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I was hearing "Mein Leben ist super" by Revolverheld, when I noticed this sentence:

Ich steh auf, geh' raus gib meinem Leben nen Lauf

which, I guess, uses the expression "einen Lauf geben".

What does that mean?

UPDATE

Another weird thing I just realized. Ich stehe aufand geh' raus seems like the first person of the singular present, while gib is the imperative form. Does that actually make any sense?

  • 1
    It would have to be "einen Lauf" (accusative), which is fortunately, because it does not make you think of "Einlauf". – Carsten S Jul 27 '15 at 9:29
  • Are you sure that was sung? Makes no perfect sense to me. I could imagine "einen Lauf haben" which translates to "things are going good" – Alex Jul 27 '15 at 9:29
  • German song texts.. oh golly. I would translate it to "get my life rolling". But also sounds weird natively – Alex Jul 27 '15 at 9:33
  • Besser ein Lauf haben, als Einlauf kriegen. – Em1 Jul 27 '15 at 9:47
  • "dem Leben einen Lauf geben" is no usual expression. It's a made-up expression to fit the song, but does not make much sense. Of course, one can interpret what the texter meant or could have meant but actually that's the sign of a poor text with empty words. – rogermue Jul 27 '15 at 19:02
2

In German the course of a life is commonly expressed as Lauf or Verlauf with corresponding verbs laufen, or verlaufen.

Mein Leben läuft ganz gut.
Sein Leben verlief in geordneten Bahnen.

Apparently these lyrics also play with a common German compound Lebenslauf used not only for a CV in job applications but also in the meaning of life story or course of life.

So when the singer says "Gib meinem Leben [ein]nen Lauf" they actually ask for their life to get on track, to give sense, or similar, which lets us assume it had not quite been in such an ordered fashion before.

Apparently they switched within the sentence to an imperative from of geben (gib), wich may be intentional, or may also come from a dialect influence, where the shortened 1st person singular ich geb' may sometimes become ich gib.

  • Ah, da habe ich wohl was nicht mit bekommen oder die Songtexter können kein Deutsch. Ich sage noch "ich gebe" , die Songtexter machen schon " ich gib". Wo haben die Deutsch gelernt? – rogermue Jul 27 '15 at 19:11
  • @rogermue: die haben das nirgens gelernt. ;) – Takkat Jul 27 '15 at 19:36
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I would guess that this comes from

Einen Lauf haben

which would be translated with

having a streak of success or luck, being on a role

It would be helpful to know some more about the song and the lines around this one, but if my assumption is true, it would translate as something like

I give my life a push towards a period of success and luck

I get my life on a role

  • I see. So it is not an expression itself, but a modification of a known expression. I updated the question with the name of the song. – Enrique Moreno Tent Jul 27 '15 at 9:34

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