In pulling together records for the month of October, I was planning to focus on female singers and German music. The female singers were perhaps a response to putting too many instrumental albums in this month. The German music, on the other hand, was to commemorate Oktoberfest. So I was surprised to learn that Oktoberfest has already started and ends the first weekend in October, which is already booked up with records. You would figure one would know these things after 41 years, but then again, I have never needed a reason to drink beers. So as a result, I switched two records up to dedicate some space this month to Oktoberfest. This album in particular was 80 cents.
Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival and fun fair in the world. The origins are controversial, but it is believed the first fest was held to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig with a horse race and due to its success, the fest has been held ever since. This is what Wikipedia is saying, anyway. It is held in Munich and lasts 16 days. It attracts over six million visitors per year. Only beer brewed within the limits of Munich can be served. Also, organizers employee 1,800 portable toilets. Other cities hold similar fests, including Houston, which in fine Houston tradition, will probably skimp on the port-o stalls.
Link to Houston Fest(note the Hipsters in German Garb)
The Official Site in Munich
This album is a split collection of both folk songs and beer drinking songs from Germany. I could not find out any information on the Vienna Men’s Choir. The first side of the album consists of the folk songs, which are broken out individually. The beer drinking songs are on the flip side and are put together as one continuous track, which tends to be highly annoying for my purposes. Both sides tend to portray the traits which I stereotypically assign to German music.
For samples, I went with one folk song and a collection of beer drinking songs. For the folk song, I went with “Ich Schiess Den Hirsch” or “I Shoot the Stag”. From the translations I have read, this song is about a hunter who is proud of the game he hunts. He braves the elements and yet he feels love. From who, I am not certain. Perhaps, from nature, a mysterious shepherd, from the animals he kills, or maybe some unnamed German girl. They were all very rough translations so I can not pinpoint this. In terms of the beer drinking songs, I went with a collection of “Bier Her” (Let’s Have the Beer), “Ca, Ca Geschmauset” (Let’s Have the Fine Meal), and “Kurfurst Friedrich Von Der Pfalz” (Prince Frederick of Palatinate). If you have ever been to Oktoberfest or seen it on TV, these tunes should ring a bell.
Meh. The folk side is actually the better side of the two. Also, to lump all the songs on the second side together really gets to me. Either way, you get what the album is trying to accomplish pretty quick into it. This album will probably not get played again until this time next year.