Montag, Februar 18, 2008

Sandmännchen all over the world

In his song It Was A Strange Time In My Life, Jens Lekman uses a popular melody to make 17 seem even younger than just not 18 yet. It is the Sandmännchen title melody from the all-too-familiar children's good-night tv show. There is one thing about products of art for kids: They stay in the heart and arouse feelings much more than most things people get to know later, because they are among the first things that shape a person's taste, and they connect to a time when whatever happened seemed to be okay. That is way the Sandmännchen song caught very positive reactions last Saturday night. And I curiously did my research to find out to whomever we owe this little sweet melody.

The Sandmännchen idea was created sometime around 1959 by a West-german radio moderator who already presented an evening show for kids based on good night tales. With the idea of the figure behind, a TV show was to be created. However, when TV people from the former GDR heard about this, they wanted to be faster. The Eastern Sandmännchen was created and aired before the Western one, and according to its composer, the title song was written within three hours, after the lyrics were give through the telephone. Wolfgang Richter was the name of the guy who did the song. In the end, what had started so sudden turned out to be a major success. Today, there are Sandmännchen shows in a lot of European countries such as Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Hungary, Norway and of course Sweden. And while the idea of telling bed stories to kids is universal, the song itself isn't. Every language has a different recording of the song, and you can listen to some of them, including the one Jens Lekman must have heard every evening, on the official Sandmännchen webpage.

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