Ich spreche kein Deutsch

Here I am on day #10 in Germany.  The first phrase I learned to say was "Ich spreche kein Deutsch" ("I don't speak German.")  Fortunately, a lot of necessary words are the same as in English, so I've had no problem finding coffee, pretzels, and toilettes.

Before I left for Germany, my biggest concern was how I was going to reach people with such a language barrier.  So much of my performing is based on banter and lyrics.
I wondered how I would connect with an audience without them having any idea what I was saying.

After my first show, I realized for the first time: it doesn't matter what I'm saying.  

The shows here are going just as well as in the U.S...maybe even better because people are so grateful that I made the trip.  It's wild.  The words in my music don't mean as much to these folks as how the music makes them feel.  A few people said to me that I actually moved them to tears, even though they didn't know what the hell I was talking about.

The Germans here explained to me that music in English has dominated mainstream music in Germany since WWII, which I find a little sad for their culture.  It seems slight wrong that they've become accustomed to listening without knowing what's been said.  But they told me they don't mind: they listen very differently.  Apparently, it's more important for them that they experience the emotion of the songwriter to see how it resonates with their hearts...


This concept is baffling to me, but it's also just heart-wrenchingly beautiful.  It makes me want to change the way I listen to music, too.  And it certainly makes me want to play again in Kassel, Lüdenscheid, and Munich. What a beautiful country this is.

Except the red light district in Frankfurt.  I accidentally ended up there last night.  That was not beautiful.  But that's a story for another time.  Reader, I hope you have a great week.  I'm having a ball here, but I still can't wait to get home. -Em

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