German Music: Peter Licht and the End of Capitalism 
Monday, 22 .May, 2006, 10:25 - English Entries, Germany, Music

Peter Licht - Vierzehn Lieder Peter Licht (translates to "Peter Light") is one of the most surreal German artists that I know. His songs are soft (electro) pop, his lyrics are often far from reality. His best known album so far was "Vierzehn Lieder" (Fourteen Songs), on which he had such inspiring messages as "Gravity is overrated - it is not really necessary", "Stay away from Pop Culture" or "We are young and we are worrying about our chances on the job market". He sang about his "Relative from Transsylvania" and regretted that he lost a "Parking lot at the foot of the N'Gong mountains". Most famous became his beautifully simple song "sun deck" and this one:

Peter Licht:
Cheerfulness


I love the hate speeches of my shoemaker
whenever I give him something that needs to be repaired
I love being insulted by guys who make pizza
I love it to be grilled by somebody
I love the songs of civil servants,
I love love this sing-sang

I love to lose direction in the vally of tears
I love to be left there standing when it rains shit
I appreciate when moths like my clothes
I love when somebody tells me that something will not work out
I love talks about suicide
I love love this sing-sang

But it needs to be charming
And it needs to be subtle
And it must not miss humor
And it should be sexy
And it should be of wit
And cheerfulness

I also appreciate the big catastrophes
I love social differences
I love it when everybody is complaining,
I love love this sing-sang

But it needs to be charming
And it needs to be subtle
And it must not miss humor
And it should be sexy
And it should be of wit
And cheerfulness

A few days ago his new Album "Lieder vom Ende des Kapitalismus" (Songs about / from the End of Capitalism) came out, together with a book ("Wir werden gewinnen" / We Will Win). I could not resist and gave the translation of the title song a try - it's simply too good.

Peter Licht:
Song from / about the End of Capitalism

did you already
did you hear already
this is the end
the end
of capitalism
now it's finally over

over over over over over over
over over oh-over over
now it's finally over

do you remember
we rode with the sun carriage
over the firmament

and we plucked the stuff
from the shelves – from the stores
and we were complete

do you remember
we organized our things
with money

over over over over over over
over over oh-over over
now it's finally over

do you remember
we all labelled ourselves
and put on less and less clothes

do you remember
when we all were too much
do you remember

labelled and too much
and our bellies –
our capitalistic bellies

over over over over over over

capitalism, the old trickster,
he lived us off long enough

over over over over
now it's finally over
over over over over
now it's finally over

it was long enough anyhow
it was long enough anyhow

did you already
did you hear already
it's finally over

Obviously his lyrics do not offer an alternative to the capitalistic system, his criticism is not clearly formulated and it is all not helpful to really fix the problems of our time. Accepted!

But Peter takes us to an over-idealistic dance on a meadow, where we can believe for something around three minutes that everything is over and better now. It's over, over, over - it's finally over. He sums up the worries and fears in a single word, that he abandons and it becomes clear that afterwards we just feel free and light.

Of course this is an illusion, a cheap trick, playing with the feelings of the listeners. But then again: whatever he expresses would not work if there would not be the true desire for such a change. Or at least a general feeling of being fed-up with the current situation and system.

The song is a big, easy smile, that lurks behind our own dissatisfaction. It is friendly and harmless, it does not talk about revolution or brutality. It has gone past those revolting against something. It gives hope, without saying for what we should hope. Peter Licht is an artist who does not try to teach us anything but criticizes in the most friendly, humorous and effective way.

» Listen to "Lied vom Ende des Kapitalismus" (on Peter Licht's MySpace Page)
» Watch the Video of "Heiterkeit" (Cheerfulness) - on YouTube
» Watch the Video of "Clubbing Against Capitalism" - on YouTube
» Watch the Video of "Meine transsylvanische Verwandte" - on YouTube

» Peter Licht – Official Homepage (in German)
» Wikipedia.de: Peter Licht (in German)

» Amazon.de: Peter Licht - CD: Vierzehn Lieder
» Amazon.de: Peter Licht - CD: Lieder vom Ende des Kapitalismus
» Amazon.de: Peter Licht - CD: Lieder vom Ende des Kapitalismus + Book: Wir werden siegen

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