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Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen

DigiTrad:
LILI MARLEEN
LILI MARLENE (informal)
LILLI MARLENE (English)
THE D-DAY DODGERS


Related threads:
Lili Marlene by As sung by June tabor (11)
Chords Req: D-Day Dodgers / Lili Marlene (9)
(origins) Origins: Lili Marleen (32)
happy? - Aug 18 (Vor der Kaserne) (10)
Lyr Req: We Are the D-Day Dodgers (39)
Lyr Req: Lilli Marlene in Irish (7)
Chords Req: Lili Marlene in German and English (23)
Lyr Req: Wedding of Lili Marlene (19)
Lyr Req: D Day Dodgers (25)
Another Lili Marlene (5)
Lyr Add: Lili Marlene (an extra clean verse) (4)
D-Day Dodgers.Lili Marlene (5)


Wolfgang 20 Aug 01 - 06:27 AM
Fiolar 20 Aug 01 - 06:38 AM
Crazy Eddie 20 Aug 01 - 06:40 AM
Wolfgang 20 Aug 01 - 06:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 07:12 AM
Ringer 20 Aug 01 - 10:51 AM
Amos 20 Aug 01 - 11:08 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 20 Aug 01 - 11:21 AM
paddymac 21 Aug 01 - 02:00 AM
Mark Cohen 21 Aug 01 - 04:47 AM
GeorgeH 21 Aug 01 - 06:20 AM
Wolfgang 21 Aug 01 - 06:57 AM
jets 21 Aug 01 - 08:02 AM
RangerSteve 21 Aug 01 - 08:49 AM
Wolfgang 21 Aug 01 - 09:48 AM
Snuffy 21 Aug 01 - 08:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 08:44 PM
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Little Hawk 21 Aug 01 - 11:03 PM
masato sakurai 22 Aug 01 - 12:44 AM
Genie 22 Aug 01 - 01:14 AM
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Wolfgang 23 Aug 01 - 04:14 AM
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Genie 02 Nov 01 - 03:27 PM
Wolfgang 06 Nov 01 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM
Genie 09 Nov 01 - 12:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 01 - 07:11 AM
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Art Thieme 23 Oct 02 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 02 - 08:39 PM
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Wolfgang 24 Oct 02 - 04:57 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 Oct 02 - 05:10 AM
Genie 24 Oct 02 - 03:46 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 02 - 06:25 PM
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Nigel Parsons 25 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM
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McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 02 - 04:48 PM
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Genie 25 Oct 02 - 07:39 PM
Gray D 25 Oct 02 - 08:44 PM
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Nigel Parsons 27 Oct 02 - 03:36 PM
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McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,Q 27 Oct 02 - 05:48 PM
Wolfgang 28 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Q 01 Nov 02 - 03:52 PM
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Wolfgang 04 Nov 02 - 10:21 AM
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Joe_F 11 Mar 09 - 11:46 AM
Ron Davies 11 Mar 09 - 11:11 PM
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ard mhacha 15 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM
ard mhacha 15 Jul 09 - 11:32 AM
Wolfgang 15 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 09 - 08:39 PM
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MGM·Lion 18 Nov 09 - 01:46 AM
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Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Nov 09 - 07:40 PM
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GUEST,ART HELLYER ABCTV, NBCTV, SATELLITE MUSIC 03 May 11 - 04:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 May 11 - 06:50 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 29 May 12 - 10:38 PM
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Subject: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:27 AM

Just a little story about a song sung e.g. by Bing Crosby, Great Garbo, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich.

Sixty years ago, last Saturday, one of the most played (translated, recorded) songs of last century started off as a success when 'Lily Marleen' was played at 21.55 pm as the last song of Radio Beograd's (Belgrade) daily radio show for soldiers.

Little hdid Hans Leip think late in 1914 or early in 1915 that he was to write a world hit when he penned a poem to his two loves, Lili (that's how he called his Betty) and Marleen. Until his death in 1983 at the age of nearly 90, he never understood how the song could be read as a song about a whore when for him it was just a song about a soldier's love(s).

More than twenty years later, in 1939, Norbert Schultze wrote a simple tune to the poem, and Helene Bunnenberg (known as Lale Andersen) sang the song with an unmistakable smoky voice. The song was a flop and only 700 records were sold. Nobody would know the song today if not a corporal of the German army had bought some 100 records to stock the new broadcasting station in Belgrade, among them one of the few records with 'Lili Marleen' on it.

When the song was played as the last song on August 18th, 1941, it took off immediately. German soldiers wished to hear it again and again. Until the end of the war time broadcasting, this song was for ever to be Radio Beograd's last song of the day. The allied soldier's from the 8th Africa Corps heard it and fell in love with it too. "Devant la caserne, quand le jour s'enfuit" and "Underneath the lantern, by the barrack gate" were to follow soon.

When Lale Andersen came home from a front show, she found hundreds of letters adressed to 'Lili Marleen, Radio Beograd' in her home. By the way, thought the great Dietrich sang it later, Germans from that generation will forever hear Lale Andersen's smoky voice when they think of this song. When asked later why of all possible songs this song was such a success she said: 'Can the wind explain why it becomes a storm?' John Steinbeck explained it this way (retranslation from German): 'The impact of Lily Marleen comes from the trinity of voice, lyrics and tune. It evokes, as a modern mystery, this mass psychosis.'

The song probably has saved the life of its singer. Lale Andersen fell in disgrace with the Nazis when she refused to sing for soldiers guarding the Warsaw ghetto. The final straw came when a letter from her telling about her plans to try to flee to Switzerland on a tournee to soldiers in Italy fell into the hands of the Gestapo. From that time on, by order form Goebbels Lale Andersens' version had to be replaced by a marching music version (or one by the Wiener Sängerknaben). Lale Andersen, fearing to be thrown into a concentration camp, made a suicide attempt in 1944 and was unconscious for three weeks .

