I was listening to the song Wenn dir St. Pauli auf den Geist fällt by Stereo Total and since my german is not very good cannot understand the meaning of the lyrics...

Wir sind verloren
Wir treiben ab
Und nehmen das alles
Mit ins Grab
Die eigenen Augen
Und die eigenen Ohren
Ich will nichts mehr sehen
Ich kann nichts mehr hören

Ich möchte mich in die Ecke verkriechen
aber hilft nicht
Ich könnte den ganzen Tag nur noch schreien
aber Nein
Da hilft nichts auf der Welt,
wenn dir St.Pauli auf den Geist fällt
wenn dir St.Pauli auf den Geist fällt

Wir waren verliebt
Kam mir so vor
Und jetzt ist alles
So lange her
Die Nacht vorbei
Der Kiez gefegt
Und alles schleicht
Was sich bewegt

Note: Die Sterne version of the song since it better known, so it was the only lyrics version I found.

My questions are:

Does someone knows where to find a strong translation somewhere (Google Translate did -not surprisingly- a terrible job...)?

And, my main question, is there a link between this song, the german football club FC St. Pauli, and more generally the libertarian and anarchist ideology?

Thank you!

  • It sounds to me like a grammar mistake since it's actually "auf den Geist gehen". Maybe it's a regional dialect, who knows? – äüö Oct 26 '17 at 7:02
  • The thing with lyrics is that they don't always have to make sense, or that the meaning is so ambiguous that only the author knows what s/he really meant by it. Maybe it's a play of words (since there is "Auf den Wecker fallen", which basically means the same), maybe it's just an honest mistake. We don't know. – waka Oct 26 '17 at 8:46
  • 1
    As for your second question, St. Pauli is the name of a district in Hamburg. It is widely known as a nightclub district (and a red light district). Judging from the lyrics, the author is feeling quite depressed and doesn't feel like going to nightclubs or getting entertained, so St. Pauli is not the right place for him to be, and he's annoyed by it, the people who go there and the general "way of life" displayed in that district. – waka Oct 26 '17 at 8:51
  • Well, auf auf den Geist geht would not have rhymed ;) If it is originally a Stereo Total song, then German that it is a bit off is not surprising, that is part of their French/German image. – Carsten S Oct 26 '17 at 9:33
  • 1
    Try DeepL deepl.com/translator – user unknown Oct 26 '17 at 16:09

The connection to the football club is a bit dubious. As pop songs go this one is mainly about love sickness.

As already noted in the comment St. Pauli is the name of a city district or quarter that also gave the football club its name and location.

This quarter is not only known for its night clubs and 'scenes' but also for its more anarchistic sympathy bearing inhabitants (witness as of late: some of the G20 protests). The inhabitants and the football fans alike might be called "libertarian and anarchistic", but the generally high level of noise and partying – and a certain life style by day – are certainly more in line with what's meant by the song line.

Being in bad mood while everyone else is in the opposite mood makes you further feel a bit of an outcast. It just has to be more of this conglomerate found in the city quarter than something about the football club.

Being love sick and caring about a football team does not make that much sense.

The central word to make this connection is "Kiez". This Kiez means roughly 'quarter' in Berlin and is used similarly in Hamburg; but more prominently it is used as a synonym for the central part of the district of St. Pauli.

Further but weaker evidence for this is found in the word play exhibited by "auf den Geist fällt". While this is a slightly less common, rendering of auf den Geist gehen (meaning bothering you, upsetting you) it also rhymes quite nicely with a big place mainly used for 'funfairs', also in St. Pauli: the Heiligengeistfeld.

The meaning of that song line thus has to be something like: "When all those people, their life style and behaviour, in St. Pauli get on your nerves." / "When you just can't stand your surroundings in St. Pauli."

  • The “Kiez” only makes for a small part (lets say ten to fifteen streets) of Sankt Pauli, maybe ten percent of its entire area. – Philipp Oct 26 '17 at 13:54
  • @Philipp That's the Kiez in the Kiez, the core Kiez, the real Kiez, der eigentliche Kiez? Then you are right. That's not central to the interpretation, though. People being already in HH's urban area also often use "in die Stadt fahren" meaning 'visiting the close surroundings of the Binnenalster' // Feel invited to edit my answer if you feel it necessary to add your detail. – LаngLаngС Oct 26 '17 at 14:05
  • @LangLangC I lived in St.Pauli (not on the Kiez) for several years. The Kiez was always those fifteen streets – PiedPiper Oct 26 '17 at 15:06
  • It’s not important, you’re right :) I just wanted to mention that when people say “Ich gehe auf den Kiez”, they mean they are going out to Reeperbahn / Hamburger Berg / Talstr. / Große Freiheit etc., whereas living in Sankt Pauli may mean they live two kilometers away from there. – Philipp Oct 26 '17 at 15:08
  • @PiedPiper Thx for your edit. For people 'auf St. Pauli' this distinction to 'auf'm Kiez' might actually be of tremendous importance. Seems that every step away from St. Pauli dilutes this. Note that one of the Bands is from Berlin. Since I wrote the above I've asked several people from HH and some agreed with my phrasing and some were quite upset about it. Millerntor especially. I appreciate the precision. – LаngLаngС Oct 26 '17 at 15:29

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