German and English Lyrics for Falco's Biggest Hits

Translating Falco's Top Hit Songs

Falco was one of the first Euro-pop stars to receive a truly international fan base. His hit songs like "Rock Me Amadeus" and "Der Kommissar" are a mix of German and English lyrics in a techno-pop style and they topped international music charts during the 1980s.

While Falco's life and career were short, he left a mark on music history. He was one of the first musicians who broke national barriers and appealed to music lovers throughout the world.

Who Was Falco?

The Austrian pop star Falco was born Johann Hölzel in Vienna on February 19, 1957. He first gained international attention with his huge hit “Der Kommissar” in 1982. After “Rock Me Amadeus” in 1985, Falco's popularity extended into the 1990s until his untimely death at the age of 40.

Falco died on February 6, 1998 in an auto accident near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. He had moved there in 1996 to avoid high Austrian taxes and the constant attention for media. He was in the process of setting up a new recording studio when he drove into the path of an oncoming bus.

Falco's Biggest Hits

The majority of Falco's songs contain what VH1 calls “a droll mixture of German and English lyrics.” Many were recorded and released for both the European and American markets as well as various other editions. The versions of “Rock Me Amadeus” and “Der Kommissar” on European releases are different from the U.S. releases, plus there is a variety of “remix” versions of many Falco songs.

Falco's German lyrics are usually easy to understand (except when he uses a Viennese dialect). While many of his songs were popular, only a few were really big hits:

  • "Der Kommissar" - (1982) "Einzelhaft" album
  • "Rock Me Amadeus" - (1985) "Falco 3" album
  • "Jeanny"  - (1985) "Falco 3" album
  • "Vienna Calling" - (1985) "Falco 3" album

"Rock Me Amadeus" Lyrics

Released in 1983, "Rock Me Amadeus" was Falco's biggest hit and it topped music charts all over the world. There was also a U.S. version released for radio, but the lyrics do not have the same pizazz or tell the full story of Falco's original lyrics.

In true Falco form, English is scattered throughout this song. This is particularly true in the chorus, which is quite catchy and filled with little more than "Amadeus, Amadeus, Rock me Amadeus." 

Instead of including the complete song lyrics, let's focus on the German verses and their translations. By isolating these lines from the hit tune, we can see Falco's admiration for Mozart which was likely influenced by his classical music training in Vienna.

The original lyrics show how Falco brought the classical composer into the spotlight and explained him as a rock star of his day. If you know much about Mozart's life, you will realize that this is really not far from the truth.

Falco's Lyrics Direct Translation by Hyde Flippo
Er war ein Punker
Und er lebte in der großen Stadt
Es war Wien, war Vienna
Wo er alles tat
Er hatte Schulden denn er trank
Doch ihn liebten alle Frauen
Und jede rief:
Come on and rock me Amadeus
He was a Punker
And he lived in the big city
It was Vienna, was Vienna
Where he did everything
He had debts, for he drank
But all the women loved him
And each one shouted:
Come on and rock me Amadeus
Er war Superstar
Er war populär
Er war so exaltiert
Because er hatte Flair
Er war ein Virtuose
War ein Rockidol
Und alles rief:
Come on and rock me Amadeus
He was Superstar
He was popular
He was so exalted
Because he had flair
He was a virtuoso
Was a rock idol
And everyone shouted:
Come on and rock me Amadeus
Es war um 1780
Und es war in Wien
No plastic money anymore
Die Banken gegen ihn
Woher die Schulden kamen
War wohl jedermann bekannt
Er war ein Mann der Frauen
Frauen liebten seinen Punk
It was around 1780
And it was in Vienna
No plastic money anymore
The banks against him
From which his debts came
It was common knowledge
He was a women's man
Women loved his punk

Note: English phrases in italics are also in English in the original song.

"Der Kommissar" Lyrics

Falco's first international hit was "Der Komissar," released in 1982 on the "Einzelhalt" album. This song is a perfect example of how Falco mixed German and English in his music. This unique style in language had a certain appeal to his fans and is one of the main reasons why he found such worldwide fame.

"Der Kommissar" also demonstrates how innovative Falco's music was in the early 80s dance club scene. This is one of the great examples of the singer fusing techno-pop music while rapping the German lyrics.