BBC London spread the news that the singer of 'Lili Marleen' had died in a concentration camp and the English radio station Calais played the song several times a day repeating the news. Josef Goebbels immediately saw the possibility of one last propaganda victory and presented Lale Andersen alive as a proof for an 'Allied lie'. Andersen then didn't come into a camp but had to report twice a week to the Gestapo. She fled to her grandparents and survived the war on the tiny island of Langeoog where she died in 1972 at the age of 64.

Hans Leip, the lyricist, was as appaled by the Nazis as Lale Andersen was and fled his hometown of Hamburg after the allied bomb raids of 1943. The continuous playing of his poem got on his nerves. He didn't like the song at all and always went to bed early with the pillow above his ears to avoid listening to the evening's last song, Lily Marleen.

Soon after the war, General Eisenhower sent one evening an officer to Hans Leip with the request to see the lyricist later the evening. Leip declined with the words 'I can't stand that song any longer' and said he had the habit to go to bed early. The officer reported that to Eisenhower expecting the request being replaced by an order. Eisenhower replied: 'Let him sleep. He's the only German living during the war in Germany who has brought joy to the whole world.'

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Fiolar
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:38 AM

I agree that it is one of the great numbers of the 20th century. It has been recorded by such singers as Ann Shelton, Vera Lynn, Dolores Keane and Perry Como among many others. It has long been one of my favourites. Thanks for outlining its history.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Crazy Eddie
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:40 AM

Thanks Wolfgang, I've always likedthat song, tho' I can only understand it in English.
Is the english version an accurate translation from the original? Regards, Eddie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:47 AM

Yes, Crazy Eddie, it's fairly accurate, much more than e.g. the French version. When I was looking for the English version I found to my dismay that the story of Lili Marleen is already on the web (minor deviations from my story, as might be expected):

here (ingeb.org) (with severyl translations)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:12 AM

'Can the wind explain why it becomes a storm?

God I love that! And it's so much better than John Steinbeck's pompous effort.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Ringer
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:51 AM

Why was J Steinbeck's offering originally in German?


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Amos
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 11:08 AM

It is the tune that makes Lili Marlene magic. Steinbeck's comments may have seemed unassailable at the time, when the consciousness of the war was so deeply alive in everyone's attention. But the tune, with its peculiar intervals and tempo, is, for some reason I have never identified, one of those that just captures the mind. Once known, it cannot be forgotten.

A


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 11:21 AM

Wolfgang, thanks for the site with translations. The English trans. is poor in parts. In the 5th verse, the line "with your lips so hale" is meaningless. "With your lips so loved" would probably be best.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: paddymac
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 02:00 AM

Barber shop singers have a habit of singing tags (codas) int the we small hours whenever they gather. The tag to "Lili Marlene" is one of the favorites, I think because it is so hauntingly beautiful, and really rings, and rings, and keeps on ringing.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:47 AM

Bald Eagle, Wolfgang said it was a REtranslation; i.e., he read Steinbeck's words as translated into German. It would be interesting to know what the original quotation was. It reminds me of Mark Twain's brilliantly funny "retranslation" of a French translation of his story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", which may be found here. "And what has a poor foreigner like me done, to be so abused and misrepresented like this? When I say, "Well, I don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any better'n any other frog," is it kind, is it just, for this Frenchman to try to make it appear that I said, "Eh bien! I no saw not that that frog had nothing of better than each frog"? I have no heart to write more. I never felt so about anything before."

Sorry about the thread creep...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GeorgeH
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 06:20 AM

Wolfgang, thanks for another wonderful contribution . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 06:57 AM

Mark is right, I only had a German translation of Steinbeck's words and you may safely assume that my re-translation is no match for his original words.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: jets
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:02 AM

I was in a bar in Naples.The Germans had been driven out shortly before. The small band was taking a break. I approached the leader of the group and asked that they play Lili Marleen. " No dam way would he ever play that dam song again" he said . Those dam Germans had driven him to distraction with there constant request for the that same song over and over again. Even a good thing can be over done.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: RangerSteve
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:49 AM

The melody is going through my head right now, and it will probably be there all day. Fortunately, it's a tune that I like. Thanks, Wolfgang, for the story.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 09:48 AM

an addendum: Several of you especially praise the tune written by Norbert Schultze.
Norbert Schultze was born Jan 26th, 1911 and has at least seen alive his 90th birthday early this year. He has written many songs for the Nazi propaganda films. He has composed the tunes for 'beauties' as 'Bombs on England' (songtitles in my translation) and 'Forward towards the East' with the line 'Führer, give orders, we follow'. For his contributions to the Nazi regime he was interned by the Allied Forces at the end of the war and let free in 1946 as 'mere supporter' (Mitläufer).

After the war he wrote a couple of Musicals and tunes for songs. None of them became anything remotely like famous. His tune to Lili Marleen was written in 1938 (that is the date most sources give), for Goebbels wanted a marching tune for the song Lili Marleen which he considered too 'pacifist' for his taste. If you want to hear the original 'too pacifist' tune which Leip had composed click here and go to the Midi in the lower right corner (original score in the lower left).

It was a complete surprise to me that there was another, original tune to this song and that the world has to thank Goebbels of all men for ordering a new tune to this song better fitting the Nazis' idea of soldier's music. I hate the thought of having to be thankful to Goebbels for anything and only get comfort by the thought that his instincts about the song being 'too pacifist' proved to be correct and his decision to let it get recorded against his instincts was wrong (in his sense), that is right (for the world).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Snuffy
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:00 PM

Is this a case where a parody ("THE D-DAY DODGERS") is a more powerful song tham the original (good as it undoubtedly is)?

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:44 PM

D Day Dodgers isn't a parody, it was a new somg using the existing tune, which is not the same thing at all. I think there were a fair number of songs written using the tune.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 08:45 PM

I don't recall Greta Garbo (Great too) ever singing "Lili Marlene" in any film. I have the album of her soundtracks, and saw all of her films (even the silents) over many years, and don't recall it. I am prepared to be corrected, but I don't think so. Somebody with some sense should have sat her down and got her to sing a whole lot of stuff. She had such a great voice, and you can tell it is musical, there are snatches here and there in films like Grand Hotel. Of course she and Dietrich appeared in the same film once -- Die Freudlose Gasse (Joyless Street), Dietrich a bit player on a bread line, Garbo the rising star (and truly beautiful, maybe at her most beautiful).

