Monday, December 04, 2006

Germany: Enjoying the classics or painfully stuck in the past?

2 Notes before we start on today's post:

Thank you so much for the amazing response to the oh so hot topic of twin eggs! A reader participation record was certainly set there!

Secondly, a warning that this post may be rather generationally limited. If you weren't listeng to popular music at the end of the nineties, then you might be a bit lost. Sorry Grandma and Grandpa, I'll try to make the next one intergenerational again. With that said, here we go.

Today's Post:

Germans love Lauryn Hill. I know most of you over there in America are still stuck on the idea that Germans love David Hasselhoff, which they do, but that is neither here nor there. Germans love Lauryn Hill.

Let me specify what I mean by love. Germans actually love Lauryn Hill in the same way that they love David Hasselhoff. If you ask your average German if they love David Hasselhoff there is a 90% chance that they will say "no". If, however, you ask your average German to sing or hum part of a David Hasselhoff song (yes, he was a singer here), there is a 90% chance that they will be able to do it. So what I'm talking about is a more passive kind of love. A simple, long-lasting appreciation. A refusal to forget.

And so, in that sense, Germans love Lauryn Hill. When I get together with my old Gymnasium (German high school) friends, we still listen to Lauryn Hill. I was out at a pretty cool bar in Marburg over the weekend and Lauryn Hill was playing. It doesn't matter if we're talking about early Fugees or the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill--the Germans love it all. Germany refuses to let go of Lauryn Hill.

I suppose this interests me so much because it is in such stark contrast to the new-music-cult of America. The constant search for new music that no one else has heard and the pressure to know all the newest names. Maybe it's just the posse that that I run with, but knowing the lastest music trends is just part of the game. And yet, as I lightly poke fun at Germany, I cannot say which I prefer. While I miss the constant influx of new music very much, I also feel way more cool in Germany, where I rarely run the risk of outing myself as someone whose knowledge of music is a few weeks behind.


j. said...

And don't forget: Germans think, Elvis is still alive!

Katie said...

I was laughing when thinking about 90 per cent of Germans knowing a David Hasselhoff song. In Canada, there are perhaps several examples of this but one song I think every single Canadian knows is this weird cartoon National Film Board commerical that was set to the song "log drivers waltz." It was this weird cultural moment that nobody can get out of their bloody head.

For he goes birling down a-down the white water
That's where the log driver learns to step lightly,
It's birling down, a-down white water
A log driver's waltz pleases girls completely.

Katie said...

And I just found the clip on You Tube and I got strangely excited. Point made.

Joyce said...

the Japanese love Mariah Carey. or Malaya Calii, as they might be prone to call her. They also love the Carpenders.

Rhiannon said...

OH MY GOD KT - i was at a party on saturday, and for some reason EVERYONE started singing that song! i had not heard it in a million years, and now, here it is in my life, twice in 3 days!
my, the universe works in mysterious ways!