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Lili Marleen (in the English version: Lili Marlene) is a song, the text of which was written in 1915 by the German soldier Hans Leip. The text is taken from the poem Das Lied eines jungen Soldiers auf der Wacht. The song only became a big hit when it was re-released in 1942. Oddly enough, it was both very popular in Germany as on the Allied side. Since then, it has also often been covered, inter alia, by Marlene Dietrich and Lale Andersen.


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In a soldier muses about his sweetheart Leips poem Lili Marleen, that outside the barracks invariably at a lantern on him waited. As the text progresses, it appears that the soldier now from the barracks to the battlefield has moved. He asks himself in the chorus lines on which soldier Lili Marleen now at the Lantern wait. In the last verse the soldier let the evening from the amorous mouth Lili Earth take off, after which he comes across at the Lantern where he ever met her. Or with the Earth is meant a trench from which the anxious thoughts of the soldier take off, or a soldiers grave from which his spirit takes off, remains unclear.


Hans Leip wrote the poem before he departed to the Russian front. Lili was the name of his girlfriend. Marleen was possible a nurse whose Leip impressed was hit.

In 1937 published a collection of poems in which Lakshmi Das Lied eines jungen Soldiers auf der Wacht was included.

Norbert Schultze set the poem then on musicLale Andersen recorded the song on the recording in a closet for a long time. in Vienna, but in the summer of 1941 found a German corporal who in Belgrade for the troops in Africa provided that the radio program's be something for the soldiers was. He was right, that even the Australians in besieged Tobruk from the camp of their opponents echo heard loudly on the radio, called volume.

It was decided at the BBC to make a English version of it, written by Tommy Connor and sung by Anne Shelton. They decided to cleanthe song: the original Lili is a soldiers girl who under a street light at the great gate of the barracks on her suitor is waiting. In the English version, she is a civilized girl on her beloved guard. Also the somewhat sinister end in the English version of the original is what lighter digestible.

Throughout the war the song was immensely popular with soldiers on both sides of the front. It is known that Joseph Goebbels Lili Marlene ' unpatriotic ' was made. Goebbels disliked the song, because the morbid, gloomy character itself badly did to the image of the National-Socialist German man/soldier; Goebbels would have called a corpse of a tear-jerker . The German soldiers were not always agree. They played the song, among others, during executions of civilians in the eastern areas.

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The song is still translated into several other languages besides English; including: DanishEstonianFinnishFrenchItalianHong CreoleCroatianJapaneseLatinLatvianDutchPolishPortugueseRussian,SerbianSlovenianSpanishSwedish and Turkish.

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