Translations of 3 of Rammstein's Top Hits (2023)

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A German Band Surrounded by Controversy

Rammstein is a famous German band whose music is best described as dark, heavy rock. They are somewhat political and often take on social issues in their songs and that has led to controversy.

Whatever your take on Rammstein's political views, the band's lyrics are also a lesson in German. If you are studying the language, you might find these lyrics and the English translations to three of their most popular songs helpful.

An Introduction to Rammstein

Rammstein was formed in 1993 by six men who grew up in East Germanyand were all born after the Berlin Wall went up. They took their name from the American Ramstein air base near Frankfurt (adding an extra m).

The band's members areTill Lindemann (b. 1964), Richard Z. Kruspe-Bernstein (b. 1967), Paul Lander (b. 1964), Oliver Riedel (b. 1971), Christoph Schneider (b. 1966), and Christian "Flake" Lorenz (b. 1966).

Rammsteinis a unique German band in that it has managed to become popular in the English-speaking world by singing almost exclusively in German. Most other German artists or groups (think the Scorpions or Alphaville) have sung in English in order to reach the English-language market or they sing in German and remain virtually unknown in the Anglo-American world (think Herbert Grönemeyer).

Yet, Rammstein has somehow turned their German lyrics into an advantage. It certainly can become an advantage for learning German.

Rammenstein Albums

  • "Herzeleid"(1995)
  • "Sehnsucht"(1997)
  • "Live aus Berlin"(1998, also aDVD)
  • "Mutter"(2001)
  • "Lichtspielhaus"(2003, DVD)
  • "Reise, Reise"(2004)

The Controversy That Surrounds Rammstein

Rammstein has also stirred up controversy on their road to fame.One of the most famous incidents occurred in 1998. It involved their use of clips from the work of the NazifilmmakerLeni Riefenstahlin one of their music videos. The song, "Stripped," was a cover of aDepeche Mode song and the films used spurred protests against what some saw as a glorification of Nazism.

Even before that well-publicized incident, their lyrics and images had given rise to the criticism that the band has neo-Nazi or far-right tendencies. With German lyrics that are often far from politically correct, their music was even linked to the Columbine, Colorado school shooting in 1999.


Some British and American radio stations have refused to play Rammstein songs (even if they don't understand the German lyrics).

There is no real evidence that any of Rammstein's six eastern German musicians themselves hold such right-wing beliefs. Yet, some people are either a little naive or in denial when they claim that Rammstein has done nothing to lead people to suspect the band of fascist leanings.

The band itself has been a bit coy in their claims of "why would anyone accuse us of such things?" In light of some of their lyrics, they really should not pretend to be so innocent. The band members themselves have admitted they intentionally make their lyrics ambiguous and full of double entendre ("Zweideutigkeit").

However... we refuse to join those who totally reject artists for their supposed or actual political views. There are people who won't listen to Richard Wagneroperas because he was antisemitic (which he was). For me, the talent evident in Wagner's musicrises above other considerations. Just because we condemn his antisemitism doesn't mean we can't appreciate his music.

The same goes for Leni Riefenstahl. Her former Nazi connections are undeniable, but so is her cinematic and photographic talent. If we choose or reject music, cinema, or any art form only for political reasons, then we are missing the point of art.

But if you're going to listen to Rammstein's lyrics and their meaning, don't be naive about it. Yes, you can learn German through their lyrics, simply be aware that those lyrics may have offensive overtones of a political, religious, sexual,or social nature that people have a right to object to. Keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable with lyrics about sadistic sex or the use of the f-word - even if it's in German.

If Rammstein's lyrics make people think about issues from fascism to misogyny, then that's for the good. If listeners also learn some German in the process, so much the better.

"Amerika" Lyrics

Album: “Reise, Reise” (2004)

"Amerika" is a perfect example of Rammstein's controversial style and it is also one of their best-known songs worldwide. The lyrics include bothGerman and English and it includes countless references about how America reigns over world culture and politics—for good or bad.

As you can tell by the last verse (recorded in English, so no translation is needed), this song was not written with the intent of idolizing America. The music video is filled with clips of American influence throughout the world and the overall feel of the song is rather dark.

