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In the recent Ohrwurm "Geiles Leben" by Glasperlenspiel, the following verses can be heard (at 1:39):

Ich hab' 'ne Weile gebraucht, um zu verstehen

Es geht nicht darum, was Andere in dir sehen

(cf. songtexte.com)

Although I'm not a native speaker, was Andere in dir sehen is not acceptable to me: I would formulate the clause as (et)was anderes in dir zu sehen.

Moreover, I personally find my version to fit better into the meter of the song:

ich.hab.ne.wei.le.ge.braucht.um.zu.ver.ste.hn

was.an.dres.in.dir.zu.sehn

Although they are still not "equivalent" in any metric way, the zu in zu sehen serves (for me) to make both follow a pattern of unstressed syllables separating stressed ones, whereas the original version has two stressed adjacent syllables in the second verse (in.dir.sehn).

Can anyone offer an analysis of this? — Obviously it's "acceptable" by native speakers at some level because the lyrics were written and sung by native speakers. Still, assuming my perception of and taste for rhythm and meter doesn't diverge significantly from that of native speakers, for what artistic/stylistic reasons did they choose this over "my" version?

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    I can't quite follow what you want to say with meter and the funny dots, neither do I know the song. But the sentence "Es geht nicht darum, was andere in dir sehen." makes perfect sense and is grammatically absolutely correct. It translates to "It doesn't matter what others see in you (or think of you)." "...etwas anderes in dir zu sehen..." means "...to see something else in you..." – Thomas Mar 29 '16 at 9:51
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    @Thomas, this could be an answer. – Carsten S Mar 29 '16 at 10:00
  • It seems I totally overlooked that meaning; Does that mean my question doesn't make sense any longer and I should delete it, or should I accept this answer? – errantlinguist Mar 29 '16 at 10:03
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    @Thomas - mach' ne Antwort d'raus, nur Mut, bevor es jemand anders tut ;) – Takkat Mar 29 '16 at 10:12
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    the song is just awful – Alex Mar 29 '16 at 12:40
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I cannot agree with you. Firstly, the sentence in the song makes sense, meaning something like "It's not about what others see in you". The alternative you would prefer gives the lyrics a totally different meaning and does not fit well in the context. It roughly means "It's not about seeing something different in you." But the line wants to express that you shouldn't care what others think about you, just be yourself.

Secondly, the surrounding lines in the song use a iamb pentameter (five stressed syllables per line - mind the slurred syllables!).

Ich hab' 'ne Weile gebraucht, um zu verstehen

The same in the next line you refer to. What do you mean by two adjacent stressed syllables? "dir" is not stressed.

Es geht nicht darum, was andere in dir sehn

Your version makes it six stressed syllables, this does not fit very well.

Es geht nicht darum, was anderes in dir zu sehn

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