Schlager Sunday – Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen

Nina Hagen – Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen 1974


This iconic song combines happy tunes with the deep disappointment of not being able to take photos in color. Keyboarder Michael Heubach composed the music while Kurt Demmler contributed the lyrics to a song that is really deconstructing Schlager. The band Automobil took 19-year-old Nina Hagen on board as lead singer and Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen was her biggest hit in the GDR.

All this fuss just because Micha forgot that damn ORWO film. While it is hard to imagine today, the lack of, well, most things in the DDR also included film for camera. Indeed, all of my childhood memories take place in black and white. The ironic undertone of this song criticized the reality of planned economy and turned this tune into an unofficial national anthem. Yet, it also raises questions about the photograph as a nostalgic medium. Are things less real if we cannot use photos to remember, display or show off? How do photos change our perception of the captured moment over time?

Let’s give it up for Nina Hagen!

Have a colorful week.