No Carnival without singing – for me the most important facet of those crazy days!
The majority of songs has very simple texts and melodies so there isn’t much rehearsal needed to sing along. As a Cologne visitor (“Immi”) you should know some basic Kölsch words, the essentials of our local song repertoire: “Kölle”, “Veedel” (our city and its neighborhoods), “zesamme stonn” (staying together), “Hätz” (heart), “bütze” (kissing) and “Alaaf” (kind of salutation). Many songs deal with love – either for the city or for a local girl called Marie.
Do you think this sounds dull? I do admit that 50% of the common songs can be quite annoying, but I like to put in a good word for the other 50%!
Our Carnival has a long tradition and some of my favorite songs have been composed during the first decades of the 20th century. My absolute evergreens though are practically all Bläck Fööss songs from the 1970s. Strictly speaking they aren’t Carnival songs, but declarations of love to our city: they deal with special characters and local peculiarities, with urban change and everyday life. I grew up with these songs and I know every single word by heart.
During the last years, a sort of movement called “Loss mer singe” came up. A group of enthusiasts is organizing very popular sing-along-nights in local pubs and bars to promote our Kölsch language and music. Participants get notes with lyrics and people are singing new and old songs together. It’s so fun! Kölle Alaaf!