Thread creep: among the other weird things in the war, the Germans had Shakespeare companies that toured the provinces for much of the war.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 11:03 PM

Great post, Wolfgang! I think there were more than a few Germans in uniform who were appalled at the Nazis too, but they were not about to go around saying so openly, for obvious reasons! They took their chances at the front line instead...better hope of survival that way.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: masato sakurai
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 12:44 AM

As McGrath says above, there were several "new" songs to the tune of "Lili Marleen." In Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant Major: The Songs and Ballads of World War II, by Martin Page (Panther, 1975), we find "The Dive Bombers' Song"; "My Faithless English Rose"; "The D-Day Dodgers"; "The Irish Fusiliers"; and "Going Round the Bend." They are not parodies in the strict sense of the word.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 01:14 AM

Personally, I find the English version very trite, poetically speaking, compared to the German. I think it's because the rhymes within individual lines (not present in the German) seem contrived, rather than natural.

Much as I admire the kinds of 'wordsmithmanship' that can match meter perfectly and use alliteration, internal rhyme, etc, (e.g, Cole Porter lyrics and much of Irving Berlin), I don't like it when the author's effort at doing it seems to transparent. I love the German lyrics, and I love Dietrich's version of the song, as on her album, "Wiedersehen Mit Marlene."


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 07:46 PM

The English version I remember hearing during the war (only barely remember -- I was 7 when it ended) is recognizably the one by Tommie Connor. However, I also have a couple of LPs on which Marlene Dietrich sings it in English, and her version is very different: farther from the original German, more sentimental, and much more upbeat. It ends:

When we are marching thru the mud and cold
And my pack's weight seems more than I can hold,
My love for you renews my might,
I'm warm again, my pack is light --
It's you, Lili Marlene...

Where does that one come from?

I also have a couple of recordings of her singing it in German, and in both of them she leaves out the stanza that begins "Schon rief der Posten...". Why? I miss it. That little scrap of realistic conversation -- "I'm coming right away, buddy" -- seems to take me right back there, even tho I have never been a soldier & know almost no German.

An interesting fact that seems not to have appeared on this thread is that altho Leip wrote the first four stanzas in 1914, he did not write the fifth till 1937. It is noticeably different in style, but IMO makes a good conclusion.

There is an extensive article about this song in the German magazine _Der Spiegel_, 35(4):168-176 (19 January 1981). It has pictures of the military radio station in Belgrade, and texts of some of the parody stanzas the German & U.S. soldiers made up.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 04:14 AM

Joe, thanks, many things I didn't know.

Why the third verse was left out in WWII? A guess: The punishments were much harder then than 'three days' for coming after 'Zapfenstreich'. This is the only verse that places the song in WWI and not WWII.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Gareth
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM

Soldat Sendend Calais (I hope I have the spelling right) was a "black" radio station designed to impair German moral.

If my memory serves me correctly a rewrite of Lili Marleen was done to remind the Wermacht Soldiers of the horrors of the Eastern Front.

I suspect that Joe-F's verse may be part of that

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 06:40 PM

The performances in German by Miss Dietrich that I mentioned, with the stanza missing, were on a propaganda recording she did for the OSS during the war, and at a sentimental postwar reunion in Germany. She might, however, have been following W.W. II German usage. The suggestion that the stanza was dropped because it was an anachronism is interesting.

There are no new stanzas in those performances, so they were not performances of the Calais version. ["Soldat Sendend" should be "Soldatensender" (I think).] The only difference I noticed was that "deinen zieren Gang" had been changed to "deinen schoenen Gang". Since "zier" is not listed as an adjective in my Cassell's, I have guessed that the usage might be nonstandard & have been changed for that reason.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:40 AM

Never in my life have I encountered 'zier(en)' as an adjective. Even as a noun or verb it is rare and oldfashioned. 'Schönen' is the usual word in its place.

Leip seems to have sung the song as few times in private or in public to his own tune (link to the original tune see my 21-Aug-01 - 09:48 AM post), but the lyrics were published in 1937 for the first time. That may explain why the fifth verse has been added then. Maybe he didn't want the song to end with the 4th verse then, for in this verse he speaks about his possible soldier's death and what his love will do then. In 1915 that is a good end to the song, but in 1937 it isn't.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 09:52 PM


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: toadfrog
Date: 03 Sep 01 - 10:26 PM

I can recall my mother singing the version with the "light pack." It began:

Outside the barracks by the corner light
I'll always stand and wait for you at night.
We will create a world for two,
I'll wait for you the whold night through,
For you, Lili Marleen . . .

Also,

Please Mr. Truman, why can't we go home,
We have taken Naples and we have conquered Rome.
We have subdued the super race,
So why can't we have shipping space?
Oh please let us go home.
Let the boys at home se Rome.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:27 PM

Wolfgang, Where did the notion get started that Lili Marlene is about a prostitute? The lyrics (German and the English translation) speak of love and desired reunion and clearly of an ongoing relationship of some sort (presumably true love).

Genie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 04:56 AM

I've no idea, Genie. This was not in the mind of the writer and as you say there is no indication for such a notion in the lyrics either in English or in German (nor in French as far as I remember).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 07:54 AM

For a lot of soldiers in that kind of situation "working girls" have been the nearest they could get to a loving relationship. It's a grey area, and not unreasonable that the way people have interpreted the song takes that into account.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 12:54 AM

Well, yeah, McGrath, she could've been. But given the intensity of the emotion referred to in the song, it makes no sense to me to read something quite unnecessary (and unromantic) into the song. It's an inference not really called for, especially since soldiers did often meet, make love to, and even sometimes marry women in the countries where they are stationed.
Besides, the German lyric suggest they are both German, so why not assume they are high-school sweethearts who are torn apart when he is drafted? Happens all the time!
Genie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 07:11 AM

Surely it's not a question of solving a problem about what the song is about, it's imagining ways in which it can be interpreted. That's always much wider. Songs can talke on all kinds of totally unintended meaning, and become richer in the process.

