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Gekommen um zu bleiben

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Quite a while ago I wrote about Wir Sind Helden and their song Müssen nur wollen. As quite a few non-Germans seemed to have heard that song and were interested in the lyrics, I added an English translation of those lyrics later on and did the same for their song Denkmal earlier this year.

Gekommen Um Zu Bleiben EP Cover Those have proven quite popular and requests have been coming for more translations since. So here comes another set of lyrics in both German and English, for Wir Sind Helden’s new song Gekommen um zu bleiben. You can potentially buy and listen to thirty seconds of the song on the iTunes Music Store

While being reasonably catchy, I don’t find the song too impressive musically. It seems a bit overdone in many places putting in unnecessarily playful elements for the sake of their catchy effect only. This may apply to the lyrics as well in a slightly weaker fashion. They also seem to be trying to do a bit too much and ending up slightly overdone because of this.

Ihr sagt: ‘The höher they come, the blöder they fall.’
So verdammt emporgekommen und immer noch standing tall.
Ihr sagt: ‘Was so abgeht must doch bitte come down.’
Ich sag den Untergang ab, ohne runterzuschaun.
Wir gehen nicht, aber wenn wir gehen, dann gehen wir in Scheiben.
Entschuldigung, ich sagte: Wir sind gekommen um zu bleiben.

Gekommen um zu bleiben. Wir gehen nicht mehr weg.
Gekommen um zu bleiben. Wie ein perfekter Fleck.
Gekommen um zu bleiben. Wir gehen nicht mehr weg.
Ist dieser Fleck erst in der Hose, ist er nicht mehr rauszureiben.
Entschuldigung, ich glaub wir sind gekommen… um zu bleiben.

Wir singen: ‘Dankeschön und Auf Wiedersehen’.
Reicht uns wehende Fahnen damit unterzugehen.
Lebet hoch! – Mut kommt vor dem Fall.
Wo Geschwindigkeit ist, wünscht sich der Mensch auch den Knall.
Ihr fesselt uns ans Pferd und bittet uns es anzutreiben.
Entschuldigung, ich sagte: wir sind gekommen um zu bleiben.

Gekommen um zu bleiben…

Dann sagt ihr: ‘Schau! The end is near now bitte face your final curtain.’
Aber wir sind schlau, wir bleiben hier für die Gesichter, die empörten.
Diese Geister singen schief und sind nicht einfach auszutreiben.

Enschuldigung ich sagte: Wir sind gekommen um zu bleiben.
Wir gehen nicht aber wenn wir gehen dann gehn wir in Scheiben.
Enschuldigung ich sagte: Wir sind gekommen um zu bleiben.

Gekommen um zu bleiben…

Wir Sind Helden, Gekommen um zu bleiben

Trying to translate those lyrics into English was tricky in a few places, so I’ll to outline those first. At the beginning of the song there’s strange mixing of English idioms and German words. Just look at the original text to guess the original expressions. When translating, I translated everything into English only. Towards the end the line Lebet hoch! – Mut kommt vor dem Fall is a bit curious. While it splits up into two sentences, it also includes the saying Hochmut kommt vor dem Fall which is Pride comes before a fall and I sort of tried to reflect that.

Enjoy:

You say: ‘The higher they come, the more stupid they fall.’
Having made it so damn far up – yet still standing tall.
You say: ‘Whatever rocks this much should rather come down’.
I cancel the decline without looking down.
We don’t leave; but if we leave, we’ll leave in slices.
Excuse me, I said: We came here to stay.

Came here to stay. We won’t ever leave.
Came here to stay. Like a perfect stain.
Came here to stay. We won’t ever leave.
Once that stain is in your pants, it can’t be rubbed away.
Excuse me, I think we came here… to stay.

We sing: ‘Thanks and See you’.
Hand us waving flags to decline with.
Live boldly! – Pride comes before a fall.
Wherever there is speed, the human wants a blast as well.
You chain us to the horse and ask us to drive it.
Excuse me, I said: We came here to stay.

