Music

The Best German Folk Songs 

Ranker Music
Updated March 3, 2020 347 votes 180 voters 9.1k views 24 items

The best German folk songs celebrate the country’s heritage and tell tales of both joy and woe. Many of the tunes on this German folk songs list were written hundreds of years ago, though they’ve been recorded by modern-era artists as well.

“Muss i denn” is perhaps one of the most famous German folk songs. This song, about a soldier who goes off to war with a promise to return and marry the woman he loves, was written in 1827. Don't think you know it? Well, you actually might. In 1960, Elvis Presley recorded an adaptation called “Wooden Heart,” which was included in his film G.I. Blues.

Several of these top German folk songs were reimagined by famous composers and musicians, including “In Stiller Nacht” (“In the Silent Night”) – a traditional folk song that was adapted by Johannes Brahms. The song is a haunting lament about impending death. The moon refuses to shine, and grieving birds and animals are still.

Like all good folk songs, these tunes move the listener, whether they are political in nature, lullabies, or children’s songs. What is your favorite? Be sure to watch the videos if you’re not familiar with these songs, and vote your picks up to the top!

list ordered by
1
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Johannes Brahms
2
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Klauss Doldinger
3
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4
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5
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Will Glahé
6
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Matthias Claudius Chor St. Michaelis
7
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Andrea Bocelli
8
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9
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10
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Anton Wilhelm von Zuccalmaglio
11
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12
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Newhere added Walter Scheel
13
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korrgf added Die Woodys
14
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15
Sing mir noch ein Lied ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best German Folk Songs
Muckberd added Sing mir noch ein Lied Fatum
16
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Philharmonischen Kinderchor Dresden
17
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Kern Buam
18
Der Winter ist vergangen... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best German Folk Songs
Eriic Liggett added Der Winter ist vergangen
19
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Otto Waalkes
20
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21
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22
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23
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Orlando di Lasso
24
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Victoria Ivanova