Whenever we see one of our cats lounging around the office (picture below sprawled out on the fireplace mantle), we have the urge to sing Lili Marlene to her.
The song itself was based on a poem written by a 22 year-old solider (Leip) in WWI to his beloved sweetheart. In the early 1930s, Norbert Schultze set it to song. However, it did not become popular until 1941 when German broadcasters in Africa lost a large portion of their records in a bomb raid. Lili Marlene was one of the few surviving records and once it was one the air, it became popular with both soldiers and citizens alike. The original songstress to sing it was Lane Anderson, however, it was Marlene Dietrich’s version which is best remembered.
Originally written and performed in German, it was eventually translated into 48 languages worldwide.
Click on this link to hear the incomparable Marlene Dietrich perform it and you’ll easily see why it was such a popular hit!
Incidentally, I (Philip) spent a good deal of time with Marlen Dietrich when we were filming Judgement at Nuremburg. I even visited her in her apt, where we would sit on the floor and play cards. She was very lovely, friendly, exceptionally talented, and down-to-earth.
To read more about the thrilling history of this song, click here.
Philip & Marilyn Langner