Last week at Indietracks The Validators were issued a CHALLENGE: to perform a version of the song Drink doch eine met by Black Fooss at a gig we're doing next year. What do you mean, you've never heard of it?!? Let's rectify that right now!
When the challenge was first issued, by Mr Marcel Plaum and his associates, I was AFEARED because it had been issued via SHEET MUSIC. However, a bit of googling showed me that the song uses EXACTLY the chords that I always use (apart from having a B minor in the middle eight... because it doesn't have a middle eight) which was something of a relief. I also found a couple of translations of the lyrics, but I didn't really like them - they seemed very LITERAL, rather than like actual song lyrics, so I thought I'd have a go at doing a version MYSELF.
I do have FORM for this sort of thing, as I'd not only done a German to English translation of 'Arbeit' by Manfred Maurenbrecher (as Work (Arbeit)) a few years ago but ALSO an American to English translation of 'Glory Days' by Bruce Springsteen. That version of 'Glory Days' had to be SUPPRESSED because of fears of LEGAL ACTION by the so-called 'Boss' (a revised version with 'correct' lyrics was issued on WIAIWYA's Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool album) but I had very much enjoyed the task in both cases. It makes songwriting a LOT easier when somebody else has worked out the structure and everything, and all you have to do is rearrange the words a bit so they rhyme!
It was only after about half an hour of trying to find a rhyme for "Have a drink with us" that I realised I didn't even need to necessarily do THAT, as the original song doesn't rhyme AT ALL. It blew my tiny mind when I realised this and I had to listen to the song a couple more times to be sure. It FEELS as if it rhymes, but then it totally doesn't! I tried leaving MY version of the lyrics un-rhymed but didn't really like it, and anyway I DID find a rhyme ("Don't get yourself het up") which FITTED, so I kept it!
Once I'd finished I found myself RATHER excited - it's a bloody BRILLIANT song which I had already spent the day singing in my head, and now that I had an English translation I wanted to share it, so recorded a quick demo and sent it to The Validators. In all the excitement I suggested that we could even record it for this year's addition to Christmas Selection Box, not realising that only myself and Mr FA Machine had already heard it, and had been talking about it on the emails. The others had not been so privileged, so may not be quite so keen, but one way or another I hope to UNLEASH this version on an unsuspecting world somehow someday. It's a GRATE song with a BEAUTIFUL sentiment, it can't just be contained in Cologne!