I like ambiguity in songs, and openess to different ways of reading them.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST, jets
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM

Several weeks ago ,I was playing my accordion on my usuall street corner,when this elderly gentleman asked that I play Lili Marleane,and as I played he started to sing the song in German. When he finished, I spoke of the time that I first entered Naples Italy, right after the Germwns had left, How I had asked the band leader of the band in the pub ,to play Lili M , no way he said I am sick of the dam song. My new friend lauged and as he was walking away he turned and said, I hope that I did not cause you too much trouble, It would seem that he had been my enemy at one time.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Stewart
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 12:12 PM

Norbert Schultze died on Oct. 14th. See also Obit: Norbert Schultz

New York Times
October 22, 2002

Norbert Schultze, German Composer, Dies at 91

By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN

Norbert Schultze, the German composer of the melancholy "Lili Marleen," the informal infantryman's anthem that became the best-known song of World War II, died on Oct. 14 in Bad Tölz, Bavaria. He was 91.

Inspired by a German soldier's poem written during World War I and promptly forgotten, a flop when recorded by a German cabaret singer in the late 1930's, "Lili Marleen" nonetheless emerged as the embodiment of a timeless theme: the sadness of separation brought by war.

Mr. Schultze also wrote music for German propaganda films depicting the invasion of Poland, bombing raids on Britain, the North African offensive and the Russian campaign. But he was remembered for a song far removed from martial bombast. "Lili Marleen" became a huge favorite not only with German soldiers but with British troops as well, and it was translated into many languages. It was a signature song for Marlene Dietrich during the war when she entertained American troops in Europe, and she performed it in her one-woman show on Broadway in 1967.

The song's genesis was recounted in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1980 film "Lili Marleen." The German singer Ute Lemper performed it in London at ceremonies observing the 50th anniversary of V-E Day.

Mr. Schultze, a native of Brunswick, Germany, and the son of a doctor, was composing light music in Berlin in 1938, having already written a highly successful children's opera, "Black Peter," when he was shown an obscure poem.

Titled "The Song of a Young Sentry," written during World War I by Hans Leip, a German soldier awaiting shipment to the front, it told of the two girlfriends he was leaving behind. The women, who lived near his barracks, were fused in the poem into one called Lili Marleen.

Mr. Schultze set the poem to music and gave it to Lale Andersen, a caberet singer, who recorded it in 1939. It sold all of 700 copies.

Mr. Schultze's score gained new life in 1941 when the German army needed a musical recording to conclude nightly broadcasts to troops in North Africa from a transmitter in occupied Belgrade. It found the Lale Andersen recording in a cellar in Vienna and evidently chose it because an officer liked the bugle-call introduction that had been written by her accompanist.

"Without that bugle call, my song would still be gathering dust," Mr. Schultze said in a 1967 interview in The New York Times Magazine with Derek Jewell, assistant editor of The Sunday Times Magazine of London.

Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, detested the song as too sentimental. But the German troops loved it and deluged Lale Andersen with mail addressed to "Lili Marleen."

British soldiers picked up the song from the German radio or from prisoners of war. Sometimes they sang it in German, sometimes they improvised ribald lyrics. There were, in fact, suggestions that Lili was a prostitute rather than the girl next door. The British government and the BBC, seeking a sanitized version, called upon Tommie Connor, a prolific songwriter, to create an official version in English.

His song told a story similar to the German version, the girl now known as Lilli Marlene. It was recorded in wartime Britain by Anne Shelton and Vera Lynn.

Underneath the lantern
By the barrack gate,
Darling, I remember
The way you used to wait:
'Twas there that you whispered tenderly,
That you loved me,
You'd always be
My Lilli of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Mr. Schultze, meanwhile, wrote some two dozen songs for German propaganda films, an endeavor that resulted in Allied occupation authorities barring him from musical pursuits for several years after the war. He later wrote an operetta, "Paris in the Rain," and worked to protect musical copyrights.

"I had the choice: be a composer or face death, so I chose the first option," The Times of London obituary quoted Mr. Schultze as having once said in defense of writing propaganda music for the Nazis as an alternative to military service.

British press reports of Mr. Schultze's death did not list any survivors.

Two decades after the war, Mr. Schultze told of one song for which the timing was not exactly right. He said that Field Marshal Erwin Rommel was so impressed with "Lili Marleen" that he wanted his own song. "I could scarcely refuse," Mr. Schultze remembered.

That song, recorded by the Luftwaffe orchestra, was "Forward With Rommel."

"But by the time I'd finished it, Rommel was going backward," Mr. Schultze remembered, "so it was never used."

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 01:38 PM

Lili Marleen was also sung by Dolores Keane, Dolores version recorded some ten years ago is beautifully rendered by a great singer. Thanks Wolfgang a great thread. Ard Mhacha


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 04:43 PM

Lale Anderson did the best rendition of Lili. Her recording was not really picked up until sometime after the war, although it was played nightly on Radio Belgrade, listened to by soldiers on both sides. It is worth looking for. She was the German Vera Lynn.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 05:14 PM

Hans Leip (1893-1983), the author and poet, also needs to be remembered. Best known for "Lili Marlene," the song arranged and composed by Norbert Schultze, he wrote about two girls, Lili and Marlene, in 1915, when he was a soldier at the front in 1915. It is found in his "Frühe Lieder," or Early Songs. His "Oh, Jonny" achieved some popularity in translation into an English version. His best known song in Europe is "Falado."
The midis, and German texts of these songs, are at LEIP


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 07:36 PM

Check out HANK SNOW's re-write of this as a country song. Pretty strange. Left me wondering WHY??? (It's at that RECORD LADY's site.)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 02 - 08:39 PM

RECORD LADY also has Lili Marlene by Dave Dudley. If anything, it is even flatter. Their arms twisted by their recording companies?


