It’s hard to believe that it’s December already! And yet here we are…Soon we’ll be looking back on 2016 in which the world seems to have turned upside down in many ways. For now I’m focusing on the very busy December month.
At the beginning of the week we had our Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) celebration here, although now the kids are big, we don’t celebrate that so much anymore, some very small gifts aside. Traditionally you get a chocolate initial for Sinterklaas (I had my fave: milk chocolate with nuts) and I got my little Audrey Hepburn booklet…
Now the second weekend in December is here and this weekend two college friends of ours and my husband and I (we were college sweethearts) are off to a Christmas market (Weihnachtsmarkt) in Germany! We do this every year, have done so for about 20 years now, I think. The kids go to my mum’s for the weekend, our one friend’s husband has a whole weekend of daddy duty, our other friend is single so it’s quite easy for her to get away and the 4 of us are off! This afternoon we drive up to the north of the Netherlands and stay overnight in the small family cottage my parents have there. Then on Saturday we drive on to the German town of Bremen (known for the fairytale of the Bremer Stadtmusikanten, the Town Musicians of Bremen), which is a little over 2 hours away from the cottage. I’ve not been to Bremen before, the town is supposed to look something like this with the Christmas market:
We don’t really buy much at these markets, it’s all about doing this together as friends and having fun. My husband, as the only man, gets picked on by three ladies and somehow seems to enjoy it!
Part of the fun is listening to Christmas cd’s in the car and a few years ago I introduced a cd with older German pop songs into the mix as well. My husband’s German is alright, our friends’ German is far from great, so to get them into a German mood we listen to German pop songs that have nothing to do with Christmas! Some of these are really kitsch but sooooo much fun and we sing along to them with some of them getting the top-of-our-lungs treatment! The other day my friends asked me to bring the German cd again but as it is scratched I had to make a new one. So, I spent yesterday evening updating the cd, throwing a few songs off and adding a few others before burning a new one.
The song my husband hates most on that cd (but that we ladies love yelling along to) is this one:
Last night, while burning the cd, I added another song that is more than kitschy. There’s some catchiness to it, but it’s so soppy as well! My husband was horrified when he heard but I think the girls will get a kick out of this one to yell along to as well, as will I. It’s just so overly dramatic…
I’ve also included one of the most famous German popsongs outside Germany, which I still love… I could never get used to the English version of that song, here is the original German song.
I also have the lovely, yearning ‘Über den Wolken’ on it. I tell you, this is one of the few songs on this cd that can make me cry… The one on my cd is a little more poppy, but this following version is simple, beautiful and live:
I have Herbert Grönemeyer’s Männer on the cd as well. Someone once made a Lord of the Rings fanvideo set to that song, which I think is brilliant. The lyrics fit the images so well!
I also have Nina Hagen on that cd with a song I love…
And BAP, singing in Kölsch (dialect spoken around the city of Cologne). I don’t understand every word, but most of it and the message is clear. They sing about hatred against foreigners and compare it to the “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass) in 1938 when Nazi’s burned down Jewish synagogues and businesses, trashed windows and burned books. The song, although made in the early 80s, still feels extremely topical today!
And Falco is on it too. I think ‘Rock me Amadeus’ was an international hit for him. I have that on the cd but also the very controversial Jeanny about a girl who is abducted and killed, the song being told from the viewpoint of the killer. Very stalkerish creepy but somehow good!
There is also ‘Da da da’ which is basically about nothing – fun youth nostalgia for me!
I have some space-themed songs, like ‘Sternenhimmel’ or ‘Major Tom’ or ‘Codo (Düse im Sauseschritt)’ on the cd. This last song is about about love trumping hate and my one brother used to be very good at imitating that deep voice saying “Ich bin her Hass!” (I am hatred). 🙂
And another song I really love is called “Scheiße”, which is also on it…
I can’t end a Christmas post on ‘Scheiße’ now, can I? Better end with a message of peace, that alas, the world still doesn’t seem to embrace. So here is Nicole’s “Ein bisschen Frieden”, which is also on my cd. She won the Eurovision songcontest with that song in 1981 when I was 11, the first year I was living in Germany. This is another song my husband only tolerates but for me it’s nostalgia. 🙂 During the Eurovision competition she sang in German but after she won she performed the song again and she did so in 4 languages: German, English, French and Dutch. Here is that multi-lingual version…
There are more songs on the cd, 21 in total and we have fun listening (and singing along) to all of them. Yes, I know, these songs are not very Christmassy but they are perfect for preparing for a day in Germany! I’m already looking forward to our car ride to Germany tomorrow!