Andrew lists a string of must-party sing-alongs from the olden days, called "Schlager" in German (a more or less direct translation of the term "hits"), which brought back memories. After all, these songs provided the soundtrack to my own childhood, spent during that crazy period when people painted their walls in three shades of mustard yellow, wore flares that reached from here to Rüdesheim - co-ordinated with Darwinian sideburns (if the wearer was male) - and danced the kasatchok on their flokatis in a state of blissful inebriation.
Not kidding. I was there.
And if I had my mother’s photo collection here, I would scan and post a picture of mini-me (circa 4 years old) in a teeny-tiny flokati coat. Since I don’t have the photo, this rare experience will have to wait for another time. Remind me, though.
But, fond memories of my moderate hippie childhood aside, I would like to make an addendum to the NfU list, which sadly leaves out a musical genre that seems very specific to the German taste and is no less pervasive than the Schlager: Italopop.
Because - surprise, surprise - they are mainly about one thing: the love stuff. Amore - happy amore, sad amore, constipated amore, amore vongole, more amore.
In 1982 or so there was even a German Italopop spoof by the German band Spliff:
Oh poor old brain that has so much completely unnecessary information in it! And I swear I didn't have to look any of this up - it's all just there, in my sad head.
So, this then is Italopop, which has been providing the musical accompaniment to the special Italo-German relationship post WWII for several decades now. Its halcyon days were the vain 1980s and 1990s, when the more banal strand of this kind of music provided a superficial alternative to Punk. No "London is drowning and I / live by the river" urban despair here, only "O Sole Mio".
Which is probably the reason why Italopop is of enduring popularity in this here country, played up and down German radio stations and in department stores (even in our sleepy little town), especially during the summer. August is the cruellest Italopop month.
Well, until recently.
But really, if you play any - any! - Italopop track backwards, you will hear the subcommittee of the Siena-East branch of the Partito Comunista Italiano sing Avanti Popolo (solo: Antonio Gramsci).
PS: No, the title of this post has nothing to do with its content. I just like the sound of it. It's the "Nicht aus dem Fenster lehnen" warning that you still come across in some German trains.