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Oktoberfest in Germany: Wiesn Songs You Have to Know

September 13, 2017
Destinations

Oh Oktoberfest. You have invested the world with your jolly brass bands, steins of beer, and lederhosen. If you are going to where it all started in Munich, you better come prepared with some traditional Oktoberfest songs. While you're at it-stop calling it Oktoberfest. The locals call it Wiesn. 

Common Questions about Oktoberfest Music: 

Will there be Polka?!

Sigh. Polka actually originates from Czechia and Poland so no, sorry. There is Oompah music which may sound similar to polka if, well, you aren't from around here. It is traditional music and is played by a brass band and other wind instruments. Typically by men in lederhosen and women in dirndls. Maybe I should bring my trombone...

Is it only Polka-I mean Oompah music?

Nope! You will hear a lot of familiar songs! They will cover famous German and American songs. There are also a lot of short songs and drinking songs so be ready.

Do people dance?

Definitely! It is, however, a no-judgement zone for the most part. I mean by the time anyone starts to dance they've had a few beers. Some people don't dance and that is fine too but...if the music moves you ;) 

However, do NOT dance on the tables. You can dance on the benches but NOT the tables. It is incredibly dangerous (beer slosh!) and you will get yelled at. If you are a repeat offender you will get kicked out.

Here are some of the most played Wiesn songs. Get practicing!

1. Ein Prosit

If you know one song, know this one. It is THE Wiesn song. Besides, it only has like 4 words. It is literally played like clockwork-every 15 minutes in the beer tents you should expect to sing along to this song. It is a salute to our friendship!

Lyrics: 

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!

Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!

At the end of the song there is a countdown to G’suffa where essentially you take a big drink. I think it is smart on the tents' to make people do this 4 times an hour. I bet they sell a lot of beer off of this song! 

The band will then ask if you are having fun with either "Ziggy Zocky Ziggy Zocky" or "Ticky Tocky Ticky Tocky" and you answer "Oi oi oi!"

Take a listen to the song so you can get the pronunciation down:

 

2. Fürstenfeld

Okay well I wouldn't say this is traditional in a sense because well, it is sung by STS and was first debuted in the '80s. It is HUGE and be aware that everyone will know all the words. Get practicing.

 

3. Fliegerlied

Okay, this is a children's song so it may seem a bit weird to be on here at a drinking party! But a remake in 2008 by Tim Toupet has made this song too good to NOT have it at Wiesn. It has a lot of moving and dancing so if you don't know the words, just pay attention to what everyone else is doing. It is pretty self explanatory.

When he says: Ich flieg, flieg, flieg,(I fly, fly, fly,)

Put your arms out like an airplane.

When he says: stark, stark, stark, (strong, strong, strong)

Flex your muscles! 

When he says: groß, groß, groß (tall, tall, tall)

Get really tall!

When he says: Ich spring, spring, spring (jump, jump, jump)

You jump!

He says: Schwimm, schwimm, schwimm (swim swim swim)

You swim!

When he says: Ich nehme, nehme, nehme bei dir Hand

Grab the hand of the person next to you! Preferably if you know them but hey you might make new friends this way.

You may see people acting like tigers or giraffes or whatever....it is a great time! I am getting so excited just listening to this

Here is one song with the lyrics: 

 

4. Hey Baby!

You may already know this song-it was pretty popular in the US. And you definitely do if you were ever in marching band (thanks Mr. Lewis). Words are in English so you should be okay. This song exploded in popularity over the last few years so you should hear it quite a few times! DJ Otzi brought it over to the German speaking world. Thanks, Otzi.

 

5. In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus

Okay now THIS is definitely traditional. Please don't try to yodel unless you can actually yodel.

 

6. Das Esellied (Iha Iha Iha oh)

Another more traditional song! This oompah song works with anyone in any language! The only words you really need to know are "iha iha iha oh" and you are good! 

 

7. Die Hände zum Himmel

Hands to the heavens! No this is not a gospel song, but a demand that you put your hands in the air to this song.

 

8. Skandal im Sperrbezirk

God we just can't get away from this song can we? So this song is from the '80s and literally means...uh....Scandal in the Prostitute-Free Zone. Well, it's a fun song and there is no doubt you will hear it.

 

9. Viva Colonia

This is in reference to the German city of Cologne. Often in Munich it is changed to Viva Bayern! Understandably. Watch out for the kick line that likes to form to this song! 

 

10. Tage wie diese

This song became popular in 2012. It is a bit more rock-heavy so prepare to rock out! 

 

11. Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht

This song came to life and popularity in 1965 and is still a big Wiesn hit.

 

12. Bayern Des Samma Mia

This is a very tradidional Bavarian song and I LOVE IT. It REALLY demonstrates the Bavarian dialect moreso than the other songs. I mean, when I was first learning German I wouldn't understand this song. What the hell is a mia?? Oh...mir..got it. It basically translate to "Bavarian, that's what we are!" A great way to make friends with the locals.They also talk a lot about Bavarian beer and bread in this song. All of my favorite things.

This video has some funny Germans, a brass band, and lyrics. Enjoy. (Ignore the creepy preview shot...it is a good song.)

Oh, and his seemingly obscene gesture is him drinking "Bavarian beer".

 

13. Anton Aus Tirol

This song makes me giggle. This song got popular in 2000 or so and the remix has served us well at Wiesn. Oh Anton from Tyrol...

 

14. Cowboy und Indianer

Okay. Remove all ideas of political correctness. You know how kids would play cowboys and Indians? Okay well here is a song. It was originally a children's song and it is a bit strange and outdated but I think it is kept around mostly for the lasso dance and finger pointing guns. I don't really get it but I am sure you will hear it.

 

15. Take Me Home, Country Roads

Oh John Denver. This song is great all over the world and it is a favorite for Wiesn for some reason. If you don't already know the words get on it! Seriously, how do you not know the words?!

 

16. Rock Mi

This song was a wein hit in 2013. It is a One-Direction style band called voXXclub. It has lots of clapping and stomping and boys in lederhosen. I think those are the main reasons for its success. Very strange music video, I will say that.

 

17. Wahnsinn Hölle, Hölle, Hölle

While not traditional, it really gets the Germans up and moving! Prepare to dance! 

 

18. Who the Fuck is Alice? AKA: Next Door to Alice

This song is in English but there has been a very important addition to after the chorus. Take a listen.

 

Honorable Mentions:

99 Luftballons - Really does this song NOT get played at a German event? 

Atemlos durch die Nacht - Popular dance song from 2013

Angels by Robbie Williams - I don't know why? 

Sweet Caroline - Pretty sure everyone around the world knows the chorus to this song. Make sure you do the "spirit fingers"

 

Seven Nation Army

 

YMCA

Sweet Home Alabama

Don't Stop Believing

| Voyaging Viking | Oktoberfest in Munich: Songs You Have to Know
Siggi Einarson

My name is Siggi-dubbed by my American friends because of the Icelandic yogurt-I am a writer, polyglot, and aspiring expat, not a cup of yogurt (unfortunately).

My love for travelling began with a trip to Iceland and Sweden to visit my family when I was just 15 years old. I spent so long dreaming of the possibilities of life abroad but I always figured these dreams were too far reached. Flash forward almost 10 years, here I am again, both cursing and thanking this damn travel bug.

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