Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Going to German. What does it mean?

Tony Burns 21 Oct 99 - 10:59 PM
Mike Billo 21 Oct 99 - 11:20 PM
Barbara 22 Oct 99 - 06:31 AM
Lesley N. 22 Oct 99 - 08:06 AM
murray@mpce.mq.edu.au 22 Oct 99 - 08:16 AM
Tony Burns 22 Oct 99 - 01:09 PM
Roger in Baltimore 22 Oct 99 - 01:47 PM
RWilhelm 22 Oct 99 - 04:09 PM
Tony Burns 27 Oct 99 - 08:19 AM
GUEST,Jim Linwood 24 Mar 00 - 01:58 PM
Timehiker 24 Mar 00 - 07:04 PM
john c 25 Mar 00 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,satish 22 Jan 12 - 11:28 PM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jan 12 - 10:40 AM
Jim Dixon 23 Jan 12 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,ed 06 May 13 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,charlie 27 Sep 13 - 01:23 AM
PHJim 27 Sep 13 - 07:02 AM
Mr Happy 27 Sep 13 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,frizztext 09 May 15 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,JoeB 07 Dec 16 - 08:02 AM
Thompson 08 Dec 16 - 06:32 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Tony Burns
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 10:59 PM

There is a jugband standard called "Goin' to German". Can someone explain the term? I doubt it has anything to do with Germany.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Mike Billo
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 11:20 PM

Good question Tony. I always assumed that the song was in fact a malapropism that was referring to Germany, but now you've got me wondering. Anyone else?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 06:31 AM

Are there words, or is it just a tune? Could it be short for Germantown?
Blessings,
Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Lesley N.
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 08:06 AM

I don't know how old the tune is but one source says the song High Germany (http://www.contemplator.com/folk5/germany.html) (which was printed on a broadside circa 1780) refers to the Seven Years' War (1756-1763). The Seven Years' War was fought between a coalition of Austria, France, Russia, Sweden and Saxony and Prussia (led by Frederick the Great). If your tune has similar dates that may be the Germany meant.

There are a couple of other versions in the database of High Germany. High Germany, The Wars of Germany and Bonnie Lass O' Benachie also refers to "high germany."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 08:16 AM

There is a song called "Going to Germany" done by Cannon's Jug Stompers in 1929. In the song they never mention Germany; but it starts out

Goin' to Germa... I'll be back some old day

It never mentions the full word "Germany" throughout the song.

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Tony Burns
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 01:09 PM

Yes, the song Gus Cannon did is the one I mean. Are you sure the title says Germany? Not that it would mean that it's right. I have a CD which contains Bob Snider's "Anna Marie" and the liner calls it "All of Marie".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 01:47 PM

Tony,

I always assumed that the song was "I'm goin' to German'" and the "y" was simply dropped, just like the "g" in going.

Having believed this for at least 30 years, I refuse to let loose of this belief, I don't care what anybody else says.

Roger in Baltimore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: RWilhelm
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 04:09 PM

Gus Cannon's song is definately titled "Going to Germany" Like Roger I always assumed the "y" had just been dropped. I also assumed the song was originally written during World War I and they just continued singing it in the 20's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Tony Burns
Date: 27 Oct 99 - 08:19 AM

Email from Ken Whiteley who has been singing this song for 35 years says that German is a town near Memphis that probably has/had a prison.

The prison connection makes sense if you listen to the words.

A quick check on Mapquest shows a place called Germantown close to Memphis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,Jim Linwood
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 01:58 PM

Why is the English soldier in the ballad going to fight in the Seven Year's War? He say's "I must go..."; what army is he fighting in, is he a mercenary?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Timehiker
Date: 24 Mar 00 - 07:04 PM

Guest Jim,

The Seven years War began as a territorial dispute between Empress Maria Teresa of Austria and Fredrick the Great of Prussia. The other countries in Europe chose sides, either from family loyalty or from the hope of gaining something from the confusion of war. England allied with Prussia (High Germany), and France allied with Austria. England secured control of India during this war, and also fought France on the American continent, capturing Canada in the process.

