Tagged haus der kulturen der welt

Song #7 – Berlin

Good day to you all! This is an exciting week for me. This song, Berlin, is one of my best compositions and has a very interesting story. The story is available to all subscribers “downloader” and beyond via mp3 download or streaming. To upgrade your subscription level go HERE.

During the 4 months of almost daily writing I did last year to come up with the #100songs, I went through multiple songwriting techniques. This one was by far the most comprehensive and involved process. I got up early in the morning and started walking with a pad of paper in my hands. I was setting out to write a song about Berlin. I wrote down every memory I could think of in that town I love so dearly. Some of these memories involved friends, others involved touring events. One memory, in particular, stuck out to me; it was the show we played at the House of World Cultures aka Haus der Kulturen der Welt. At that show, we made a new friend who invited us to play another show at the end of our tour at a church in Berlin called “theaterkapelle” Toward the end of the show, police came and shut us down, but we did an amazing thing and got the audience to go up on the stage and perform the Dufus song “Fire”. So I took all these ideas from the page and started writing poetry from the concepts as I wandered. After I had a good solid set of words to write my song, I took my phone and recorded myself singing these words. From that song, I went home, pulled out my guitar and put some chords behind the words. It was a very drawn out writing process, but I think you’ll be able to feel it from the composition, it is not your run of the mill “song”. It flows and bounces and twists and turns unpredictably, but it still feels cohesive! It’s one of my favorites.

In the song I also mention Down By the River because of the amazing time I had playing there. Every time I’ve performed in Berlin I have gotten to see awesome places, squats, great graffiti, and I’ve met some of the most beautiful people of my life there. My favorite squat venue is Schokoladen.


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Photo from Theaterkappelle, Berlin


Backwards we walk like the ticking of a clock
Into the past
Bb          Dmin
To a city in my dreams
To Berlin
Dmin             C
A hundred memories of Berlin

Not sure how I got there
With a guitar in my hand
Dmin      C               Amin                   Dmin
Suddenly greeted by new and friendly hands

F           Dmin               C
Smiling faces, helpful hands
Made me feel at home
Dmin         F
In the memory of Berlin
Bb               F
In my memory of Berlin

F                             Dmin
They flew me to the river
Amin                Dmin
With my band with my band
Amin                Dmin
To the Spree to the Spree
Amin                Dmin
Them and me them and me

F                                          Dmin
Had us at the House of World Cultures
Amin                Dmin
Our merry band, gave us food
Amin                Dmin
Fed us well, gave us food

Dmin                        Amin                      Dmin
And at the house where culture showed its face to us that night
Amin        Dmin        Amin                Dmin
A delight, a new friend and a show at the end

Amin         Dmin             Amin                Dmin
In a church had a show, they were smoking in the church
Amin                Dmin
they were smoking in the church
Amin                Dmin
We were burning when the cops came
Burning when they came

Dmin            F
They tried to shut, shut us down
Dmin                    F
Said we couldn’t make a sound
Amin                            Dmin
Or they’d steal ours, steal hours away

Dmin Bb7     Dmin Bb7
All we were, sharing joy
F-E-D-C-D F-E-Dmin
So we put it in the hands of our friendly hosts
Amin Dmin C Dmin
Let them sing let them boom
F-E-D-C-                    Dmin F
As we backed out of the room
Amin                  Dmin
To applause filled with smoke
Amin                Dmin
As the rafters start to choke
Amin              D-E-F-E-Dmin
It’s no joke, we were loco then!

Amin                Dmin
Sharing sound, sharing laughter
Amin                Dmin
Sharing drink, sharing night time

Bb7 F-E-D-C
Down By the River, where everyone lives on the top floor
Little tiny thrift stores
Squats and graffiti making beauty

Dmin            Gmin
Green faces, green spaces
Dmin    C        Dmin
Berlin, Berlin, Berlin!

europe07 058
Dufus on tour in 2007 (the tour mentioned in the song)

Photo from Down By the River Festival