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,ian
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 04:38 AM

I recall many years ago hearing a translation of a song which was sung by the Boars during their settlement of South Africa pre 1900, called Tramp cross the Veldt. It was to the same tune used for Lili Marlene. In its turn the boers added the words to a Dutch nursery rhyme tune.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 04:57 AM

I've found an audio of the original Lale Andersen version. That's exactly the one that took off on August, 18th, 1941:

Go here, scroll down and click on 'Lili Marleen'.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 05:10 AM

Full words of The wedding of Lili Marlene now included. The line "'Twas goodbye to the sweetheart of the nation" continues the suggestion that she was seen as a prostitute.The most likely reason is the the opening line :
"Underneath the lamplight by the barracks gate"
This seems to suggest a 'camp follower' awaiting any man, rather than waiting for one particular partner.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 03:46 PM

Why, Nigel? If you were a young lady waiting to meet your soldier sweetheart, where would you stand? Over in a dark corner where he couldn't see you?

The "sweetheart of the nation" line suggests to me only that this fictional lady of song was beloved of the Germans (probably male and female). (The actress Mary Pickford was called "America's sweetheart" in the 1920s.   She was hardly thought of as a prostitute.)

I'd wager that if the soldiers who sang the song (especially the bawdy versions) chose to cast Lili as a prostitute, it had more to do with their own situation as soldiers (many of whom had no female companionship overseas except with prostitutes) than with the words of the song.

I cannot, for the life of me, see anything in the original German lyrics or in the various English versions I've seen that suggest that Lili is anything other than the singer's true love. And the lyrics come from Hans Leif's poem about a composite of two girlfriends -- not about hookers.

Soldiers sing lots of bawdy songs, especially during war time. They may also read double-entendre into lines where it was not intended.

I can't speak for the Germans who love the song, but I get many requests for this song from men and women of the WWII generation, and they seem to regard it as a very romantic song, not a bawdy or frivolous one. (Now, "Mademoiselle from Armentières," that's another story!)


Genie


Nigel, that thread (that you linked to) has been deleted.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 04:06 PM

Here is a parody (in German) Click which does obviously cast Lili as a hooker.

The full, original text in German (and a fairly close English translation, as well as the better-known English 'version' and a couple of
other language versions) can be found here.

Genie

BTW, MMario, Dick G., etc. the version in the DT is a parody, not the actual German lyrics to the song.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 04:11 PM

Clarification:
In the DT, "Lili Marleen" will give you the full German lyrics; "Lili Marlene" is the parody version. And "Lilli Marlene" is the "official" English version.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 04:21 PM

I was a soldier in WW2. Part of the time I was connected with a military hospital and German prisoner of war camp in Oklahoma. I never heard Lili characterized as a prostitute.
Lili Marleen is, of cource, the correct spelling, but many American recordings used the spelling Marlene. They are translations, mostly bad, but not what I would call parodies.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 06:25 PM

That Boer song you mentioned, "GUEST,ian", suggesting that the tune of Lili Marleen goes back a lot further than Schultze - that sounds interesting. Any more clues about it which might enable someone to track it down?


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 24 Oct 02 - 11:59 PM

Guest, other than the parody auf Deutch in the DT, I don't think any of the parodies of Lili Marleen have been posted here. They have merely been alluded to.

FWIW, on my Marlene Dietrich "Wiedersehen Mit Marlene" album. she sings the song in German but it is called "Lili Marlene." Maybe not the original spelling, but judging from Dietrich's own name, I'd guess that some Germans spell the name "Marlene."

Genie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Ian
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 04:10 AM

Hi McGrath I got entered as guest ian in error. Re the Beor song same tune. I heard the song on the radio 2 folk prog and Jim LLoyd was conducting an interview with someone who was discussing the history of the LM song and tune they played the song along with other songs to the same tune. I cant remember how long ago it was but I hope it helps.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM

I may have mis-posted the link to The Wedding of Lili Marlene but I just re-sent it in a PM to myself, and it's there now

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 03:02 PM

Also, re the "Marleen" vs. "Marlene" thing, I can't say what other German singers do, but Dietrich sings (if I can use fake phonetics), "...vie einst, Lili Marlehn-eh, vie einst, Lili Marlehn." It's almost as though she's incorporating both spellings.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 04:38 PM

I've always wondered, in respect of that story about it being written to the author's two girlfriends, Lili, and Marleen, what they thought about sharing the same love song...


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 04:48 PM

And as for the idea that standing under a lampost waiting for her bloke implies she's on the game, well nobody ever seems to think that about George Formby's "leaning on a lamppost". (Which is an enchanting little song.)


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 05:41 PM

Marlene, Helene, etc. in German have three syllables, ending in "lay-na." Marleen has two syllables. "Marleen" in the German original rhymes better because the line has the right count.
Hans Leip was a poet and author, as pointed out earlier. The two girls may have been imaginary.
I would like to see the original poem (in German). So far, I haven't been able to find it.
Wolfgang? Bitte, por favor! If you have it.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 07:39 PM

Right, guest. Thus, Dietrich sings the song as if it were written, "Wie einst, Lili Marlene, wie einst Lili Marleen." And that makes the line scan without having to sing "...Lili Marle-ehn," the first time the phrase is sung.

Another bit of trivia about the original poem -- was it "Lili" or "Lilli?"


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Gray D
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 08:44 PM

Wolfgang,
          I'd also like to thank you for this contribution. As an occasional singer I liked Leip's original tune a lot. I hope I get a chance to sing it 'live' sometime.

'Catters who sing,
                   Try the Leip version (from the midi link) out loud. 'S lovely.

Grayd


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 08:50 PM

There were two boys and two girls! My German is largely lost, but here are the essentials. In 1915, Hans Leip and Klaas Deterts met, two young teachers. They were posted to the Gardefüsilieren in Berlin . There they met two young women, Lili and Marleen. Lili was a salesgirl, Marleen was a doctor's daughter who helped out in a hospital. Their association with the girls was brief, the men were sent off to war.
Hans Leip wrote later that, while waiting for a march to resume, he wrote the poem by the light of a streetlamp in April, 1915. He was both lovesick and homesick. He penned "Und sollte mir un Leid gescheh'n, wer wird bei der Laterne steh'n, mit dir, Lili Marleen?" Leip provided a melody for his composition, but it was seldom played.
Later on in life, Leip wrote a novel that was highly praised by Thomas Mann. The two young men had little contact after their brief friendship in 1915.
Note: Both Lili and Lilli and both Klaas and Klaus in the text.
Maybe Wolfgang will add to my skeletal story. Deterts Leip
The original poem may be found in Google, in German websites.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 03:29 PM

Danke, Guest.

