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Thread: German folk songs

  1. #26

    Default Re: German folk songs

    '.....Hannes Wader, who arranged old folk German folk songs in a style somewhat reminiscent to the British/Irish folk revival ....'

    I played on a number of his Albums in the 70's and 80s.... among them 2 German Folk Albums " Hannes Wader singt Volkslieder" and "Hannes Wader singt Plattdeutsche Lieder". imo Hannes was a decisive influence on the post war generation's rediscovery of the beauty of German Folk Songs by playing them in a more modern style and removing the taint of the Nazi misappropriation during those terrible times. He, more than anyone perhaps of that era had the "believability" through his other brilliantly biting and sarcastic social critical songs tho Franz Degenheart, Dieter Sueverkrupp, Hein und Oss, Peter Roland and others also helped steer us younger musicians towards the beautiful timelessness of our own heritage. In the wake of his work new and exciting Folkgroups of different ethnic regions began to flower.....Singspiel, Lilienthal, and so many more. I often describe Hannes as the "Bob Dylan" of Germany tho in truth he was more than that......he gave us back a part of our own history. Btw, I joined the Mandolin Cafe just to post this message.... a wonderful thread. Thank you....see you on FaceBook?

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  3. #27

    Default Re: German folk songs

    Thanks for the link to the Zupfgeigenhansl and the nice recordings, Martin. The Mid-Missouri sounds great for these melodies.
    Though being German, I must admit, that I know only few of the songs.
    There are other songs in most traditional songbooks and the German "Volksmusik" as Bertram described, is something completely different.
    Bands like Zupggeigenhansel or Liederjan were a bit before my time, so I guess, there's a lot of nice music to discover.

    BTW: The link where you can download the Zupfgeigenhansl is to the Heinrich Heine University.
    Heinrich Heine wrote the lyrics to another nice German song, the "Loreley"(Ich weiß nicht, was soll es bedeuten) with music by Friedrich Silcher.
    That was one of the first songs I played on my bowlback. It's 6/8 and played a little faster, it almost sounds like a jig!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo6IUua3E7w

  4. #28
    Registered User Leo37's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Hello Klaus, nice to meet you here.

    Thank you Martin for this threat. Indeed the german folksong tradition is very rich in number and content. In addition to the 'Zupfgeigenhansl' I would like to lead the attention to the following books.

    'Der Große Steinitz' first released in 1955 was the main trigger of the folk revivel in the sixties. Peter Roland, the founder of Waldeck-Festivals, Hannes Wader and their followers uses this substructure.

    Hein und Oss Kröher published 'Das sind unsere Lieder' a very nice and lovely designed book.

    Fischer and Insel had released a nice compilation to several folksong themes.

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  5. #29
    Registered User Martin Veit's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Martin, that's a nice Threat.

    As long as i play(ed) our (V)Folkmusic ( you can listen to some of my music under www.noachteule.de), it often seems to be the problem, that no one knows the songs anymore.
    There are only a few songs outcoming of the Folkrevival in the late 1970s, such as "Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne" or "Es, es und Es" that are known by a greater croud of people.
    The Liedermacher (Singer-/Songwriter) Area has established their heros like Hannes Wader or Liederjan or Zupfgeigenhansel.
    But few Bands remained unknown.
    The problem in Germany was and probably still is, that there is no room for real "Hausmusik".
    Can anyone imagine, how it will be, grabbing your mandolin or maybe your guitar an striding trough the door of a traditional german "Kneipen"-door, saying "Hey, lets play some old german Folksongs".

    When you look to the gaelic / celtic Scene, you have a lot of good musicians which have ther roots in the traditional "Pub-Music" based. Such is none here in germany.
    Have a look at our "Musikkneipen"-scene and you see, that most of the bands doing only Covermusic from the 80's until to the present. Or, the better ones presenting good american or gaelic Folkmusic.

    My hope is in the new americana / celtic crossover, such is as in the "transatlantic sessions" or in Bands as "The Once, Stray-Birds, Birds of Chicago". Only when handmade music again will be favored, there will be although place enough for playing our traditional "Volkslieder".

  6. #30
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Thanks, all. This is an old thread -- my recordings in the openings posts are from 2011 -- but it's nice to see it reviving after all this time.

