Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

Learning from Music Videos: English Songs in German

Last time I shared German songs, they were songs by Die Toten Hosen with English translations in the subtitles. Today I thought I would share some englische lieder auf Deutsch (English songs in German). If you care to look up some songs yourself, you may have better luck using “auf Deutsch” than “in German”, and if you want German subtitles, look for “Deutsche Untertitel”. If you’re using translated songs to learn German, keep in mind that they generally aren’t going to be translated word for word (since that would not be likely to make a pretty song) and thus will tend to capture the spirit of the original words rather than their literal meaning. That said, here are some of the better versions of English songs sung in German that I’ve found.

This is a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by P.B and M.D. If you open it up in YouTube and select “show more” in the info section, the lyrics in German are in below the list of the equipment they used.

This is “Sie Liebt Dich”, the German version of the Beatles “She Loves You” sung by the Beatles themselves. There aren’t German subtitles or lyrics, but I found the German lyrics here.

This is a cover of Carly Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” by Die Lochis. This isn’t my favorite song in the world (although I admit it is somewhat catchy), but since it gets played an awful lot it’s not hard to learn all the lyrics in both languages. One good thing about their version is that they put German subtitles on the video, so you can read along as well. I also found a version done by Alexi Bexi, which is slightly different and just goes to illustrate how a song can be translated in different ways.

Alexi Bexi, mentioned above, has a lot of German covers of English songs including B.O.B (featuring Hayley Williams)’s “Airplanes”, Tiao Cruz’s Dynamite, Owl City’s “Fireflies”, Nelly’s “Just a Dream” and many more. Here is his cover of Oasis’s “Wonderwall”.

I like Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah and wanted to see if I could find a decent German cover. The best one I found was this one with a brother and sister singing in English and German, which they recorded for their parents as a Christmas gift.

I spent quite awhile trying to find one more video I wanted to share, and then I remembered that Phil Collins has German versions of some of his songs, mostly from the Tarzan soundtrack. I’m glad I remembered him because he does really well in my opinion. Apparently he actually does not speak German though. According to this article, he worked with a translator and learned to sing the songs phonetically. Still pretty impressive to me considering I can’t even sing well in English. This is “Dir gehört mein Herz”, the German version of “You’ll Be in My Heart” (although I believe it literally means “my heart belongs to you” in German). I also found “So Ein Mann” (Son of a Man, literally Such a Man), “Fremde wie ich” (Strangers Like Me) and “Zwei Welten Eine Familie” (Two Worlds One Family)

It’s appropriate that I ended on Phil Collins’ German versions of songs he wrote for a Disney movie because one of the other things I’ve done to help me learn German is listen to the German versions of Disney songs. I’ll share some of my favorites with you next time.

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2 Thoughts on “Learning from Music Videos: English Songs in German

  1. I like that there are German versions of some Beatles and even Elvis songs. It is so funny to listen to “Muss I denn zum Staedtele hinaus”.

    • I have only heard Elvis sing “Muss I denn zum Staedtele hinau” in English (“Wooden Heart”). The German versions I’ve heard were done with accordions. I know it was based on a Swabian folk song though. The Rolling Stones did The Last Time in German too. I didn’t post it in this post because I don’t care that much for the song, but here it is if you’re interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AljpvehH8HU

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