"Und sollte mir un Leid gescheh'n, wer wird bei der Laterne steh'n, mit dir, Lili Marleen?" That means, roughly, "And should something bad happen to me, who would be standing by the lamp post with you, Lili Marleen?" Right?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 03:36 PM

MGoH: The George Formby one is different entirely, in that the words state that he is waiting "in case a certain little lady comes by". So he is not 'on the pull' for just anyone!

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 03:55 PM

I was mistaken, Leip's original poem does not seem to be on the internet. He published a couple of books on poetry in addition to his novels; one has his poem.

Genie, in the words of "My Fair Lady," I think you got it! I wish I could find the poem; it's obviously somewhat different.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 05:22 PM

Where's the link to Leip's tune, Gray?

(And Nigel, Lili seems to be waiting for a particular soldier, and that doesn't stop people making unfounded assumptions about her.)


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 27 Oct 02 - 05:48 PM

Hans Leip's original poem is printed in Hans Leip, "Die Laterne: Lieder und Gedichte" (1942), which contains his wartime poetry. It also was reprinted in a more comprehensive volume of his poetry. Several websites refer to the "original," but they all are to the the Norbert Schultze tune for which Leip apparently revised the words.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Oct 02 - 07:16 AM

Well hidden in the middle of my post from 21 Aug 01 - 09:48 AM is a link and this link is still valid and leads both to the original lyrics (lower left corner after scrolling) and the original tune (lower right corner after scrolling).

I've come to love the old 'too pacifist' tune since I've found it.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 03:52 PM

I have found a copy of Hans Leip, "Die Laterne, Lieder und Gedichte" 1942 printing, 20th thousand, Stuttgart (1st printing 1937?). These little German wartime paperbacks are hard to locate, now.
The lyrics pointed out by Wolfgang in his post of 20 Aug 01 at Lili Marleen are the same as those in Leip's book, and in the DT as "Lili Marleen." The website lyrics have one mistake, 3rd verse 4th line- should be ja gleich.
I still wonder if these words are the same as those Leip wrote during WW1.
The tune for the midi of the original melody, pointed to by Wolfgang on 21 Aug 01, does grow on you. I would like to hear it sung to this tune by someone of the calibre of Lale Andersen.

The note to the DT version is incorrect; one of the girls was that of his friend, Klaus Deterts.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 04:00 PM

Dang caps! Should be Lili Marleen or use the one given way up there by Wolfgang.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 10:21 AM

Verse 5 in those lyrics is from 1938, the WWI version ends with verse 4.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 02:37 PM

From one historical standpoint it would be interesting to know Leip's original tune, and it may well be a beautiful one. But it is "Lili Marleen" ("Lili Marlene") with Schultze's tune and the WWII lyric revisions that has the historical significance of being so very popular with both the Allies and the German soldiers during that war, as well as popular with civilians during the same era.

It's kinda like "America The Beautiful" being sung now almost exclusively to Samuel Ward's "Materna" music, even though Bates had earlier suggested a different tune for it.

Schultze's tune is beloved by many of the WWII era on both sides of the Atlantic, even when no words are sung at all.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 06:14 PM

Leip's little book, "Die Laterne,Lieder und Gedichte" has five verses to Lili. Mine is dated 1942 (20th thousand) but the first edition was about 1937-1938 probably the first printing of this verse, as Wolggang says. I have found offers of one or two of his pre-war volumes of poetry, but they are expensive.
Is he the same Hans Leip who, after the War, wrote (about 1957 for English editions), "The Story of the Gulf Stream"? It, and other books by this author, sold very well in translation.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 07:22 PM

That original tune for Lili Marleen is really lovely. Thanks Wolfgang.

The standard one has all kinds of overtones, both good and bad. The original has a much more innocent, less world weary, sound to it. Much more a love song. You can't imagine a squad of soldiers trudging along singing it.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 12:38 AM

Thanks for that link, McGrath.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 11:46 AM

I have just discovered (I should have thought of looking earlier -- Germans are supposed to be thorough!) that a complete archive of Der Spiegel is available on the Web, and that the article I mentioned ("Fruehling fuer Hitler und Lili Marleen") may be read at
http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/dokument/dokument.html?id=14319633&top=SPIEGEL
(That is plain text. A click will get you to a .pdf of the original article, including the pictures, but the latter are reduced to black & white and are rather garish.)

In the same issue, you can also amuse yourself with Reagan's inauguration (including a reproduction of an ad in which during his movie-star days he had praised Van Huysen wrinkle-free shirts), a thorough explication of Rubik's cube, and a no-minced-words review of the "Schwulenkomoedie" Taxi zum Klo.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Ron Davies
Date: 11 Mar 09 - 11:11 PM

"Fruehling fuer..." is an excellent article, even though some of the shows described don't really sound very enticing. Information on "Lili Marleen" is fascinating.   I'd be surprised if the soldier sent to Vienna to get records only came back with his girlfriend's record collection.   That would likely not be enough to make up the time the Belgrade broadcaster needed to fill, having only 54 records up to that point.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 10:19 AM

A little anecdote - another parody . . .

My Dad was a WW2 veteran and as a young boy, I remember him bringing his Kay guitar out at family gatherings where he would regale us with a small repertoire of favorites of his at the time. He'd play and sing "Red Sails in the Sunset," Zwei Gitarren am Meer" and "Schlafen in die Bahnhof," the last one to the tune of Lili Marleen.

The kids used to want him to repeat "Schalfen in die Bahnhof" as we liked the infectious tune.

