Schnaps und Gefühl (Liquor and Feeling) video from The Wortmann Brothers

Our German bluegrass buddies, The Wortmann Brothers, have shared another of their clever songs, played in their own distinctive primitive bluegrass style.

The brothers, Frank on guitar and mandolin and Ulrich on banjo, have been involved with bluegrass since they were in college when they first came upon banjo music. The two, both high school teachers, continue to play together and write wonderfully sardonic songs in a traditional bluegrass form.

This latest is called Schnaps und Gefühl, which translates as Liquor and Feelings, about how the two never mix well.

Watch the video, and check out Ulrich’s translation below if your German is a bit shaky..

Du standest vorne weiter am Tresen

Das Glas vor dir, das war schon leer

Ich dachte’ das Schicksal würde grüßen

Ich trank nen Schnaps und du noch mehr 


Schnaps und Gefühl das sind zwei Pferde

Auf die ein Sattel niemals passt

Schnaps und Gefühl das sind zwei Esel

Aus denen du besser Würste machst


Wir trafen uns auf ner Cocktailparty

Wir waren so zu wie es nur ging

Mit Tunnelblick sah’ aus wie Liebe

Beim Tageslicht war alles hin


Beim Häppchen an der Häppchentheke

Hauchtest du leise, dass du mich magst

Sechs Schnäpe später wuste ich die Antwort

Dein Blick war wässrig ich sprach ins Grab

  You’re standing next to the counter

The drinking glass in front of you was already empty

I was thinking the destiny is giving a sign

I took a liquor and you even more


Liquor and feeling thats two horses

On which one saddle never fits

Liquor and feelings thats two donkeys

You better make sausages from it


We meet at a cocktail party

We were as drunk as drunk can be

With tunnel vision (of alcohol) it looks like love

With daylight it was all gone


While having an appetizer at the appetizer counter

You whispered gently that you like me

Six liquors later I knew my answer

Your glance was teary, I was talking to a grave


Ulrich also shared a translation of he and Frank’s exchange at the beginning of the video. He calls it “brother talk.”

“Nochmal, da, bei dir war das rhythmisch falsch!”


“Okay, schniief.”

“Ich kann das gar nicht rhrytmisch falsch machen.”

  “Let’s try again, you got the rhythm wrong!”


“Okay, (sniffing)”

“I can’t play rhythmically wrong.”

You’re welcome.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.