Saturday, November 6, 2010

Music CD for the Fall?

Herbstleuchten und Laternenfest: Lieder unterm Sternenhimmel (Fall Illuminated and Lantern Festival: Songs under Starry Sky) Mattias Meyer-Goellner, 2006, 16 tracks, 50 minutes and 31 seconds
Publisher: JUMBO
ISBN: 978-3-8337-1648-5
Price: Euro 8,32
German Level: All Levels
In general, I will begin this review by saying that I often decide on a children's CD by how long I can listen to it without getting a headache. That said, this is not one of my favorite CDs. The songs are clearly marked as traditional or other. There are more "other" songs than traditional German songs, these others being written and played by the above artist. The first half of the songs are melodies reminiscent of 80s to 90s pop music that have been given autumnal lyrics for children. The second half is more mellow, but still poppish. (If you dig pop, this might be the CD for you.)
What is most off-putting is that the CD includes songs about a Halloween party and Halloween candy which come across as more American than German. Grant it, I have not lived there in a while, so I would appreciate some input from native Germans on this. I do not recall trick-or-treating as being a part of Halloween in Germany. Is Germany moving in this direction?
In conclusion, the CD makes for a secularized celebration of fall, Halloween, and Saint Martin's.

**There is a book by the same title that is supposed to include craft ideas, stories, and poetry. I am tempted to see if the book is better than the CD, but the CD has not encouraged me to buy the book at this time.


  1. The CD sounds like many German children's CDs that are not worth while buying. I have my share of them, given to us my well-meaning older relatives who don't know what the CDs are like. They all sound the same and the singers don't really sing or maybe can't really sing.

    Halloween seems to be spreading more and more, especially because many Germans are getting more and more indifferent to the religious festival of St. Martin. I'm always amazed by the willingness of Germans to take English/American words and customs into their lives without any reflection. I haven't lived in Germany for almost 20 years now, but get reports/complaints from my family.

  2. It is certainly an unfortunate trend. I noticed while I was in Germany, that the youth found it coolest to use American words, rather American slang. I do have a "Christmas" CD that is just as you describe, except the music (not the lyrics) is absolutely beautiful. I wish it were orthodox and actually celebrated Christmas rather than winter and presents. Do have as hard of a time finding German AND Catholic materials? Is there a favorite publisher you have?

  3. I don't have many German Catholic materials, but I've discovered an interesting publisher called "Sarto Verlag".

    I'll try to write to you via email in the next few days. I don't have my own computer and very limited computer time.

  4. Yes, Sarto Verlag has been nice for catechesis. I should post something from them again soon. They are beginning to have more and more children's Saints books, but unfortunately still have a small selection. What I am most interested in right now are Saints books in German. Do you have any suggestions?

  5. I don't really have many German saint books except those influenced by Waldorf education (e.g. by Jakob Streit). I have a collection of saint stories that have several stories for each month of the year called Die schönsten Heiligenlegenden and Hermine König's book Das große Jahresbuch für Kinder, which also has legends of the saints.

    Other than that I can recommend books by Willi Fährmann (some of his books are religious), books by Michel Quoist translated from French into German, Walter Diethelm's "Ein Bauernbub wird Papst," "Das schöne Jahr von Hansel und Trautele" by Magda Müller, books by Mieczyslaw Malinski, some children's books by Luise Rinser, and some of the books by Christa Meves (especially the ones written for teenagers which are out of print).

    If I think of more, I'll let you know!

  6. Thank you so very much! This is a great help. I will look these up shortly.