Comments & Spam.

Since the entries in my music blog are supposed to remain on the main page, they are particularly vulnerable to comment spam. So, lacking a better alternative at the moment, I have decided to close all comment threads except the one for the most recently published song. So whatever you might have to say, please use that thread. Thanks.

songs, songwriting

You Save My Life (2005)

A very light and romantic tune I wrote for the wedding of two good friends last weekend. As usual, home-recorded VST based demo available as mp3 (128kbit, enclosed) and. Words, music and vocals by Tobias Schwarz, © 2005.

Lyrics –

You save my life
With everything you do
You do it every morning
When I look at you
‚Cos in your eyes
Is where I find
The answer to all questions
Weighing on my mind

You’ll be there for me
Whenever I need you
I’ll be there for you
Whenever you call
You hold my head
When I had too much to drink
You’re my best friend
When I need a shrink
I know that you’re the one for me

You give me faith
‚Cos your love is strong
You make me feel at home
When the road will be long
You lead my way
Wherever we may go
You do it every evening
When we let our love grow


(Primary Bridge)
Like Romeo and Juliette
But we’re gonna live instead
‚Cos our love’s never gonna fail
We’ll always hear the nightingale

(Chorus x 2)

almost a diary, oddly enough

Left behind what?

Spam is almost always annoying. Comment spam is the worst, because it requires additional attention, not rarely amounting to more time than it take to write a blog post. But there is also the rare instance where spam is fun or prompts reflection about its underlying social meaning, as in today’s case.

Don’t get left behind“ was the headline. „Add three inches today!“ the goal – I’m assuming you’re familiar with the kind of addition offered -, and the way to do that was buying pills that my doc would most certainly frown upon, to say the least.

I know we guys tend to be competitive for the better or worse. It’s probably what evolution „had in mind“ for a good number of reasons. I am also aware that the sexual evolution has brought about the general features of male primary sexual organ about whose size and functionality so many kind advertisers are so concerned about to offer help via email. But I wasn’t aware that technological advances had already turned a man’s endowment into a race to be fought individually let alone by taking pills.

So assume for the moment I decided to „add three inches“ by taking the miracle pills. And then all other guys decided to do so, too. And if only size mattered… would I not be forced to eventually repeat the experiment? And wouldn’t all others? Would men eventually come to their minds and end a mostly certainly disfunctional sexual arms race? Or would we be more like the lemmings… (which I assume is what most girls believe ;))

I’m glad I won’t have to think about it anymore until I get the first spam about helping girls to cope with all those added inches… I’ll keep you posted.

Fußball, Mainz, songs, songwriting

Carnival Junkies

Back in 2004, my home team Mainz 05 was finally promoted to the first division of the German Bundesliga after having been beaten on the last day twice in a row. First by asingle point, then by a single goal. It was a tragedy not many teams would have been able to digest, let alone beat the odds and be promoted the third time around.

But Mainz 05 is a special club in more ways than one. It’s a club that, above all, celebrates playing the game. But, then again, maybe that’s not too surprising for a football team based in a town with even more carnival tradition than Rio (sorry Roberta ; – I agree that the Cariocas have come up with something unique – but we’re just a little older over here).

So when Mrs. T., one of my fellow authors at, and native to Ireland, decided to honor the lads‘ promotion with an English poem in 2004, I came up with the idea to write an English song based on the poetry –

„Climb wither though couldst not before
Now freed at last from gravity’s restraints
To the Empyrean on eagle’s wings
O thou heroic FSV Mainz“

However, even disregarding the „eagle“ thing (Eintracht Frankfurt, a regional competitor uses the bird as logo), I just could not come up with a decent hook using these words, and eventually, I put the idea to rest for a while.

So it wasn’t until I read in the supporter’s web forum „„“ that fans were trying to translate some German songs and looking for suitable English material a bit more specific than the classic from „Caroussel“ now that Mainz have been chosen to play in the UEFA cup qualifiers based on fair-play criteria that I decided to give the idea another go. I eventually decided against using Mrs T.’s poem, rewrote the lyrics, and suddenly everything fell into the right place – or so I think.

