The Wortmann Brothers video for Nimm Mich Mit Wenn’s Abwärts Geht

Here’s something fun to start your first weekend in March.

Our friends, The Wortmann Brothers, have released a new video in their series of bluegrass classics translated into German. As always, they infuse their unique Continental humor into the translation, and the delivery.

This time out they’ve chosen Pick Me Up On Your Way Down, written by Harlan Howard as a hit for Charlie Walker in 1964, and since recorded by dozens of other country and bluegrass artists. And is their custom, the brothers don’t so much seek an exact translation, as one that uses German to convey the basic meaning with lyrics that fit the melody and the rhyming scheme.

Here’s their version, Nimm Mich Mit Wenn’s Abwärts Geht, complete with dry Wortmann humor.

Ulrich provided these lyrics with a loose English translation. My German is nonexistant, and he says his English is poor, so I suppose we’ll have to take his word for it.

Nimm Mich Mit Wenn’s Abwärts Geht
(Pick Me Up On Your Way Down)

Du stehst heute in der Mitte
(Today you are standing in the middle)
Hast die Krone auf und bitte:
(You carry the crown and please:)
Was sollte da jetzt wohl noch kommen?
(What should coming more then this)
Du hast alles mitgenommen
(You pick everything)

Du steht voll im Rampenlicht
(You are totally in the limelight)
Jeder kennt hier dein Gesicht
(Eyerybody knows your face)
Du braucht niemanden mehr zu fragen
(You don’t have to ask nobody)
Du hast’ geschafft, kann man so sagen
(You just made it, people say)

Nimm mich mit, wenn’s abwärts geht
(Pick me up, if it goes down)
Eine Wand im Wege steht
(If a wall is standing in your way)
Wenn die Diskokugel „Tschüss“ sagt
(If the disco ball says goodbye)
Und dein Schädel tief im Müll parkt
(and your head is parking deep in waste)
Wenn das Geld ganz plötzlich knapp ist
(If you are suddenly hard up for money)
Und du glaubst war alles Kappes
(And you thing every thing was wrong)
Weil sich gerade alles falsch dreht
(Cause eyerything is spining in another direction)
Nimm mich mit, wenn’s abwärts geht
(Pick me up, if it goes down)

Man wird die Krone von dir nehmen
(They will take off your crown)
In dem Moment, da wird es beben
(And in this moment it will quake)
Doch nur für dich wackelt der Boden
(But only for you the ground is wobbling)
Und du zählst dann zu den Doofen
(And you are member of the dumb)

Die nicht in der Mitte stehen
(Who are standing not in the middle)
Sich nicht um sich selber drehen
(Who are spining not round himself)
Schluss mit deinem falschen Lachen
(Stop the wrongly laughing)
Alles wird sich jetzt verflachen
(Everything is going flattening)

Nimm mich mit, wenn’s abwärts geht
(Pick me up if it goes down)

Everybody sing!

If anyone wants to tackle a better English translation, have at it!

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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.