Westerwaldlied

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"Westerwaldlied"
March
LanguageGerman
English title"Westerwald Song"
Released1937; 82 years ago (1937)
GenreMarch
Composer(s)Joseph Neuhäuser [de]
Lyricist(s)Willi Münker [de]

The "Westerwaldlied" (English: "Westerwald Song") is a German song, written by Willi Münker [de] in 1932, set to music by Joseph Neuhäuser [de] in 1935, and published in 1937. An ode to the Westerwald region of Western Germany, it has been performed by the German military for many decades.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The song's lyrics were written by Willi Münker in November 1932. It was set to music by Joseph Neuhäuser in 1935, reportedly based on an old folk song. It was published and recorded for the first time in 1937. It is an ode to the Westerwald region of Western Germany. It was sung by the German military during World War II.[1][2]

The song for many decades was considered innocuous, enough to be performed by the contemporary German military.[3][4] However, in recent years the performance of "Westerwaldlied" has become somewhat contentious and controversial in Germany due to its origins during the National Socialist era,[5][1] with the German military reportedly ceasing performances of the song because of it in 2017.[1][6][7][8] Defenders of the song maintain that it is an apolitical folk song with an established history of innocuous usage.[1]

Usage elsewhere[edit]

A Spanish-language song based on the "Westerwaldlied"'s melody as composed by Neuhäuser is sung by the Chilean Armed Forces, where it is known as "Himno de la Sección".[9] It is also the inspiration for the South Korean patriotic song "Our Nation Forever", used by the South Korean military.[10]

Lyrics[edit]

German English translation
First verse

Heute wollen wir marschier'n
Einen neuen Marsch probier'n
𝄆 In dem schönen Westerwald
Ja da pfeift der Wind so kalt 𝄇

Today we want to march
To try out a new march
𝄆 In the lovely Westerwald
Yes, there the wind whistles so cold 𝄇

Chorus

Oh, Du schöner Westerwald

(Eukalyptusbonbon)
Über Deine Höhen pfeift der Wind so kalt
Jedoch der kleinste Sonnenschein
Dringt tief ins Herz hinein

Oh, you lovely Westerwald

(Eukalyptusbonbon)
Over your heights the wind whistles so cold
However, the smallest sunshine
Thrusts deep into the heart

Second verse

Und die Gretel und der Hans
Gehn des Sonntags gern zum Tanz
Weil das Tanzen Freude macht
Und das Herz im Leibe lacht

Wiederhole Refrain

And Gretel and Hans
Gladly go dancing on Sunday
Because dancing makes joy
And the heart in the body laughs

Repeat chorus

Third verse

Ist das Tanzen dann vorbei
Gibt es meistens Keilerei
Und dem Bursch, den das nicht freut,
sagt man nach, er hat kein' Schneid

Wiederhole Refrain

When the dancing is over
There is mostly fighting
And the lad whom that does not please
Is accused of having no grit

Repeat chorus

Fourth verse

Oh, Du schöner Westerwald
Bist ja weit und breit bekannt
Echte Menschen der Natur
Von Falschheit keine Spur

Wiederhole Refrain

Oh, you lovely Westerwald
Are known far and wide
True people of nature
Of falsehood no trace

Repeat chorus

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche (14 November 2018). "German CDU youth wing filmed singing Nazi-era military song - DW". DW.COM.
  2. ^ Kerber, Malte (12 July 2017). "Eine Wanderung über das Rothaargebirge und durch den Westerwald: Notizenbuch". Engelsdorfer Verlag – via Google Books.
  3. ^ IvanSCF. ""Ein Lied... drei... vier!" [Potpourri] Heeresmusikkorps 6" – via YouTube.
  4. ^ IvanSCF. ""Drei Lilien, drei Lilien..." [Potpourri] Musikkorps 6 der Bundeswehr" – via YouTube.
  5. ^ ""Schwarzbraun ist die Haselnuss": Ministerium stoppt Bundeswehr-Liederbuch". 12 May 2017 – via Spiegel Online.
  6. ^ "Westerwaldlied ist in der Diskussion". www.ww-kurier.de.
  7. ^ Müller, Michael (12 May 2017). "Diese Lieder sollen Soldaten nicht mehr singen". Berlin Journal.
  8. ^ Triebel, Katja (13 May 2017). "Ministerium stoppt Bundeswehr-Liederbuch".
  9. ^ Fernando Rojas (10 February 2010). "himno de la seccion (Ejercito de Chile)". Retrieved 21 June 2019 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ W시호 (21 July 2014). "한국군가 - 겨레여 영원하여라 [Our Nation Forever]". Retrieved 21 June 2019 – via YouTube.