Saturday, June 03, 2006

nichts ist doofer als Hannover*

*nothing's dumber than Hannover

If you've lived in Germany for any length of time, you've probably heard this expression. Poor Hannover, it never gets a break.

Hannover has the reputation of being a Provinzstadt, a provincial city full of stand-offish, conservative, boring people with no sense of humour. Is it true? Well, not really, but Hannover isn't exactly a bustling metropolis compared to some other German cities and it just can't seem to shake its wishy washy image no matter how hard it tries.

It's said that the purest German in all of Germany is spoken in Hannover, and by 'pure' they mean High German without an accent. That makes learning German up here in the north pretty darn easy. Relatively speaking, of course.

Despite the questionable image, Hannover does have its good points, and I'm meeting up with J this afternoon to show him some of them (hmm, that sounds kind of naughty, doesn't it?) There's a red line, Der Rote Faden, painted on the sidewalks in Hannover, and following it will lead you to all the interesting places around town, be they modern or historic. Beautiful old buildings, sculptures and museums abound. Hopefully it won't rain too much.


our meeting place

On the news a while ago I saw mention of a German duo called The Aroma Boys, supposedly Germany's answer to the spice girls. They had written a song about Hannover and played it live in various pubs around town and many people native to Hannover were incensed that someone was making fun of their city yet again. People with a sense of humour, however, thought the song was pretty funny.

If you click here and then click on 'Listening' at the top of the page it will take you to the Aroma Boys song page. Either the first or second link will enable you to hear them singing the Hannover song. The first link is a video of them singing live, the second is just the music.

I've transcribed and translated the song here so you can sing along.

Ich fühl mich so lala hier in Hannover
Ich habe kein Humor und kein Akzent
Man ist ganz gerne Durchschnitt in Hannover
Das ist das typische woran man uns erkennt


I feel kind of so-so here in Hannover
I have no sense of humour and no accent
We like to be average in Hannover
That's how you recognize us


Die Frauen sind ganz passabel in Hannover
Man verliebt sich nicht gleich auf den ersten Blick
Man fällt nicht gerne auf hier in Hannover
Man kleidet sich gedeckt bloß nicht zu schick


The women in Hannover aren't bad
But it's not love at first sight
In Hannover we don't like to stand out
We dress conservatively - never too chic


Zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin
Zu trendy für Bautzen, zu männlich für Wien
Zu pleite für Hamburg, zu reich für Schwerin
Drum wohn ich in Hannover, denn da gehöre ich hin
Zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin


Too ugly for Munich, too dumb for Berlin
Too trendy for Bautzen, too manly for Vienna
Too broke for Hamburg, too rich for Schwerin
That's why I live in Hannover,'cause that's where I belong
Too ugly for Munich, too dumb for Berlin...

Man verläuft sich ab und zu hier in Hannover
Die Stadt hat ein gleichförmiges Gesicht
Die Kirche bliebt im Dorf hier in Hannover
Und alles schreibt sich so wie man es spricht


You can somtimes lose your way in Hannover
The city has a homogeneous face
The church stays in the village in Hannover
And you write everything the way you say it


Zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin
Zu trendy für Bautzen, zu männlich für Wien
Zu pleite für Hamburg, zu reich für Schwerin
Drum wohn ich in Hannover, denn da gehöre ich hin

Zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin

Hast Du keine Ecken, keine Kanten, kein Profil
Hast Du keine Meinung, keine Neigung und kein Ziel
Bist Du kein sehr Schlauer, kein sehr Doofer
komm nach Hannover, Hannover


If you have no sharp edges, no profile
No opinion, no leanings, no ambition
If you're not that smart, but not that dumb either
Come to Hannover - Hannover!


Zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin
Zu trendy für Bautzen, zu männlich für Wien
Zu pleite für Hamburg, zu reich für Schwerin
Drum wohn ich in Hannover, denn da gehöre ich hin

Bist Du zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin
Zu trendy für Bautzen, zu männlich für Wien
Zu pleite für Hamburg, zu reich für Schwerin
Dann komm nach Hannover, denn da gehörst Du hin


If you're too ugly for Munich, too dumb for Berlin
Too trendy for Bautzen, too manly for Vienna
Too broke for Hamburg, too rich for Schwerin
Then come to Hannover, 'cause that's where you belong...


Bist Du zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin

Bist Du zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin...

13 Comments:

At June 03, 2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous Nori said...

When I read the first line, I laughed in spite of myself.
I heard the song. (Thank you for translating lyrics.)
Unless I look at your blog, I cannot understand what they are saying, but I like RHYTHM of this song. Especially, parts of ”Zu häßlich für München, zu dumm für Berlin
Zu trendy für Bautzen, zu männlich für Wien ~~.”♪♪♪

I understand many people native to Hannover were incensed, but, I think the song is pretty funny. In fact, I very much want to go to Hannover! BELIEVE me!
And, I think that since the Aroma Boys likes SUCH Hannover, they make SUCH a song.
Anyway, I am interested in Hannover more and more, I want to go to Hannover someday. ;)

Nori

 
At June 03, 2006 2:55 PM, Anonymous Nori said...

P.S.
Well, I don’t believe that Hannover is like their song. I’m sincerely sorry when you feel bad because of my comment.
I said that their song was funny on the assumption that I think that Hannover is a wonderful town. I know Hannover is wonderful by your blog and Ginnie’s.
I'm sorry.

Sincerely
Nori

 
At June 03, 2006 3:52 PM, Blogger cncz said...

My favorite piece of German trivia, one I have surely left in your comment box before, is that Hamburg has the most millionaires per capita in the Europe of 15. Number two is Paris. London is actually pretty far down.
So I had to laugh at "Zu pleite für Hamburg", especially since underage German teacher was from Hamburg and loaded.

 
At June 03, 2006 4:34 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

All I've seen of Hannover up to now was the airport, but I think the idea of "der rote Faden" is great! Hope you had a good time!

 
At June 03, 2006 11:23 PM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Why thank you! So, only beautiful people live in Munich, eh? *LOL*

I don't find the song disparaging or funny or whatever.....but it's nice to know.

Hope you and J had a great time!

 
At June 04, 2006 10:23 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

very funny! Can't wait to hear about your meet up with J (whom I think we've never gotten to see a photo of).

 
At June 05, 2006 6:32 AM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Christina...

I hope you can see this photo of hannover..

http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=100934137&size=s&context=pool-74565724@N00

 
At June 05, 2006 6:33 AM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

This photo

 
At June 05, 2006 9:35 PM, Blogger J said...

Thanks for a great tour and hours of good convo, Christina!

 
At June 07, 2006 8:53 AM, Blogger Ms Mac said...

Was Hannover ever part of Switzerland?

 
At June 09, 2006 9:49 AM, Blogger Ginnie said...

I love it! And that Red Line/Thread was one of the first things I did last year when I first came to Hannover. I absolutely love this city and try to see more of it every trip. It's a "doable" city, if that makes sense :)

 
At June 11, 2006 3:51 PM, Blogger Windrose said...

Hi Christina,

so much for Hannover's reputation. But it is Wikitravel's city of the month. Maybe there is a bit to be added. (For example the letter "n"?)

http://wikitravel.org/en/Hanover

 
At August 30, 2006 1:42 AM, Anonymous Andy Love said...

Hi Christina,
this is Andy from Aromaboys. Thx for translating our song in english. We went there with RTL (TV-Station) to sing for the people of hannover - watch here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HFoq_XDGLM


Greetz from Berlin/München/Hamburg/Schwerin/Wien und Bautzen

Andy Love

 

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