Came here to stay…

Then you say: ‘Look! The end is near, now please face your final curtain.’
But we are smart, we stay here for the faces, the disgusted ones.
These spirits sing off-key and they’re not easy to drive out.
Excuse me, I said: We came here to stay.
We don’t leave; but if we leave, we’ll leave in slices.
Excuse me, I said: We came here to stay.

Came here to stay…

For other Wir sind Helden related entries, including more lyrics and translations thereof, have a look at the Wir sind Helden overview page.

[Buy at amazon .com, .uk, .de]

March 16, 2005, 9:04

Tagged as lang:de, music, wir sind helden.

Comments

Comment by monsoon: User icon

your translation makes much more sense than mine, thanks!

March 19, 2005, 0:25

Comment by sara: User icon

i heard this song on holiday an downloaded it off the internet and ive wonderd what it sed now i know!!!

April 10, 2005, 13:04

Comment by CorNEILiuZ: User icon

Similarly heard song on hols in Prague (room had german MTV) saw them get award at echo 2005 then saw the vid. listened to othr tracks on there site. Dont understand a word of german but really like them :)

April 13, 2005, 1:06

Comment by Maximus: User icon

Wir sind Helden sidn einfach nur geil. die rocken das haus! einer der (wirklich) wenigen, vernünftigen deutschen Gruppen!

April 13, 2005, 15:14

Comment by Maldus: User icon

Hi There, Thought I’d send my lame attempt at a translation of Wir Sind Helden’s Echolot (on the latest album). Not speaking more than a smattering of German proved a slight hindrance, and I’m sure I only compounded Google Translate’s own laughable attempt. Any corrections welcomed! Regards, ‘Maldus’

Halt still
Das Bett ist ein Floß
und ich will
raus auf’s Meer komm schneid es
los schau
unter uns flüssiges Blei
graue
Schatten ziehen träge vorbei
Sterne und Wasser
Und wir dazwischen
Komm, wir schwimmen
mit den großen Fischen

Hold still,
the bed is a raft
and I want out to sea
come cut it loose
look under us
lead-grey shadows pull
stars and water
and we come between them,
swim with the big fish

Ich seh dein Herz
Dein Echolot
Schlägt Wellen in die See
Ich seh dein Herz
Das bisschen rot
Tut nicht lange weh
Ich seh dein Herz
Bleib noch nicht stehen
Ich häng an deinem Mund
Ich seh dein Herz
Ich weiß wir gehen
Tiefer auf den Grund

I see your heart
Your sonar
beats waves in the sea
I see your heart
that bit of red
won’t hurt long
I see your heart
here but not staying
I hang on your lips
I sea your heart
I know we’re going
deeper underground

Hier
Unten tanzt glitzernd der Staub
Wir sinken
selig und taub stumm
wartend und leise ziehen
die Schatten engere Kreise

Here beneath
dances the twinkling dust
We sink
blissful and deaf-mute
waiting and quietly pulling
the shadows in smaller circles

May 3, 2005, 0:29

Comment by Anonymous: User icon

hey! very much thanks for all!

July 3, 2005, 18:48

Comment by K-bel: User icon

I finally started an english WSH site at www.wirsindheldenuk.com and i’ve put some of the old translations on there with the help of Caro. Be sure to check it out!

August 9, 2005, 2:06

Comment by mike: User icon

hey, i was woundering if you knew any bands that are “close” to this sound. i love Wir Sind Helden’s songs, and “style”. also, thanks for the Reviews in english!!! it really helped.

