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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
Peter T. 21 Aug 01 - 08:45 PM
Little Hawk 21 Aug 01 - 11:03 PM
masato sakurai 22 Aug 01 - 12:44 AM
Genie 22 Aug 01 - 01:14 AM
Joe_F 22 Aug 01 - 07:46 PM
Wolfgang 23 Aug 01 - 04:14 AM
Gareth 23 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM
Joe_F 23 Aug 01 - 06:40 PM
Wolfgang 24 Aug 01 - 05:40 AM
GUEST 03 Sep 01 - 09:52 PM
toadfrog 03 Sep 01 - 10:26 PM
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
GUEST, jets 09 Nov 01 - 10:30 AM
Stewart 23 Oct 02 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 23 Oct 02 - 01:38 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 02 - 04:43 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 02 - 05:14 PM
Art Thieme 23 Oct 02 - 07:36 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 02 - 08:39 PM
GUEST,ian 24 Oct 02 - 04:38 AM
Wolfgang 24 Oct 02 - 04:57 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 Oct 02 - 05:10 AM
Genie 24 Oct 02 - 03:46 PM
Genie 24 Oct 02 - 04:06 PM
Genie 24 Oct 02 - 04:11 PM
GUEST 24 Oct 02 - 04:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Oct 02 - 06:25 PM
Genie 24 Oct 02 - 11:59 PM
Ian 25 Oct 02 - 04:10 AM
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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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