27 Famous German Songs

Germany has made significant contributions to the world of music. But which are the most famous German songs? This article explores exactly that.

“99 Luftballons” by Nena

Song Year: 1983

“99 Luftballons” is arguably the most famous German song worldwide. Even if people can't name a German song, many know this one. The song is even translated into English as “99 Red Balloons.”

The song is upbeat, fun to listen to, and has catchy lyrics. As fun, as the song is, it has a deep meaning. The song is all about how the German people had many dreams before WWII changed their lives forever. This song helped Nena become one of German history's most successful pop singers.

“Leider Geil” by Deichkind

Song Year: 2012

Deichkind is one of the most famous hip-hop and electronic acts to come from Germany. The group is known for its funny and ironic lyrics. “Leider Geil” is one of their most famous songs and translates roughly to “unfortunately awesome.”

The song is all about how even though some things are awful, there are some great things too, unfortunately. For example, cars create a lot of pollution, which isn't good, but a new, fancy car is “unfortunately awesome.” The whole song features other examples like that, and if you like hip-hop music, it's worth listening to.

“Männer” by Herbert Grönemeyer

Song Year: 1984

Herbert Grönemeyer is one of the most famous commercial artists from Germany, and his song “Männer” is a widely known song that made waves in 1984. The song, like many other German songs, is somewhat satirical.

It's all about how strong men are on the outside but also how “weak” they can be. Of course, he doesn't legitimately mean weak, but how society views men crying as a sign of weakness. It's a great song to listen to, and if you're interested in learning German, it's helpful.

“Allein Allein” by Polarkreis 18

Song Year: 2008

“Allein Allein” is a German pop song that quickly became one of the most popular from Polarkreis 18 when they released it in 2008. The song resembles a lot of pop songs with repetitive lyrics and a great beat.

The title translates to “alone, alone,” and the lyrics are about how the singer feels alone in various aspects of their life. Even though the lyrics are rather sad, it's hard not to start dancing when the song comes on.

“Dreh auf” by Marie Bothmer

Song Year: 2019

Marie Bothmer's song, “Dreh auf,” literally translates to “Turn it up.” She's a pop singer from Munich, and many of her songs, including this one, are the epitome of pop music. The concept of the song is all about how music can be a refuge for people.

As you listen to the lyrics, they talk about how someone longs for warmth, whether from the weather or a feeling you get from happiness. Bothmer sings about being overwhelmed by urban life and all the feelings that come along with that.

“Durch Den Monsun” by Tokio Hotel

Song Year: 2005

Tokio Hotel's song “Durch Den Monsun” translates to “Through the monsoon” and is the perfect example of German rock music. The song was so popular they even re-released it in English two years after the original recording.

It was the band's debut single and they even had the opportunity to sing it on the MTV Europe Music Awards. The lyrics are about pushing through the storm, in this case, a monsoon, to get to better days. The powerful lyrics and remarkable instrumentals make it a must-listen German song.

“Maschin” by Bilderbuch

Song Year: 2013

Bilderbuch's “Maschin” song literally translates to “machine.” Like other German artists, their songs are upbeat, fun, and stylish, and the music videos tend to be satirical and ironic. While the name might not suggest it, the song is about falling in love at first sight.

Many of the lyrics refer to not wanting the person they're in love with to leave them even for a second and how they want them to hop in their car and just drive.

“Tour de France” by Kraftwerk

Song Year: 1983

Kraftwerk is one of Germany's most iconic and celebrated electronic music bands. “Tour de France” came out in 1983 and was an instant hit throughout the country and in many parts of Europe.

The song is all about the experience of competing in the world's famous cycling race, the Tour de France. The lyrics are repetitive but catchy, making it one of the easiest German songs to learn because it uses a lot of German geography vocabulary words. Plus, it's fun!

“DYNAMIT” by Matz Wagemann

Song Year: 2019

Matz Wagemann has music in his soul. Before he started making more mainstream music, he was touring as a teenager in an orchestra. His song “Dynamit” translates to “dynamite” and perfectly combines hip-hop, jazz, and Latin sounds.

Even without knowing the lyrics, this song makes it hard to stay seated. The lyrics showcase how strong the singer is and their drive to succeed. This German song is great if you need a motivational song to kick-start your motivation.

“Du Hast” by Rammstein

Song Year: 1997

Rock music doesn't just come from the United States. Rammstein is one of the most famous rock bands in Germany. They have several international hits, including “Du Hast.” It comes from their second album and has been featured in movies and video games.

The song's title is a play on words when you translate it into English. It's a play on the words “du hasst,” which means “you hate,” and “du hast,” which means “you have.” It'll be hard not to want to learn the lyrics, but even the beat is worth jamming out to.

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