Oktoberfest Songs - lyrics, translations, facts and videos

All you need to know about the traditional songs and modern music at Oktoberfest

OKTOBERFEST SONGS: So you've got seat on a bench and are surrounded by friends. You're juggling a huge mug of beer with an oversized pretzel. There are women in beautiful Dirndls, lederhosen lads and a cracking atmosphere. It's a perfect Oktoberfest. But there's one thing missing that you can't quite put your finger on until…..
Ooommmmpaaaah! Ooommmmpaaaah! Da dee da dee da.
Of course! The music.
What would Oktoberfest be without it?
Who hasn't got their own favourite Oktoberfest song? If not, just stick around this site for a while and I guarantee you'll end up with one! Whether you're looking for Ein Prosit lyrics, a "swim, swim, swim" Fliegerlied translation or music ideas for your own Oktoberfest event, oktoberfest-songs.com is the place to find them.

oktoberfest-songsGet your party on!: The Oktoberfest is so much better when you know the words to the songs, like this guy! Pic: Frank Bauer

The top 10 Oktoberfest songs for 2018

There are a number of songs you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear in the beer tents at this year’s Munich Oktoberfest.
Some are classic German drinking songs that people have been swaying along to for years, and others are more recent hits that have conquered the German charts.
This is a crib sheet of the top 10 Oktoberfest songs every visitor to the festival in should know.

10. Skandal im Sperrbezirk - If there’s one song that’s sure to get the entire Oktoberfest tent standing up on the benches and singing along it’s this pumping 1981 hit from Munich rockers the Spider Murphy Gang. The song starts with a high-velocity riff that doesn’t let up, while the lyrics tell the tale of Rosi, a famous hooker - Skandal um Rosi!
MORE: Skandal im Sperrbezirk lyrics

9. Country Roads - There’s a bunch of American oldies that have become staples of the Munich Oktoberfest, and John Denver’s Country Roads (1970) is still the most loved.
Everyone knows the words and can sing along, and the bands often change the tempo for different verses of the song, so it’s fun trying to keep up.
MORE: Country Roads lyrics

8. Fliegerlied (So ein Schöner Tag) - Fliegerlied’s popularity has just seemed to increase in the 10 years since it was released and there’s a good chance you may have heard of it even if you’ve never been to Oktoberfest.
It’s basically a kids’ song with a bunch of hand movements to do whilst singing along which makes for massive fun in the beer tents.
Get ready to swim, jump, flex your muscles and link arms with your neighbours.
MORE: Fliegerlied lyrics

7. Fürstenfeld - The title of this classic Oktoberfest song is the name of a Austrian village, the singer’s home, and the lyrics tell of his wish to go back there after getting overwhelmed by city life in Vienna.
It strikes a chord with a lot of people - after all, who doesn’t want a return to simpler times every now and then? This is my personal favourite song on the list.
MORE: Fürstenfeld lyrics

6. Joana du geile Sau - This is one song the Oktoberfest bands play when they want to get everyone pumped up, and similar to Living Next Door to Alice there are some risque lines you can sing back to the band.
It’s a funny and insulting love song to Joana and a great example of modern German pop/rock.
MORE: Joana du geile Sau lyrics

5. I kenn di von mein Handy - This is still a fairly new song which got a lot of play at the Munich Oktoberfest in 2017.
For background, Wiesn is what the Germans call the festival, and each year there’s a lot of competition about which song will steal the crown to be declared the sound of the festival. I kenn di von mein Handy translates as ‘I know you from my phone’ and it’s about love in the age of Facebook, Twitter etc.
It’s sweet, funny and has a great oompah rythym.