    Klaus: great to hear from you and welcome to the Cafe! I remember your name from the credits of those old Hannes Wader albums and looking it up I see that you wrote "Das Loch in der Banane", used for many years as music for the NDR (North German TV) ident. Great tune! There are quite a few bands and singers from the 60s and 70s that recorded good German folk songs, but they didn't make much impact on public awareness (or where they did, it was more for their singer/songwriter material, such as in Hannes Wader's case).

    Crisscross: If you've never heard them, do check out Zupfgeigenhansel and early Liederjan. Great music, and quite different from each other. Zupfgeigenhansel were always the more serious band and Liederjan the more boisterous live band (they eventually drifted off into the cabaret scene, not to their advantage in my opinion). Unfortunately, both bands' back catalogue has suffered badly at the hand of budget labels putting out unsympathetically compiled collections. Try to get hold of the full original albums, which hold up better than the compilations. Both bands eventually moved away from actual traditional songs and into singer/songwriter material, which hasn't aged as well.

    Leo: yes, I know these books -- my mother collects German folk song books. A good recent one is the "Codex Patomomomensis", which puts together most of the Fahrtenlieder sung around the campfires by various youth groups over the past few decades, with a good sprinkling of German folk songs (actual or reinvented). Lots of nice tunes, well-edited and with copious annotations.

    Martin: There have been some attempts at a cross-over with Celtic and US folk in the past, the pinnacle of which were the two "Folk Friends" double albums (now on single CDs) in 1979/80. These were very much in the style of the Transatlantic Sessions: Hannes Wader brought a bunch of Irish, UK and US musicians together with (only a few) German ones in his windmill home in Northern Germany and they recorded a lot of very good music not available anywhere else.

    Martin

  7. #31
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Veit View Post
    Can anyone imagine, how it will be, grabbing your mandolin or maybe your guitar an striding trough the door of a traditional german "Kneipen"-door, saying "Hey, lets play some old german Folksongs".
    That kind of spontaneity would not happen in an English pub either. I can't vouch for Ireland, but presumably any pub session needs to be organised with the involvement of the owner, whose business is at stake after all. The organiser of several local sessions has already mentioned several times that most pub landlords simply don't want folk music in their pubs. So German folk music is not alone in struggling for habitat.

    A purely or mainly German folk session is difficult to imagine, that's true. The image of German folk music is too bad, for the reasons already discussed here. There aren't enough players or enough people willing to sit in a Kneipe and listen to that stuff. But "Irish" pubs seem to be offering some development aid. The Irish pub in my German home town has now had a regular acoustic session for 6 years. I go along very rarely because I don't tend to visit home at the right times. But when I last went, there were German songs as well as Irish music played. There is hope.

  8. #32
    Registered User Leo37's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelsenbury View Post
    A purely or mainly German folk session is difficult to imagine, that's true.
    I cannot agree without reservation. I suppose, Gelsenbury, your hometown in Germany is Gelsenkirchen . I live only a few kilometers away from you in Dorsten. The Ruhr-District is a melting pot and has no unitary Folkmusic. But in other parts of Germany, i.e. Bavaria or in Friesland, we can find a complete different situation. Traditional music or 'Hausmusik' is there frequently common. The people identify with their musical tradition. When I meet musicians from alps I become envious of their rich musical tradition.
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  10. #33
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Veit View Post
    Can anyone imagine, how it will be, grabbing your mandolin or maybe your guitar an striding trough the door of a traditional german "Kneipen"-door, saying "Hey, lets play some old german Folksongs".
    There are songs supporting that, but I wouldn't call them exactly Folk

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  11. #34
    Registered User maudlin mandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    An interesting thread which I must have missed the first time around.
    Does "Annchen von Tharau" count as a German folk song? Looking on youtube it appears to be very popular with choirs and orchestras but much less so in a folk setting.
    This tune was drawn to my attention by D H Lawrence in his book "Women in Love".

  12. #35
    Registered User Martin Veit's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Ooh - "Ännchen von Tharau" is definitly a folk song. You should listen to the Hannes Wader (great german singer / songwriter) version. Not a bit of "Volkstümlich"

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  14. #36

    Default Re: German folk songs

    Martin -
    your journey through Zupfgeigenhansl has also inspired me somewhat. I have gathered a few song books like "Der Kilometerstein" (from my mother's youth) and "Rühles Wandervögel", and have had some fun with them. I have also started to play a few on the Waldzither, which I felt was a reasonable choice for these songs. As previously said, some of them are definitely un-PC these days...

