7-CD box (LP-size) with 184-page hardcover book, 193 tracks. Playing time approx. 526 mns.
A song goes around the world: Lili Marleen without end. A unique documentation of a worldwide hit song. Lili Marleen nearly 200 times, in Hebrew, English, Bulgarian, Spanish, etc., as well as German. Comprehensive LP-hardcover book by Horst Bergmeier, Rainer Lotz and Volker Kühn.
The song that went around the world has, like its story, long ago become a legend, and several times the subject of film plots. A cloth from which dreams are cut: One was named Betty, was called Lili and worked in a vegetable cellar. The other was a nurse and was named Marleen. The young soldier, who had to stand watch at the army base, loved them both. So much, that he immortalized them in a poem, in which both girls into merged one figure: Lili Marleen.
A quarter century later the song became a hit that was sent nightly into the ether from a German soldiers’ radio station in Belgrade, overnight beginning its triumphant advance around the world.
The little song, which is about parting, longings and an uncertain homecoming, brought about a small miracle in a dark time, because when it rang out the weapons of the Second World War fell silent for a moment. The woman who sang it became world famous as a result: Lale Andersen from Bremerhaven.
Friend and foe, allies as well as enemies, recognized their own stories in the song, so that the soldiers on both sides of the fronts could call the song their own: Germans as well as Englishmen, Frenchmen and Americans. It was sung in Italy and Denmark, in Bulgaria and Sweden, it was sung in Czech, Dutch, Portuguese and Hebrew.
After the end of the Second World War it was shown that the wistful hit of love and parting was much more than a soldier song – even in Japan it stayed for weeks at the top of the hit parade. -- No song from the twentieth century has been translated into so many languages, or has been satirized, parodied, rewritten and reworded as often as Lili Marleen, that has also entered into the history of hit songs as a satirical and propaganda song. Later on when the story was added to and Lili Marleen became a wife, even this version attained the international charts.
The great entertainers of the time also contributed to the worldwide success of the song. Internationally known interpreters made it part of their repertoire: Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby,
Marlene Dietrich, Al Martino and Perry Como, the Ames Brothers as well as the Andrews Sisters, Freddy Quinn and Milva, Hank Snow, Amanda Lear and Dave Dudley, well-known movie stars like Senta Berger and Judy Winter, and Orchestras such as Billy Vaughn's, James Last's and Barnabas von Géczy's. They are all represented on this CD box, as well as pop stars Connie Francis,
Horst Winter, Bill Ramsey, Cornelia Froboess, Rudi Schuricke, Willy Schneider, Lolita or Adam & Eve.
Lili Marleen may be heard here performed as a polka and a marching song, in dixieland or musette waltz style or in the Viennese Heurigen-sound of zither player Anton Karas. And there are discoveries to be made: individual interpretations like the children's sing-song of Goering’s daughter Edda, the anti-Hitler version of German refugee movie star Lucie Mannheim, the agit-prop song of political bard Ernst Busch, variations in the style of the old masters, or the massed voices of the Fischer Choir. Also, the spiritual fathers of Lili Marleen, lyricist Hans Leip and composer Norbert Schultze sing 'their song' in a private, very personal version.
Lili Marleen without end – a piece of time – and cultural history is documented on the recordings that Bear Family offers with this CD box.