Best German songs of all time
You would not believe how many songs are actually by a German artist. Usually it’s pretty obvious, when you listen to a German song, that the artist is German, but with bands like The Scorpions you can’t be sure until you look it up. Most of the best German songs might not be well known outside of Germany, but if you find yourself at a WG-Party singing to German songs, then you know you have finally arrived in Germany.
99 Luftballons – Nena
An obvious choice to start a list of the best German songs of all time. Nena was very famous back in the early 80’s and her massive success ’99 Luftballons’ even made it to No.1 in the US. So you don’t have to be a teenage girl to jump up on your bed and dance along to this song, but that’s exactly what you feel like when this song starts blaring through the speakers. But don’t be fooled by the happy melody, 99 Luftballons is actually about the Cold War and total atomic destruction.
Wind of change and Still loving you – The Scorpions
Not many other songs have influenced a time in German history as ‘Wind of change’ has. Only one other song (see next paragraph) might be as closely connected to the time of Glasnost & Perestroika and the divided Germany as this one. Oh and every German kid tried to whistle as perfectly as Klaus Meine in this song. Although the legendary band, Scorpions, has many great songs, ‘Still loving you’ has got to be one of their best. That chorus manages to sound timeless and pull your heart strings every time. And who hasn’t sang along to it in their best nasal voice impression of Klaus Meine? You haven’t? Alright, then.
Looking for freedom – David Hasselhoff
Yes I dare claim David Hasselhoff as a German! And nobody can seriously argue with a German that David is not one of ours. Needless to say, his performance of ‘Looking for freedom’ on New Years Eve in 1989, next to the Berlin wall, is one of the most epic shows of all time. Just lean back and enjoy my personal favorite German song of all time. Oh and if you really want to pass as a German make sure to check out David Hasselhoffs most famous songs.
Now that you know some of the most important and best German songs of all time it is time to get up to date with some more very famous German songs of nowadays.
Easy – Cro
Oh, Cro. Such a beautiful voice. Despite his questionable choice of headwear (what is that mask?! Is it a panda, a raccoon, a fox? I just really want to know), the sweet melody of his voice can carry you away to a better place. If you’ve ever wondered what the perfect theme tune for a Sunday morning would be, the answer is Cro’s ‘Easy’. A close second best song by Cro would be ‘Du’.
Denkmal – Wir sind Helden
The band ‘Wir sind Helden’ has a bunch of great songs. With upbeat tunes and feel-good lyrics, Wir sind Helden should definitely be included amongst the best German bands. Although ‘Aurelie’ is also a lovely song, ‘Denkmal’ takes the prize for its amazing ability to bring back immense 90s nostalgia (even though it was actually released in 2004). Or is that just me?
Die Eine – Die Firma
Let’s include a romantic song in this list. Well, as romantic as rap can be, especially when blurted out in German – a language not exactly known for its romantic resonance. Still, the German rap band Die Firma does a good job of putting their feelings into words in this song. Aww.
Disco Pogo – Die Atzen
And this is where I lose all my credit. Oh, wait, that was with the previous song. But hey, before you judge me, put on ‘Disco pogo’ by Die Atzen Frauenarzt & Manny Marc, and try not to bop along to it, or go ‘dingelingeling’ after hearing the chorus. Ok. So, now that you’re with me, let’s just say that this song has a way of finding itself on at parties, and nobody’s sitting down when it comes on. That’s not a coincidence. As for the name of the band… yeah… let’s leave that topic for another day. Dingelingeling…
Morgen – Chima
Another rap dude with a beautiful voice, another great tune for Sunday mornings. Chima manages to put a bunch of random sentences into one beautiful melody. Even if you can’t understand a word of it (wouldn’t be the worst thing that ever happened to you), you can sit back, enjoy the melody and sing along to ‘heuteeee, war gesteeeern, schon morgeeeen’.
Sky and Sand – Paul Kalkbrenner
This song is the perfect definition of Berlin. It goes well with everything you do in this city. If you’ve seen the film Berlin Calling, you might recognise the song. The beat, the words, the feeling… this song couldn’t get any better. Paul Kalkbrenner is a genius, and his brother, Fritz, brings the song alive with his heartfelt voice.
Zombie nation – Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk’s party classic. A classic that might drive you insane if you listen to it sober in daylight, but a classic nonetheless. One thing is very clear in the history of German music: the Germans know how to do electro.
Alles aus Liebe – Die Toten Hosen
What a beautiful intro. If this song was American, it would feature in a chick flick, probably when the boy asks the girl to dance at the prom, and she would put her head on his shoulders, and they would dance slowly, and live happily ever after. As it happens, though, this song is German, and Die Toten Hosen are actually singing about a guy who loves a girl so much that, when he finds himself unable to come to terms with the grandiosity of his feelings, he considers killing the apple of his eye and then himself so that they can be “together” forever. Still a gorgeous song.
Feuer frei – Rammstein
If you’re not into Neue Deutsche Härte or industrial metal, you probably won’t like this song very much. Still, Rammstein is a very successful German band and ‘Feuer frei’ deserves a spot on the list of best German songs. Surprisingly Rammstein seems to be even more famous outside of Germany.
The list of best German songs could go on and on, but I would like to recommend some more bands for you to listen to. Die Ärzte, Die Toten Hosen or Feinkost Paranoia are a few worth mentioning, but again tastes are very different so don’t be offended if your favorite German song is not on this best German songs list.
And I know, Tokio Hotel, Scooter and Modern Talking are missing from this list. Oh well, some things we are not proud of.