    If I find the time over the next couple of days, I will record an upload a couple more to my playlist on YouTube.

    I am also selling a Plückthun on ebay in the UK - Don't want to fall foul of advertising rules, so if you are interested, just use the search bar in the next few days.

  15. #37

    Default Re: German folk songs

    Even the King appreciated German Volksmusik!

    The German lyrics of the songs are "Muss i denn zum Städele hinaus" ( Do I have to leave town)
    I remembered the song when I bought a mandolin from Stuttgart

    It had to leave the city of Stuttgart and travel to where I live...

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  17. #38

    Default Re: German folk songs

    I played on a number of his Albums in the 70's and 80s.... among them 2 German Folk Albums " Hannes Wader singt Volkslieder" and "Hannes Wader singt Plattdeutsche Lieder".
    Hannes Wader also did an album with sea shanties.
    One of the best known is "Hamborger Veermaster". The verse is in Plattdeutsch, the chorus in English.

    The origin seems to be "Banks od Sacramento", played here on OT-banjo.

    I tried to add some gusto italiano to my mando version:

  18. #39
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    I'm reviving my old thread on German folk songs from the classic Zupfgeigenhansl collection as I've just made a new multitrack recording of one of the songs:

    "Fünf Söhne" or "Ik hebbe se nich ob de Scholen gebracht" is a traditional German folk song which I have learned from the "Zupfgeigenhansl" , where it is attributed to East Frisia and dated to 1575.

    My instrumental arrangement is based on two separate Zupfgeigenhansl editions, with accompaniment based partly on the chords in the original 1908 edition and partly on the guitar part added by Hans Scherrer for the revised 1914 edition. I attach a scan of the chordal version [NB: "DV" is an A7 chord and "FV" is C7 -- don't ask...].

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    All images by Hermann Pfeiffer, from the Zupfgeigenhansl book.



    The best-known commercial recording of the song is by Liederjan, from their 1978 album "Mädchen, Meister, Mönche" (Link). There is also a pretty good (and rather artsily shot) performance here, using the same Scherrer guitar part as in my version.

    Martin
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  20. #40

    Default Re: German folk songs

    Almost exactly two years after this thread has been resucitated by Klaus Weiland, I will dig it out once again.
    There is a nice German website called Die Notenschleuder that offers a variety of folk songs from all over the world and allows you to transpose them to the key of your choice. https://www.free-notes.net/cgi-bin/noten_index_main.pl?
    Once in a while, I visit this website, choose a song, record the backup chords with my guitar and try some things about the melody with my mandolin, such as variations or tremolo. The last song that caught my attention was Dat du min Leevsten büst from North Germany. I didn't know this song, perhaps Martin Jonas knows it.
    So I went to Youtube and found out, that it is included on Hannes Wader's album Plattdeutsche Lieder.
    There is also a very nice version with the Bavarian singer Konstantin Wecker(singing in Bavarian dialect):

    And here's my modest version including sheet music and tabs:

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  21. #41
    Peace. Love. Mandolin. Gelsenbury's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    I like your arrangement a lot. I didn't recognise the title, but the melody definitely is familiar.

    Would you like to suggest it for the Song-a-Week social group? They're short of tunes that aren't Irish, so this may fit in.

    Coincidentally, late last year, I received as a birthday present the CD of a concert by Hannes Wader, Konstantin Wecker, and Reinhard Mey. It's like a "supergroup" of renowned German folk singers and songwriters.

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  23. #42
    Emando lover David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    It’s nice to see German folk music coming back.
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  25. #43

    Default Re: German folk songs

    We learned Dat du min Leevsten büst in primary school. I have played it on the Waldzither at a local (UK) pub session and saw a confused faces, but it's a nice tune. Currently trying to introduce "Freut euch des Lebens" into the circuit.

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  27. #44
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: German folk songs

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    The last song that caught my attention was Dat du min Leevsten büst from North Germany. I didn't know this song, perhaps Martin Jonas knows it.
    Thanks for that. Yes, I know it -- it's pretty well-known. Indeed Wikipedia describes it as probably the best-known Low German folksong. I have played it on mandolin and it suits the instrument well (as you have demonstrated), but I don't think I've recorded it yet.

    Martin

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