I'm currently a beginner in my German language learning journey trying to challenge myself with translating and understanding lyrics of German songs. I came across the song "Schwarm" by Die Lieferanten and I can translate/get the grammar for the most part. However, I'm still a bit confused on the meaning of the song and the phrase "Wir sind ein Schwarm". Is it really just "We're a flock"? I guess that does fit with the song lyrics I understand so far but can someone help summarize the meaning of the lyrics (what the song is about)? Thanks!

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    "a beginner in my German language learning journey trying to challenge myself with translating and understanding lyrics of German songs" - I commend you for taking up the challenge, but I keep wondering why relative beginners would burden themselves with translating song lyrics - a form of text where artistic license may easily trump grammar, idiomaticity, and precise meaning of words, and where the underlying meaning of the text may be intentionally obscure or ambiguous even to native speakers. (Of course, it depends on the song and on what you mean by "beginner".) Feb 23, 2021 at 7:44
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    Actually I would have translated it as we are a crowd, since I assume an similarity to Schwarmintelligenz , or even we are many, but I did not search for the context of the song lyrics.
    – guidot
    Feb 23, 2021 at 7:58
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    dielieferanten.bandcamp.com/track/schwarm „Gern flieg ich mit den Sternen dahin// Wo auch die Vögel zieh’n// Wir sind ein Schwarm“ Yes, it’s a flock.
    – Carsten S
    Feb 23, 2021 at 9:04
  • @O.R.Mapper I agree regarding your observation of the downsides of this approach. The benefit of translating lyrics for language learners is that the lyrics stick to your mind with the song quite easily. Learning the lyrics is basically like learning a bunch of example sentences, while it is much easier to memorize the sentences. This helps with getting the feeling what "sounds" right in the language. At least, these were my motives when learning songs in other languages. Feb 23, 2021 at 10:28
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    @jonathan.scholbach: Yes, I do this myself. It's important to keep a check on the difficulty though; pick songs where you an understand most of what's said without looking it up. (I'm personally at about teen-pop level, e.g Schweden-Mädel or Die Liebe ist ein seltsames Spiel.) Also, I try to find songs where the lyrics are available in printed form; it's hard to look up a word when you can't spell it.
    – RDBury
    Feb 23, 2021 at 12:21

1 Answer 1


The lyrics of "Schwarm" (https://dielieferanten.bandcamp.com/track/schwarm) are quite cryptic, they're certainly ambiguous.

To me it seems like they're some contemplations about life as a university student, or more generally as an apprentice of some sort, about learning together with others and about that strange phase in life that is clearly temporary, a part of everyone's way but no one's destination. Everyone's here in transit. They're like a flock of birds that just come together to fly to the south, for a temporary goal, parting again when they're there. "Nothing will begin here, nothing will end here".

The verses are mostly about the learning experience, "collecting", "picking fruits", "pushing oneself up", collecting "ahs and ohs" of understanding to be harvested later, also trying to impress teachers or other people, all of that with a slightly ironic undertone.

The chorus with the "Schwarm" metaphor is more about the collective experience of the phase in life.

There may be other interpretations, this is mostly what I relate to in this song.

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