Lili Marlene

DESCRIPTION: Soldier speaks fondly of his sweetheart, "My Lili of the lamplight," Lili Marlene. She has waited for him "Underneath the lantern by the barrack gate." The soldiers are shipping out, and the singer remembers and dreams of Lili.
AUTHOR: German Words: Hans Leip; Music: Norbert Schulze; English lyrics often credited to Marlene Dietrich
EARLIEST DATE: 1937 (first published as song)
KEYWORDS: loneliness love army war separation foreignlanguage nonballad
FOUND IN: Germany
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Fireside, p. 202 (1 text, 1 tune)
Marlene Dietrich, "Lili Marlene" (Decca 23456, 1945)
The D-Day Dodgers (File: SBoA358)
Oh Mr. Fraser (File: Clev 114)
Non Capisce (File: Clev115)
Lili Marleen
NOTES [171 words]: The song was enormously popular among German soldiers during World War II, and was picked up by British and American soldiers in the European theater. It was so popular that it was satirized by the Stars and Stripes cartoonist Bill Mauldin, whose drawing (reprinted in his book Up Front) showed two American GIs in a foxhole, one playing a harmonica. The caption reads, "The Krauts ain't following ya too good on 'Lili Marlene' tonight, Joe. Think somethin' happened to their tenor?" Singer Marlene Dietrich recorded the song for American propaganda broadcasts to German soldiers, and a recording of the song by her became a hit in the USA and UK; in later years it became a central part of her repertoire. Is it a folk song? Arguably, it became one among Allied troops; it even spawned the parody "The D-Day Dodgers" among British troops in Italy (see notes under that song). -PJS
It is perhaps not too surprising that there are many World War II parodies of this, which all seem to have arisen from the Italian Campaign. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: Fire202

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