Erika (song)

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"Erika" (or "Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein" ("On the Heath a Little Flower Blooms") is a marching song of the German military. The song was composed by Herms Niel in the 1930s, and it soon came into usage by the Wehrmacht, especially the Heer and, to a lesser extent, the Kriegsmarine. The theme of the song is based on "Erika" being both a common German female first name and the name of the heath plant Erica. In itself, the song has no military themes, beyond the fact that the narrator (evidently a soldier, though this is not explicitly stated) is away from his beloved and recalls her when seeing the plant which has the same name.

Origins[edit]

The lyrics and melody of the song were written by Herms Niel, a German composer of marches. The exact year of the song's origin is not known; often the date is given as "about 1930,"[1] a date that, however, has not been substantiated. The song was originally published in 1938 by the publishing firm Louis Oertel in Großburgwedel. It was a great success even before the start of World War II.[2] Niel, who joined the NSDAP in early May 1933 and became a leading Kapellmeister at the Reichsarbeitdienst, created numerous marches that largely served the National Socialist propaganda campaigns. In particular the Reichspropagandaminister Joseph Goebbels, noticed early that down-to-earth, simple songs were a useful propaganda tool.[2]

Lyrics and translation[edit]


Problems playing this file? See media help.
Calluna vulgaris, "Erika"

Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.
Heiß von hunderttausend kleinen Bienelein
wird umschwärmt Erika
denn ihr Herz ist voller Süßigkeit,
zarter Duft entströmt dem Blütenkleid.
Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.

On the heath, there blooms a little flower
and it's called Erika.
Eagerly doted on by a hundred thousand little bees,
 do swarm all over this Erika.
For her heart is full of sweetness,
a tender scent escapes her blossom-gown.
On the heath, there blooms a little flower
and it's called Erika.

In der Heimat wohnt ein kleines Mägdelein
und das heißt: Erika.
Dieses Mädel ist mein treues Schätzelein
und mein Glück, Erika.
Wenn das Heidekraut rot-lila blüht,
singe ich zum Gruß ihr dieses Lied.
Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.

Back at home, there lives a little maiden
and she's called Erika.
That girl is my faithful little darling
and my joy, Erika!
When the heather blooms in a reddish purple,
I sing her this song in greeting.
On the heath, there blooms a little flower
and it's called Erika.

In mein'm Kämmerlein blüht auch ein Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.
Schon beim Morgengrau'n sowie beim Dämmerschein
schaut's mich an, Erika.
Und dann ist es mir, als spräch' es laut:
"Denkst du auch an deine kleine Braut?"
In der Heimat weint um dich ein Mägdelein
und das heißt: Erika.

In my small chamber, there also blooms a little flower
and it's called Erika.
Already In the grey of dawn, as it does at dusk,
It looks at me, Erika!
And it is as if it spoke aloud:
"Don't you dare forget your little bride."
Back at home, a maiden weeps for you
and she's called Erika.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Als ich gestern einsam ging ..." by Leonore Böhm, Der neue Tag (Grafenwöhr), 17 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2014 (German)
  2. ^ a b Sabine Berszinski: Modernisierung im Nationalsozialismus? Eine soziologische Kategorie und Entwicklungen im deutschen Schlager 1933–45. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Freiburg im Breisgau 1999/2000. Magister thesis. Retrieved 18 October 2014

External links[edit]