Angela Merkel stuns Germany by choosing song by PUNK rocker for her leaving ceremony as she stands down as chancellor
- Merkel, 67, leaves office as Germany’s Chancellor after 16 years in charge
- She will receive a customary military farewell complete with a marching band
- Merkel requested Nina Hagen’s 1974 punk anthem ‘You Forgot The Colour Film’
- Hagen made a splash in the 70s and 80s and is known as ‘Godmother of Punk’
- The choice has shocked a nation used to a stable, unassuming Chancellor
Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel has left critics and supporters alike stunned after choosing a song by punk rocker Nina Hagen to play at her leaving ceremony later this week.
Merkel, 67, is stepping down on Thursday after 16 years at the forefront of European politics as Germany’s Chancellor, with Social Democrat leader Olaf Scholz expected to be sworn in as her successor.
She will receive a military farewell outside Germany’s ministry of defence, and as is customary for departing German leaders, is allowed to choose three songs to accompany the ceremony.
Though two of Merkel’s song choices are by no means a surprise, her first request for the military marching band will see them perform a rendition of Nina Hagen’s 1974 punk anthem ‘You Forgot The Colour Film’.
The choice has blown away a nation very much accustomed to being governed by a stable, unassuming Chancellor, who faced more criticism during her time in office for being boring than just about any of her political decisions.
Merkel, 67, is stepping down on Thursday after being at the forefront of European politics as Germany’s Chancellor for the past 16 years
Merkel has requested that the military marching band at her leaving ceremony perform a rendition of Nina Hagen’s 1974 punk anthem ‘You Forgot The Colour Film’ (Hagen pictured in 2006)
The military ceremony, known as the ‘Grosser Zapfenstreich’ or ‘Grand Tattoo’, will be somewhat muted in comparison to those of years gone by as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
But the marching band’s rendition of the 70s East German punk blast is sure to leave a lasting impression on the 200 guests expected to attend.
‘You Forgot The Colour Film’ (Du Hast Den Farbfilm Vergessen) is a song written by Michael Heubachand Kurt Demmler and performed by Nina Hagen – often referred to as the Godmother of Punk.
It topped the East German pop charts in 1974 – when Merkel was 20 – before Hagen left the German Democratic Republic for the other side of the Iron Curtain and was offered a record deal by CBS records.
Some commentators have speculated the song choice is an uncharacteristic move by Merkel to embrace her East German heritage – something she has scarcely referenced during her time as Chancellor.
Others meanwhile have suggested the song could be a snide jab at the incompetence of the many male politicians with whom she has worked with and against over the years – in the song, Hagen complains that her boyfriend forgot to bring a copy of the new colour film on their holiday together.
But it is widely believed that the song was initially released as a criticism of the German Democratic Republic under Soviet control, which at the time was a far cry from the economic success and rich culture of the West.
Scholz seals deal to crown career as German chancellor
Olaf Scholz is set to become post-World War II Germany’s ninth chancellor, crowning a career that has seen him serve in a string of top government posts, after leading his party to an election comeback that appeared hugely unlikely just a few months ago.
The 63-year-old last Wednesday sealed a deal for his center-left Social Democrats to lead Germany’s next government in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.
The agreement followed relatively quick talks that were disciplined and discreet, qualities that reflect Scholz’s own image.
Scholz’s experience, attention to detail and sometimes technocratic image became an asset during this year’s election campaign, in which he led the long-struggling Social Democrats from third place in polls to a narrow win in the Sept. 26 election.
He was helped by a series of gaffes and slips by his two opponents – Armin Laschet, the leader of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats, and Annalena Baerbock, who was making the Greens’ first run for the chancellery.
Social Democratic Party, SPD, chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz speaks at a joint news conference in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. After weeks of negotiations the leaders of three parties present a coalition contract for a new German government. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP)
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