23 April 2011

"Wenn die beste Freundin"

I have never researched Marlene Dietrich's Weimar-era music, but I just heard "Wenn die beste Freundin," a 1928 Electrola-label single infamously laden with lesbian undertones that Dietrich recorded with Margo Lion and Oskar Karlweis.

Cabaret Berlin wrote more extensively on the single; therefore, you should refer to them for more information. Someone who speaks and understands German, however, could help me by telling me whether the translated lyrics on that site are accurate because I can't vouch for them. All I can add is that Dietrich's tone is at its clearest and that Margo Lion's (it is her, no?) counter-melodic scatting underpins the song's coquettish content. Katy Perry, take some pointers if you ever toy with liquor lesbianism again.


  1. Brilliant, enjoyed it

  2. Thanks for stopping by! If you ever have recommendations for posts, please feel free to share them.

  3. I think the Weimar Berlin era is in general highly interesting and I do enjoy this song very much. The cabaret berlin blog is awesome, I'm always amazed with everything I read in there!

    Back to the lyrics. The translated lyrics are accurate, there is only a small part missing which I think is essential to the song and give insight in the ideas and liberated sexual values of that time within certain circles.

    In the end when they are arguing (starting from 2:00). I can't give the excact translation, because it's hard to catch every sentence since they are all talking at the same time.

    It comes down to this. All three of them blame each other for cheating on each other with one another. Then the man questions what mode of old fashioned (i think that's what is ment by "billige" in this case) family relationship this is. Then he asks if they all can get along again and the girls say they will. So they kiss and make up.

    Then the man remarks "the foolish foolish love"