Eerie but good Music

I might be ahead of the posse on this one but since Halloween is drawing near I was thinking of songs and pieces of music which would be perfectly suited for “All Hallows Eve”. This way you can have at least one playlist ready for the event.

Starting off with a classical piece.

Flower Duet

The “Flower Duet” is a famous duet for sopranos from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, first performed in Paris in 1883. The duet takes place in act 1 of the three-act opera, between characters Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest, and her servant Mallika, as they go to gather flowers by a river.

 

Gymnopédie No. 1

The Gymnopédies are the first compositions with which Erik Satie tried to cut himself loose from the conventional 19th century “salon music” environment of his father and stepmother. In September 1887, Satie composed three sarabands (Trois Sarabandes), taking a quote from Contamine’s La Perdition by way of introduction.

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Your Ghost

Your Ghost” is the first track from Kristin Hersh’s debut solo studio album Hips and Makers. It features additional backing vocals from Michael Stipe of R.E.M..

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Where the Wild Roses Grow

Where the Wild Roses Grow” is a duet by Australian rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and pop singer Kylie Minogue. It is the fifth song and lead single from the band’s ninth studio album, Murder Ballads (1996), released on Mute Records.

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Gonna Get Close to You

Gonna Get Close to You is a song by Dalbello that first appeared on her album whomanfoursays, while an extended version was released as a single.

However in 1986 the Seattle based Heavy Metal band covered the song on their album “Rage for Order”.

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Their version is actually better and creepier, it is one of those rare occasions where a cover version is better.

 

How You Gonna See Me Now”

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How You Gonna See Me Now” is a song written by Alice Cooper, Bernie Taupin, and Dick Wagner, performed by Cooper and produced by David Foster. It was released on Cooper’s album, From the Inside.

If this song was sung by any other artist it would have been one of the most romantic ballads. But this being an Alice , the Prince of Darkness,Cooper song it becomes clear that the song is actually but a mental patient being released from the mental hospital.

 

 

Tubular Bells

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Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, recorded when he was 19 and released in 1973 when he was 20.

It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company’s success. Vivian Stanshall provided the voice of the “Master of Ceremonies” who reads off the list of instruments at the end of the first movement. The opening piano solo was used briefly in the soundtrack to the William Friedkin film The Exorcist (released the same year), and the album gained considerable airplay because of the film’s success.The 1st time (and only time) I watched that movie I stayed awake for two nights afterwards. The music still brings back that uncomfortable feeling I had then.

Finishing off with a classical piece.

O Fortuna, this must be one of the creepiest pieces of music ever recorded, together with Tubular Bells.

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The music composed by Carl Orff was the soundtrack to one of the all time classic Horror movies “The Omen”

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It really is the perfect music for the movie.

This version is performed by the Andre Rieu Orchestra.

Some more Music of WWII-Glen Miller style.

It wasn’t all death and destruction during WWII. Music did play an important role to boost the morale of the troops but also of the citizens in the war torn countries.When ever(how little that was) they would hear some music it would lift their spirits and gave them some strength to carry on.

This is dedicated to the music of Glen Miller, a mystery himself.

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Miller spent the last night before his disappearance at Milton Ernest Hall, near Bedford. On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to make arrangements to move his entire band there in the near future. His plane, a single-engined UC-64 Norseman, USAAF serial 44-70285, departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, on the outskirts of Bedford and disappeared while flying over the English Channel.

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Never to be seen again, his disapearance was never solved

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Little known Irish performers

They were little know basically because no one on the emerald isle wanted to claim them.Call me a big old soft but I actually didn’t mind the songs they sang.

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Baltimora was an Italian group active in the 1980s. They are often considered a one-hit wonder in the United Kingdom and the United States due to the success they experienced with “Tarzan Boy” compared to their other singles. In other European countries, including their native Italy, the group enjoyed more success.

They may have been based in Italy but the singer and front man was a certain Jimmy McShane from Derry.

D:Ream is a Northern Irish pop rock and dance group. They had a UK #1 hit with “Things Can Only Get Better” in 1994 as well as eight more top 40 hits. They released two albums, both of which reached the UK top five.

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The group had an all-male line-up which varied in number, but mainly centred on lead singer Peter Cunnah. The live band included keyboard player Brian Cox, who is now a professor of physics and a television presenter; although Cunnah, as the only official member, normally played keyboards (along with all other instruments) on studio recordings.

 

Boy George was born George Alan O’Dowd in Eltham, London, on 14 June 1961, to Jeremiah and Dinah O’Dowd, and had four brothers and one sister.

