Erika (song)

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"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.

Title[edit]

"Erika" is both a common German female name and the German word for heather.

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 popular from 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. Reichspropagandaminister Joseph Goebbels noticed early that down-to-earth, simple songs were a useful propaganda tool.[2]

Music[edit]

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[edit]

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 a hundred thousand little bees,
swarm around 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 room, 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 then it's to me as if it's saying aloud:
"Are you thinking of your fiancée?"
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 (in German)
  2. ^ a b 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). 

External links[edit]