It was not until I was in my 20s and learning German that I understood the song I was singing at the age of 7 or so.

One verse - all I remember now - went something like this:

Schlafen in die bahnhof; schlafen in der stadt,
viele zigaretten, beaucoup die chocolat,
zwanzig minuten ist genug; das kleine maedchen, das geht kaputt!
Es ist zeit vergehen nach hause, ich denke dass vergehen nach hause

. . . a lonely, homesick teenage soldier experiencing the pleasures he'd never see again for the small cost of a bar of chocolate . . .

I think he sang "home" instead of "nach hause" and the word order must have lacked the inversion of German, but one can only expect bastardized German under the circumstances!

I suspect there are many bawdy or ribald stanzas written to the tune of Lili Marleen, if for no other reason, the need at the time to change things up a bit.

Joe A.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp2qzmQBRGM


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 11:32 AM

I forgot to add still the original and best, Lale Anderson.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM

The 1939 version sung by Lale Andersen (Youtube)

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 02:13 PM

Lale Andersen has sung this song also to its original tune (acc. to German Wiki) but I have not found a tone document.

Another post war bawdy text variant:

Vor der Kaserne, Amerikan Soldat
Mit viele Cigaretten und beaucoup Chocolat
Alles is prime; alles is gut
Nur zwanzig Marks fur ein' Minute
Noch eins, Lili Marlene, Noch eins, Lili marlene.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: meself
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 03:04 PM

Thanks for the link to the Lale Anderson version. There is something wonderfully beautiful about her straightforward, unpretentious, unassuming, unaffected singing.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 04:27 PM

Nice one Wolfgang, although her voice didn`t sound as good as in the 1968 recording, could have been a better quality recording in 1968.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 08:39 PM

The remastered 1939 recording, remastered, is on a current cd. Very good.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 15 Jul 09 - 11:22 PM

I note that Andersen's 1939 performance includes the "Schon rief der Posten" stanza, but in 1968 she has dropped it.

The bawdy stanzas recalled by GUEST and Wolfgang have a counterpart in the Spiegel article (attributed to "ein unbekannter GI"):

Down by the Bahnhoff,
American soldat
Zie haben cigaretten
and a beaucoup chocolat.
Das is prima, das ist gut
A zwanzig Mark for fumph minute.
Vie fiehl, Lili Marleen?
Vie fiehl, Lili Marleen?


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Subject: Lilli Marleen - another singable translation
From: Genie
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 11:56 PM

I'm not crazy about either the commonly sung English version of this song or Frank's "fairly literal translation 1998," (ingeb.org) so I've tried to come up with my own "singable translation," based on my own (rudimentary) knowledge of German and on Franks' and others' translations (singable and otherwise).

Please let me know if any part of this is too far off base. I wanted to keep the meaning of the song but without awkward lyrics like "your lips so hale."

Genie
(PS, these lyrics actually do scan correctly. It's just a matter of where you put the rests in the measures.)


Outside the barracks, by the entrance gate,
There stood a street lamp,
That stands there still today.
There we we would want to meet again,
Beneath that lantern we would stand,
As once we did, my Lilli, as once, Lili Marleen. *

Both our shadows merging,
 seeming to be one.

How we loved each other
 was plain to everyone.

I'd stand there for all the world to see
If you stood there again with me
As once, Lilli Marleen, as once, Lilli Marlene.




Well she knows your foot steps,
 your gait so thoroughly.

She's burning every evening,
** though she's long forgotten me.
And should some ill fate fall to me,

Who underneath the lamp will be
With you, Lilli Marleen, with you, Lilly Marleen?



From out this quiet space
 and from this earthly scene,

Your beloved mouth lifts me up as in a dream.
Then when the night mists curl and bend,

By that old lamp I stand again,

As once, Lili Marleen, as once, Lilli Marleen.



*I modified this line a little, since in English we'd be unlikely to just say "we would stand there as once."

** I take it "brennt" in this context means something like "burns with passion," but I'm not sure.   Is he saying that Lilli is still yearning or on fire but she's forgotten him?
Or is he saying her memory burns in his mind but she has forgotten him?

If it's the latter, I'd change the line to something like:
"Her memory burns within me though she's long forgotten me."


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Genie
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 01:10 AM

BTW, a lot of what I find awkward in Frank's English version is that the accent ends up on the wrong sylLABle in some lines. E.g.,

fairly literal tr. by Frank, 1998 (ingeb.org)

At the barracks compound,
By the entry way
There a lantern I found
And if it stands today
Then we'll see each othER again
Near that old lantern we'll remain
As once Lili Marleen.

Both our shadows meeting,
Melding into one
Our love was not fleeting
And plain to everyone,
Then all the people shall behold
When we stand by that lantern old
As once Lili Marleen.

...

Well she knows your foot steps,
Your own determined gait.
Ev'ry evening waiting,
Me? A mem'ry of late.
Should something e'er hapPEN to me,
Who will unDER the lantern be,
With you Lili Marleen?

5. From my quiet existence,
And from this earthly pale,
Like a dream you free me,
With your lips so hale.
When the night mists swirl and churn,
Then to that lantern I'll return,
As once Lili Marleen.

I guess you could modify the phrasing to avoid those misplaced emphases, but it probably would require running several other words together very quickly. I'm also not crazy about phrases like "that lantern old" in a fairly modern song.   I'd avoid phrasing like that rather.   ; D


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 01:46 AM

Re the Youtube Lale Andersen version — the column on the right of related options lists an anti-Hitler version in English, 1943; but click on it &, tho the caption confirms that is what we should be hearing, what actually comes is another German version. What goes on here?


