Schlager merely? Row breaks beyond ‘sexist’ pop hit in Germany | Germany

They are high in volume, unsophisticated in tone and often offensively disgusting in content. With titles ranging from Sex With a Bavarian to Big Bits Potato Salad, the ballermann subgenre of schlagerpop is a big hit in German-dominated nightclubs on the Balearic island of Mallorca, but is more likely to evoke embarrassment. Used embarrassment home.

Still, German newspapers this week have been filled with detailed analyzes of schlager lyrics, and even the country’s justice minister felt inclined to share his taste in music after a Bavarian town decided to banish this holiday season’s ballermann hit from its beer halls because of its sexist tendencies.

Layla, by DJ Robin & Schürze, who has been at the top of the German singles charts for the past three weeks, is a song about a madam in a brothel who is “prettier, younger, fox” than the other sex workers on her establishment.

Whether Layla is the brothel’s owner or an employee herself is unclear: the song also refers to her as one Whore, which means “hussy” or “minx”. With a chorus of “La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-Layla, la-la-la-la” the song’s narrative ambitions are limited.

On Monday, the city of Würzburg announced that it would not play the song at the annual Kiliani fair, organized by the municipal authorities. “We understand that the song can be catchy, arousing and melodic,” said city spokesman Christian Weiß. “But that does not change the fact that sexist texts are unacceptable and do not fit our festival.”

Würzburg
Würzburg officials say they will not play the song Layla by DJ Robin & Schürze at the Kiliani Festival. Photo: Christian Ruger / Alamy

In the western city of Düsseldorf, a shooting club responsible for organizing the fair also said it would not play the song. “I’m of the opinion that this song belongs everywhere except our festival site,” club president Lothar Inden told WDR television station.

Bild, the powerful German tabloid, threw himself into history as what it saw as evidence of a modern form of censorship. ‘People are prescribed how to speak, how to write, and now how to party. This cautious nanny of the politically correct brigade must stop. We are moving towards an anti-fun society. ”

The German Minister of Justice, Marco Buschmann of the Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), who produces electronic music in his spare time, took part in the debate on Twitter: “You do not have to like schlager lyrics. You may find them stupid and tasteless. But in my opinion, an official ban is a step too far. “

Neither the Würzburg nor Düsseldorf authorities have taken the step of issuing an edict equivalent to an official ban. “We are not guardians of public morality, but the organizers,” an official in charge of the Killiani fair told Bayerischer Rundfunk radio. A spokesman for the mayor of Düsseldorf said there was no plan to ban the song.

In 2021, the authorities in Würzburg took a similar step to stop playing the so-called Donaulied or Danube song, after a student launched a petition against “beer-tent-sexism”. The traditional folk song describes a man raping a sleeping woman he encounters on the banks of the Danube, although the text of some modern schlager versions has been changed to describe their intercourse as consensus.

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