Now the song is called „Carnival Junkies“, a title that is not just a summary of much of what I think the team and their supporters are about, but also an hommage to the Californian singer/songwriter Cindy Alexander, who has written a song called „Carnival Junky“ back in 2001 (I think).

For the time being, it’s a VST based, home-produced, demo and available as mp3 (128kbit, enclosed). Words, music and vocals by Tobias Schwarz, 2004-2005. Note that I have not been able to stand to sing due to a leg injury… Please contact me about ideas for commodification, should you have any. Enjoy!

Lyrics –

05 05 05 05 (x4)

(Verse 1)
Feels like we’re at home
In red in white we
Face the floodlight
You’ll never walk alone
In bust or boom,
Glory or gloom.

Don’t know why we
Feel that way
It’s been like that
Since our first day.

We’re Carnival junkies
who know how to play ball
We’ll never falter
We will stand tall (05)
Not for the money or for the fame
We just want to
play the game (05)
We’re Carnival junkies
Always up for a fight
You’ll feel the fire we will ignite (05)
For all the money and all the fame
We’ll stay the same
And win the game (05)

05 05 05 05

(Verse 2)
We held our heads high
When we were down cause
We knew all the time
They may laugh in our face
We’d try again
We’d win the race.

Don’t know why we
Feel that way
It’s been like that
Since our first day.


(Primary Bridge)
We’ll be singing when we’re winning
When the cups are coming home
When you ask what really matters
We’ll tell you it’s in our soul
We tasted our share of sand
We’ve been down there before
However tough, we will get up
You’ll know it when we score!

(Chorus x2)

Economics, Germany, photoblogging


Ladenschluß.Shopping from midnight to 4am, in Germany. It’s possible – at least for promotional reasons. Last Saturday, a couple of hundred of local retailers celebrated the „night of the senses“, during which shops were allowed to open. Apparently, the project’s revenue was satisfactory, as 100,000 people decided to postpone their shopping from Saturday afternoon to Saturday night. Interestingly though, the shop-closing-law exeption was one of the measures intended to indemnify local retailers for the loss of revenue suffered during George W. Bush’s visit to Mainz in February. So, even inadvertendly, the American government is advancing their economic agenda…

almost a diary, oddly enough, self-referential

Saving Toby?

I’m at loss for words. Those of you, my gentle readers, who know me, will be able to certify that being in that state is a rather unnatural condition for me. However, I just found out about a website called Being a Toby myself, I felt the need to inquire what was going on with my name buddy.

Toby, it turns out, is a rabbit, whose life has come under threat by two anonymous American students, who, according to and, are planning to kill and eat Toby on June 30 unless they have raised at least USD 50,000 from donations and profits from selling merchandise on the web.


I’m Embarrassed.

I have to apologize. I do. Really. There were times when I made fun of other countries where only 13% of people knew where to find a recently invaded country on a map. Right here on this blog. And there were times when I was startled that a good part of the usually WW2 obsessed Brits had no idea who Hitler was (that was on afoe).

But then I found the results of a survey concerning the historical knowledge of Germans of voting age, conducted in March 2005 by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, a rather reliable pollster, for ZDF television (in German). Apparently, the sample of 1087 people is statistically representative, although I do hope they are wrong – I really do. Of course I know that most people are not able to remember at least one of the topics mentioned in news broadcasts even half an hour after they watched it. But this

clearly exceeds my capability of comprehension. Apparently, despite all the education in this respect, only 51% of all people 18-24 know what the Holocaust was. I think this is a stunning figure, far more impressive and shocking than all the statistics that have been produced by the OECD’s PISA study.

It is a single figure that illustrates to which extent current public education in Germany is clearly missing a fundamental objective – explaining the larger social context of the society in which the kids grow up. It also indicates that families don’t seem to talk about history and social context either – which probably means they don’t talk at all -, despite all the „history“ on tv (incidentally, the name of the programme for which the survey was produced…).

But there’s another number that’s equally scary: according to the survey, only 96% of people with a university degree seem know about the Holocaust… I can only hope these people lied about their educational achievements.

For the first time I do a little bit understand the concern of Jewish leaders about the possibility of rising anti-semitism. And tonight, I’m a little embarrassed to say ich bin auch Deutschland.