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17 Easy German Songs That Are Surprisingly Easy to Sing Along To

Tired of memorizing German vocabulary and grammar rules day and night? Sometimes, you need to relax and learn by singing along to these easy German songs!

Sometimes you need to take a break from studying those maddening tenses and relax into singing along to some easy German songs. And at this point, the research supports what we all kind of knew: that music helps with language learning.In fact, Sean Hopwood, who founded translations services provider Day Translations, says he learned Spanish as a kid partly by listening to salsa cassettes he picked up around his Latin-populated neighborhood.

Music is a great part of learning German.

Singing along to German songs helps you:

  • Memorize vocab clusters
  • Nail the German accent
  • Get a broader picture of German culture

And you don’t have to go dancing through the streets of Berlin to get a taste for German language music. Here are 17 easy German songs that will catch you in their hooks and push that vocab deep into your cortex. Plus, you can share these tunes with anyone who says German isn’t beautiful!

17 Easy German Songs That Are Surprisingly Easy to Sing Along To

1. “99 Luftballoons” by Nena

This MTV era pop classic is still perhaps the high bar for German hits in America. Though the English version may be better known over here, the original was auf Deutsch. It pairs thematic explorations of the follies of war with a danceable beat, some catchy hooks, and great hair.This ranks quite high on our easy German songs list.

2. “Träume” by Françoise Hardy

French songstress Françoise Hardy was better known for her mellow 60s yeh-yeh style, but she gained enough popularity around Europe to release records in Italian, English, and German as well. This 1970 hit has simple lyrics and a chilled out pace that makes it easy to keep up with.

3. “Du” by David Hasselhoff

We may have missed out on David Hasselhoff’s style smashing musical career in the U.S. of Boring-Old-A, but Germany sure didn’t! So get out your leather vest, pomade your quaff, put some pink neon lights behind your houseplants, belt this one out in the bathroom mirror and du not Hassell der Hoff!

4. “Das Model” by Kraftwerk

German experimental quartet Kraftwerk had a tremendous influence on electronic music, from synthpop to hip-hop to electropunk. Their song “Computer Love,” which may have prophesied the world of Tinder and match.com (or worse, the lonely desolation of craigslist), was even ripped off--oh sorry, tributed--by Coldplay. Here are the titans of German electro playing for what appears to be a studio audience of well mannered old ladies.

5. “Fuchs Geh’ Voran” by Scorpions

This single is a lesser-known German-language hit by the immortal hair metal troupe Scorpions (no, really, they’ve been playing for over 50 years!). Originally from Hanover, they released this b-side in 1975 under the name “The Hunters,” and rumor has it not a moment’s passed that it hasn’t been stuck in someone’s head, somewhere, ever since.

6. “Major Tom (Völlig Losgelöst)” by Peter Schilling

You probably know this easy German song. You may even know that it pays tribute to the David Bowie classic “Space Oddity”. But did you know that Peter Schilling originally recorded and released it in German? Four, three, two, one…

7. “Tage wie diese” by Die Toten Hosen

The band name translates literally to “The Dead Pants.” But we foreigners might not immediately pick up on its real meaning. It’s a term used for dry riverbeds, but that’s still not it. A dry riverbed, or “tote Hose,” is a figure of speech for a lifeless party where nothing’s happening. The irony in this name speaks to the need for localization instead of literal translation. And when the veteran Düsseldorf rockers of Die Toten Hosen aren’t teaching us about cultural awareness, they’re unleashing anthemic pop-punk to crowds at festivals where emo never died.

8. “Fallshirm” by Mia

Not to be confused with British rapper M.I.A., Mia deliver solid, Berlin-based indie new wave that recalls Blondie, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and… well, Berlin!

9. “Ode an die Freude” from the 9th symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven

Remember when music was only performed live? It was a long time ago. Ludwig van’s classic barn-burner contains pagan, romantic ideals about the divine magic of nature that could’ve come straight out of a Masonic lodge.

10. “Nur ein Wort” by Wir Sind Helden

Wir Sind Helden make approachable pop rock in the vein of Rainer Maria and Interpol. And this cool one-take video has cleverly timed title cards to help you practice die Worte.h

11. “Ohne Dich (Schlaf Ich Heut Nacht nicht ein)” by Münchner Freiheit

The hair. The hair! Are you seeing a theme on this list? The title of this song shows the weakness of machine translation. Google Translate doesn’t recognize the ein as part of einschlaffen (to fall asleep). So instead of “Without You (I don’t fall asleep tonight)” it turns up “Without You (I don’t sleep tonight)” and has a useless “ein” at the end. Human-powered translation wins!

12. “Edelweiß” by Rogers and Hammerstein

Originally written as an English language show tune for the enduring middlebrow crowd-pleaser The Sound of Music, this faux-Austrian tune is also beautiful when rendered auf Deutsch.

13. “Auf Uns” by Andreas Bourani

You may recognize Ausberg singer/songwriter Andreas Bourani as one of the judges on The Voice of Germany. Here he delivers a heartfelt celebration of life. Ah, the majesty of those moments big and small.

14. “Alles nur geklaut” by Die Prinzen

Drag, synths, and more leather vests! Die Prinzen pay homage to many of the bands and genres already listed here, even donning wigs to carry forward the theme of amazing hair.

15. “Atemlos durch die Nacht” by Helene Fischer

Helene Fischer’s party popper celebrates the joyful abandon of the night with nary a trace of irony or self-awareness to be found. Is it refreshingly naive, or is the nightlife really this fun and innocent in big city Germany?

16. “Eisbär” by Grauzone

This 1980 proto-punk jam was a cult hit in its native Switzerland, and now you can add it to your list of favorites! The deadpan synthpop weirdness recalls Gary Numan and Kraftwerk, while the lyrics reflect on the universal longing to become a polar bear and forget about your worries. Oh, to live in a world without climate change and top 40!

17. “Moskau” by Dschinghis Khan

You may remember this video from the dawn of internet meme culture. But if not, well, consider yourself initiated into the cult of Munich’s 70s disco sensationalists Dschinghis Khan. Life will never be the same. Hey!

Want More Easy German Songs?

Many of these bands, like Scorpions, Die Toten Hosen, Mia and Wir Sind Helden, have lots of videos on YouTube. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see them live when you take a trip to Germany. You are planning your trip to Germany, aren’t you?And while you’re at it, why not dive into German cinema and sample some of the world’s great directors, like Fritz Lang, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog and Rainer Werner Fassbinder?

Let us know which of these easy German songs you plan to sing along to!

Continue learning German

Music is a fun and easy way to get started in learning German, but don't let that stop your journey. You can also check out these free language and German resources to get you started:

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