Last week we introduced you to the first five of our ten favorite songs from, about and for Berlin. High time for the second half of our Top10 Berlin Songs:
place5: TIERGARTEN (Rufus Wainwright)
Canadian multi-talent Rufus Wainwright has many ties with Berlin: As an icon of the international lgbt* movement he has always been a welcome guest at the scene around Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg. Also he met his husband – a real Berliner – during a concert in Kreuzberg. Just recently he named the Great Tiergarten in an interview one of his favorite spots. In 2007 he manifested his love to the romantic walks in the park in a song: “Won’t you walk me through the Tiergarten? Won’t you walk me through it all, darlin’?” Amazingly cheesy.
place4: ALLE 4 MINUTEN (Element of Crime)
“Every four minutes the subway comes by here, and every three and a half minutes comes a new beer.” Element of Crime and their chief-poet Sven Regener, who also wrote the classic Berlin novel Herr Lehmann, ponder sentimentally on subways that are actually elevated, chasms of the human soul and public transportation, and the chaos of language. The perfect soundtrack for a ride home with a beer for the road.
place3: FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN (Leonard Cohen)
“…then we take Berlin!” What this song by grand old poet Leonard Cohen is actually about remains, as so often, a mystery. Rebellion against the system, love and pride, and a whole lot of music – somehow that still sounds very much like Berlin. “Remember me, I used to live for music,” that’s 80s synthie pop at its worst, but the voice of the old master is deep and haunting as ever. And the brute chorus will be stuck in your head for days: “First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin!”
place2: SKY AND SAND (Paul & Fritz Kalkbrenner)
In 2009 the Berlin techno scene found itself in a movie that became an icon for the capital’s nightlife: Berlin Calling starring DJ and producer Paul Kalkbrenner was both controversial and successful. Theme song Sky and Sand, a soft techhouse track capturing the mood of afterhours, stayed in the Charts for 129 weeks and became the soundtrack of many summers. Paul’s brother Fritz contributed lyrics and vocals; whether he sings about the city of Berlin, its nightlife, or maybe some girl remains a riddle – probably all and nothing. In the end it doesn’t really matter, cause “as long as we are flyin’, all this world ain’t got no end.”
place1: SCHWARZ ZU BLAU (Peter Fox)
Well, pretty much every song by Berlin-born musician Peter Fox is a hymn to the city. When he was still with his band Seeed, “Dickes B” (“Fat B”) was always there, and when he decided to step on solo the “Stadtaffe” (“City Monkey”) Peter Fox dedicated his hometown more than just one track. Still, Schwarz zu Blau captures the lifestyle of heavy night outs, ratty streets and aimless partying in the metropolis as no other song does: “Stepping through the pools of puke at Kotti, junks are dopey and play up. […] A hooligan lies in the arms of a lady and blubs; this city’s not half as tough as you think it is.” Is there a more loving way to describe the city’s ugliness? “You don’t even look good from far away, but the sun is rising. And I know that no matter what I wish, I need you to breath.” Sigh.
Have you caught the Berlin-fever yet? You’ve got the right playlist for your trip to the capital of music now, so don’t hesitate and book your room at Industriepalast Hostel. And soon, Iggy, David, Peter, and the rest will carry you through the streets of Berlin.
See you soon,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.