Culture | Audio

A selection of songs about Berlin

Published: March 15 2021

A handful of songs about Berlin that I enjoy.


  Here is a selection of songs about Berlin that you might enjoy. Some of them stem from the 20th century, others are more modern.

Leonard Cohen ~ First we Take Manhattan

  Leonard Cohen is known for his deep voice and gloomy songs. It's no different with the song First we Take Manhattan. He sings about the Christian apocalypse concept, kwown as 'the end of times'. That's why he sings "First we Take Manhattan, then we take Berlin" (it is world-wide)

Marlene Dietrich - Einen Koffer in Berlin

  Marlene Dietrich was often in Berlin before she emigrated to America. In this song she says that however far she may go, Berlin always has a place in her heart.

The Ramones ~ Born to Die in Berlin

  The lead songwriter of the Ramones grew up in Berlin. He made this song in 1995 and expresses his 'joyful experiences' in the city.

Wizz Jones ~ When I Leave Berlin

   Wizz Jones was a folk singer who wrote When I Leave Berlin in 1973. Bruce Springsteen covered this song almost fourty years later in this performance in Berlin. I personally enjoy hearing the difference between the folk music style of Wizz Jones and the Country music style of Bruce Springsteen. Can you hear the difference too?

Klein Orkest ~ Over de Muur

  This song is my personal favourite when it comes to songs about Berlin. It portrays what life is like in East Berlin, and then does the same for West Berlin. I find this the most beautiful line in the song: "Only the birds fly from East to West Berlin. They aren't whistled back, they aren't shot".