Homesickness for Cologne

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Heimweh nach Köln ( Kölsch Heimweh noh Kölle , also known as Ich mööch zo Foss no Kölle gon ) is a very popular dialect song in Cologne dialect written in July / August 1936 by the Cologne composer and songwriter Willi Ostermann , which is considered the unofficial Cologne city anthem.


Ostermann took over the melody from his earlier High German song Sehnsucht nach dem Rhein , which he composed for the UFA film Der Traum vom Rhein , which was released on October 18, 1933 and in which he himself appeared.

In the last days of his life, Ostermann wrote down the text of the chorus with the first stanzas in the hospital and introduced them to his friend, the carnivalist Thomas Liessem , who completed the last stanza after Ostermann's death on August 6, 1936 according to his notes. During the funeral, Liessem performed the chorus of the song for the first time at the open grave at the end of his obituary.

Impact history

Despite Ostermann's popularity, homesickness for Cologne initially remained unpublished. Thomas Liessem presented it to a small group of people at the premiere of the film Three Great Days on September 4, 1936. It was then recorded in the studio of the Lindström record company with Liessem as the singer and released shortly before November 11, 1936, together with the title Och wat wor dat early beautiful but en Colonia, together with Ostermann's own song . Liessem donated the 9,000 Reichsmark fee redeemed as the basis for an Ostermann monument.

Thousands of copies of the record were sold right from the start, and the song quickly spread as a kind of "national anthem" for the people of Cologne and Rhineland. During the Second World War , singing and performing the title was banned by an army ordinance, apparently because the longing homesickness expressed did not match the demand for perseverance during the war.

In the Cologne Carnival and at almost every traditional event in Cologne, the song continues to play the first role as Cologne's homeland song, although many other songs have since found a similarly high level of popularity in Cologne and the Cologne area. It has been reinterpreted in numerous cover versions by contemporary carnival performers ( King Size Dick , Bläck Fööss ).


1. I was born in Cologne on the Rhing,
I have suffered from my dairy, my
mother tongue has not yet been lost, that is now
where I proudly drop.

When I think of my home
and sin d'r Dom su vör me ston,
||: I want to swing home directly,
I want to go to Foss no Cologne. : ||

2. I han su off vum Rhing sung,
vun our beautiful, German stream,
su German like he ming Leeder klunge,
su German bliev Cologne met singem Dom.

3. Un deiht d'r Herrjott me ens rofe,
I then say to Peter:
“I can calmly pay you down,
dat longing I no Cologne .”

4. Un luuren vum Himmelspözche
dereins he op ming hometown,
well I say do bovve
how I yawned you, mie Kölle, hatt.

Standard German translation

1. I was born in Cologne on the Rhine,
I have, and that is on my mind,
not yet lost my mother tongue,
that is something I am proud of.

When I think of my homeland
and see the cathedral standing in front of me,
||: I want to go straight to my homeland,
I want to walk to Cologne. : ||

2. I have sung so often about the Rhine,
about our beautiful German river,
as German as my songs sounded here, that's
how German remains Cologne with its cathedral.

3. And when the Lord God calls me one day,
I say to Peter:
“I can confidently confide in you
that I am longing for Cologne.”

4. And
one day I will look at my hometown from the Gate of Heaven ,
I want to say quietly up there
how much I loved you, my Cologne.


  • Complete edition Willi Ostermann, A life for the happy song on the Rhine. Textual design: Thomas Liessem. Willi Ostermann Verlag, Cologne 1958
  • Wilhelm Staffel: Willi Ostermann , Greven Verlag Cologne, 1976, ISBN 3774301379

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Wilhelm Staffel: Willi Ostermann , p. 83, Greven Verlag Cologne, 1976, ISBN 3774301379
  2. IMDb entry on the soundtrack of the film Der Traum vom Rhein
  3. Three great days in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  4. a b Willhelm Staffel: Willi Ostermann , p. 84 f.
  5. ^ Complete edition Willi Ostermann, A life for the happy song on the Rhine. Textual design: Thomas Liessem. Willi Ostermann Verlag, Cologne 1958