"Erika" 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 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," 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 popular from before the start of World War II.
Niel, who joined the NSDAP in early May 1933 and became a leading Kapellmeister at the Reichsarbeitdienst, created numerous marches. Reichspropagandaminister Joseph Goebbels noticed early that down-to-earth, simple songs were a useful propaganda tool.
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One notable feature is that after each line, and before each time the name Erika is sung, there are three beats of pause, which are filled by the kettledrum, or stomping feet (e. g. of marching soldiers).
Lyrics and translation
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Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
On the heath, there blooms a little flower
In der Heimat wohnt ein kleines Mägdelein
Back at home, there lives a little maiden
In mein'm Kämmerlein blüht auch ein Blümelein
In my room, there also blooms a little flower
- "Als ich gestern einsam ging ..." by Leonore Böhm, Der neue Tag (Grafenwöhr), 17 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2014 (in German)
- Berszinski, Sabine (2000). "Modernisierung im Nationalsozialismus? : Eine soziologische Kategorie und Entwicklungen im deutschen Schlager 1933 - 45" [Modernization under National Socialism? : A Sociological Category and Developments in German popular music 1933 - 45]. Institut für Soziologie [Beteiligte Körperschaft], Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (in German).
- "Erika", lyrics and recordings, ingeb.org