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"Dalai Lama"
Song

Dalai Lama is the third song from the album Reise, Reise. It is an adaptation of "der Erlkönig," a poem written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) in 1782 and subsequently set to music by many composers, including Franz Schubert (1797-1828) in 1815. The band apparently considered calling the song "Erlkönig" in homage to Goethe's poem. "Flugangst" ("fear of flying", literally "flight fright") was also considered as a name before Rammstein settled on "Dalai Lama" in reference to the current Dalai Lama's well-publicised dislike of air travel. Other than this somewhat oblique reference, the song does not have anything to do with Tibetan Buddhism or the Dalai Lama.

The song replaces Goethe's travelling man and child on horseback with a man and child on an aircraft, and the Erlkönig himself with the "king of all the winds." As in the poem, the travelers are menaced by a mysterious spirit which "invites" the child to join him (though only the child can hear the spirit's invitation). Rammstein's version differs markedly from Goethe's original in describing the fate of the child. In the poem, the child cries out that the Erlkönig is abducting it. The alarmed father rides for help, holding the child in his arms, only to find that his son is dead; Rammstein replaces this with a typically morbid twist: after running into a storm sent by the "king of all the winds" which threatens all the passengers, the terrified father suffocates the child by holding him too tightly and the child's soul joins its "brothers" in the winds.

LyricsEdit

Ein Flugzeug liegt im Abendwind
An Bord ist auch ein Mann mit Kind
Sie sitzen sicher sitzen warm
und gehen so dem Schlaf ins Garn
In drei Stunden sind sie da
zum Wiegenfeste der Mama
Die Sicht ist gut der Himmel klar

Weiter, weiter ins Verderben
Wir müssen leben bis wir sterben
Der Mensch gehört nicht in die Luft
So der Herr im Himmel ruft
seine Söhne auf dem Wind
Bringt mir dieses Menschenkind

Das Kind hat noch die Zeit verloren
Da springt ein Widerhall zu Ohren
Ein dumpfes Grollen treibt die Nacht
und der Wolkentreiber lacht
Schüttelt wach die Menschenfracht

Weiter, weiter ins Verderben
Wir müssen leben bis wir sterben
Und das Kind zum Vater spricht
Hörst du denn den Donner nicht
Das ist der König aller Winde
Er will mich zu seinem Kinde

Aus den Wolken tropft ein Chor
Kriecht sich in das kleine Ohr
Komm her, bleib hier
Wir sind gut zu dir
Komm her, bleib hier
Wir sind Brüder dir

Der Sturm umarmt die Flugmaschine
Der Druck fällt schnell in der Kabine
Ein dumpfes Grollen treibt die Nacht
In Panik schreit die Menschenfracht

Weiter, weiter ins Verderben
Wir müssen leben bis wir sterben
Und zum Herrgott fleht das Kind
Himmel nimm zurück den Wind
Bring uns unversehrt zu Erden

Aus den Wolken tropft ein Chor
Kriecht sich in das kleine Ohr
Komm her, bleib hier
Wir sind gut zu dir
Komm her, bleib hier
Wir sind Brüder dir

Der Vater hält das Kind jetzt fest
Hat es sehr an sich gepresst
Bemerkt nicht dessen Atemnot
Doch die Angst kennt kein Erbarmen
So der Vater mit den Armen
Drückt die Seele aus dem Kind
Diese setzt sich auf den Wind und singt:

Komm her, bleib hier
Wir sind gut zu dir
Komm her, bleib hier
Wir sind Brüder dir

An airplane is in the evening wind
On board is a man with his child as well
They sit secure and warm
and so they fall into the trap of sleep
In three hours they will be there
for mama's birthday
The view is good the sky is clear

Onwards, onwards into destruction
We must live until we die
Humans don't belong in the sky
So the lord in Heaven calls
his sons to the wind
Bring me this human child

The child has still lost time
Then an echo jumps to his ears
A muffled rumbling drives the night
and the driver of the clouds laughs
He shakes the human cargo awake

Onwards, onwards into destruction
We must live until we die
And the child says to the father
Don't you hear the thunder
That's the king of all the winds
He wants me to become his child

From the clouds falls a choir
which crawls into the little ear
Come here, stay here
We'll be good to you
Come here, stay here
We are your brothers

The storm embraces the flying machine
The pressure falls quickly in the cabin
A muffled rumbling drives the night
In panic the human cargo screams

Onwards, onwards into destruction
We must live until we die
And to God the child pleads
Heaven take back the wind
Bring us unharmed to earth

From the clouds falls a choir
which crawls into the little ear
Come here, stay here
We'll be good to you
Come here, stay here
We are your brothers

The father is now holding onto the child
and has pressed it tightly against himself
He doesn't notice its difficulty in breathing
But fear knows no mercy
So with his arms the father
squeezes the soul from the child
Which takes its place upon the wind and sings:

Come here, stay here
We'll be good to you
Come here, stay here
We are your brothers


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