Advent Calendar 16 – Lyrical Learning

Written By: Emanuel Updated: December 17, 2023

“Lyrical Learning”

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Hi everyone,

and welcome back to the German Advent Calendar 2023.
And today, I want to tell you about a website, that might be nice a resource, at least if you’re using music for your German learning.
And also, I want to share a couple of German songs and bands with you that I like (and that are not electronic music).

But’s start with the website, which is… drumroll…

Genius.com 

Kind of a generic name, to be honest.
It’s actually been mentioned here in the comments a few times over the years, but I kept on forgetting about it.
What it is essentially, it’s a site where you can look up song lyrics and more importantly, you can also find some annotations and comments about them. Like… what does this line mean, what is that a reference to, and stuff like that. A community based song lyric interpreter, if you will.
Here’s a screenshot for how it looks for a Rammstein song, for example.

 

When a line is gray in the original, that means there’s some annotation there that someone made. And as you can see, the entire song is annotated here, which is no wonder, because it’s so famous.
And I think when you look up a song by Kendrick Lamar or Taylor swift, I think it’ll be similar.

But as I was browsing the site a bit for this post, I realized that many German songs, even ones that were singles or even small hits, barely have any comments on them. I was honestly a bit disappointed, but okay… if you are learning German with music, it might still be a great tool. So yeah, definitely worth giving it a look … Genius.com.
The … uh… the site is somewhere down there… under all the ad banners :).

And now let me tell you about two songs that I like, because why not.
My main genres are electronic music and anything that has its roots in African music, harmonies and rhythm. And I never cared much for German singer song writer or German rock or whatever and I’m generally not listening to the lyrics. The voice is more like another instrument to me.

But these two songs keep popping into my head year after year and they always cheer me up when I hear them.
The first one is by Die Sterne, a pop-rock band from the 90s, the singer of which looks like a certain Bond villain from the 80s.
And while I wasn’t a fan or anything, this song has stuck with me to this day.

And then, the other song kind of popped into my head completely out of nowhere this summer, as I was riding my bike through Berlin to get to Tempelhofer Feld.
It’s called Kling Klang, is by the band Keimzeit and it just really give me a good mood and really fits summer in Berlin :)

And I originally wanted to wrap it up here, but oooooohhhhhh my god,  and while we’re at it, I also want to give a BIG FAT praise to my favorite band ever:

 The Can

It’s a German psychedelic rock band from the 70s and holy crap, did they explore music. Their songs are in English, so it’s not interesting from a language learning perspective, but as a piece of music history it’s an absolute treasure.
They have experimented with SOOO many different styles and instruments – some songs are funk (“Moonshaker”), some are like rock (“Mother Sky”), some are legit grunge (“You doo right”), some are space disco (“Animal Waves”), some are 10 minute cinematic sound journeys that sound like they’re made with modern computers (“Future days”) and then there’s “Cascade Waltz”. I don’t even know what to call this.
Absolutely incredible stuff and a wealth to explore.
Chances are you actually know a song of them – Vitamin C –  because it was used in Inherent Vice, a Paul Thomas Anderson movie with Joaquin Phoenix.
Honestly, I could rave on about The Can for an hour honestly, they’re just so incredible. But let’s just wrap this up for today with a song of The Can… Moonshake.

 

Let me know in the comments if you’ve heard of any of these bands before and if you liked the songs.
And of course, if you have any suggestions for good German music, please share. Many people are looking for suggestions and I’m honestly not the best source, simply because I don’t know all that much.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed these songs, have a great Sunday and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Did I mention that I love The Can?
Seriously… absolute gem!!!

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