German The Best German Folk Songs  

Ranker Music
284 votes 142 voters 6.4k views 22 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
30 10
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Johannes Brahms
2
25 13
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Klauss Doldinger
3
23 13
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4
11 6
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5
10 6
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Matthias Claudius Chor St. Michaelis
6
6 2
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7
8 5
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Will Glahé
8
6 4
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Anton Wilhelm von Zuccalmaglio
9
7 6
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10
7 6
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Andrea Bocelli
11
5 4
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Philharmonischen Kinderchor Dresden
12
4 3
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Newhere added Walter Scheel
13
3 2
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14
2 1
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korrgf added Die Woodys
15
4 4
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Otto Waalkes
16
4 4
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17
3 3
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Kern Buam
18
2 3
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19
3 5
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Victoria Ivanova
20
2 4
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21
1 3
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22
3 7
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