Nearly all of Rammstein's songs are in German. However, the band has recorded English songs as well as cover of the song "Stripped" (Depeche Mode). In addition, the songs "Amerika", "Stirb nicht vor mir/Don't Die Before I Do," and "Pussy" contain lyrics in English. The song "Moskau" ("Moscow") contains a chorus in Russian. "Te quiero puta!" is entirely in Spanish, and the song "Frühling in Paris" has a chorus in French. Oliver Riedel commented that "German language suits heavy metal music. French might be the language of love, but German is the language of anger."
The lyrics of Rammstein, and their utterance by singer Till Lindemann, are an essential element of the music and shape the perception by fans and a wider public. Among other things that are often very controversial, Rammstein also uses lyrics of classical German literature, e.g. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's famous poems Der Erlkönig (1778) and Das Heidenröslein (1771) for the songs "Dalai Lama" and "Rosenrot", respectively.
Many of their songs are inspired by real life events. These songs include Rammstein (Ramstein airshow disaster), Mein Teil (The Meiwes Case), Wiener Blut (Fritzl case), and Donaukinder (2000 Baia Mare cyanide spill).
Wordplay is a fundamental component of Rammstein's lyrics. In many instances, the lyrics are phrased such that they can be interpreted in several ways. The song "Du hast", for example, is a play on the German marriage vow Willst Du, bis der Tod euch scheidet, treu ihr sein für alle Tage? ("Will you, until Death separates you, be faithful to her for the rest of your days?"). In the song, the traditional affirmative response, Ja ("Yes"), is replaced by its negation Nein ("No"). The song starts, in fact, with a play on words: Du... Du hast... Du hast mich... meaning "You have me". This line is often mistaken for "You hate me", because in German, there is only a very subtle (if any) distinction between the pronunciation of Du hasst ("you hate") and Du hast ("you have"). The pun is later resolved as the line is completed as Du hast mich gefragt ("You asked me"). Confusingly, the band did also make an English version of the song named "You Hate", which was not translated directly from "Du hast". While many arguments are made about "Du hast", it is known that Rammstein used this wording to mislead and create humour in the song, causing many non-speakers of German to be confused.
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