Bremen Nacht

Lyrics

Something happened in Bremen, I know (1)
Something I don't want to
Something under the ceiling muttered
Something in its steel shutters

Underlining my usual timing
Aligning casual set-list
And it aligned?
Knowing where right room is
I was more than usual pissed

Was first ashamed at bruise on wrist
Was then annoyed at skin-patch on back
Then I did myself acquit
On Bremen Nacht

Ich leave real quick das Bremen Nacht

Ich rausum mach aus bremen nacht

Ich rausum mach das bremen nacht

Ic-raus-Mach-Schnell aus das bremen nicht

Ich-aus Schnell mach sas bremen nacht

Ich Mach Schnell pack und aus das bremen nacht

Ich raus schnell mach von bremen nacht (2)

The child's four-fingered bruises on my hip
Meant I had been one day possessed

Right through Bremen Nacht
Right on to Bremen Tag (3)
The sunlit Bremen day
By Tonsillitis size train station Hof (4)
Could only in one way fail to impress
This on drinks door I did lay
I had been one day possessed

Ich rausum mach aus bremen nacht

Thank God skin-patch is nearly gone
And the impress of fingers dead
Have disappeared and left me alone

That's one night I didna put jackboots on
Don't want to end reflection
It's still there, though I am gone

And it will be a long long long time gone
before my spirit will in accident
go back and come from Bremen Nacht
go back and come from Bremen Nacht

(5)

Notes

1. An indication of what MES thinks "happened," from Reformation:

"MES, interviewed by Roy Wilkinson in Sounds ("The Bug.Eyed Pop Goblin"; 2 January, 1988):
 
'I'd been to Bremen twice before on tours. The first time I just puked my ring up all day
spewing up this black liquid.  When I went back there this time I just went crazy. The gig had a really low steel roof - it was this German polytechnic with steel everywhere, metal shutters on the windows which made it real claustrophobic. The dressing room was like a fucking gas chamber, man.
 
We go out and play and I'm just feeling worse and worse. I just felt like a different person, I was snapping at everyone....In the morning I had all these handprints on my leg, bruises from the inside that looked like a child's handprints. What I've settled on at the moment - everybody says it must be the Nazis, they must have killed somebody - is that it was probably the firebombing in the Second World War and it was like an air-raid shelter that had been bombed.'"
 
Bremen is in Northern Germany. During World War II, it housed the Bremen-Farge and Bremen-Vegesack concentration camps, both subcamps in the Neuengamme concentration camp complex. Bremen was heavily bombed by the Allies.
 
Hotel Bloedel deals with some similar themes about a visit to Germany, and a visit from the revenants of its past...
 
 
2. These German phrases are highly corrupted, and mostly mean something like "I must get out of Bremen night," or "I must quickly hie from Bremen night."   
 
 
3. Tag means "day." 
 
 
4. Hof in this context means "station"; "train station" in German is Bahnhof
 
 
5. The lyrics to "Last Nacht" from I Am Kurious Oranj are a variation of the above lyrics:
 
Ich leave real quick das Bremen Nacht
Child's four finger bruises on my hip
Could only in one way fail to depress
This on drinks door did I lay

I have been one day posessed

It's still there though I am gone

But I will be a long long time gone
But my spirit will in accident
Go back and come from Bremen Nacht

Ich raus schnell mach aus Bremen Nacht
Ich rausum mach aus Bremen Nacht
Ich rausum mach aus Bremen Nacht
Ich raus schnell mach das Bremen Nacht

Ich raus schnell mach aus Bremen Nacht
Ich rausum mach das Bremen Nacht

Ich raus schnell mach das Bremen Nacht

Ich raus schnell mach aus das Bremen Nacht
Ich rausum mach aus Bremen Nacht
Ich rausum mach das Bremen Nacht
Ich raus schnell mach das Bremen Nacht

Ich raus schnell mach aus das Bremen Nacht
Bremen Nacht
 
^
 

Comments (8)

dannyno
  • 1. dannyno | 13/07/2013
So earlier in 1987, The Fall played HFT Mensa, in Bremen (14 February). It sounds like this is the occasion MES refers to in the quoted interview.

"HFT" will be the Hochschule für Technik, which became part of the Hochschule Bremen, the University of Applied Sciences (so all equivalent to what in the UK we would have called a polytechnic).

