whether the German language particularly lends itself to vocal songs, in the same way as the French or Italian languages do. It is an amazing language but I think that sometimes, due its guttural nature combined with the excellent sticking-words-together-to-make-a-new-longer-word thing they have going on, it can sound a tad clunky. But, sometimes those type of vocals fit perfectly with edgy guitars and crashing cymbals. I think the songs I have picked work well, anyway.
I suppose my first knowledge of German in song form (apart from Eurovision!) would have been Nena or Falco, or perhaps hearing The Beatles working their way through their own hits in (sometimes slightly altered) German. They knew their audience, that’s for sure! I was reading about how many German acts sang in English (or really didn’t sing at all, in the case of the numerous Krautrock / Kosmische Musik bands) due to their perception of how the German language would be received by non-German speakers in a post-war society. A desire to be popular in English-speaking countries also helped make that decision not to sing in German. Of course, there were still bands singing in German, but the conscious decision by a number of artists not to sing in their mother tongue is rather fascinating.
So, this week, I am celebrating the German language! You can listen to and hopefully enjoy all the tracks I have chosen 🙂
PS – I am unsure how I feel about the term ‘Krautrock’. I know it is a well-used and kind of a standard phrase to describe bands like Neu! and Can, etc., but it makes me feel slightly uneasy. What do you think? I am not sure who coined the phrase, whether it was German bands themselves or perhaps a non-German journalist – this would obviously make a difference. Personally, I like the word ‘Kosmische’. I may have to consult Julian Cope and his ‘Krautrocksampler’ on this one…