|Single by Wayne Newton|
|from the album Danke Schoen|
|B-side||"Better Now Than Later"|
|Released||June 17, 1963|
|Songwriter(s)||Bert Kaempfert, Kurt Schwabach, and Milt Gabler|
|Producer(s)||T.M. Music, Inc.|
"Danke Schoen" /
Wayne Newton's first version was released when he was 21 years old. The song was originally intended for singer Bobby Darin as a follow-up to his hit single "Mack the Knife", but after seeing Newton perform at the Copacabana, Darin decided to give the song to Newton and transposed the key of the recording to fit Newton's voice. It has been featured in many television commercials and motion pictures, such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Meet the Parents, Matchstick Men, Vegas Vacation, Fools Rush In as well as the French-American comedy Crime Spree. In 2015, it was used in a television commercial for Bank of America and in 2017 was used in a trailer for the video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The Newton version peaked at Billboard positions #13 pop, #3 easy listening.
Connie Francis recorded the song in French, Japanese, Spanish and Italian, keeping the original title line "Danke schoen" in all versions except the Italian recording, which was released as Grazie a te.
In 1963, Robert Demontigny released a french version in Quebec on his eponymous LP.
In German, the phrase Danke schön is equivalent to the English Thank you very much or Thank you kindly. The word Danke means Thanks and the word schön means pretty, lovely, or nice. In Standard German the word schön (IPA: [ʃøːn]) is pronounced with a close-mid front rounded vowel, /øː/, that is not used in English phonology. However, in many High German dialects spoken in central and southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the front rounded vowels /œ/, /øː/, /ʏ/, /yː/ are lacking and are replaced in these dialects with their unrounded counterparts, /ɛ/, /eː/, /ɪ/, /iː/. Orthographically, when writing in these dialects, ö becomes e or ee and ü becomes i or ie.
Hence, in Low German dialects commonly encountered in the United States, such as Pennsylvania German or Yiddish, the word schön rhymes with the English words pain and explain. Standard German Danke schön would be translated into Pennsylvania German as danki schee (IPA: [ˈdaːŋkiː ʃeː]) or dank scheene (IPA: [ˈdaːŋk ʃeːnə]). Similarly, it would be translated into Yiddish: אַ שיינעם דאַנק, (a sheynem dank, IPA: [a ʃɛjnəm ˈdaŋk]). The German letter "ö" can also be written using the older typography "oe" (schön = schoen) – of which the umlauted O is a contraction – when umlauts are unavailable or not readily accessible. Milt Gabler, the author of the English lyrics of the song, was the son of Austrian and Russian Jewish immigrants and would have been most familiar with the Yiddish pronunciation of the word schön (or schoen) as sheyn.
- Born, Renate (2007), "The Evolution of Modern Standard German", Camden House History of German Literature, 4 Early Modern German Literature 1350-1700, Boydell & Brewer, p. 105, ISBN 1571132473
- Haag, E. C. (1982). A Pennsylvania German reader and grammar (Fourth printing ed.). University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 50. ISBN 027102142X.