German Lyrics

Direct Translation by Hyde Flippo
We're all living in America,
America is wunderbar.
We're all living in America,
Amerika, Amerika.
We're all living in America,
Coca-Cola, Wonderbra,
We're all living in America,
Amerika, Amerika.
We're all living in America,
America is wonderful.
We're all living in America,
America, America.
We're all living in America,
Coca-Cola, Wonderbra,
We're all living in America,
America, America.
Wenn getanzt wird, will ich führen,
auch wenn ihr euch alleine dreht,
lasst euch ein wenig kontrollieren,
Ich zeige euch wie's richtig geht.
Wir bilden einen lieben Reigen,
die Freiheit spielt auf allen Geigen,
Musik kommt aus dem Weißen Haus,
Und vor Paris steht Mickey Maus.
When I'm dancing, I want to lead,
even if you all are spinning alone,
let's exercise a little control.
I'll show you how it's done right.
We form a nice round (circle),
freedom is playing on all the fiddles,
music is coming out of the White House,
and near Paris stands Mickey Mouse.
Ich kenne Schritte, die sehr nützen,
und werde euch vor Fehltritt schützen,
und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss,
weiß noch nicht, dass er tanzen muss!
Wir bilden einen lieben Reigen,
ich werde Euch die Richtung zeigen,
nach Afrika kommt Santa Claus,
und vor Paris steht Mickey Maus.
I know steps that are very useful,
and I'll protect you from missteps,
and anyone who doesn't want to dance in the end,
just doesn't know that he has to dance!
We form a nice round (circle),
I'll show you the right direction,
to Africa goes Santa Claus,
and near Paris stands Mickey Mouse.
This is not a love song,
this is not a love song.
I don't sing my mother tongue,
No, this is not a love song.

* This refrain is used throughout the song, at times it is only the first four lines. In the last refrain, the sixth line is replaced with "Coca-Cola, sometimes WAR,".

"Spieluhr" (Music Box) Lyrics

Album: "Mutter " (2001)

The "Hoppe hoppe Reiter" phrase, repeated often in "Spieluhr" comes from a popular German nursery rhyme. The song tells the dark story about a child who pretends to be dead and is buried with a music box. It is the music box song that alerts people of the child's presence.

(Video) Rammstein - Dicke Titten (Official Video)

German Lyrics

Direct Translation by Hyde Flippo
Ein kleiner Mensch stirbt nur zum Schein
wollte ganz alleine sein
das kleine Herz stand still für Stunden
so hat man es für tot befunden
es wird verscharrt in nassem Sand
mit einer Spieluhr in der Hand
A small person just pretends to die
(it) wanted to be completely alone
the small heart stood still for hours
so they declared it dead
it is buried in wet sand
with a music box in its hand
Der erste Schnee das Grab bedeckt
hat ganz sanft das Kind geweckt
in einer kalten Winternacht
ist das kleine Herz erwacht
The first snow that covered the grave
woke the child very gently
in a cold winter night
the small heart is awakened
Als der Frost ins Kind geflogen
hat es die Spieluhr aufgezogen
eine Melodie im Wind
und aus der Erde singt das Kind

As the frost flew into the child
it wound up the music box
a melody in the wind
and the child sings from the ground

Hoppe hoppe Reiter
und kein Engel steigt herab
mein Herz schlägt nicht mehr weiter
nur der Regen weint am Grab
hoppe hoppe Reiter
eine Melodie im Wind
mein Herz schlägt nicht mehr weiter
und aus der Erde singt das Kind

Bumpety bump, rider
and no angel climbs down
my heart does not beat any longer
only the rain cries at the grave
Bumpety bump, rider
a melody in the wind
my heart does not beat any longer
and the child sings from the ground

Der kalte Mond in voller Pracht
hört die Schreie in der Nacht
und kein Engel steigt herab
nur der Regen weint am Grab

The cold moon, in full magnificence
hears the cries in the night
and no angel climbs down
only the rain cries at the grave
Zwischen harten Eichendielen
wird es mit der Spieluhr spielen
eine Melodie im Wind
und aus der Erde singt das Kind
Between hard oak boards
it will play with the music box
a melody in the wind
and the child sings from the ground
Hoppe hoppe Reiter
mein Herz schlägt nicht mehr weiter
Am Totensonntag hörten sie
aus Gottes Acker diese Melodie
da haben sie es ausgebettet
das kleine Herz im Kind gerettet
Bumpety bump, rider
my heart does not beat any longer
On Totensonntag** they heard this
melody from God's field [i.e., a cemetery]
then they unearthed it
they saved the small heart in the child

* The refrain is repeated after the next two verses and again at the end of the song.

