Rammstein has release their new album Zeit on April 29th, and at the same time they released their first single/music video Angst (fear), which I interpretate to be a comment on racist fears of “black men”.
I based my interpretation on both the lyrics and the video (especially the ending). You can see both the German lyrics and the English translations at Loudwire, which somehow completely misses the references to racism, and thinks that:
Here “Angst” tackles the age-old fictional monster the bogeyman, which is known as “The Black Man” in other cultural depictions around the world, including Germanic folklore.
Read More: Read English Translation of Lyrics to Rammstein’s ‘Angst’ | https://loudwire.com/rammstein-angst-english-translation-lyrics/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral
It is extremely rare that you should only think of the naïve interpretation of a Rammstein song – they usually have layers and layers, often quite critical of the society they live in.
Both the song/video and loudwire’s cluelessness are utterly staggering.
I watched twice, the first time without the subtitles and still got the point. How does someone miss the condemnation of white (power) suburbia and how those deemed the “danger” are the least powerful?
It’s not an excuse, more an observation: I blame the genre. I suspect that the point-missers would be perfectly able to understand the message and appreciate the subtleties if the song was sung in English in an unpleasant, nasal voice by a Jewish man with an acoustic guitar and a harmonica he’s demonstrably no good at playing. Some people just don’t expect layers in metal.
Yeah, the English translation is pretty bad. E.g., “unerzogen” has nothing to do with what we in English mean by education. It’s about what we call “upbringing,” and in this context it means “disobedient.” The first few lines are about parents threatening children with some sort of bogeyman if they don’t do what the parent tells them to do.
The comparisons with fascism are pretty obvious. It wasn’t obvious to me that it was particularly about racism; the “Black Man” in European folklore is more about the Devil than about Africans, though of course it does make Europeans more likely to see dark-skinned people as sinister. (But they feel that way about anyone who isn’t like them, not just dark-skinned people.)
Kristjan Wager says
Allison, it is hard to generalize about European folklore, and it is important to remember that a modern reference can be broader than the original meaning, and the music video clearly shows that the reference here is also to black people.