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Casablanca mash-up

August 9th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

One of the greatest moments in film history is in one of the greatest movies in film history, Casablanca. The boorish Nazis have commandeered Sam’s piano and are singing the German song of patriotism (and one-time German anthem), “Die Wacht am Rhein”. Victor Laszlo, the Czech resistance fighter with a Hungarian moniker, observes the scene, and orders the Rick’s Café houseband to play the Marseillaise (presumably not banned even in Vichy). The bandleader looks to Rick, who nods his head, as Captain Renault gravely observes the scene (a brilliantly acted wordless performance by Claude Rains, whose face betrays disgust and deliberations about how he will have to serve his own interests). With Laszlo conducting, the band strikes up the French national anthem, and the assembled United Nations of usual suspects and refugees, including the SS-blowing fungirl, lustily joins in. Nazi Germany is drowned out, despite Major Strasser’s best efforts to rouse his band — and our collective neckhairs are standing to attention. (Watch the scene here)

NEWLY ADDED: Casablanca – Die Wacht am Rhein vs La Merseillaise.mp3

Here are the two protagonistic songs, “Die Wacht am Rhein” and the Marseillaise, one of the great national anthems by themselves. The first recording of “Wacht” is from 1896 by one Wilhelm Deusing (for the details of the source, see the ID3 tag).

The other is by German singing “sensation” Heino. I suspect that anybody familiar with German culture will wildly rub their eyes, wondering how such a desperate state of affairs arose by which somebody with a trackrecord of impeccable taste and judgment as I would post anything by that rotten troubadour of right-wing music. I’m afraid there were no other decent quality rendition of the song I could find. So fucking Heino it must be. You’ve been warned.
Get the lyrics and short MP3 here.

La Marseillaise (yay)
Wilhelm Deusing – Die Wacht am Rhein (boo)
Heino – Die Wacht am Rhein (double boo)

You must remember this:
Dooley Wilson – As Time Go By

And while we’re on fantastic national anthems:
Red Army Choir – Soviet National Anthem

Less fantastic, but historical (and sounding like a theme to a period-piece TV movie)
East Germany’s National Anthem – Auferstanden aus Ruinen

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