4. Hulapalu - This song by Austrian Andreas Gabalier was named the Wiesn-Hit of 2016 (and 2017!) so it’s bound to get a lot of plays at this year’s Oktoberfest.
It’s a great party song with a bit of pseudo-yodelling you can sing along with and a cracking tempo.
MORE: Hulapalu lyrics

3. Hofbräuhaus-Lied - This 1935 classic is a celebration of all things Munich and the city’s famous beer hall, the Hofbräuhaus.
You’re more likely to hear it earlier in the day because it’s slow by modern standards.
The Hofbräuhaus-Lied still gets played regularly in the Oktoberfest tents, although perhaps less and less.
MORE: Hofbräuhaus-Lied lyrics

2. Que Sera, Sera - The second American song on this list is one of the most distinctive tunes at the Munich Oktoberfest.
Que Sera Sea was introduced by Doris Day in a 1956 Hitchcock film and she quickly made it her theme tune.
It’s often one of the final songs of the night, and everyone links arms and sways along.
MORE: Que Sera, Sera lyrics

1. Ein Prosit - Meaning ‘To good health!’ or simply ‘Cheers!’, Ein Prosit is the gold standard of Oktoberfest songs and the one you’ll hear played roughly every hour in the beer tents.
Everyone at the table has to stand up and sing, before a hearty toast and chug to the cry of Oans, Zwoa, G’suffa! (One, two, chug!)
MORE: Ein Prosit lyrics

So which one is your favourite? Vote for your top pick for this year's best Oktoberfest song here

What's new on Oktoberfest-Songs.com?

We've recently added pages on a couple of newer songs which are popular in the beer tents. There is the traditional I sing a Liad für di and the party anthem Hulapalu from the Austrian singer Andreas Gabalier. And we've also added Helene Fischer's mega-hit Atemlos durch die Nacht. There's also a couple of new entries on older hits, the classic Ich war noch niemals in New York and Wahnsinn (Hölle, Hölle, Hölle).

Above: A traditional German band pumping out the next Oktoberfest hit.

What makes an Oktoberfest song?

Oktoberfest music can be split into four can be classed into four categories; 1. Brass-band music (Blasmusik), 2. Classic Schlager hits, 3. English-language anthems and 4. modern pop.
1. Blasmusik is played during parades and early on inside the beer tents before people are game or inebriated enough to get up on the benches and start swaying around.
The one exception is Ein Prosit, which is played every 20 minutes or so no matter what time of day it is.
Ein Prosit
is also one of the few Blasmusik tunes to have lyrics, otherwise they're pretty much always instrumental.
You can learn how to play it here: Ein Prosit sheet music.

oktoberfest-songs-band An Oktoberfest band gets into the swing of things .Pic: digital cat

2. German Schlager songs (which simply means "hits"in English) were huge in the sixties and seventies and are now back with a vengeance. Hallmark themes are love and nostalgia, rhythms are light and poppy and accompanying dances are invariably silly.
These are songs to dance, sing and remember to. A few examples are Cowboy und Indianer and Er Gehört zu mir.
3. The Munich Oktoberfest song scene is understandably dominated by German, but the English language is by no means ignored.
Pop, rock and disco unkillables like I Will Survive, Highway to Hell and New York, New York are regularly belted out as the evening party atmosphere takes over in the tents.
4. To round off, we have modern party hits that snake up the German charts.
German, Spanish, English, hip-hop, ballads and head bangers, anything goes, as long as it's popular.
The bands in the Oktoberfest tents don't follow any rules – they just play what they think will go down well.
If, say, We Speak No Americano gets a roaring response in one tent, pretty soon it gets played in all of the tents a couple of times a day. The most popular songs in any given year are dubbed "Wiesn Hits". These songs can then make it onto www.oktoberfest-songs.com and their immortality is sealed.
Each entry on Oktoberfest-songs.com has an intro, rendition from YouTube and lyrics in both German and English.
All but a couple of the translations I've done myself. They aren't available anywhere else on the Web so you can consider this an exclusive.
Hope you enjoy it all and don't forget to leave your comments at the bottom of the page.

About this website

oktoberfest-songs-profileHi! I'm Stu and I started this website in 2008 during a six-year stint living in Bavaria. I also started a general travel website about Munich and Bavaria at www.destination-munich.com.
Some of my most popular pages on Destination Munich were about Oktoberfest songs. People love them! They look for lyrics, translations, inspiration.
So I thought it was about time to start a website devoted to ditties played at the famous festival.
I hope you enjoy it and if you have any questions or suggestions about what to add, please write in or leave a message below. Prost!

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