I heard this from two songs, one is

Wir zieh'n durch die Straße

another is

Als gäb's ein Lied
Dass mich immer weiter durch die Straßen zieht,

I looked at all the meanings of "ziehen", still can't make sense of the meaning there.

Would be nice if someone could give me a short explanation.


Es gibt eine ganze Bedeutungs-Gruppe von "ziehen" im Sinne von wandern, weggehen und umherstreifen. Umzug ist nur ein Beispiel (Wir sind umgezogen /weggezogen).

Weitere Beispiele

Die Vögel ziehen nach Süden. (der jährliche Vogelzug)

Wir wissen nicht, wohin das Wild zieht.

Es zieht! (ein feiner Luftzug in der Wohnung)


It could be translated with "roaming (or "drifting") through the streets".

"Ziehen" means, firstmost, "to pull", "to draw", "to drag" but it can also be used for "to move", as is the case in your example.

So, basically, you "drag" yourself through the streets.

"Umzug" is the word Germans use when one is moving from one habitat to another one. In English, this is called "relocation", or, as typically seems to be the case, simply "to move". "Umzug" also can mean "parade" or "procession" (which would point into the direction of your example). The syllable "-zug" stems from "ziehen".

"ziehen" is also used in other contexts, like in "anziehen", which can mean "to get dressed / dress up", but also "to attract" or "ausziehen", which could mean "to undress" or to leave a location while relocating.

  • (Um)Zug in the sense of "parade" needs to be understood in conjunction with Zug "troop" (also "train", "marching band"), einziehen "to draft" (hey, that's close to "drag", you'd have to drag me to join the army, or a traditional parade with flying flags, lol). This might seem alien, so a better gloss is simply to move, move out, around, through.
    – vectory
    Jan 3 at 20:03

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