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Pop and Poetry – Pleasure and Protest

Udo Lindenberg, Konstantin Wecker and the Tradition of German Cabaret


Annette Blühdorn

This book provides a detailed analysis of the lyrics of the German rock musician Udo Lindenberg and of the singer-songwriter Konstantin Wecker. The investigation starts from the assumption that lyrics which are not in English put more weight onto the textual side of popular songs; the lyrics are therefore analysed separately from music and performance. Furthermore, this study goes beyond the distinction between dominant and mass literature which, within literary studies, has so far prevented an unbiased approach towards song lyrics. Finally, it is suggested that Lindenberg’s and Wecker’s lyrics can be read as contemporary variations of «Gebrauchslyrik», a concept that was developed by major representatives of the German cabaret culture during the 1920s and 1930s. Hence, the book recapitulates the history of both the German cabaret and the development of German popular music, and places Lindenberg and Wecker within these cultural movements.
Contents: Lyrics Between Pop and Poetry – Perspectives of Popular Music Research and of Literary Studies – The Dichotomy Between E-Musik and U-Musik – The Split Between High and Low Literature – Lyrics Between Pleasure and Protest – Weimar Cabaret and Cabaret Chanson – The Concept of Gebrauchslyrik – The German Singer-Songwriter Movement – Early German Rock Music – The Lyrics of Udo Lindenberg and Konstantin Wecker.