Maschen-Draht-Zaun

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"Maschen-Draht-Zaun" is a country music song by Stefan Raab. It was released in the year 1999. The inspiration for this song comes from his TV show TV total, where short (often involuntarily) humorous clips from other German TV shows are shown.

For this song the law court show "Richterin Barbara Salesch" (Judge Barbara Salesch) was shown, where the plaintiff, Regina Zindler, accused her neighbour because a snowberry bush (Knallerbsenstrauch) was growing into her chain-link fence (Maschendrahtzaun), hence damaging it. The 51-year-old Zindler spoke with a strong Vogtlander accent, and tried to make her speech more credible by using legalese to accentuate important passages; however, the coloring of her dialect and her insistence to always specifically describe her fence as a wiremesh fence and the neighbours bush as a common snowberry bush added to the hilarity.

Because of the rhythmic accentuation of the "Maschendrahtzaun" it seemed suitable for the inclusion into a song. The two main points of the song's hilarity are the sheer banality of the lawsuit and the plaintiff's thick Saxon accent, which is routinely ridiculed in German comedy. The two buzzwords "Maschendrahtzaun" and "Knallerbsenstrauch" expose the main phonetic distinctions of the Saxon dialect very heavily.

The song tells the story of a lonesome cowboy and/or sheriff in English (with a few German words), with the audio sample of the woman saying "Maschendrahtzaun" (wire-mesh fence) and "Knallerbsenstrauch" (throwndown shrub) inserted fittingly into the song. The music video extends this with using footage from the TV-show. The song talks about the cowboy (as the first person) and things he does with a wire-mesh fence. There is no obvious link between the song and the legal case however both stories indicate unusual misuse of such a fence. The song's story is a little lewd in some places and contains some strong language, even in the radio edit version.

The CD sold approximately 800,000 times; Mr Raab gave 0.10 Deutsche Mark per sold CD to Mrs Zindler as royalties. It reached number one in Germany.[1]

Tracklisting[edit]

  1. Maschen-Draht-Zaun (Radio Edit) 3:24
  2. Maschen-Draht-Zaun (Extended X-Rated Version) 5:12
  3. Maschen-Draht-Zaun (Sing-A-Long Version) 3:24
  4. Maschen-Draht-Zaun (Early 60's Full Stereo Mix)5:13 [2]

Aftermath[edit]

German TV broadcasters Sat.1 and RTL Television took interest in Mrs Zindler; while Sat.1 broadcast from her house, it received major fan attraction and her fence got vandalized.[3] RTL took over during the time, as Sat.1 already began closing the story about Mrs Zindler.

RTL wanted to feature her as a musician, making a new song "Friede am Zaun" ("Peace at the fence") featuring her with a girl band "Die drei Knallerbsen", produced by Bernd Schumacher and Leipzig-based production firm 99pro. Radio stations boycotted the song, so the campaign never took off.

Mrs Zindler sold her house and moved to Berlin. She is now in psychiatric treatment.

Swiss physician and scientist Mario Gmür sees her as an example of a syndrome he researches, one he calls "MOS" ("Medien-Opfer-Syndrom", media-victim-syndrome); he states his research has indicated people who get unwanted, sudden fame and attention by the media and are discarded abruptly thereafter to be especially prone to psychosis.

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