Planning a trip to Berlin? Here is a list of Berlin Songs – songs that in one way or the other I would consider ‘Berlin Songs’: songs about Berlin, songs made in Berlin, songs refferring to the Berlin Wall etc. So if you want to get into a special ‘Berlin Mood‘ you may want to listen to some of the songs – even if some of them may be in German. Please feel free to suggest your favourite Berlin Song in the comments below… Thank you!
“Singularity”, New Order
The video of New Order’s Singularity brings back the Berlin 80ies, showing footage from the Mark Reeder documentary B-Movie – Lust and B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979 – 1989 (Read on…). Listen to the song / see the video at vimeo.com.
“Where Are We Now?”, David Bowie
Another Berlin song by Bowie, released in 2013 on the album The Next Day
see the video / listen to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWtsV50_-p4
“Moving To Berlin”, Fionn Regan
released in 2012 on the album The Bunkhouse Vol 1
artist’s homepage: www.fionnregan.com
“Berlin”, Elkin Carrie
I accidentally ‘found’ this song – and I really like it a lot… “The girls like Berlin like Berlin in the snow – The walls come a fallin’ just as she knows…“. The song appears on Elkin Carrie‘s 2010 album “Call It My Garden“. You can watch a live performance here on YouTube: Carrie Elkin – Berlin
“Choose your Fate” (Berlin Song), Max Koffler
I found out about this song by Max Koffler (video here on youtube) when I was scanning through the comments on an article headlined “10 things you can do in Berlin, but not in the US” – the commentator just left the note “and you can AIR YOUR BRAIN”. I wrote a rant about the article over here: “10 things you can do in Berlin – but should you?!”
“Everyone is moving to Berlin”, Lail Arad
The song was released in 2010 on Lail Arad’s album Someone New (Notify Music ).
When I heard the song – or actually saw the video for the first time, I kind of panicked – I just thought ‘No! Please NOT everyone!!‘
- see the video / listen to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrgnkd-Lsl8
- find Lail Arad on facebook: www.facebook.com/lailaradmusic
“Come to Berlin”, Barbara Morgenstern
Another great pop song about Berlin – made in Berlin, released in 2008 on Berlin label Monika Enterprise.
- Artist homepage: www.barbaramorgenstern.de
- Check also the video, shot ‘on location’ – see the video / listen to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd8tMz8KM6E
- Come To Berlin Mixes: barbaramorgenstern.de/press/come-to-berlin
- Interview with Barbara Morgenstrn: theguardian.com/music/2012/jun/27/barbara-morgenstern-sounds-europe-germany
“Tiergarten”, Rufus Wainright
The song Tiergarten was recorded at studio Saal 4, Berlin and released in 2007 on Rufus Wainright’s fifth studio album Release the Stars. Besides the rather obvious reference of the song Tiergarten to the Berlin park named Tiergarten, the album has some other references to Rufus’ stay in Berlin. I would consider it a ‘Berlin-Album’.
And I just love how Rufus’ English pronunciation of “Tiergarten” just sounds a bit like “Tear-Garden”. The Tiergarten is Berlin’s central park – literally: it’s a park, and it’s quite ‘central’ in the middle of the city. It’s by far not as large as Yew York’s Central Park, but you can still stroll around for hours, enjoying the quiet and green of a large scale inner city park. The word “Tier” (English: “animal”) is referring to the fact that the park was once used as a hunting ground.
See the video / listen to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mc8bI3it64
See also: www.frogcircus.com
“Der Fernsehturm” (‘The TV-Tower’), Lexy & K-Paul
released in 2002 on Low Spirit, Berlin
artist homepage: www.lexykpaul.eu
Berlin Minimal Electro House track – with a twist – about the Berlin TV-Tower
see also: “Der Fernsehturm” on the homepage of Lexy & K-Paul
see the video / listen to the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLYXphDG3hQ
“Berlin Mitte Boy”, Berlin Mitte Boys
released in 2001 on MFS
further details on discogs.com
To me the song describes a late-late 90ies ‘Berlin Mitte Feeling’ that is just lost. The nights were long, the drinks cheap – and there was always an after party after the after party… or so… The song is also an homage to – or an interpretation of – or actually technically a cover version of Pet Shop Boys’ “New York City Boy”.
“Görli Görli” by P.R. Kantate
Hommage to Kreuzbegrs Görlitzer Bahnhof “Görli”, melody is ‘borrowed’ from the 80ies reggae-hit “Girlie, Girlie” by Sophia George.
“Dickes B”, Seeed, 2001
This is how sitting in a Berlin park on a saturday afternoon or beeing at a house warming party felt in the summer of 2001 (to me)
“Big in Berlin”, Die Sterne, 1999
This is how walking down a Berlin street on a friday night felt in the late 90ies (to me)
“Run to the Sun”, Erasure, 1994
The music video for Erasure’s “Run to the Sun” is basically set on top of the Berlin World Clock at Alexanderplatz.
See the video / listen to the song: Erasure – Run to the Sun (vevo.com)
“Summer In Berlin”, Alphaville
released in 1984 on the album Forever Young
artist homepage: alphaville.nu
A bit sad, but nevertheless great summer song about summer in Berlin by 80ies German Synthie-Pop legend Alphaville
See the video / listen to the song: youtube.com/watch?v=hpIBYO88n38
Released on their second album Red Skies Over Paradise in 1981
Artist homepage: www.fischer-z.com
The song Berlin is an all time classic – timeless – and listening to it you’ll probably wonde: is it really from 1981?! In my honest ears it sounds so ‘now’!
“First we take Manhattan”, Leonard Cohen
“ … then we take Berlin …”
“After Berlin”, Neil Young
See a live performance from 1982 on Vimeo: Neil Young, After Berlin
“Berlin” (“Ich steh’ auf Berlin”), Ideal
The song describes how the “me” character re-arrives in Berlin, Berlin-Kreuzberg – the smell of food, the neighbours, …
“Berlin by Night”, PVC
The band PVC is one of Germany’s first punk rock bands – and one of the first bands playing at Kreuzberg’s venue SO36. The song ‘Berlin by night’ was re-released a couple of times.
“Heroes” / “Helden”, David Bowie
I would consider ‘Heroes’ / ‘Helden’ Bowie’s first Berlin song – or maybe even The Berlin Song. ‘Heroes’ / ‘Helden’ plays an important part in the movie “Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo” – the reality inspired early 80ies movie about a teenage drug addict West-Berlin girl that tries to – have a good time? …survive? …get the next shot?
“Kreuzberger Nächte” / “Kreuzberg Nights”, Gebrüder Blattschuss
The song “Kreuzberger Nächte” was released in 1978 on the album Bla-Bla-Blattschuss. As the name suggests the song is about the long nights in Kreuzberg. It somehow documents what I would call ‘innocence’ of Kreuzberg before it turned into the Kreuzberg of the Eighties.
Listen to the song / see a live performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKaIehw4ItY
“Holidays in the sun”, Sex Pistols
At first glance this may not be the most obvious “Berlin Song” – but looking at the lyrics, there are some lines that do actually clearly refer to Berlin and the Berlin Wall – or actually there is a whole part of the song dedicated to the Berlin Wall: “I’m gonna go over the Berlin Wall …“. The meaning of this? I’m not so sure. Do you know? Please feel free to contact me and/or leave a comment below… Thanks!
- List of songs about Berlin (wikipedia.org)