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“Aber bitte mit Sahne” – Udo Jürgens shares a Cautionary Tale Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Folklore, Music

I’m not the biggest fan of German music. Wait let me rephrase that. I’m not the biggest fan of German music post-Liszt. The best music I’ve ever heard was composed in Germany. But somehow when it comes to modern pop, the only German music I’ll listen to is instrumental or hip-hop. The same goes for German folk music and Schlager. I could normally do without it. There’s something about the timbre of the bright recordings that I just find irritating, for whatever reason.

Who would have guessed that all I really needed to become a Schlager fan was to work in a German restaurant? I have a not-too-thoroughly tested philosophy that if I don’t like something, I’m probably not very familiar with it. Two months of working at a restaurant where a live German-language band played every single night was, as it turns out, plenty of time to become familiar with the standards of Schlager. And now I write to you as a changed man. No, I’m not going to go out and buy The Best of Kastelruther Spatzen, but maybe I won’t cringe any time I’m around men in Lederhosen playing keyboards. Okay, maybe not cringing is too much to ask. I’ll just cringe a little less.

And maybe… just maybe… I’ll make a request. And if I do, that request will be “Aber Bitte Mit Sahne”, by Udo Jürgens. After six weeks of listening to the Dolomiten Banditen perform selections from their massive repertoire, I’m eager to share with you the song that edged out “Viva Colonia” as my favorite German-language pop song. Watch Herr Jürgens perform the song and maybe hold off on that pastry you’re eying, lest you meet the same fate as Liliane.

Sie treffen sich täglich um viertel nach drei – The meet daily at a quarter passed three

am Stammtisch im Eck in der Konditorei – At the table in the corner of the bakery

und blasen zum Sturm auf das Kuchenbuffett – And storm over to the cake buffet

auf Schwarzwälder Kirsch und auf Sahnebaiser – To Black Forest cherry and to cream-merengue

auf Früchteeis, Ananas, Kirsch und Banane – To sherbet, pineapple, cherry and banana

aber bitte mit Sahne – But please with cream!


Sie schwatzen und schmatzen, dann holen sie sich – They babble and smack and then they grab

noch Buttercremetorte und Bienenstich – More buttercream and bee sting cake

sie pusten und prusten, fast geht nichts mehr rein – They huff and they puff, barely no more fits in

nur ein Mohrenkopf höchstens, denn Ordnung muss sein, – Just a Chocomallow at most, there must be order (NOTE: I just made that word “Chocomallow” up. As far as I know, there’s no real name for these things in English.)

Bei Mathilde, Ottilie, Marie und Liliane,
- With Mathilde, Ottilie, Marie and Liliane

aber bitte mit Sahne – But please with cream!


Und das Ende vom Lied hat wohl jeder geahnt – By now everyone’s guessed the end of the song

der Tod hat reihum sie dort abgesahnt – Death gathered them up and put cream on top

die Hinterbliebenen fanden vor Schmerz keine Worte – The survivors couldn’t find words for the pain

mit Sacher- und Linzer- und Marzipantorte 
- With Sacher and Linzer and Marzipan pies

als letzte hielt Liliane getreu noch zur Fahne
- Liliane was the last left holding the flag

aber bitte mit Sahne – But please with cream!


Doch auch mit Liliane war es schließlich vorbei – But even for Liliane the end finally came

sie kippte vom Stuhl in der Konditorei – She fell her her stool in the bakery

auf dem Sarg gabs statt Kränze verzuckerte Torten
 – On her casket were no wreaths, but sugar-filled cakes

und er Pfarrer begrub sie mit rührenden Worten
– And the priest buried her with heartwarming words

dass der Herrgott den Weg in den Himmel ihr bahne
- That God would pave her way to heaven

aber bitte mit Sahne – But please with cream!


Noch ein Tässchen Kaffee, aber bitte mit Sahne – Another cup of coffee, but please with cream!

noch ein kleines Baiser, aber bitte mit Sahne
- One more merengue, but please with cream!

oder solls vieleicht doch nur ein Keks sein? 
Aber bitte mit Sahne. – Or maybe just a cookie? But please with cream!

What do you guys think? Isn’t that song ridiculous? I honestly didn’t understand what Gerhard was singing when I heard it at the restaurant; I just liked the song’s groove  and the key change at the end. But having now learned and translated the lyrics, I feel like exploring more Schlager to see if anything can top this one. What a hilarious story. Those poor ladies! I mean, who could resist those desserts anyway? So again, please be careful with the holiday coming up, and consider this a cautionary tale!

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About the Author: mickeymickey

Mickey was born in 1987 in Chicago, IL. He plays the oboe and loves Calvin & Hobbes. His favorite Beatles song is "Something", but his favorite Beatles album is A Hard Day's Night.


  1. leon gork:

    Fantastisch. Es gefelt mir sehr die Worte zu lessen zugleich mit die Music zuhören. Viele dank, auch etwas humoristisch

  2. Shaunte Mackey:

    I loved it. It reminded me a little of Dixie Chick’s Goodbye Earl. It was a little lighter but very entertaining.