pop

“Dschinghis Khan” – A Eurovision disco tribute to Genghis Khan

The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest is upon us! As usual, expect an orgy of hideous stage attire and even worse music.
The format is simple yet tedious: Each European country sends an entry into the competition, and after an evening of improbable performances, the continent gets to vote on a winner.
Certain nations with languages unsuitable for pop music obviously have a much harder time reaching winning the contest; the Finnish are a case in point, only able to win when they are dressed up as heavy metal monsters.
But there were better times – in 1979, Germany’s entry was a teutonic disco exotica tribute to the greatest conqueror the world had ever know: Genghis Khan. (Youku link to video here.)

The lyrics, albeit of doubtful historical accuracy, cover a wide range of topics from the great Khan’s life: conquest (“Genghis rode to race with the steppe wind, with a thousand men”); sex (“he fathered seven children in one single night”); drinking (“let us get some vodka, for we are true Mongols”); and of course the pure joy of living (“HOOOH HAAAH HOOOH HAAAAH”).

Sadly, despite having a dancing Genghis Khan impersonator in an outfit somewhere between Star Trek and Taobao, the song only reached fourth place in the competition.

German disco was big at the time in Asia, and the song even spawned a Cantopop cover version called《成吉思汗》by George Lam 「林子祥」. If you’re ever in need of belting out the lyrics in a group setting, both the German and Chinese versions can be found in any well-stocked Shanghai karaoke parlour.

Advertisements