08 March 2015

Original & Covers: Dschinghis Khan

Wikipedia: Dschinghis Khan
Like a mentioned in my previous post, this post is in my Original & Covers series. It is in my normal format of one original song and two covers of it. One cover is by the group from my previous post, as I said this post would relate to that post.

These three songs are very funny, at least in my opinion. (I am currently studying for the second patch of my school finals, so funny songs come in place!) I find it quite interesting how so different artists perform this same song and how interestingly different their versions are, yet still a lot alike.

Here is the original:


And the song is Dschinghis Khan by a group also called Dschinghis Khan. The group is a German pop music band. Originally the group was formed to represent Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1979 with this song. They placed fourth. The group continued together for few years after the contest until breaking up. It seems that the group became active again in 2005, though with fewer members since two of them have passed away.

The song Dschinghis Khan became a huge hit after its release. Not only in Europe, but also around Asia and there is numerous cover versions done (I think one day I will make it an operation to listen to them all). These cover versions range from languages such as Spanish to Cantonese and Yiddish. For me the second version in this post is a very odd cover, but who knows what kind of random pearls lies amongst all of these other covers... Maybe this post will end up getting a sequel in the unknown future.

Anyways, about the song itself. I really enjoy this song. I find it very humorous without it actually being too funny. What I mean is that it does not sound so much like a joke song, but rather a seriously takeable song. I am usually not too much of a fan of German language in songs, since for me it sounds too rough. But in this song the language sounds really amazing. I do not know if it is the way they sing or if the language just fits this type of music. I would describe the song as funny, catchy and a bit dramatic.

But into the first cover version we go now...


It is by a Finnish singer called Frederik. He is very well known in Finland and has had a long successful career. His version of Dschinghis Khan is called Tsingis Khan, which is the Finnish way of writing the name. Tsingis Khan was released the same year as the original song on Frederik's album which was also named Tsingis Khan. The song is actually one of Frederik's best known songs and I dare to say most of Finnish people known the song.

This was the first version that I heard of this song. I had heard this many times while growing up and I was kind of surprised to find out it was originally Germany's Eurovision entry and that it was so popular all over the world. According to Wikipedia, according to Frederik's website the composer of Dschinghis Khan, Ralph Siegel considered Frederik's version better than the original. I myself do not rank different versions, since I like them in different ways.

Wikipedia describes Frederik's singing as machostyle disco and pop music. When I was planning on this post machostyle pop was I how I planned on describing this song, though I could not think of such a great wording. I find Frederik's version more macho and masculine than the original. Somehow it feels less cheerful and less uptempo. I would say this version feels more serious, sound-wise. I do not understand the original lyrics, but this version's are quite funny sounding with the rhyming and such. So it is still a very funny song, but has a more serious macho sound.

And the other cover version is...


the promised version by Berryz Kobo (Berryz工房). I will not go on introducing Berryz Kobo here, since I did that on my previous post just couple days ago. Like I said on that post, Berryz Kobo is the other one of my two ultimate favourite bands and their version of this song missed my top10 list just by just, placing on a shared 11th place.

Since Berryz Kobo is a Japanese group, their version has a Japanese name ジンギスカン , which just means Dschinghis Khan (you'd think that by now I would already be able to write that without help..). It was released as a single in 2008 and later that year in their album 5 (FIVE). The song charted fifth on Japan's weekly single charts.

When I had recently became a fan of Berryz Kobo, I was looking at their older material and noticed this song's name. I am not sure had I only heard the Finnish version at that point or also the original, but I thought the name reminded me of the song, but it did not cross my mind it would actual be the same song, since Berryz Kobo has such a different style. Later I learned that the original version was a huge hit in Japan back in the day.

I find this version also very funny, maybe funniest of these all. The others sound a bit serious, when this on the other not at all. The song has been made to fit a girl group consisting of underage girls by making it more cheerful and toning down the lyrics (I read that in the original they sing about raping, which obviously is not okay subject for such a young girls to sing about). Berryz Kobo's voices are not usually this high-pitched, so I assume they have been altered to make this version sound funnier. I think successfully. It is already by itself a funny song, but comparing it to the other versions in this post makes it hilarious because I still find it sort of unbelievable they made this kind of version.

Like I already said in this post, I am not ranking these songs or try to pick which is the best. I seriously love all of these versions and really enjoy listening to them. I have noticed that I have at some point become highly interested on Mongolia, especially the country's history, and I believe that these songs are mostly to blame for that, haha!

One thing that I wonder when I listen to any of these songs: What would Genghis Khan think of them?

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