This song still gets a lot of play on hits-of-the-80s radio stations—usually the English version by After the Fire. A German line from that song did, however, became familiar to English-speakers around the world: “Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?” (Got that, Mr. Commissioner?).

Falco's Original Lyrics Direct Translation by Hyde Flippo
Two, three, four
Eins, zwei, drei
Na, es is nix dabei
Na, wenn ich euch erzähl' die G'schicht'
Nichts desto trotz,
Ich bin es schon gewohnt
Im TV-Funk da läuft es nicht.
Two, three, four
One, two, three
Well, it doesn't matter
Well, when I tell you the story
None the less,
I'm quite used to it
It won't be running in TV-Funk.
Ja, sie war jung,
Das Herz so rein und weiß
Und jede Nacht hat ihren Preis,
Sie sagt: “Sugar Sweet,
Ya got me rappin' to the heat!”
Ich verstehe, sie ist heiß,
Sie sagt: “Baby, you know,
I miss my funky friends,”
Sie meint Jack und Joe und Jill.
Mein Funkverständnis,
Ja, das reicht zur Not,
Ich überreiss'*, was sie jetzt will.
Yes, she was young,
Her heart so pure and white
And every night has its price.
She says: “Sugar Sweet,
ya got me rappin' to the heat!”
I understand, she's hot,
She says: “Baby, you know,
I miss my funky friends,”
She means Jack and Joe and Jill.
My understanding of funk,
yeah, it'll do in a crunch,
I understand what she wants now.
Ich überleg' bei mir,
Ihr' Nas'n spricht dafür,
Währenddessen ich noch rauch',
Die Special Places sind ihr wohlbekannt,
Ich mein', sie fährt ja U-Bahn auch.
Dort singen's:
“Dreh' dich nicht um, schau, schau,
der Kommissar geht um!
Er wird dich anschau'n
und du weißt warum.
Die Lebenslust bringt dich um.”
Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?
I think it over,
Her nose does the talking,
While I continue to smoke,
She knows the 'Special Places' very well;
I think she takes the metro, too.
There they're singing:
“Don't turn around, look, look,
the Commissioner is out and about!
He'll keep his eye on you
and you know why.
Your zest for life will kill you.”
Got that, Mr. Commissioner?
Hey man, wanna buy some stuff, man?
Did you ever rap that thing Jack?
So rap it to the beat!
Wir treffen Jill and Joe
Und dessen Bruder hip
Und auch den Rest der coolen Gang
Sie rappen hin, sie rappen her
Dazwischen kratzen's ab die Wänd'.
Hey man, wanna buy some stuff, man?
Did you ever rap that thing Jack?
So rap it to the beat!
We meet Jill and Joe
And his bother hip
And also the rest of the cool Gang
They rap to, they rap fro
In between they scrape it off the walls.
Dieser Fall ist klar,
Lieber Herr Kommissar,
Auch wenn sie and'rer Meinung sind:
Den Schnee auf dem wir alle
Talwärts fahr'n,
Kennt heute jedes Kind.
Jetzt das Kinderlied:
“Dreh dich nicht um, schau, schau,
der Kommissar geht um!
Er hat die Kraft und wir sind klein und dumm,
dieser Frust macht uns Stumm.”
This case is clear,
Dear Mr. Commissioner,
Even if you have a different opinion:
The snow on which we all
ski downhill,
every child knows.
Now the nursery rhyme:
“Don't turn around, look, look,
the Commissioner is out and about!
He has the power and we're little and dumb;
this frustration makes us mum.”
“Dreh dich nicht um, schau, schau,
der Kommissar geht um!
Wenn er dich anspricht
und du weißt warum,
Sag ihm: 'Dein Leb'n bringt dich um.'”
“Don't turn around, look, look,
the Commissioner is out and about!
When he talks to you
and you know why,
tell him: 'Your life is killing you.'”

* überreissen = Austrian slang for verstehen, to understand

Note: English phrases in italics are also in English in the original song.

The German and English lyrics are provided for educational use only. No infringement of copyright is implied or intended. These literal, prose translations of the original German lyrics by Hyde Flippo are not from the English versions sung by either Falco or After the Fire.