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He may have been born in London but his parents came from Cahir in Co.Tipperary. Rumor has it that when George was a teenager his dad told him “You’re a Boy George” the name stuck.

 

Mama’s Boys were a 1980s hard rock/heavy metal group from County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland featuring the three McManus brothers Pat, a.k.a. “The Professor”, (guitar and occasionally fiddle), John (bass and vocals), Tommy (drums). Later in their career they became a four-piece adding Rick Chase on vocals in 1985 who was later replaced by Keith Murrell in 1987 due to Rick’s ill-health. Keith was later replaced with Mike Wilson in 1989.

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Although I expect Rock aficionado will probably know they were Irish.

 

 

Whatever happened to the Irish Music?

I am not talking about the traditional Irish music. I know the Fleadh Cheoils are going from strength to strength.

I am really referring to the Irish Pop and Rock music. I grew up listening to the likes of Thin Lizzy, Rory Gallagher and even enjoyed the ole tunes by the Dubliners.

When I first heard U2 ,  I thought they were great. Such a distinctive sound which differentiated them from other New Wave bands. But bands like An Emotional Fish, In Tua Nua and Aslan all had the special sound which made them sound so much fresher then their UK and US counterparts.

Rock giants like Gary Moore and the Cranberries( We’ll ignore their The Cranberry Saw us era) put their stamp on the wacky world of Rock N Roll. Great songs like Over the Hills and Far away and Zombie became regular anthems.

Clannad,Enya,Sinead O’Connor all massive stars in their respective genres.

Although we have a few really good singer/songwriters  like Hozier, Declan O’Rourke,Imelda May and Jack L.

To the outside world it appears that Irish music is the likes of Boyzone,Westlife,Jedward and that one from One Direction. I like Louis Walsh as a person but his stamp on the Irish music is in my opinion destroying the Irish music scene, but that is my opinion.His newest project “Hometown” are at best amateurs

But even when you look at some of the musical guests on the Late Late show and other talk shows it has gone so blend. Nathan Carter, Crystal Swing, really what did happen to Irish Music?

Forgotten History-the Music of WWII

This is a more positive blog about WWII.

Amidst all the suffering,evil and fear there was also a bit more romantic notion to World War  it was the first conflict to take place in the age of electronically mass distributed music.And to be honest even though I am a massive Rock fanatic there is no denying the music of WWII was great and did form the foundation of modern day music.

Here are just some clips of the songs I think capture the spirit of the WWII music the best. Feel free to comment and recommend other tunes. Sit back and enjoy.

This one was released before the US entered the war but I am including it since it was a popular tune in Europe at the start of the war.

The Music from the eighties.

The 80’s was a mixed decade in relation to music. There were some really great songs and some really rubbish ones. Although I was a genuine Rocker and Metal head I have to admit that Tainted love by soft cell is the ultimate 80s song, but that is my opinion.

It was the decade that introduces us to the new romantics like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and a Flock of Seagulls.

1981 --- Members of Duran Duran are, from left: Simon Le Bon (vocals), John Taylor (bass), Andy Taylor (guitar), Nick Rhodes (keyboards), Rodger Taylor (drums). --- Image by © Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis

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1985 --- Members are, from left to right, John Keeble, Gary Kemp, Tony Hadley, Martin Kemp, and Steve Norman. --- Image by © Fabio Nosotti/CORBIS
It was also the decade where the rock gods decided to turn up the volume by a few notches with the likes of Metallica,Slayer and Megadeth

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Political awareness also became more prominent in the 80’s songs like “Free Nelson Mandela” by the Special AKA or the sweet sounding but nevertheless poltical themed “Give me hope Joanna” by Eddie Grant both songs directed to the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Or Sting’s indictment to the cold war “Russians” to name but a few. The pinnacle of course were the live aid concerts in 1985 aimed to raise awareness for the starvation in Sub Saharan Africa, and mainly Ethiopia, the concert which was a comeback of sorts for Queen.

We did see the return of Ska with bands like Selecter,The Specials and Madness.

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Unfortunately some white supremacists skin heads did hijack the SKA music for their cause which did make the music a bit controversial for a while, albeit unfounded, just because some fools with the intellectual capacity of amoeba use you art to further their “cause” doesn’t mean you are part of that movement.

Although you were still expected to pledge allegiance to the Rock,New Wave,Pop,Punk and Hip Hop gods, it was accepted that occasionally you could deviate from your music.In the 80’s music forms were nearly like religions, there were no icons or artifacts to define your musical religion it was by the way you styled your hair people could see what music religion you belonged to.

