With six Bundesliga sides competing in either the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League at the start of the 2013/14 campaign, bundesliga.com decided to join the fans for a good old fashioned sing-along. After reading this, so can you...
With a nod to classic rock, FC Bayern München's Stern des Südens [Star of the South] is about as anthemic as they come. Opening with a soaring guitar lick, the Willy Astor-penned track poses questions such as "Which Munich football team is known around the World?" and "Who has won everything there is to win?" The answer of course is a resounding, "FC Bayern, Stern des Südens - you'll never go down because we'll stick together in good and in bad times". The harmonious chorus can be heard for miles around and you can guarantee, once you've heard it, you won't be able to stop yourself from humming along to the infectiously uplifting melody. No wonder they are the record Bundesliga champions.
If Bayern are the Def Leppard of the Bundesliga charts, Borussia Dortmund have to be Bon Jovi. Never one to be outdone by their southern stars, the Schwarzgelben supporters can regularly be heard belting out a rousing number of their own: Am Borsigplatz geboren. The title, 'Born on Borsigplatz', is an homage to the club's humble beginnings (BVB were founded in 1909 at the nearby zum Wildschütz restaurant), with the square in question now the recognised assembly point for all post-match celebrations. The song itself bleeds Yellow-Black pride, "Our heart is full of passion and our resolve made from steel," and like all good rock anthems, there's even a knockout key change.
FC Schalke 04's motley crew also know a thing or two about regional valour. For the Royal Blues, they are top dog in the Ruhrgebiet, but rather than churn out a heartfelt rock ballad to show it, they decided to keep things short and sweet. Ein Leben lang, blau und weiß ein Leben lang [Lifelong, Blue and White, Lifelong] succinctly sums up what Schalke 04 mean to the old mining communities of Gelsenkirchen - so much so that they have stuck that one particular line on loop. No gratuitous guitar solos, retro synths or floor-stomping bass drums; just a chorus of Royal Blue fanatics, chanting in unison to the tune of "da-da da daaaaa, da-da-da da daaaaa...". Classic.
Here's one that will appeal to all Queen fans. Bayer 04 Leverkusen's Bayer 04 wir stehen zu ihr [Bayer 04, We Stand By You] has that encore feeling about it; the kind of song that whisks you away at the end of a late night concert, politely asks you to rise your lighters, lift your arms aloft and sway until your heart's content. Some delicate tinkling of the ivories, the obligatory lead guitar and a tempered rhythm that beats solely to Werkself hearts, Peter Lorenz certainly hit the nail right on the head with this one: "To us, you are the best team in the world, the fans are always there for you. When there's a game here, there's only one winner, Bayer 04 [...] Bayyy-er, Bay-er 04 - we stand by you." Now that's true love.
Eintracht Frankfurt fans, meanwhile, have gone down the thrash metal route to profess their Eagle-eyed love. Written by Tankard, a contemporary German band in their own right, Schwarz-Weiss wie Schnee [Black and White like Snow] oozes a tremendous sense of camaraderie and commitment to the Eintracht cause. "I've been under your spell for over a hundred years, my great love since I've been able to walk. We stand by you through thick and thin. Win or lose, your fans are always here," wails frontman Andreas Geremia. There's even a shout-out to Eintracht legend Jürgen Grabowski, before shredder extraordinaire Andreas Gutjahr reels off a searing solo. The song sounds off on a rather ambitious note with the line, "We've won the Cup and we're going to be German champions."
SC Freiburg make no such claims, but rest assured SC Freiburg vor [SC Freiburg Onwards] packs no less of a punch in the solidarity department. It's a jolly old number that you could quite easily imagine being barked out by a horde of rum-swilling pirates aboard Captain Kidd's Adventure Galley. Over the cheery sounds of pennywhistles and accordions, a jovial chorus of voices wax lyrical about the cultural delights of their "sunny hometown deep in the south west", including "Black Forest beer and Baden wine [...] Even Bavarians, Prussians and Swabians come here for a swim." Don't forget, though, this isn't a holiday jingle trying to drum up tourism; this one is all about the city's beloved football club: "SC Freiburg onwards, always going forward, always going forward, SC Freiburg onwards."
Compiled by Christopher Mayer-Lodge