**Totensonntag("Dead Sunday") is a Sunday in November when German Protestants remember the dead.

"Du Hast" (You Have) Lyrics

Album: "Senhsucht" (1997)

This Rammstein song plays on the similarities of the conjugated forms of the verbshaben(to have) andhassen(to hate). It is a good study for anyone learning the Germanlanguage.

German Lyrics

Direct Translation by Hyde Flippo
du hast (haßt)*
du hast mich
(4 x)
du hast mich gefragt
du hast mich gefragt
du hast mich gefragt,
und ich hab nichts gesagt
you have (hate)
you have (hate) me*
(4 x)
you have asked me
you have asked me
you have asked me
and I have said nothing

Repeats twice:
Willst du bis der Tod euch scheidet
treu ihr sein für alle Tage

Nein, nein

Repeats twice:
Do you want, until death do you part,
to be faithful to her for all your days

No, no

Willst du bis zum Tod der Scheide,
sie lieben auch in schlechten Tagen

Nein, nein

Do you want until the death of the vagina,
to love her, even in bad times

No, no

* This is a play on two German verbs:du hast(you have) anddu haßt(you hate), spelled differently but pronounced the same way.

The Germanlyrics are provided for educational use only. No infringement of copyright is implied or intended. The literal, prose translations of theoriginal Germanlyrics by Hyde Flippo.



(Video) Rammstein - Deutschland (Official Video)

Your Citation

Flippo, Hyde. "Translations of 3 of Rammstein's Top Hits." ThoughtCo, Sep. 9, 2021,, Hyde. (2021, September 9). Translations of 3 of Rammstein's Top Hits. Retrieved from, Hyde. "Translations of 3 of Rammstein's Top Hits." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 29, 2022).

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(Video) Rammstein - You Hate (Du Hast - English version) video HIGHEST QUALITY


What does Rammstein mean in English? ›

The extra "m" in the band's name makes it translate literally as "ramming stone". In a 2019 feature, Metal Hammer explained that the band was named after one of their earliest songs, "Ramstein", written after the air show disaster at the American airbase in Ramstein.

What is Rammstein most famous song? ›

1Mein Herz Brennt (Mutter, 2001)

What does the German word du hast mean? ›

First, du hast means “you have” in German. However, this is a homonym for the phrase “du hasst” which means “you hate.” This gives the song a double meaning, as the lyrics could either mean that the person he is singing to has him or hates him.

Do Germans like Rammstein? ›

It turns out that Germans really don't think much about Rammstein at all. While most of the people on the street were familiar with the band's name and their work, some even knowing a considerable amount about their background, most didn't care one way or another about the band's music.

What ideology is Rammstein? ›

It is important to consider the rock music scene in the German Democratic Republic to understand Rammstein. In this communist-leaning country, musicians needed a license to perform live, which was only granted for music with German lyrics conforming to socialist ideology.

What languages can Till Lindemann speak? ›

Till Lindemann (singer in Rammstein) speaks fluent English and has at least passable Russian to talk with his GF. Given that his native language is German, this qualifies him as a polyglot.

Is Rammstein good for learning German? ›

I just found out about Rammstein a couple of months ago and I am completely hooked to their music! I honestly don't know how I never heard of them before, but they're music is awesome and it's in German!

What German songs did Rammstein ban? ›

Since 1995, Rammstein has played over 450 concerts in more than 35 countries including successful tours of South, Central and North America. Live performances of the song “Ich tue Dir weh” has also been banned in Germany under the same ruling, and any violation could potentially be punished under German law.

What does Alles Gute zum mean? ›

alles Gute zum Geburtstag happy birthday. Alles Gute zum 4. Juli!

What does Kummerspeck mean in German? ›

Kummerspeck is a compound noun composed of Kummer (grief), and Speck (bacon, or lard), so translates literally as 'grief bacon'. We all have those days when we accidentally eat the whole tub of ice cream, or the second pizza, or both. It helps to assuage feelings of loneliness, sadness and melancholy.

Who was Hitler's favorite pianist? ›

In popular culture

In the 1964 fiction novel, Herzog, written by Saul Bellow, a Putzi Hanfstaengl is mentioned as being Hitler's personal pianist.

Who is the most famous band in Germany? ›

13 Of The Most Famous German Rock Bands
  • Scorpions.
  • Rammstein.
  • Die Ärtze.
  • Tokio Hotel.
  • Helloweena.
  • Kraftwerk.
  • Accept.
  • Sodom.

