Featured in Einstürzende Neubauten's compilation album "Strategien gegen Architechtur III / Strategies against Architecture III" and the soundtrack to the film "Straight Shooter", this song is often deemed untranslatable due to the fiendishly clever wordplay featured therewithin. However, since once upon a time, your humble author was a German literature major, he feels it well within his abilities to take a crack at translating the untranslatable, and to share his delight at the profundity of Herr Bargeld's twisting of language.
First, the text in German:
Es gibt Grossgespurte, Kleinkarierte
Wagemute und - Verlierer
Für wen sind die Blumen?
Es gibt Unterlebenskleine, Hundsgemeine
Völlig Danebene, trotzdem richtig Liegende
Für die sind die Blumen!
And now, my valiant attempt at translation:
There are those who leave their marks big, and small-minded simpletons.
Those who don't refuse to enjoy good things, mirror-fencers
Rhine wine bars, stiffs
The daring — and the losers
Who are the flowers for?
The ones who live underneath life, the dog-common2
Led by a leash, the refined3
Those completely off the mark, despite everything lying down correctly
For them are the flowers!
- There is a German proverb that goes something like this: "Im Trüben ist gut Fischen" — "In the murk is good fishing." Basically, it could mean that sometimes, the best opportunities are found in places where few bother to look (or whatever meaning you care to dredge out of this saying).
- "Hundsgemein" means something like 'shabby' or 'run-down', but it can also be used as an intensifier, like "Das tut hundsgemein weh!" — "That hurts like hell!". I chose to translate it literally, as 'dog-common' (or possibly, 'mean as a dog'), only because I have no idea which particular meaning Blixa could have meant here.
- 'Abfeimen' is an old term used in glass-making, in which impurities are skimmed off the top, so apart from the verb's literal meaning, it is sometimes used in older literature to mean 'purify' or 'refine' ('der Feim' is an older German word that means 'foam' or 'froth'; the modern word is 'der Schaum'). Indeed, it's used in Schiller's 'Maria Stuart' at least once in just that very same meaning.
Thanks to Heisenberg for correcting my mistaken interpretation of the word 'Unkostverächter'.