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 02:10 PM

Genie, a few suggestions, literal; I have not tried to match the music.-
Verse 2
Und alle Leute solln es sehn
wenn wir bei der lantern stehn-
And all the world would see our *desire (longing)
as we stood by the lantern...
*sehnen is one of those words with several meanings depending on context, and Leip's poetry is very 'sparse'.

brennen, brennt- another word with multiple meanings, one of which is to be aglow. I take it as- her image glows before me-

Leip's poetry is hard to put into English because we need more words to express his thoughts, thus it is difficult to match the music.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 02:24 PM

MtheGM- the heading anti-Hitler and English is completely misleading.
The version is a parody in German; I have not seen it in print.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 02:25 PM

Thank you, Q.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 06:42 PM

Q: I always supposed that "sehn" was short, not for "sehnen", but for "sehen", and referred back to "Dass sah' man gleich daraus" in the preceding line. If so, then the sense is: Anyone could see right away how much we liked each other; and everyone ought to have seen that.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 07:40 PM

Joe F. -I came up with sehnen after I wasn't happy with sehen, but I won't swear by it.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Amos
Date: 18 Nov 09 - 10:20 PM

Marlene Deotich's version on You Tube. Still stunning.


A


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,ART HELLYER ABCTV, NBCTV, SATELLITE MUSIC
Date: 03 May 11 - 04:28 PM

I HAVE PLAYED THE NUMBER ONE SOLDIERS SONG OF THE 20TH CENTURY, SUNG BY LALE ANDERSON THOUSANDS OF TIMES IN MY 55 PLUS YEARS RADIO-TELEVISION CAREER.......AND STILL TEAR-UP WHEN I PLAY IT..........NO ONE, BUT NO ONE SANG IT AS BEAUTIFULLY AS DID LALE ANDERSON.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 May 11 - 06:50 PM

Lale Anderson was a great singer of theatrical and popular song, under-appreciated by some.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 29 May 12 - 10:38 PM

On Lili Marlene/Marleen and a "camp follower" interpretation of the song- they're not necessarily mutually exclusive.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 30 May 12 - 01:58 AM

Anyone still interested in discussing "Lili Marleen?"


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 May 12 - 01:00 PM

Why? There is little new to add to the many comments in book, paper and online.
Interpretations that depart from the intent of the composer (camp follower, indeed! Why invent false material?) are anathema.

See my post of 25 Oct 02.
Perhaps this could be fleshed out if personal papers exist of Leip and his friends of the time. We know nothing of the details of the two women involved, but libeling them without corroboration is dirty.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 07:33 AM

Q, I agree with you about that. I sing a version of this (the Marlene Dietrich version) and think the line that suggested the camp-follower thing for is this.
"Give me a rose to show how much you care,
Tied to the stem a lock of golden hair,
Surely tomorrow you'll feel blue,
But then will come a love that's new

For you, Lili Marleen,
For you Lili Marleen.


Now since the song is from the perspective of a soldier singing about the girl he loves that he met under a lantern outside his barracks, that line always struck me as a bit puzzling. Why would a soldier singing about his girlfriend say that?


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 07:35 AM

Anyone have a clue about that line?


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: meself
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 09:58 AM

Lines like that are not at all unusual in old love songs; they're not much more than filler ("But if you leave me to love another,/You'll regret it all some day" - why would she leave him to love another if she's not a prostitute? while will she regret it unless he's a psychopathic control-freak? People seriously ask these kinds of questions).


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 12:51 PM

The lines from the Marlene Dietrich version are not in the original poem by Hans Leip.
They are the invention of the songwriter for Dietrich and have no bearing on the original; they do not bear serious discussion.

The original poem, Lili Marleen, is posted in mudcat, but to repeat the last verse of Leip's famous poem:

Aus dem stillen Raume,
aus der Erde Grund
hebt mich wir im Traume
dein verliebter Mund.
Wenn sich die späten Nebel drehn,
werd ich bei der Laterne stehn
wie einst, Lili Marleen.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 08:20 PM

Taking the lines in question as part of the song as it's come to be sung, I'd take it as implying the soldier is anticipating that he might well be killed in the war.

Where songs change, especially in translation, the changes are just as valid as the original, if they work. It isn't just folksongs that develop variants.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 02 Jun 12 - 09:54 PM

My brother calls this a folksong..


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Azoic
Date: 03 Jun 12 - 12:29 PM

June Tabor sings "Lili Marlene".   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lWDYeao6D4


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 12 - 01:32 PM

Lale Andersen 1939 recording of "Lili Marleen."
The song has many associated memories to one who was in a military unit in WW2 (such as myself). This recording by Lale Andersen will not be surpassed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLOKniirXHM&feature=fvwrel


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 03 Jun 12 - 06:15 PM

Not available, it says.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 01:08 PM

Just go to youtube and look for "Lili Marleen in German recorded 1939 Lale Anderson." They also have her singing it in a later recording.
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLOKniirXHM

Hans Leip wrote some interesting little marine poems. Probably no one interested here except Charley Noble, but I may post them in a Leip thread.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 02:15 PM

Link for sheet music, "ili Marleen."

http://www.hueby-im-netz.de/hueby/leip/Lili_Original.pdf

I believe already posted.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: Joe_F
Date: 04 Jun 12 - 08:24 PM

In the 1942 recording, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DXruigKRRc, I note that the "Schon rief der Posten" stanza is still there.


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST
Date: 15 May 13 - 09:05 AM

Dear All,

I'm researching a BBC Radio programme dedicated to this song and I am really interested in some of the comments posted here. I'm particuarly keen to hear from people with specif memories realted to this song - such as the person who was playing the accordian on a street corner who was requested to play it by a German man... If you have a personal memory to share about this song I'd be keen to hear from you. I can be reached at nicola.humphries@bbc.co.uk .

Good Wishes

Nicola Humphries


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Subject: RE: Aug 18th, 1941: Lili Marleen
From: GUEST,Lili Suzanne
Date: 15 Feb 16 - 05:22 AM

I cry every time I listen to the words of the song Lili Marlene. It dawned on me, many years ago, that the line:
"Maybe tomorrow you'll be blue, but then you'll find a love that's new" could mean that the woman Lili Marlene was a prostitute. I burst into tears, and cried my heart out over this revelation. I envisioned that a young girl who was growing up in the post WWI years in France or Belgium or Germany could have been forced by economic circumstances into the life of a streetwalker, hanging out below a streetlight. That idea will haunt me forever every time I hear the song.


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