Ten years ago, I listened to this song for the first time. I knew nothing about German culture back then. I just felt the rhythm was good and I had no idea about the lyrics and message the singers were trying to deliver. All I knew was that it was a good English song. So I thought they must have been from the U.S. or England. Several years later, I had an intimate contact with Germany and wanted to improve my German by listening to German music, so I sought out some German bands. Surprisingly I found out that the Scorpions came from Germany but never wrote any songs in German.
The Scorpions aren’t the only German band who sings in English. In order to please their U.S. fans, the popular band “Tokio Hotel” had their most successful songs translated in English such as Monsoon from “durch den Monsum.” The English version sounds so awkward to me; maybe it’s because I’m more familiar with the German version. Somehow I felt the German part was missing in the English version.
” Im Unterschied zu anderen Bands ihrer Zeit schrieben die Scorpions ihre Liedtexte von Beginn an auf Englisch, da sie von Anfang an das internationale Hard-Rock-Business erobern wollten.” This is a quote from Wikipedia about the Scorpions’ choice of English. It says that, in order to gain success in international hard rock, the band decided from the beginning to write all their songs in English. I think this is also an explanation why some German Bands or singers choose to sing in English. My German friend also tells me that if the German bands have English songs, this would help them to achieve success in Europe and even the whole world.
True, nowadays English is becoming more and more important. We also say that music has no boundaries. When the singers perform a song, they are not just saying the lyrics with melodies, they are interpreting the lyric, and they are delivering the feelings which can be expressed not just by words. Sometimes, we hear a foreign song but can still understand it without understanding the words.
Besides, if they sing their songs in a language which is not their native language, how can they keep their original identities? I don’t think there is a necessity to abandon their mother language and go English. The famous German Band “Rammstein” also gained international fame without any single songs in English. And there are lots of people who’ve become interested in German and want to learn German because they like Rammstein’s German songs.