Dixie Peach: Friday Shuffle - Language Week Edition

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Shuffle - Language Week Edition

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Before I could speak much German I could sing in German. I think learning songs, just simple tunes, can help you learn a foreign language.

I started with a couple children's songs. B's memory is faulty when it comes to stuff like this but the first tune I learned to sing was:

Fuchs, du hast die Gans gestohlen, gib sie wieder her, gib sie wieder her!
Sonst wird dich der Jäger holen, mit dem Schießgewehr!
Sonst wird dich der Jäger holen, mit dem Schießgewehr!

Fox, you've stolen the goose, give it back!
Else we'll get hunter with his gun!

And I learned:

Alle meine Entchen,
schwimmen auf dem See, schwimmen auf dem See,
Köpfchen in das Wasser,
Schwänzchen in die Höh'.

All my little ducks
Swimming on the lake
Little head in the water
Little tail in the air.

Sometimes while goofing around I'll sing to the tune of Alle meine Entchen:

Alle meine Entchen
Gib sie wieder her!
Kopfchen in das Wasser
Mit dem Schießgewehr

I then progressed to learning the chorus of songs one may hear in a beer tent or at a barbecue party when the beer is flowing freely and the corny music you'd never listen to otherwise is played. Everyone sings along and sways or claps and honestly it's a lot of fun when everyone's a little tipsy and in a fine mood. I learned songs like Der Eierman and:

An der Nordseeküste, am plattdeutschen Strand
Sind die Fische im Wasser und selten an Land

On the North Sea coast, on the flat German beach (it's a play on words meaning the area where Plattdeutsch is spoken)
The fish are in the water and seldom on land.

These are songs that everyone learns the chorus to. Whether you hear a recording of the song or hear a band sing it live, they sing the verses and everyone joins in on the chorus. One of the most popular songs that everyone sing along with the chorus is this:

Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht, aber unsere Liebe nicht.
Alles, alles geht vorbei, doch wir sind uns treu.

Marble, stone and iron break but our love doesn't.
Everything will someday be over but we'll remain faithful.

I have been in a lot of beer tents and beer gardens and parties and I have never hear that song played when everyone didn't join in singing the chorus. Everyone. From old ladies to teenagers to hulking tattooed types - I see them sing. I was once convinced that you weren't allowed to live in this country unless you knew those two lines of lyrics.

Until this point I only knew the chorus of songs but finally I learned an entire song in German from start to finish and it happens to be one of my favorite song. It's by an old East German rock band called The Puhdys called Alt wie ein Baum and some of the lyrics are:

Alt wie ein Baum möchte ich werden
genau wie der Dichter es beschreibt,
alt wie ein Baum, mit einer Krone die weit-weit-weit-weit
die weit über Felder zeigt.

Alle meine Träume . . . fang' ich damit ein
Alle meine Träume . . . yeh yeh yeh
zwischen Himmel und Erde zu sein
zwischen Himmel und Erde zu sein.

I'd like to become old like a tree
Just like the poet has written
Old like a tree, with a crown (treetop)
with a reach that spreads out over the fields.

All my dreams...begin with one
All my dreams...yeah, yeah, yeah
To be between heaven and earth.

Here - take a peek and hear for yourself how the song goes.

I saw the Puhdys sing the song live a few years ago on German Reunification Day when the national celebration was held in Magdeburg and I had tears in my eyes and so did everyone around me. Singing along loudly with tears in our eyes. Music has such power to unite people, regardless of which language it's sung.

Time to shuffle:
  1. Come And Get Your Love - Redbone
  2. Dirty Harry - Gorillaz
  3. You Only Live Once - The Strokes
  4. Son Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
  5. Hurt - Johnny Cash
  6. Thick As A Brick - Jethro Tull
  7. Surrender - Cheap Trick
  8. Adalida - George Strait
  9. Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
  10. Big Ten Inch Record - Aerosmith
Have a great weekend. And sing out. Loud.

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Blogger Carol said...

Oh yes! "Fuchs du hast die Ganz gestollen..." That song is most definitely part of my childhood, as is "Alle Meine Entchen."

I sent a link to the video to my friend with the name BAUM who is turning 50. Well, actually, he won't be 50 for another 3 years, but I'm too impatient to wait. Too funny! Thanks for the chuckle... and if he (virtually) clobbers me I'll send him to you!


11:53 PM  
Blogger sari said...

1, 4, 9 - good, good, good!

Have a great weekend!

PS Some of my new 45's are German, I'll have to email you the titles so you can tell me what they are!

12:19 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

You know, when I was a kid I lived in Germany. I can STILL sing Alle meine Entchen, but never had a good translation. I also learned Oh Tannenbaum over there and have never known the English words to that song. With Silent Night, I switch back and forth between English and German.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

Feel like doing a meme in German? I tagged you.

Sorry. :D

6:28 AM  

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