Arschloch, the German antifascist punk song

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

Today I’m taking you to Germany back in the nineties with Arschloch (means Asshole), the song of Berlin-based punk band Die Aerzte (means The Doctors).

Arschloch is meant as an insult to idiotic fascists, whose obscurantism and lack of affection leads to hatred and radical opinions. It was released in 1993 but has never sounded so topical to me.

An overview of the lyrics:

Deine Gewalt ist nur ein stummer Schrei nach Liebe
Deine Springerstiefel sehnen sich nach Zärtlichkeit
Du hast nie gelernt dich zu artikulieren
Und deine Eltern hatten niemals für dich Zeit – oh oh oh Arschloch!

Weil du Probleme hast die kleinen interessieren
Weil du Schiss vorm Schmusen hast bist du ein Fascist
Du musst deinen Selbsthass nich auf andere projezieren
Damit keiner merkt was für ein lieber Kerl du bist – oh oh oh Arschloch!

Translation:

Your violence is only a silent cry for love
Your army boots long for tenderness
You have never learnt to express yourself
And your parents had never time for you – oh oh oh asshole!

Because you have problems that none is interested in
Because you’re scared of cuddles you’re a fascist
You don’t have to project your self-hatred on to others
So none notices what a lovely guy you are – oh oh oh asshole!

I was just 12 years old when Arschloch became a bit hit and I remember really well the mixed feelings of excitement for the song and awareness that its title made it quite transgressive for kids our age. I’ve had a bit of nostalgia for Germany recently so hearing it at a party a few days ago was quite a sweet sensation.

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

Patelins lorrains: the rap song with all the worse Lorraine village names

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

 

There are many villages with funny names in Lorraine, a region in the North-East of France close to the German and Luxemburg borders. Many sound funny in French because of their Germanic root, but most simply sound funny because rural villages names do sound funny, no matter where!

I’ve always had a thing for funny topographic names; for example I’ve always been dreaming to visit cities named Ouagadougou, Dnepropetrovsk, Addis-Abbeba, or Antananarivo.

So I could not ignore this tribute to funny Lorraine names that makes me very eager to travel to and see this places with my own eyes… and sample the local schnapps!

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

Festnoz chez Nolwenn: the party song with all the clichés about Brittany

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

This is a complete collection of clichés about Brittany: from the traditional costume to the savoury pancakes, via the sailor shirt and the use of phrases from traditional songs, as well as the landmarks such as the beautiful coast and the Forest of Brocéliande, none of the stereotypes are missing.

In the videoclip, a couple of Asian tourists gets trapped in the middle of it all and obviously enjoy it a lot, for Brittany is very endearing and, as the song says: “In Brittany we know how to party!”.

I discovered this song at the occasion of a week spent in immersion in Brittany last week. Obviously some locals have attacked the artist for using only clichés about their region, but he claims his aim was just to talk about Brittany in a fun way. Make up your mind and watch it for youself!

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

A jazzy Monday morning, Savoy-style

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

I opted for a mood lifter today! Music that makes me happy and makes me want to dance. What else then to share than this classic jazz track played by Benny Goodman and Chick Webb at the legendary Savoy club of New York in 1934.

I am an enthusiastic lindy hop dancer, and have danced a million times on Stompin’ at the Savoy – and hope for many more to come.

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

Nastya: the rock from the Urals

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

This weekend I was in Kaliningrad, Russia, and attended festival Kin Rock where I discovered Nastya, a rock band from St Petersburg and original from Sverdlosk.

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

Magadan by Vasia Oblomov: the shit song that drunk Russians love so much

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

This is the story of a failed singer. “His friend plays in a jazz club in Moscow”, but himself “plays old Soviet shit songs for drunk people” in a shithole in the middle of Russia.

One day, he decides to write his own song: Edu v Magadan (I’m going to Magadan) which quickly becomes a huge success, “unsurprisingly because it is a shit song”: everyone in Russia loves it and even the prime minister has it as his ringtone!

Edu v Magadan is a satire from Russian rapper Vasia Oblomov that proved so popular that he published it in English, too. For the original version in Russian follow this link.

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too

Vadim Kozin, the Gipsy tenor from the Gulag

I propose to start every new week with a song that takes us somewhere in the world.

I just come back from a trip in the Russian Far-East that took me to Magadan where I discovered the fascinating story of Vadim Kozin, a singer of Gipsy origin that was very successful in Soviet Russia until he was deported to Gulag.

Interestingly, I read his Wikipedia page today and found many inconsistencies with what was told by the local guide two weeks ago:

  • There is a story on Wikipedia about Kozin being asked by the KGB why he did not sing about Stalin. This was never mentioned during my visit.
  • Whilst Wikipedia implies he was sent to gulag because of alleged homosexuality, the version I heard in Magadan was that his deportation followed his comments about the Soviet authorities’ unability to cope with the Leningrad siege
  • It remains unclear whether he was released from the labour camp to become a gulag singer, or if him having to perform for the gulag prisoners happened some time after his release; the two sources seem to disagree about that
  • His exile was briefly interrupted by a trip to perform for Winston Churchill: Wikipedia says it was in Yalta whilst our local guide named the Tehran conference, but both stories are consistent enough
  • Finally, Magadan people love their city, so the local legend wants Kozin to have never left Magadan until his death because he liked it enough there, whilst Wikipedia sources makes it clear that he was left no other choice

Such niche story that is it uneasy to find out what actually happened and which is the correct version. Possibly the inconsistencies may have been lost in translation. And possibly by studying Russian language sources I could find out the truth.

But as for me, I find this uncertainty part of the charm of travelling in such remote areas!

DSC00199
Kozin’s buste in his house museum of Magadan
DSC00198
Kozin’s piano from the Red October factory

Have a great week!

This post is part of a weekly event called The Monday Travel song. You can participate, too, by doing the following:

  • Create your own post every Monday and title it The Monday travel song: xxx by xxx
  • Include a link to a song (YouTube link or other)
  • It must be a song which is linked to a geography. For example, a Russian song, a Chinese song, a Scottish song… (it can be from your own country every now and then, but remember the purpose is to get others to virtually travel!)
  • Your post doesn’t have to be long, but do tell us a little bit about the song… for example by telling about the lyrics, about the composer, about the style…
  • Include a link to my own Monday travel song in your post tag it “Monday-travel-song” so others can find it too