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Since I had pledged my allegiance to the Rock God I was technically forbidden to buy singles. That was just not the done thing for Metal Heads. We were to wait for an album to come out or wait patiently by the radio and wait for your favorite rock track to be played so you could tape it.

It was also the decade when Michael Jackson turned from a fine  looking African American into a scary white dude

It was a great decade for Albums though.

This is a poll of some of the best albums of the 80’s just choose your favorite one or let me know which one was your favorite album in the comments field.

 

1987 ACDC Back in Black Appetiet for destruction aretha franklin who's zoomin who Born in the USA Eye of the tiger Hysteria INXS-Kick1 madonna-like-a-virgin Mindcrime One step beyond rio Robbie Robertson sting stones Steel Wheels ThrillerVan Halen 1984

Elvis and the Colonel

It may surprise many people but Elvis never performed outside of the Americas. The only country outside the US he ever toured was Canada, and even with that it was a short tour of about 5 concerts.In 1957 Elvis performed two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 2, two shows at the Auditorium in Ottawa on April 3, and one show at Empire Stadium in Vancouver on August 31.

Elvis did spend some time in Germany serving the US army, and whilst there he did visit Paris and he did have a stop over in Scotland.Between 1958 and 1960

The reason for not going abroad is not because he didn’t like travelling or was afraid to fly, which some have suggested, no the reason is more simple than that albeit also a bit sinister.

The reason was Colonel Tom Parker, he is often seen as the man behind Elvis’s success but in fact he wasn’t a nice man at all.

Colonel Thomas Andrew “Tom” Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk; June 26, 1909 – January 21, 1997)

“The Colonel” displayed a ruthless devotion to his own financial gain, rather than his client’s interests, and took more than the traditional 10–15 percent of his earnings (reaching up to 50 percent by the end of Presley’s life). Presley said of Parker, “I don’t think I’d have ever been very big if it wasn’t for him. He’s a very smart man. For many years, Parker falsely claimed to have been born in the United States, but it eventually emerged that he had been born in the Netherlands.

http://www.geni.com/people/Dries-van-Kuijk-alias-The-Colonel-Tom-Parker/6000000034574144222

These are some of the theories believed Col.Parker used as excuses .

  • Parker’s claims that foreign security was poor, relative to the USA.
  • Parker’s belief that outside influences (managers, agents etc.) would inform Presley of how unusual his contract with Parker was.
  • Parker’s claim that there was a lack of venues large enough to accommodate a star of Presley’s stature. All of these excuses were given to Presley when he would show an interest in touring abroad and, known to avoid confrontation, Presley would never argue against them.
  • Some promoters wanted to charge fans the equivalent of $100 per ticket. Parker did not wish the fans to be ripped off, and this was another reason he turned down overseas offers.

In fact Col.Parker had entered the USA illegally

At age 15, Parker moved to Rotterdam, gaining employment on the boats in the port town.At age 17, he first displayed signs of wanting to run away to America to “make his fortune”.A year later, with enough money to sustain him for a short period, he entered America illegally by jumping ship from his employer’s vessel. During his first visit there, he traveled with a Chautauqua educative tent show, before returning briefly to the Netherlands. there were questions about a murder in Breda in which Parker might have been a suspect or at least a person of interest.This might have motivated Parker to avoid seeking a passport, as the Netherlands has an active extradition treaty with the United States, and Parker might have wanted to avoid criminal arrest by Dutch authorities in that case.

Parker returned to America at age 20, finding work with carnivals due to his previous experience in the Netherlands.He enlisted in the United States Army, taking the name “Tom Parker” from the officer who interviewed him, to disguise the fact he was an illegal immigrant.

He never became Colonel either, in fact he had deserted the Army He was punished with solitary confinement, from which he emerged with a psychosis that led to two months in a mental hospital,and he was discharged from the Army due to his mental condition.

After the Army Tom Parker had several jobs in fact he was barely surviving the great depression.

His first steps into the entertainment industry were taken in 1938 , when he met one of America’s first crooners Gene Austin.

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Austin offered Parker the opportunity to move to Nashville, Tennessee, where music was becoming big business, but for reasons unknown Parker turned him down. Instead, Parker decided to stay in Temple Terrace, Florida, with his family, perhaps to avoid having to fill in paperwork that could expose his illegal status.Within a year, however, he had the opportunity to become a legal citizen within the United States by way of the 1940 Alien Registration Act; a bill passed by the United States Government to allow illegal aliens the chance to become US citizens in return for their promise to fight for the country during World War II, if required. Parker decided against registering, possibly to prevent his previous Army record from becoming public.

