Sonderzug nach Pankow

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"Sonderzug nach Pankow" (Special Train to Pankow) is a song by the German rock singer Udo Lindenberg, released as a single on 2 February 1983.

It was a reaction to the refusal of the West German singer's wish to perform a concert in the (East) German Democratic Republic (GDR) by the GDR administration in charge. The text of this approximately three minutes long song appeals ironically directly to the then president of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic, Erich Honecker. The melody is based on the swing classic "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller from the year 1941. With regard to the Berlin borough Pankow, the title is based on the fact that Schloss Schönhausen situated there was the seat of the president from 1949 until 1960 and was later seat of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic until 1964. After that, many members of the GDR government and high employees of the other administration departments of the government lived in Pankow, for example on the Majakowskiring.

This song was in the West German music charts from 19 March 1983 to 6 May 1983 for seven weeks, spending four weeks at number 5. The reaction to the song led to the first and only concert of Udo Lindenberg in the GDR on 25 October 1983. This concert took place during the festival "Rock für den Frieden" (Rock for Peace) in Berlin's Palast der Republik, but Udo Lindenberg did not sing this song then. A planned tour through the GDR in the following year was cancelled. "Sonderzug nach Pankow" became a cult song in the GDR and is one of Udo Lindenberg's most famous songs.

This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.