05 October 2015


McFly Montag

If you have an identical twin who has your L2 as his L1, then we can imagine that all your favourite L1 musicians have similar counterparts in your L2. And I have finally found the German McFly. So I may better make my case, let's begin with the original British McFly and my favourite of their songs . . .

In I Wanna Hold You, the desperation of a young man in love is expressed through the imagery of natural disasters. McFly had to clean the lyrics up a bit after a bombing coincided with the release of this 2008 single. So instead of "I would destroy the world for you," they had to sing "I would change the world for you"--and instead of comparing the beloved's devotion to "a neutron bomb explosion," they instead moaned that when she withheld it, she "[kept] polluting like the ocean." (No, I'm not a fan of the changes.)

Gehen wir jetzt nach Deutschland . . .

We'll also have to jump forward in time, because McFly 2008 look nothing like McFly 2014--and it is McFly 2014 who have their Doppelgaenger in deutscher Popband 3A. Or if you really want to be precise, it's Tom Fletcher who has two (and occasionally three) Doppelgaenger in 3A. =P What sealed the deal for me beyond their styling was the 3A song Alles . . .

. . . in which another young man in love declares his willingness to do all sorts of impossible tasks. But while McFly limit themselves to relatively realistic labours, like the melting of the polar icecaps, 3A don't hold back on their promises. Alles begins with them making applesauce in the Garden of Eden and plucking the stars from the sky in order to pack them up in plastic. "Classic" romantic imagery subverted--and yet the sense of a lover's determination is still in full force.

I don't know enough about censorship in Germany to know what would have happened to the lyrics had they released this as a single, but I hope the line about battling Al-Kaida would have been allowed to stand.

McFly and 3A aren't exact counterparts, of course, but even identical twins aren't total clones of each other. 3A are dominating my music player now the way McFly did in 2011. And my German is doing well, thanks!

No Italian McFly/3A yet, but I'm working on it!

Image Sources: a) McFly 2014, b) 3A

No comments: