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German Music Part 1

Music is an important part of every culture, and out of all the countries in Europe, the main one I have been focusing on lately are the ones in German. Some of my favorites as of recent have been Heino and Ilse Werner.

When listening to German language music, I have found there are quite a few English language songs covered in German, or even redone in English. It doesn’t matter which genre; Freddy Quinn sang old Americana songs in English such as “Don’t Fence Me In”, but also sang “Heimweh” (a German version of “Memories are made of this”) in German. James Last, a bandleader, played a wonderful take of “Orange Blossom Special”; while there are no words, it is truly an American song in origin. James Last did not cover this song only once, he incorporated it into his performances on many occasions.

When I listen to music, it goes in a pattern where I’ll listen to the same 20 or so songs until I find a couple more to switch in, but some German songs to get inspired into delving further are:


Blau bl├╝ht der Enzian – a romantic song with the image of the enzian in mind (a beautiful flower that grows in mountainous areas)

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree (in German) – with Heino and Sarah Jane Scott

Ein Heller und ein Batzen – a folk drinking song dating back to the 1820’s according to the German Wikipedia, which seems correct given the currency: Heller and Batzen, went into disuse during the 1800’s.

Auld Lang Syne (Ein Jahr Vergeht) – Heino’s take on the famous Scottish song of the same name. This is my preferred version, though a great English version is done by The Choral Scholars of Univeristy College Dublin.

Ilse Werner

Ich hab’ dich und du hast mich – Translated to “I have you and have me”. A love song, with an upbeat tempo.

Ja, das ist meine Melodie – her singing a lovely melody

Sing ein Lied, wenn du mal traurig bist – Translated to “sing a song, when you are sad”. A cheerful song to sing when you’re sad.

While this list is very short, I hope it gives you good starting points to expand your knowledge of German music on.

Tarragon Soda

If you haven’t heard of it, try it. It smells wonderful and tastes just as delicious. I found it while wandering through a shop called Sasha’s International Market in San Antonio, Texas. The market has Eastern European food/drinks with a focus on Russian specialties (the shop will have its own post on my blog).

Tarragon is used medicinally as well cooking, and is definitely my favorite herb. When I read “tarragon” and it looked like a liquid I got so excited. The idea of tarragon soda was invented in Georgia (the country), and is very popular in Russia, and other Eastern European countries.

I personally have never seen this offered in any grocery store, though maybe I haven’t looked hard enough.


Faust, Part 1

Faust is a German book by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, published in 1808. I am still working on my German, so I got an English copy at the library.

The book revolves around a man selling his soul to the devil in exchange for his youth and true love. It is a very thought out book with references to the Bible and some German mythology, and is including some Shakespeare characters.

I first heard about Faust from the 1926 movie with the same name, directed by F. W. Mornau, which is one of my top ten movies of all time. The movie revolved around the same plot as the book and was very well done as well (I will detail more and even make a post of it when I rewatch the movie.)

As I mentioned, the book does have references that you may need to look up to clarify the significance of a character or theme, as I did. The translation I obtained is well worded and I was able to fully understand Goethe’s meaning, though I did buy a German copy on Amazon for $7.

EBay and Thriftbooks are 2 other great options for used books.

There is a part 2, though it is a different story, and it was actually writen by Goethe over many years later in Goethe’s life. I have not read this part.

Overall, if you are looking to get started in foreign literature, especially German, this is a great place to start.

Fredericksburg Home Kitchen Cook Book

This is a neat book with recipes from 12 other editions with the first one being from 1916 and having 500 copies. Each recipe is submitted with their name and the year it was submitted. The 13th edition was released in 1996.

There is a decent amount of German food recipes, and the rest is good home cooking. Every recipe is simple and no one is trying to overcomplicate everything.

I got my copy at the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, though next year is the 175th anniversary so I’m sure there will be something special for that momentous occasion.