Starcat 1 by my favourite artist

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rammstein - or How to Solve the Spanish Debt Crisis and Reverse The Pay Cuts in My Salary

OK, I know that readers of my blog might think that I don't particularly like our Teutonic cousins. After all, Liverpool comedian Stan Boardman did make the very salient point that "they bombed our chippy". Indeed, who can forget the famous Fokker joke  that got him banned from TV for years? As a matter of fact they did bomb my mum and aunt's hairdressing salon and cost them their life's savings, as well as razing part of Liverpool city centre, thus condemning us to the concrete monstrosities of post-war construction. But the uglification of post-war Britain is, of course, the result of the greed and corruption of local government. They did reconstruction a hell of a lot better in West Germany (as it then was until Germany was re-united much against the will of Margaret Thatcher - who was right yet again).

However, there are some things that I do admire about the Germans - they make good cars and, supposedly, good motorbikes. My Ford was built in Germany, although admittedly its impressively responsive and all-forgiving heart, a massive V6, is in fact American. I also have two German motorbikes - an old one that works when its petrol tank isn't full of water, and a new high-tech one that doesn't work at all. Perhaps when BMW bought what was left of British Leyland, it also absorbed the ethos of 1970s Brtitish "quality control".

Anyhow, dear reader, if there is one German-born product that has me thoroughly enthralled it is the Neue Deutsche Härte group Rammstein. I do not like Heavy Metal, in fact I hate it. I do not like German music either. But this group appeals to something deep within my psyche. 

It might be the compelling beat, it might be the complexity of the music. But I think its appeal more likely resides in the brutal force of the language and its dramatic delivery. These elements somehow seem to call us from the primeval woods of pre-Roman civilisation. 

We must not forget that English is a bastard language, but one which is at heart Nordic. The Angles and the Saxons were both invaders from what is now Germany. In their turn the Anglo-Saxons were placed under the Viking yoke. Later the Normans, who as the name suggests, were in fact French-speaking Norsemen, invaded us and so a veneer of French was added to our elemental  language.  

The music of Rammstein, then, is a mixture of brutally hard-hitting music and words with such a forceful delivery it that cuts through the centuries. It seems to call to our ancestral core. It seems to spring from the pagan pre-Roman groves. It is thoroughly enjoyable and somehow inspiring.

Warning: this music is to be played at full volume, but not when driving. The speeding fines tend to be as eye-wateringly impressive as Rammstein in concert. Indeed, if all drivers on Spanish roads were required by law to play Rammstein while they were driving instead of headache-inducing Flamenco fusion - a fusion to my ears of cats on heat and constipated gypsies - the Spanish debt crisis would be over in months. Better Rammstein than Merkel, I say.

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