Portmanteau List: Playing peekaboo with German Pop Songs from the turn of the century

Although I tend to forget that I ever lived in Germany and believe myself to be firmly anchored in British culture, there is no denying that every now and then my German past catches up with me. It doesn't happen often, and I am usually on my own, but this catch-up manifests itself mainly in the form of German Pop Music, disrupting my usual taste in music, firmly based within groups that tend to have a "the" prefix to their band name, long hair and were around in the 60s. At the high tide of puberty, I was blessed, or cursed, with the presence of cable television. For a single year only, before we moved into a massive light white heavenly loft without phones or internet and generally were cut off from the outside world. Having very happily grown up playing with my beloved rabbit and climbing trees to get out of reach of chore reminders so I could read my books in peace, my mother had consciously, with mine and my sister's approval, decided to not have TV. And ever since that one year at the height of puberty, I've quite happily continued with that pearl of wisdom. I don't have TV and I don't want one, especially since things such as the BBC iPlayer grace our lives.

To get back to the point, though, nostalgia does play peekaboo with me every now and then - for an afternoon or so. Today is another such day, so I decided to share the joys of my guilty pleasures, the joys of German pop culture that has stuck with me from that single year. To my disappointment, most of the original music videos were either taken down or not available in the UK, so some of them are just lyrics.

This is just one of the cutest videos ever. I like the duo Ich + Ich, they're pretty random and cool.

The actual video is very sweet and a continuation of the previous. It even includes a scene in which the dog from the first clip comes out of a limousine and disappears under a flood of camera flash lights - you can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lRaqtYnapo
They unfortunately disabled the embedding mode - I don't really get why they would do that. It's not like it isn't being watched or like it can be tampered with elsewhere. Anyway, here goes.

Momentan ist wichtig, momentan ist gut. Nichts ist wirklich wichtig, nach der Ebbe kommt die Flut. (The moment is important, the moment is good. Nothing is really important. After the low tide comes the high tide). Sounds inspiring right? Not until you discover he cheated on his from cancer dying wife.

This one still makes me blush and I prefer just listening to it. And actually, it annoys me a bit. The lyrics say "If you have only one more thing to do, if you have only one more question to ask - let it be love". Except, OK, they are obviously talking about sex. Jeez. Get it right! Liebe is alles was wir brauchen - Love is all you need (yes, I know, Beatles alert.)

Not much to say, except I just love this song, judge all you want. At the tender age of 15 I went and joined the Love Parade and I gotta tell you, there is NOTHING like it. EVER. It's sad they stopped it, it's something everyone should experience. And the marketing that it is the "biggest party in the world" and that you "feel the love dripping through your body" is not exaggerated at all. I am glad I went to enjoy it in my own innocent way, it was historic. Mark Spoon, the DJ, died of a heart attack 2006.

This song brings up a question that I realized was so obvious I couldn't imagine why nobody had ever thought about it before. Well, I hadn't (at age 15). She questions what hate must feel like if love hurts so much.

Sieh mir noch einmal in die Augen bevor Du gehst - Look into my eyes once more before you leave. A video taking inspiration from the film Eyes Wide Shut that brought Nicole Kindman and Tom Cruise together. The topic of the song is quite close to my heart and deals with the trust people put in you as someone who is in a position to command it but how it is exploited mercilessly with a straight face. In an interview Xavier pointed out that this applies as much to someone who cheats on their loved ones as to someone who is corrupt and not honest about how they do their business.

Xavier wrote this song in memory of one of his bests friends who got shot in Mannheim.

I don't particularly like this song but it just gets stuck in my head and then I have to listen to it. For a very long time I thought they were singing "Youth is wasted on the young" instead of "It's too late to look beyond" which I preferred a lot more.

Where the hell is their original video? *anger* Anyway, we'll have to make do with the crappy US version. One of their band members is always involved in trouble - most recently she was charged with manslaughter for not letting her lover know that she had HIV and having unprotected sex anyway - resulting, of course, in contracting him with the virus. She was always a bit controversial. She looks like an angel but not only did she used to be a drug user but also had a child as a teenager. Considering the image of the group, it is always weird to hear about that, as they in no way try to incorporate it - it's just completely separate - almost like hearing news about a different person, which not only points out how lame German media is but more importantly, that someone can have done all that and still have a fraction of their character that is strong enough to portray something relatively wholesome.

There could NOT be a more typical German singer. Including the fact that she sings in badly translated English (when she isn't being produced by American rappers). She collaborated with a few big names, which makes her a "Pop Princess" in Germany - actually that's a bit of an insult. She's one of the best selling German artists of all time, according to Wikipedia.

This one is not strictly German (Belgian), but she could as well have been, the badly translated English lyrics being eminent. Probably songs that I like because it's so easy to dance to and sing to out loud whilst tidying your room.

Rammstein with their re-interpretation of that annoying perfect princess image of Snowhite. As I child I was often compared to snowhite because I had extremely red lips, white skin and dark brown hair and eyes, so this was quite welcomed. Of course I'm nothing like her - I don't do drugs and am nowhere near this mean. I know, she's mean and evil in this clip, but still better than being fairytale perfect, I say.

And last but not least, the glorious Guano Apes with their car trashing video.

There you go, I hope you enjoyed my guilty pleasure German Pop afternoon.