This is indicates the paranoia ‘Colonel Tom Parker’ was suffering from.

He did manage a few more artists, Minnie Pearl,Tommy Sands and Hank Snow

However in 1955 Parker became aware of this young singer called Elvis. In February 1955 Elvis signed a contract with Tom Parker, which basically sealed his fate in relation to touring outside of America.

There is no doubt that Tom Parker did turn Elvis into the icon he has become, but I believe Elvis would have become the star he was anyway even without Tom Parker.

Following Presley’s death, Parker set up a licensing operation with Factors Etc. Inc, to control Presley merchandise and keep a steady income supporting his estate. It was later revealed that Presley owned 22% of the company, Parker owned 56%, and the final 22% was made up of various business associates.[Due to an ill-advised agreement between Parker and Presley that gave RCA sole ownership of all his recording royalties prior to 1973, the estate was relying heavily on the income from Factors Etc. Inc. However, because Parker was still entitled to 50% of all Presley’s income, and after taxes were taken off, the overall amount going towards the upkeep of the estate was less than $1 million a year.

In January 1979, it was discovered that Presley had lost out on royalties for songs on which he had been listed as an author and/or composer because Parker had unwisely advised him not to sign up to ASCAP or its younger competitor,BMI.Experts in the field at the time estimated that it had potentially cost Presley millions of dollars and worse for Parker, it had also potentially cost him those millions of dollars.

By 1980, the cost of running the estate was estimated to be as much as $500,000 a year.Priscilla and the Trust were prepared to let Parker continue to handle Presley’s business affairs, and petitioned the court to that end.However, Judge Joseph Evans, aware that Lisa Marie Presley was still a minor, appointed attorney Blanchard E. Tual to investigate Parker’s management.Tual, once appointed as Lisa Marie’s guardian ad litem, chose to investigate the entire period of Parker’s management of Presley; his preliminary finding was that Parker’s management deal of 50% was extortionate compared to the industry average of 15–20%.He also noted that Parker’s handling of Presley’s business affairs during his lifetime, including the decision to sell off past royalties to RCA for $5.4 million in 1973, was “unethical” and poorly handled. During a second, more detailed investigation, Tual discovered that all earnings were paid directly to the Trust instead of Parker. By this time, with the IRS demanding almost $15 million in taxes, the estate was facing bankruptcy.The truth about Parker was now known.

On August 14, 1981, Judge Evans ordered EPE to sue Parker for mismanagement. In response to this, Parker countersued.The case against Parker was settled out of court in 1983, with the estate paying him $2 million,and the termination of his involvement in any Presley related earnings for five years.He was also ordered to hand over any Presley audio recordings or visual images that he owned.

Parker had worked as a “consultant” for Hilton Hotels since Presley’s death,with some believing he was working to pay off debts owed to the casino from his gambling during Presley’s performances there.Part of this role resulted in Parker keeping the same fourth-floor suite he occupied when Presley was alive, but by 1984, with his gambling debts reportedly rising again, he was evicted.On the surface, however, relations between the two were as good as ever, with Parker helping the Hilton to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Presley’s death.

The disputes with the Presley estate did not terminate his association with his most high-profile client. Parker appeared at posthumous events honoring Presley, such as the 1993 issuing of the United States Postal Service stamp honoring the King of Rock and Roll. He also became friendly with the estate again, attending special ceremonies and events in Memphis, invited by Priscilla. However, he did occasionally step on their toes by commenting negatively on some of their decisions. In 1994, following the marriage of Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson, Parker stated that Presley would not have approved,and in 1993, interest in Presley’s enduring legend, interest that is sometimes notable for its obsessiveness, provoked Parker to remark, “I don’t think I exploited Elvis as much as he’s being exploited today.

In 1994, a Golden Palm Star on the Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, California was dedicated to him.

I don’t know what is more amazing, the fact that the Colonel was Elvis’s manager for so long or that it was. The mystery of Colonel Parker’s identity could have already been solved in 1960, when Drees van Kuijk’s(aka Col. Tom Parker) sister recognized her brother when she saw his picture with Elvis in a newspaper. Until now it is still unclear why the authorities didn’t act.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/colonel-parker-managed-elvis-career-but-was-he-a-killer-on-the-lam-108042206/?no-ist

Ironically because of all this Elvis became the front runner in technology in a way. Not many artists before him had done global concerts via satellite. His concert Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was broadcast to more then 40 countries. Viewing figures have been estimated to be between 1 and 1.5 billion viewers worldwide. The show was the most expensive entertainment special at the time, costing $2.5 million.

