My Top 6 Songs in Different Languages
Cover Art: Alex Chen
Music differs for everyone, and a big part of our playlist is influenced by our surroundings. I live in a city in Switzerland where almost half of the population are foreigners, so my playlist was never composed of only one language. My music taste was heavily influenced by different cultures. This is why I thought it would be interesting to compose a short list of my favorite songs in different languages. Obviously, I had to narrow my selection down, as there was way too much to choose from, but I am pretty happy with the final list. Without further ado, let's get into these songs, their meanings, and why I love them so much.
1. "Endorphine" by TheDoDo
“Endorphine” is a German song released in 2020 by TheDoDo. He is best known for having brought a new music genre, which consists of elements of psytrance and electronic music in combination with German rap and pop, onto the German market together with his music producer and manager Benjamin Factor. Although these elements are heavily integrated into his other music, Endorphine is categorized under the genre of dance music. “Endorphine” is written in the style of some kind of love letter dedicated to a significant other. Throughout the whole song, TheDodo expresses his love for this special person. Singing phrases like “there are thousands out there but no girl is like you” or “when I look into your eyes I see my future.” In the first verse, TheDoDo states that she distracts him from the wars with himself, stops the movies in his head, and then even singing the line “you're even taking my fears, fuck I think you came from God himself.”
In the chorus, the key phrase “Keine Droge dieser Welt, gibt mir so viel Endorphine wie du” translates to “No drug in this world could give me as many endorphins as you,” endorphins being a happiness hormone released by the body that lessens pain. The reason I like this song so much is because of how relaxed and chill the lyrics sound, even though the background is very impacted by electronic sounds. In addition, the lyrics show how easily someone can express their feelings. Frankly, if someone told me some of the lines in this song I would be beyond flattered.
2. "Dehei" by LCone
“Dehei” is a Swiss-German hip hop song by the artist LCone, and the title of the song is the Swiss-German word for home. LCone is a Swiss rapper and entertainer. Some of his most famous songs are more known for how silly his lyrics are. For example, in his song “Bäumli,” he tells the story of how he falls in love with a tree and what the pros of this relationship are. Personally “Dehei” was the first song of his that I heard that actually had a deeper meaning. In “Dehei,” LCone speaks to a lost lover about how he still has not forgotten them. The first verse in the song mostly explains how life has been dull since this person left and how nothing has excited him since then. This can mostly be understood when he says, “I'm dancing all alone and the music stays the same if I'm feeling well for a moment the night is already over.” In the chorus, he expresses how he still misses this significant other but also states that it's his fault she left. The repeating chorus roughly translates to, “I'm alone in bed, we haven’t seen each other in a while but that is only my fault. Come on, let's reverse time, after all these years I still feel at home with you.” I feel like LCone brings a lot of emotion into this song whilst still staying chill. When I listen to this song I get a nostalgic feeling of missing someone, and that's why I enjoy this song so much. I also just really like the beat.
3. "Frio" by Omar Apollo
Frio is a Spanish song that belongs to the Latin Urban genre. The song was released in 2019 by the singer Omar Apollo. Omar is a Mexican-American singer and songwriter. He started off by uploading his music on SoundCloud. In 2017 he borrowed some cash from a friend to upload his first song on Spotify. A year later, his song had hit over 15 million streams. In his song “Frio,” Omar Apollo talks about an ex-lover and what to me seems like a toxic relationship. In the intro, he sings about how he can’t love her, but she won't let go. In the first verse of his song, he talks about how he can’t deal with the pain and how he is done with her. He sings, “Tù negaste tanto amor me dejaste frio,” which translates to, “You denied so much love, you left me cold." Then he goes into how this ex-lover would engage in toxic behavior, like calling his parents to start unnecessary drama. I really enjoy the hint of reggaeton in this song and how well it flows.
4. "Channa Mereya" by Arijit Singh
“Channa Mereya” is a song from the Indian movie “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil,” which is a romantic Hindi musical film. Arijit Singh is an Indian playback singer who mostly sings in Bangalore Hindi. Although he did not compose “Channa Mereya,” the song wouldn't be the same without his breathtaking voice. In “Channa Mereya,” Arijit sings about leaving the women he loves. The first line in the song says, “Alright, I'm leaving now,” followed by begging this significant other to remember him and telling her to keep all his letters and telegrams, to remember him in her prayers, and so on. In the second verse of the song, he talks about how even though he is not in her life anymore, there is no sadness attached to this. He says that the story of their love isn't any less, even now that they are not together anymore. In the last verse, he goes back to tell her that he is leaving for good. The chorus where “Channa Mereya” is said multiple times roughly translates to “oh my moon, my beloved moon, my beloved.” I absolutely adore this song. His voice is full of emotions, and you can really feel the pain through his singing. The background music also just seems so magical to me.
5. "I Ke Harru" by Numen
I Ke Harru is an Albanian R&B/Soul song by the artist Numen. In this song Numen sings like he is talking directly to somebody, telling them that “you have forgotten the words you once said to me, the promises that you gave were forgotten.” In the only verse of the song, he talks about how this person is longing for him, and that they want to touch him but are hurt by their own dreams. He also talks about how they can't forget him and how they feel numb without him. The song isn't very long, but I still enjoy listening to it. He sings the song in such a smooth and soothing voice and the way he portrays the song just feels very vulnerable.
6. "Rèpondez-moi" by Gjon’s Tears
This song is a French pop ballad sung by the Swiss-Albanian artist Gjon’s Tears. With this song, he originally represented Switzerland in the annual Eurovision Competition. This is also the only song on this list that isn't about some form of love interest. The lyrics in the verse mostly consist of questions like, “why does death follow after life?”, “why do we walk and never stop?”, “why does everyone pray on his own?”, and “why am I a foreigner here and there?” Gjon himself said that these are all universal issues. Everyone questions why they were born, why they are here, and where they are going. But this song was mostly created for people with a migration background like him, which speaks to a broad audience in Switzerland and many other countries. In the chorus Gjon pleads, “I'm done with guessing, give me an answer. Stop the useless babbling, answer me!” I love this song because he has such an amazing voice. Every time I listen to it, it gives me goosebumps and I want to sing along.