Take care, Timehiker


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: john c
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 01:09 AM

Does anybody have all the lyrics to "German" or know where I can find them? Would be very grateful.
J.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,satish
Date: 22 Jan 12 - 11:28 PM

guys!! it simply means .. that the woman is going to face menopause! it's their way of saying it out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 10:40 AM

Did you just make that up? Cause I've never heard that in my life.
==========
I agree with Tony that 'German' is probably a town. People shorten names of towns, and I can easily picture Germantown becoming German. We all know it's a town, so why bother to say it?

Real life parallel: Garden City, Kansas is usually called 'Garden.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: GOING TO GERMANY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Jan 12 - 02:15 PM

This is my transcription:


GOING TO GERMANY
Written by Noah Lewis
As sung by Cannon's Jug Stompers on "The Best of Cannon's Jug Stompers" (Shanachie, 2005)

I'm goin' to German; I'll be back some ol' day.
I'm goin' to German; I'll be back some ol' day.
I'm goin' to German; I'll be back some ol' day.

Please tell me, mama: what more can I do?
Tell me, mama: what more can I do?
Done all I knowed; I can't get along with you.

SPOKEN DURING HARMONICA BREAK:
(Aw, play, Mister Lewis; play, play, play!—Play it, Mister Lewis, play!)

Get 'way f'm my window; stop knockin' on my, stop knockin' on my door.
Go 'way f'm my window; stop knockin' on my door.
I got no woman; can't use you no more.

When you's in trouble; I worked an' paid yo', I worked an' paid yo' fine.
When you's in trouble, I worked an' paid yo' fine.
Now I'm just trouble; you don't pay me no mind.

SPOKEN DURING HARMONICA BREAK:
(Aw, play it, Mister Lewis! Play clean, ah!—Play it, Mister Lewis, play!—Aw, play it from down in Dixie, now. Play it right on from down in Dixie.)


[The same recording also appears on "Gus Cannon & Noah Lewis, Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Volume 2" (Document Records, DOCD-5033, 2005) and Gus Cannon, "Jug Band Essentials" (Master Classics Records, 2010). It was originally recorded October, 1929 and was released as Victor 38585 and Bluebird 5413.

[The title on all recordings was GOING TO GERMANY, but of course we don't know who decided to call it that. It may well have been the record company. The singer (Noah Lewis?) pronounces it "German."]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,ed
Date: 06 May 13 - 03:36 PM

Check out a band from Chicago suburbs, "Safe Haven" they cover the song on there C.D. "Sermon for No One"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,charlie
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 01:23 AM

Love this song
3rd verse in the Cannon's Jug Stompers recording-
"I got no woman" or "I got another woman" ?
Just an awkward amount of syllables but it makes more sense. I love how they add extra bars to the last two verses in the first line but maybe that tripped up the singer by the time he got to "I got another woman" and who knows if it was intentional for that matter.
Classic break-up song but in this case our protagonist seems to be more down in the dumps instead of sitting on top of the world.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 07:02 AM

Hey Tony, thanks for asking that question. I've always wondered that.
Are you the same Tony who plays ukulele at The Corktown group? If so, we are both friends of David Newland. I am Jim Yates from Port Hope.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Sep 13 - 08:22 AM

Tony posted on this thread only 14 years ago, so he could be still around


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,frizztext
Date: 09 May 15 - 04:45 AM

I've set a link to your interesting article with some quotations in my blog at
https://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/going-to-germany/
and I tried to sing this song in my SoundCloud:
https://soundcloud.com/fingerstyle_guitar/going-to-germanywav


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: GUEST,JoeB
Date: 07 Dec 16 - 08:02 AM

germantown is not far from memphis. it was pretty much a railroad depot and a few building back when the song was written. It's a rich suburb now. Back when the song was written, it was a place along the railroad to get out memphis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Going to German. What does it mean?
From: Thompson
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 06:32 AM

It seems highly unlikely that this would refer to an 18th-century war, considering the phrasing, which sounds much more like early 20th century usage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 November 5:00 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.