Top 5 Songs for German Unity Day
October 3 is Tag der Deutschen Einheit or German Unity Day. It marks the date in 1990 when West Germany and East Germany were unified for the first time since 1945.
Germany is the one European continental nation I can actually claim some recent heritage with, which came in handy in the World Cup in 2014 and Eurovision in 2010, but not so much in recent song contests.
Unlike many other international competitions West Germany was, more often than not, referred to as 'Germany' in Eurovision before unification. However to mark Unity Day I am going to pick my top five entries from when they competed as a united nation, which pains me as some of my all time favourites are from the 80s ( Ein bißchen Frieden and Johnny Blue anyone!)
But before we get to the top five, I must make a special mention:
Atlantis 2000 - Dieser Traum darf niemals sterben
In the spirit of the day we must look at their 1991 entry which was the first as a unified state. Germany sent this heartfelt ballad with message of unity and peace.
When there is no hate anymore Are we free forever. This dream must never die, this dream must never pass away. Much still has to change And so much more has to be done.
The song translated to this 'Dream must never die' with the ominous group's name being Atlantis 2000. Europe responded by giving it 18th out of 22 songs. Ouch!
5. Ann Sophie - Black Smoke (27th 2015)
Ann Sophie wasn't even meant to go to Eurovision when finishing a distant 2nd in the German National Final of 2015. But when Andreas Kümmert was announced as winner he immediately withdrew from competing, giving the opportunity to Ann Sophie. At the contest itself she put in a memorable performance that unfortunately Europe didn't get behind (pun intended) and she finished last with nil point. She deserved better of course, but was ompeting in a particularly tough year.
4. Lou - Let's be Happy (=11th 2003)
Ok this is not going to win any songwriting awards (sorry Ralph) but it's infectious silly pop that was perfect in the early 2000s. In what was a fantastic contest, Lou just finished outside the top 10 in 11th place.
3. Cascada - Gloroius (21st 2013)
Cascada were European superstars and a lot was expected of their entry in 2013. Unfortunately it finished a disappointing 21st on the night. Perhaps Europe had tired of Eurobangers and it may have fared better if it had competed in recent times (Eurobangers are back!). It was however a massive crowd pleaser in the hall on the night and remains so to this day.
2. Mekado - Wir geben ne Party (3rd 1994)
In an era full of airy (celtic) ballads this songs slaps you in the face with energy and pure joy. The German language never sounded so fun! Perhaps it may have been more suited to the 80s but it still finished in 3rd place, giving a unified Germany their equal best result until their win in 2010.
1. Lena - Satellite (1st 2010)
Yes I know many fans prefer her 2011 entry 'Taken by a Stranger' but I will go for catchy, simple, pop performed without fuss any day. It bucked the trend of overblown performances of the 2000s and issued a new era for the contest. Satellite was the first win for a unified Germany, and only their second win ever. It is also the only big five winner this century.
So that's it, Germany has been quite a hit and miss nation and here's hoping for more 'hits' from them in the 2020s.