Music

Kraftwerk – Autobahn

Kraftwerk – Autobahn

Autobahn is the fourth studio album by German electronic band Kraftwerk, released in November 1974. The 22-minute title track “Autobahn” was edited to 3:27 for single release and reached number 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 22 in the Australian chart, and performed even higher around Europe, including number 11 in the UK and number 12 in the Netherlands. This commercial success came after the band had released three experimental and purely instrumental albums. The single was believed to be Vertigo Records’ only ever international hit.

kraftwerk-autobahn
The lyrics of the song are in German, the main refrain being “Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn” (English: “We drive drive drive on the Autobahn”). The chorus was often mistaken for the English phrase “Fun fun fun on the Autobahn.” Band member Wolfgang Flür later commented: “No! Someone else told me that they [the misinterpreters] thought the way we speak in German, ‘Fahren,’ which means driving, sounds like the English word, ‘fun.’ ‘Fahren fahren fahren,’ ‘fun fun fun.’ That is wrong. But it works. Driving is fun. We had no speed limit on the autobahn, we could race through the highways, through the Alps, so yes, fahren fahren fahren, fun fun fun. But it wasn’t anything to do with the Beach Boys! We used to drive a lot, we used to listen to the sound of driving, the wind, passing cars and lorries, the rain, every moment the sounds around you are changing, and the idea was to rebuild those sounds on the synth.”

However, Ralf Hütter admitted The Beach Boys were an influence on the band, and seemed more open to the interpretation of the chorus as a homage to the Beach Boys song “Fun, Fun, Fun”.

Unlike many of the band’s most popular songs, the band has never released the song in any other language. @Wikipedia

Kraftwerk – Autobahn Lyrics:
Writer(s): Florian Schneider-Esleben, Emil Schult, Karl Bartos, Ralf Huetter Copyright: Positive Songs Edition, Kling Klang Musik Gmbh

Wir fahr’n, fahr’n, fahr’n auf der Autobahn

Vor uns liegt ein weites Tal
Die Sonne scheint mit Glitzerstrahl

Die Fahrbahn ist ein graues Band
Weisse Streifen, grüner Rand

Jetzt schalten wir ja das Radio an
Aus dem Lautsprecher klingt es dann:
Wir fahr’n auf der Autobahn …

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