October 26, 2005, 2:12

Comment by Caro: User icon

Remember to read all the translations on “Wir sind Helden in English” - there are new ones now. Hard to tell which bands are similar to the Helden. If you’re talking about German ones, I’d recommend Tomte, Oli Schulz, Tocotronic or Kettcar mostly because of the lyrics. A bit more cheerful (with easier texts) are Sportfreunde Stiller, Bosse… Can’t think of more right now. DON’T try all these bad copies like Silbermond or Juli, please ;-)

December 2, 2005, 18:30

Comment by Luiz: User icon

I don’t think Silbermond or Juli are bad, and I don’t think they are copies… ;)

June 19, 2006, 18:53

Comment by Thomas Nephew: User icon

Hi. Found this page after googling around a bit for “Wir Sind Helden” and “lyrics”, IIRC, after seeing a couple of YouTube videos of them I liked.

I’m never sure how much cultural/music stuff everyone has in common, but a couple of lines in “Gekommen um zu bleiben” seem to be allusions (echoes, homages, call them what you will) to a couple of famous English language hit songs.

— “The hoeher they come the bloeder they fall” seems related to the famous breakthrough reggae movie and song hit “The Harder They Come”. The “…hoch! Mut kommt vor dem Fall” line is arguably a second example.

— “The end is near now bitte face your final curtain” echoes the lyrics of the Sinatra/Anka song “My Way,” which begins:And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain. (For my money, the best performance of that song was by Sid Vicious.)

Both songs seem similar in outlook to “gekommen um zu bleiben” — sort of happily defiant, so I think it makes sense for WsH to “quote” them. Not sure what exactly WsH is being happily defiant about, but (a) maybe they’re just describing the feeling, and (b) we don’t have to figure out every last little thing about a song.

(This is my 2d try posting this. I’ll try again without the URLs if this doesn’t post. Here goes!)

April 27, 2007, 18:44

Comment by ssp: User icon

Looks like the one with the URLs came through just fine. Thanks for sharing this Thomas.

April 27, 2007, 18:53

Comment by nic: User icon

nice translation! I also like how you explain the funny language constructions; being german, I often try to explain the appeal of Wir sind Helden lyrics and find it a bit hard ;) you do it pretty nicely.

May 11, 2008, 0:58

Comment by Nathan: User icon

I think I’d translate “Gekommen um zu bleiben” as “We’re here to stay” in English. Although it then wouldn’t be literal, it’s very common and natural to say: “We’re here to stay” in English (an idiom), whereas “We came to stay” just soundshorrible.

September 6, 2009, 15:54

Comment by Anonymous: User icon

Hi! We watched the video of Gekommen um zu bleiben at school culture club today. We were looking at wir sind helden and Tokio hotel,neither of which i had heard of. we only watched the one video, and with my limited german i just loved the video and the music! I understood the title of the song of course, which was enough at the time to appreciate it, but we all laughed when it got to the facing the final curtain bit! We’ve been singing it all afternoon!

September 24, 2009, 23:13

Comment by ssp: User icon

@Anonymous:

Great that you enjoyed the video. I feel compelled to say that there’s a huge gap, musically and intellectually between Wir Sind Helden and Tokio Hotel (which are more a teenie fad and not a match). It seems odd to throw them both together, the only similarity of them is that they’re contemporary bands from Germany.

September 25, 2009, 0:00

Comment by Willow: User icon

Excellent point, I have not found any bands that really compare to Wir Sind Helden. I initially referred to them as German J-pop until I listened to more of their songs. However, Endlich ein grund zur panik, is best described as that. So are Von Hier an Blind and possibly…GutenTag. They really have no parallel, although on a side note: Tokio Hotel, is not that bad in german. But, their english language music is mostly shlecht. Some of the depth in songs like Schrei is killed with the translation, as they rewrite the songs almost completely. It also sounds like the lead singer puts on an american accent when he sings in english. Due to this, I question anyone that really likes them who only knows english and only listens to their english songs. Wir Sind Helden, Subway To Sally, and at rare times Rammstein don’t translate well all the time, but their songs stand up well enough to create a desire for the language.

November 3, 2010, 8:26

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