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In Germany Before The War Lyrics

Artist: Randy Newman
Album: Little Criminals

In Germany Before The War
There was a man who owned a store
In nineteen hundred thirty four
In Dusselford
And every day at fine o nine
He'd cross the park down to the Rhine
And he'd sit there by the shore

I'm looking at the river
But I'm thinking of the sea
I'm looking at the river
But I'm thinking of the sea

A little girl has lost her way
With hair of gold and eyes of gray
Reflected in his glasses
As he watches her
A little girl has lost her way

I'm looking at the river
But I'm thinking of the sea
Thinking of the sea
Thinking of the sea

We lie beneath the autumn sky
My little golden girl and I
And she lies very still


by Nerudapaz on 5/23/2008 4:09pm
Wonderful and disturbing! The lyrics are so profound and poetic.....leaves you so cold.
by Gidley on 5/28/2008 2:51am
For "Dusselford" read "Dusseldorf"

(Clue: it's a town in Germany...)
by tranquilo on 8/2/2008 8:39pm
About as intense as it can get. Beautiful and brutal. The creeps plus the chills. Makes me cry and still believe in humanity. Art.
by Eurovision on 4/4/2009 2:30pm
Yes - DŘsseldorf, rather than "Dusselford".
by fedogan on 8/11/2010 11:05pm
Like so much Newman, it's history: the song is about Peter Kurten, aka "the vampire of Dusseldorf."

The actual events are also the basis of "M", the greatest Peter Lorre film before he came to this country.
by Jim Smith on 1/9/2012 2:48am
When one commentator has already noted that Dusseldorf is misspelled, why doesn't the webmaster fix the typo? Come on, care about your work!
by Humbarg on 12/6/2012 10:16am
Maybe he actually likes it as a joke, Jim.
I did.
by Belia Badenhorst on 8/27/2014 11:47am
Hello I'am looking for my family who is still alive and well please can anyone help me find them please and thank you can send me a email on this email address thank you
by cees van dorst on 1/15/2015 3:10pm
this is a song for all the jews of the holocaust.
by Wilfried on 1/24/2017 6:09am
I don't think this song is about Peter K├╝rten, he was executed in 1931 after confessing 9 murders. The song says: "In 1934".
I rather prefer this interpretation: (The Observer 21.9.2003):
"Set in D├╝sseldorf in 1934, the song is also a metaphor for a nation about to enter a period of transgression and horror. This is big subject matter for a pop song, but Newman is a master of lyrical and melodic understatement, a writer for whom the pop song is a medium as powerful, intense and evocative as the short story."
by Natur Provence on 4/25/2019 8:21am
@fedogan and Wilfried:
It's a pity not to be sure about the background of this song, but I do not think that it would be a parable for the holocaust or the dark period in Germany after 1933, since it seems to me that the girl with golden hair stands for a german child and this girl is dead. May be she suffers the destiny of a lot of Germans because of the war.

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