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I have been an Elvis fan all of my life and until this day I still vividly remember where I was when I heard the news when he passed away. I was about 9 at the time, when I came home from school that day,my mother told me the news.I pretended as if it meant nothing to me, but I ran up the stairs and cried like I never cried before, It felt like I just lost a close friend or family member.

This is one of my favorite songs by the King.

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The demise of Music

History of Sorts

As a teenager I pledged that I would accept the musical taste of my children and would not be like the older generation in my family, who constantly criticized my choice of music. Although in my ‘humble’ opinion they were utterly clueless, and frankly most of them were.

Music is by far my biggest passion and it has an important part in my life.However now I have children of my own I feel like I have slightly been reneging on my pledge to accept their music, or have I?

After doing my own research, and note it is not scientific just my own opinion, I discovered that the music that is produced nowadays is really of poor standards. It really feels like vocals and instruments  have been thrown into a big blender and turned into soulless songs, zombie versions of music so to speak.

My question though was “When did all…

View original post 239 more words

The demise of Music

As a teenager I pledged that I would accept the musical taste of my children and would not be like the older generation in my family, who constantly criticized my choice of music. Although in my ‘humble’ opinion they were utterly clueless, and frankly most of them were.

Music is by far my biggest passion and it has an important part in my life.However now I have children of my own I feel like I have slightly been reneging on my pledge to accept their music, or have I?

After doing my own research, and note it is not scientific just my own opinion, I discovered that the music that is produced nowadays is really of poor standards. It really feels like vocals and instruments  have been thrown into a big blender and turned into soulless songs, zombie versions of music so to speak.

My question though was “When did all of this happen?” And soon I thought I had found the answer, without a shadow of a doubt I knew it was due to the fact of the X factors’ the Pop Idols etc i.e. Simon Cowell and cohorts. Mystery solved I thought.

However these ‘Talent’ shows only started in the 21st century, and the music had be going down the swanny way before that.

The answer came via the radio. I was listening to an oldies radio station when the song “You spin me around” by Dead or Alive came up, and then it dawned on me, SAW, Stock Aitken and Waterman.

This trio first came to the scene in 1984, initially they actually started off with reasonably talented musicians and singers but as time went on things deteriorated. We had gone from sex and drugs and rock n roll to the inoffensive,non-controversial,political correct,sickening sweet brand of music by the terrible threesome. From that era of music it was only a simple step to talentless boybands.So basically 1984 is the year when music died, maybe Orson Welles was right after all.

Luckily every now and then some talents still emerge in this ocean of blandness ,Adele,John Legend. Ed Sheeran and Dragonforce to name a few.

Just a reminder of how music used to be

To this (anyone who knows me knows how painful it is for me to even listen to this for more then 1 nano second)

Deutschland 83

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One of my favourite TV shows and I was delighted to find out there will be a second season called Deutschland 86, because it is set 3 years later.

I only lived literally a walking distance from Germany in 1983 and in fact most of my life. Growing up as a kid I didn’t really think anything of it but in hindsight it was kinda bizarre.

Little did I know then, that we were really not that far away from the ‘battlegrounds’ of the cold war, even though the fact there were plenty of staff of the AFCENT (Allied Forces Central Europe Netherlands) in town and surrounding cities. One of the former coal mines was actually used as part of their HQ.

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And surely the AWACS planes (a Boeing 707 type plane with a radar dish on top of it) should have been a give away.

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Oblivious I just went about my business without a care in the world. Naively I felt quite safe where I lived, because often I had seen American Marines marching between Geleen and Heerlen(two municipalities in the south of the Netherlands), chanting stuff like “I like working for Uncle Sam” In fact I thought it was cool, and in a way it was I suppose.

Not realizing those very soldiers were there to assist the Dutch army in case of a potetntial WW3 breaking out.

The Germans though were a funny bunch particularly when it came to their music. From the 50’s to the early 80’s there music was really Schlagers, it can only be described as German folk music I suppose, I would call it crap but it is still very popular with some people who I don’t want to offend.

At the start of the 80’s though a new direction of German music emerged, it was called ‘die Neue Deutsche Welle, New German wave and it brought a few great bands and songs to the front. Bands like Nena,Trio,Bap and indeed Peter Schilling whose song Major Tom is used as the theme for Deutschland 83

 

One of my favorites of the NDW is a Cologne band called BAP , the song is about the Kristal Nacht (in english known as the night of broken glass) from a dark period in German history. The band sings in the local Cologne dialect which is very similar to the Limburg dialect. I will leave it with that. I hope you enjoy this little peace of history. Enjoy the song.