Is Rammstein a socialist? ›

In subsequent interviews, the band have explicitly said they hate Nazism, and that “we come from the East [East Germany] and grew up as socialists.”

Is Rammstein the most famous German band? ›

The second single from Reise, Reise was Amerika, released on 13 September 2004. With the album released on 27 September, it went straight to top 10 charts throughout Europe. According to the Billboard charts, Rammstein were now the most successful German-language band of all time.

Why does Till Lindemann hit his knee? ›

Trivia. Till's popular 'Till Hammer' move, wherein he hits his knee while headbanging during live performances came from a medical condition he had with his kneecap. Sometimes it popped out from the joint and Till had to put it back in place on stage. So he started hitting his knee and would headbang to it.

Does Rammstein have any English songs? ›

Albeit usually, only parts of their songs are in English, not the whole songs. As for the band´s ability to speak English, four of the band members can speak it. Actually, most band members can also speak Russian, with Paul being the best speaker.

How much does Rammstein make per show? ›

Rammstein had an average of 30,000 fans at each concert and average revenue of $1,170,270.

Is Rammstein German or Russian? ›

Rammstein, founded in 1994 in Berlin, is one of Germany's best known and most internationally successful heavy metal bands. It performs mostly in German, but also in English, Spanish, French and Russian.

Is Rammstein German or Austrian? ›

Rammstein is one of the best-selling German music acts ever. It is the most successful German rock band on the international scene. As a sign of their cultural impact, David Lynch used parts of their second album Sehnsucht (Longing) for his 1997 Lost Highway movie.

What music do most Germans listen to? ›

Pop is the most listened to music genre in Germany. Followed by rock music and the quintessentially German “Schlager”, these make up the top three of the most popular types of music. The ranking is also echoed among those who purchase music CDs, though a rising share of consumers don't buy CDs at all.

Do Germans like the sound of music? ›

They also disapproved of the film's costuming, as it didn't reflect traditional Austrian style. As one would expect, the film's Nazi theme was especially unpopular in Germany.

Can you learn German by just listening? ›

If you take care to consciously listen to your German audio, you'll quickly start to pick up new German skills through osmosis, also known as “passive listening.” This is when you absorb new vocabulary and grammar concepts just by being exposed to the language.

Do German soldiers still goose step? ›

The 200-year-old German tradition of goose stepping finally ended with German reunification in 1990, as East German forces were absorbed into the Bundeswehr and conformed to West German military customs. Although goose-stepping has no official sanction, the practice is not illegal in Germany.

What is the most popular German song right now? ›

Top 50 - Germany
  • Zukunft Pink (feat. Inéz)Peter Fox, Inéz.
  • All I Want for Christmas Is YouMariah Carey.
  • Last ChristmasWham!
  • It's Beginning to Look a Lot like ChristmasMichael Bublé
  • Unholy (feat. Kim Petras)Sam Smith, Kim Petras.
  • Bamba (feat. ...
  • Merry Christmas EveryoneShakin' Stevens.
  • I'm Good (Blue)David Guetta, Bebe Rexha.

Are you allowed to sing the German anthem? ›

In 1991, the year after the German reunification of 1990, only the third stanza was reconfirmed as the official national anthem. Although not illegal, performing the first and second stanzas is strongly discouraged, due to their association with the previous Nazi regime and nationalist sentiment in general.

Why can't Rammstein play in Germany? ›

BERLIN (Billboard) - The German government has banned hard rock group Rammstein's latest hit album from public display in stores because of its depictions of sado-masochism.

Why can't Rammstein play in America? ›

Rammstein isn't banned but like the Scots group Runrig does not subscribe nor sign an agreement with the RIAA. Many many venues for music concerts in the U.S. have agreements with the RIAA restricting use of the venue to groups that are signed to the RIAA.

What does Putzy mean in German? ›

Putzi. (das) baby [österr.]

Why do Germans say Geil? ›

'Geil' is often used on its own as a response to something, to imply the person thinks that thing is great or cool. This word is so commonly used in its colloquial form that it is very much a part of the mainstream, even being included in the following 2014 advert for the popular German supermarket Edeka.

What does Auf Wiedersehen mean literally? ›

Literally, “until our reunion; that we may see again”. Probably a calque of French au revoir.

What does Torschlusspanik meaning? ›

Torschlusspanik describes the anxiety induced by the feeling that time is running out for you to act. It literally means 'gate closing panic', and particularly refers to people as they age, who worry that they have to take the opportunity now, in case they never get the chance again.

