5 Meter


On a New Year's Eve, in a new-moon land,
They played Rio Reiser, and they made their plans.
And they each had a goal; they each wanted so much.
There was nothing life could lack.

And they burned with yearning, without a care,
Running hand-in-hand through the fireworks.
It was all or nothing, against the grain,
And they did not look back.


And once there was this Hamburger maiden 
In love with a boy who came from the Rhine.
He wanted a nice little woman from Munich;
The one from the port town was never to be.
And so the two lovers passed one another right by.

Bye, bye -- pass by.

It was a 5-meter story on the platform in Bonn,
A 5-meter beginning, begun at the end.
A 5-meter kiss, before the doors closed.
A 5-meter look, and then the tears flowed.

A 5-meter wait and a 5-meter hope:
5 meters from Köln all bets were still open.
The train stopped in Duisburg, and once more at Essen,
And 5 meters later the love was forgotten.

Bye, bye -- pass by.

It was New Year's Eve, and one year further on.
And they met up again at the very same bar.
They knew where to go -- not how to get there.
They could no longer follow Rio Reiser's sweet song.

And once there was this Hamburger maiden 
In love with a boy who came from the Rhine.
He wanted a nice little woman from Munich;
The one from the port town was never to be.
And so the two lovers passed one another right by.

Right by one another.
Bye, bye--pass by.

It was a 5-meter story on the platform in Bonn,
A 5-meter beginning, begun at the end.
A 5-meter kiss, before the doors closed.
A 5-meter look, and then the tears flowed.

A 5-meter wait and a 5-meter hope:
5 meters from Köln all bets were still open.
The train stopped in Duisburg, and once more at Essen,
And 5 meters later the love was forgotten.

Bye, bye -- pass by.

"5 Meter" -- Words and music by Anna Depenbusch
Translated by Frank Beck

Of the 11 pieces - nine songs and two instrumentals - on Anna Depenbusch's new album, 'Echtzeit' (Real Time), this is the one that I find myself singing to myself, again and again. I love the word play of the lyrics and the jazzy melody, so reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' album. No wonder they chose it for a music video. Don't let the foreign language put you off -- listen to the YouTube performance using my translation as subtitles. Hope you enjoy it.

I should add that Rio Reiser (1950-1996) and his group Ton Steine Scherben (also called 'The Shards' because their name means 'shards of clay'), formed in 1970, were among the first Germans to sing genuine rock in their native language.

There's another song from the new album at the second link.


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