Mudcat Café message #672562 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45426   Message #672562
Posted By: Wilfried Schaum
20-Mar-02 - 09:49 AM
Thread Name: german marches
Subject: RE: german marches
to tatoo:
Correct words: Die Fahne hoch, die Reihen fest geschlossen ... (Raise the flag and close your rank).
This is not a corruption of a German folk song, but a new text to a soldiers song. A phenomenon you often can observe is that there are more poets than composers, and so a well known tune often is used to introduce a new text and make it popular.
This practice is well known in hymnals; in the Lutheran Song Book we find the tunes of an old German Epic about Hildebrand, several love songs by Gastoldi and Regnart, a soldiers report about the assault and taking of Pavia in 1525 and so on. With his best known xmas song Luther himself uses a tune sung by travelling singers used to report the latest news.
I detest the entire Nazi gang, but I must confess: The tune of "Die Fahne hoch", the song of Hitler's SA (Storm Troops) is a wonderful tune for marching; the words are of a certain mastership, too.
The tune is still in use at a certain German Fire Department with totally different words; when they sang it and some drunken listeners joined in singing the Nazi words it made a big upheaval in the press.
I wouldn't say the tune is the best marching song; there are songs fitting equally or better for the purpose.
What Rollo says about the wonderful Marshes is right, too. He only forgot to tell you that they are NOT to use for marches. Tried it once, near Bremen - forget it.

Wilfried