One great way of inspiring people to learn about new languages and cultures is through music. In the classroom we should perhaps ‘put down the textbook and pick up a drum‘ but also burst into song as, according to researchers at The University of Edinburgh, ‘singing can facilitate foreign language learning‘. Of course there are plenty of simple nursery rhymes and, at this time of year, Christmas carols that we can start off with, but if you are craving something a little more contemporary there are few suggestions for German songs below. (Thanks to the Goethe Institute (London) for its Spotify playlist which is how I came across some of these tracks). From an educational point of view these are great for hearing language in context, learning colloquialisms and picking up elements of German culture from the lyrics and the accompanying videos. But more importantly they have great singing, catchy choruses and fab melodies. I would also say that you don’t need to understand the words to appreciate the music. Enjoy!
A favourite tune in Germany this year as it became the anthem for the World Cup but it was originally written about going out and having a good time with friends. A great feel good song: Andreas Bourani – Auf uns. And there’s also a version with the lyrics so you can sing along.
And if you’re a fan of lyrics in a large font across your music videos, you’ll like this one from Chima: Das große Schweigen
Gorgeous song, gorgeous girls – Laing – Neue Liebe.You will come away singing ‘Ich bin so verlieeeebt‘ (I’m so in love)
‘Ziehst Du mit‘ by MINE – lovely singing voice and great for hearing how the German rolled ‘r’ should be sung (from 0:52, at the start of the female vocals)
An oldie but a goodie – Die Fantastischen Vier were popular back when I was at Uni …! Lots of great tracks to choose from but have plumped for ‘Sie ist weg‘ [Ja, ja, wunderbar / tolle Rede, Mann!] and ‘Tag am Meer‘ (a chill out track)
This one is cheating a bit as the lyrics are in English, but this beat combo is Austrian: Klangkarussell – Sonnentanz. A nice dance track.
But for some proper dancing about, you can’t beat ‘und du tanzt‘ by faakmarwin. Also great for learning how to conjugate the verb tanzen [‘..und er tanzt, und sie tanzt, und du tanzt!‘]
Probably not for young kids this one: SEEED – Augenbling but great bass line and a definite Ohrwurm.
Another somewhat grown up one due to the lyrics: Neonschwarz – Hinter Palmen. Fab for dancing around to or at least some vigorous foot tapping.
Do you like expensive cars? The Bilderbuch – Maschin video is for you.
A great rap from Blumio: Hey Mr Nazi
[Hey Mr Nazi komm auf meine Party / Ich stell’ dir meine Freunde vor /
Das hier sind Juspi und Kati, Thorsten und Nefatih / Wir haben den selben Humor /
Und wir sagen hey Mr. Nazi komm auf meine Party ich zeig dir meine Kultur / Das hier sind Sushi und Technik, Mangas und Origami / ich kenn das seit meiner Geburt]
And finally, fun pop that celebrates multicultural relationships – what’s not to like? SAM – Hallo?!