What does Schnuckiputzi mean? ›

(mein) Schnuckiputzi / Schnucki. (my) sweetie pie, darling.

What does the German word weltschmerz mean? ›

welt·​schmerz ˈvelt-ˌshmerts. often capitalized. : mental depression or apathy caused by comparison of the actual state of the world with an ideal state. : a mood of sentimental sadness.

What was Hitler's favorite meal? ›

Meat was not completely excluded. Hitler continued to eat a favourite dish, Leberklösse (liver dumplings)."

What was Hitler's favorite breed of dog? ›

He had been given a German Shepherd before named "Prinz" in 1921, during his years of poverty, but he had been forced to lodge the dog elsewhere. However, he managed to escape and return to him. Hitler, who adored the loyalty and obedience of the dog, thereafter developed a great liking for the breed.

What was Hitler's favorite band? ›

Hitler's love for the pan-Germanic operas of Wagner is well-known - as is the fact that the Wagner family were among his earliest and most vociferous supporters.

Who is the greatest band ever? ›

The 10 best rock bands ever
  1. The Beatles. The Beatles are unquestionably the best and most important band in rock history, as well as the most compelling story. ...
  2. The Rolling Stones. ...
  3. U2. ...
  4. The Grateful Dead. ...
  5. Velvet Underground. ...
  6. Led Zeppelin. ...
  7. Ramones. ...
  8. Pink Floyd.
30 Mar 2004

Who is the greatest band on earth? ›

#1 - The Beatles

The Beatles had a short run of only 10 years from 1960 to 1970, but they're still the best-selling artists of all time by far. If you were to add in their solo albums and side groups, they'll hold that record forever.

Who is the No 1 pop band in the world? ›

BTS also hold the record for the most consecutive weeks at number one, with 180.

Who are the top 3 most famous German rock bands? ›

The Top 10 rock bands from Germany
  • # 8: Guano Apes. ...
  • # 7: Blind Guardian. ...
  • # 6: Gamma Ray. ...
  • # 5: Accept. ...
  • # 4: Tokio Hotel. ...
  • # 3: Helloween. ...
  • # 2: Rammstein. Rammstein are the bad boys among the rock acts. ...
  • # 1: Scorpions. No German rock band has hit the charts more often or climbed higher than Scorpions.

Who has sold the most records in Germany? ›

13 million records or more
NameNationalityCertified units
Peter MaffayGerman14,350,000
Phil CollinsBritish14,300,000
Rolf ZuckowskiGerman13,975,000
Die Toten HosenGerman13,650,000
1 more row

What is Rammstein known for? ›

Rammstein is a band from Germany, founded in 1994. Since then the band has sold over 10,000,000 albums worldwide and is Germany's most successful music export ever.
Origin:Berlin, Germany
Active:1994 - Present
Genre:Neue Deutsche Härte
5 more rows
31 May 2022

What is the story behind Rammstein Deutschland? ›

Rammstein's Deutschland in his lyrics refers to the Nazi anthem in his lyrics with “deutschland über allen” and in the video a half-blind Germany is seen by the injustices that were committed in the concentration camps.

Is Rammstein Russian or German? ›

Rammstein, founded in 1994 in Berlin, is one of Germany's best known and most internationally successful heavy metal bands. It performs mostly in German, but also in English, Spanish, French and Russian.

Do Germans still use the word Reich? ›

Reich has thus not been used in official terminology since 1945, though it is still found in the name of the Reichstag building, which since 1999 has housed the German federal parliament, the Bundestag.

Why were the Germans called Boches? ›

'The boche' or 'boches' (or 'bosch/bosches'), with or without a capital B, was a French word, which arrived through contact with French forces in 1914, and is said to have derived from French slang caboche, meaning 'rascal' or 'German', or from Alboche, a variant on Alleman.

What was Rammstein first song? ›

Rammstein debuted with the single "Du riechst so gut", released on 24 August 1995 in a scented digipack format. A month later, the band issued their first studio album, Herzeleid, which peaked at number six on the German Media Control Charts and remained there for 102 weeks.

What does Panzerlied mean? ›

The Panzerlied (English: "Tank Song") was a Wehrmacht military march of the Nazi era, sung primarily by the Panzerwaffe, the tank force of Nazi Germany during World War II.

Does Rammstein support Ukraine? ›

Rammstein is the latest metal band to express support for the Ukrainian people as they sustain attacks from the Russian government.

Is Till Lindemann vegan? ›



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