See trips hub: Europe Road Ways

For themes of conflict, present in any country, see Studying War.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lili Marleen- Small History of a WWI War Protest Song, Defused By WWII and Marlene Dietrich, Idealizing Love in War

Familiar song with a fascination, nationalist propaganda-related history: Lili Marleen. FN 1

The original message of "Lili Marleen," the one we do not hear, was a protest against war, from WWI. Lili Marleen, the song, was originally written by a German soldier headed for the Russian front in World War I, as a "plea for sanity in World War I." See ://

But, over time, as parts of the world revved up for war again, for nationalism, the theme of the message of Lili Marleen was changed from war protest, to presenting a dreamy reverie about love in war. See the changes as they evolved at the site. Parallel verses.

1. The torch rendition. Check your own knowledge. Are you most familiar with Lilli Marleen as a misty torch song. "Lilli Marleen" was sung so memorably that way during World War II, by Marlene Dietrich see FN 2, and Edith Piaf, among others. A steamy soft agony song. A separated by war song. A longing song.

Those froggy voices. For Dietrich, the slouchy hat. The slouch. Hear it now at Take advantage of internet audio.

Do an images search for "Marlene Dietrich Lili Marleen." Or Lilli Marleen. Put the two names together. Picture the lamp post, the girl in the mist draped around it, the throaty voice of WWII radio and stage. Both genders, relationships all ways, and always, in important ways, all just humans. Look into the lives of our icons.

2. The Panzer martial march rendition. You may also know it as a German marching song. Hear a Panzer Division sing it. See the Nuremberg stadium as its backdrop here at ://

3. The world making it its own. Hear many renditions at the Lili Marleen website, at :// Hear it in Hungarian, Finnish and Dutch.

4. See how the words changed with the times. There are two sites we used:

a. :// This has all three versions -
a.1 with the 1915 German, identified as Hans Leip;
a.2 then a 1998 translation of that by "Frank;"
a.3 then a 1944 evolved version translated by "Tommie Connor."

b. Then see the WWI words at, as translated by the jazz trumpet player, Ron Simmonds.

5. The World War I.

1913, sometimes told as 1915 (soldier, Hans Leip, lyric, see for the three parallel versions.

We like the Ron Simmonds at The occasion for resurrecting the original was the death of Norbert Schultze, 10/14/2002, composer and protector of performing rights. Ron Simmonds died recently. See the coverage of the Schultze tributes, at

Scroll down to the English translation, and you will see the words that mean as much now as they did in 1913, written incorporating the name of the soldier's girlfriend, Lili, and perhaps the name of a mysterious nurse in the mist, Marleen. The Ron Simmonds version of the original, included at that website, reads like this, with line breaks added: Scroll down to the very bottom.

There is a lantern in front of the barracks,
And the big gate, still there.
It does not and cannot figure out what is happening,
"As did once Lili Marleen!"

Is it pride or power
That brings us "out of our senses?"
However we try to get away,
We will be judged.
"Some day, Lili Marleen!"

The dead on sand or beach,
Who buries or counts?
How much more pain
Until we see how stupid and senseless this is.
"Oh God, Lili Marleen!"

And, since copyright permits "fair use," see, this little excerpt is just as it is --

"From the quiet rooms,
From the earth,
There rises before me as in a dream
Your deathly pale mouth. [the other translation avoids that and says, "hale' mouth -see ://]

Before the swirling mists clear,
Let war and hate come to an end - now,
Lili Marleen!"

Toggling back and forth between the translations, we think these are close.

1944: Then go to how the song was later used, and changed to meet the needs of both sides in World War II. It became a song of longing - see www:// By 1944 it was a love song. And Marlene Dietrich synonymous with it.

Amen. We have Edith Piaf singing it.


FN 1. Bump Bump-a Dump Dump
Bump-a Dumpy Dump.
(BBCDBCBCFD. AABCDFEDCB - now. The rest yourself.)

Bump Bump-a Dump Dump
Bump-a Dumpy Dump!

Bump Bump-a Dump Dump

A-Dump Dump Dump
A-Dump Dump Dump

A-Dump Lili Marle-e-en
A-Dump Lili Marleen.

etc. Sometimes written as Lilli Marleen.

FN 2 See network channels 3/28/07 - the news word is that Marlene Dietrich, who vanted to be alone, had a letter-writing and perhaps more relationship with Ernest Hemingway. See ABC news, 6:30 eastern daylight time.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Vikings and Geneology - Roots of Names

It is easy to stop with the easiest explanation for a name - but dig deeper. Our "Scharfe" looks German (a variant of the word means sharp, I believe) . But we found in Orkney and Ireland a different connection - Viking. The Vikings traveled and settled and plundered up and down any river and waterway they could find, apparently, and including Germany - and the Scharf is old Nordic for cormorant, with family coming from Ireland (a Viking playground as well as a place for serious settling); and Iceland in the sagas. Look up the surnames of a thousand years ago, and the meanings. See geneology posts at Ireland Roadways; and Orkney Roadways.

Go ahead. Take your name, hunt around, then go wherever you find a connection and enjoy. May be no connection at all, but fun is in the process. Don't worry about spelling differences. Even our folks in Canada added the "e" in the earliest 1900's just to make it easier for the postmaster.

Joke on uncle. Old name his:
Squinty cormorant.

Salute to Ingenuity - German fountains

Salutes. Today, I salute the sheer ingenuity of the Germans. Fun. German whimsy, German fountains.

See Nuremburg, at Germany Road Ways, Nuremburg posts, Altotting post: fountains. In Munich, look up and see some sculptural figure teetering outside the the 5th floor at the corner - just for fun. Imagine the money fountain in Nuremburg - a broad flat slow whirlpool down the center drain, and around the perimeter, the rich pass money between themselves and hide it behind their backs, the poor reach out their arms and never get anything, a man and boy go fishing, the man with some, but fishing for more. You go around and around it, looking more closely, drawn in yourself to the expressions and you think, yes, this is a true universal.

So, today, to German ingenuity. See the marriage carousel fountain, also in Nuremberg, the puppet fountain, and the plague memorial fountain in Altotting. Check the site references for more pictures of them.

In no other country were the fountains such fun, and so true to human nature. Others' fountains may be grander, but they don't tell a story that goes deep inside.

Berg or burg? Nothing ever ends.