Who is Bodo Wartke?

A few years ago, while searching for multilingual music on the internet, I came across a pretty basic lovesong. Those who know me well enough may not understand how the words ‘basic’ and ‘lovesong’ could bind together to form something that I consider remarkable. So here’s the explanation: this song is sung in 88 different languages and dialects. Incredible! The author is Bodo Wartke, a German singer-songwriter, actor and poet. With his valuable experience in the field of cabaret, he successfully adds humour to his masterpiece through the use of national stereotypes, or simply by singing in Shakespearean English, Klingon, Elvish and several German and Swiss dialects. Most of the translations have been provided by native speakers who wholeheartedly contributed to Bodo’s project in this way.

Each translation conveys the same messages, although the wording, the rhyme scheme and the melody are very flexible so that the different translations can be sung with ease. But let me tell you what the most amazing aspect of this song is. In my opinion, Bodo Wartke’s pronunciation in most of his 88 languages is incredible. This is especially true if we consider that he is uncapable of communicating in nearly all of these languages and has not spent months polishing his accent in every single one of them. Bodo Wartke often performs ‘Liebeslied’ at his cabaret shows. In most cases, he sits down at a piano, begins to play and lets the audience decide on the spot which languages he should sing in. And now it’s time for me to show you who he is and what he has created. The videos attached below include 85 languages, although I warn you that some of the lyrics are totally wrong. Enjoy it!

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