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Pump, punk and pandemic see Angela Merkel out of office in Germany


A week before stepping down, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was treated to a traditional farewell ceremony on Thursday, involving a military ceremony with a marching band playing her choice of music – which would include a 1970s punk song.

The military tattoo in Merkel’s honor took place at the Defense Ministry rather than in a more public setting, reflecting the constraints and limited guests dictated by the pandemic.

German daily taz reported that Merkel had requested three songs, two of which the Bundeswehr Staff Band had to scramble to arrange.

One is the 18th century Christian hymn “Holy God, we praise your name”, perhaps a natural fit for the daughter of a Protestant pastor.

The second is a popular song by German singer Hildegard Knef called “It Shall Rain Red Roses for Me”.

Merkel’s frowning third choice was the song “You Forgot the Color Film” released in 1974 by East German-born punk singer Nina Hagen.

In it, the singer recounts a young woman’s complaint that her boyfriend failed to take color photos of their beach vacation.

Hagen, like Merkel, grew up in East Germany, but emigrated to the West in 1976 after clashing with the authorities in the Communist country.

Merkel, who is acting Chancellor until her successor is sworn in, explained that the song was “a highlight of my youth, which is known to have taken place in the GDR”.

East Germany was officially known as the German Democratic Republic.

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euronews Gt

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