"Mensa" is German for cafeteria, or, I guess in the polytechnic context, "refectory."

Would be interesting to find some pictures of it from the time.
dannyno
  • 2. dannyno | 13/07/2013
Here is Dead Can Dance playing the same venue around the same time:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twWdFC2CHhk&feature=share&list=PL806BE628217C2705
dannyno
  • 3. dannyno | 13/07/2013
So the venue may have been here:
https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Neustadtswall+hochschule+mensa&hl=en&ll=53.072483,8.793252&spn=0.000898,0.002642&sll=53.072369,8.792665&sspn=0.007129,0.021136&gl=uk&hq=Neustadtswall+hochschule+mensa&t=m&z=19

Possibly.

Looks old enough. But post-war?
Gus
  • 4. Gus (link) | 09/04/2015
This is the only song of the Fall that turns me off, because of all the ignorance. How interesting, because other The Fall songs and titles reveal a surprising rich source of understanding.
In my humble opinion, Mark should pronounce German as it is supposed to sound, or take a German singer for such a song.

The ignorance is well portrayed in the notes.
The first concentration camps where build by the British in South Africa during the Boer wars, the bombing of Bremen was done after Britain had defeated Germany in World War one, and had put a puppet government there.

I hope you now understand why I get irritated here.
It is not personal, but more against British ignorance in general. And also on the main land of Europe, much ignorance is there against the Germans. Reformation started in Germany, in 1517, when Martin Luther would nail the 95 thesis on the Wittemburgh temple door.
Reformation!

Reformation and the ignorance about it is my concern here, and even about Puritans. I saw a French artist group calling themselves New Puritan, while no reality was found in the Art Work, although very good art, but had no relation to Puritanism, or New Puritanism, because the French have no clue about what Puritanism is.

Sure I do! Puritanism was a righteous theological approach to Anglicanism, any etymological meaning is ignorant.

British fire bombs, British concentration camps, and British ignorance. It's like this Youtube movie I saw, where a coward from the Boer wars was being called a hero by the comments.
Just British comments I suppose!

Sorry for this.
Just want to save your ass folks.
Europe should stop to blame Martin Luther, and put the nail on the donkey on the 7 hills, on a village country given in 1929 with Lateran accords by Benito Mussolini.
Not an opinion.
The romanist antichrist wants to burn all bibles and Jerusalem as his capital. Reality. Germans and British should be allies in common sense, your education and politics are run by romanists.
Mine also, for me it is the same.
Reformation!
dannyno
  • 5. dannyno | 25/06/2015
I think the rhythm of this song resembles some arrangements of the Doc Pomus song, "Lonely Avenue"
Martin Gammon
  • 6. Martin Gammon | 10/07/2016
I don't take the song to be anti-German. It just seems to be a ghostly experience that MES had because of an evil thing that happened in the past. And evil is evil, regardless of whether it was inflicted by the Germans (Bremen-Farge/ Bremen-Vegesack concentration camps) or the British (fire bombing). Places where evil has happened maintain an afterimage of doom and fear, as I'm sure the Boer war camps would. It is the innocents who have suffered and that's what the tale is about. As for the mangling of the German lyrics, I can understand that would be irritating but most Fall songs do a fine job of mangling the English language too. As a final note, it's as if the voices in MES's mind are trying to express themselves in German and he can't articulate it.
Martin Gammon
  • 7. Martin Gammon | 10/07/2016
I don't take the song to be anti-German. It just seems to be a ghostly experience that MES had because of an evil thing that happened in the past. And evil is evil, regardless of whether it was inflicted by the Germans (Bremen-Farge/ Bremen-Vegesack concentration camps) or the British (fire bombing). Places where evil has happened maintain an afterimage of doom and fear, as I'm sure the Boer war camps would. It is the innocents who have suffered and that's what the tale is about. As for the mangling of the German lyrics, I can understand that would be irritating but most Fall songs do a fine job of mangling the English language too. As a final note, it's as if the voices in MES's mind are trying to express themselves in German and he can't articulate it.
bzfgt
  • 8. bzfgt | 15/07/2016
I agree with that interpretation entirely, Martin, based on the lyrics and everything I know about MES and the way he thinks. It also seems like a companion piece to Hotel Bloedel in that regard.

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