"Alter Mann" as written by Oliver Riedel, Doktor Christian Lorenz, Christoph Doom Schneider, Richard Z. Kruspe, Paul Landers and Till Lindemann....
Er wartet auf den Mittagswind
die Welle kommt und legt sich matt
mit einem Fächer jeden Tag
der Alte macht das Wasser glatt

Ich werf den Stein zu meinem Spass
das Wasser sich im Kreis bewegt
der Alte sieht mich traurig an
und hat es wieder glatt gefegt

Im weissen Sand der alte Mann
zitternd seine Pfeife raucht
nur das Wasser und ich wissen
wozu er diesen Fächer braucht

Die Ahnung schläft wie ein Vulkan
zögernd hab ich dann gefragt
den Kopf geneigt es schien er schläft
hat er bevor er starb gesagt

Das Wasser soll dein Spiegel sein
erst wenn es glatt ist, wirst du sehen
wieviel Märchen dir noch bleibt
und um Erlösung wirst du flehen

Den Fächer an den Leib gepresst
im Todeskrampf erstarrt die Hand
die Finger mussten sie ihm brechen
der Fächer bleibt zurueck im Sand

Den Alten ruf ich jeden Tag
er möchte mich doch hier erlösen
ich bleib zurück im Mittagswind
und in dem Fächer kann ich lesen

Das Wasser soll dein Spiegel sein
erst wenn es glatt ist wist du sehen
wieviel Märchen die noch bleibt
und um Erlösung wirst du flehen

Lyrics submitted by gasmask

Alter Mann song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentits about being lost and trapped on a lonely island, till mentioned it.
    rooquieon February 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningEnglish translations taken from: herzeleid.com

    He waits for the midday's wind
    the wave comes and lies down wearily
    with a fan every day
    the old one makes the water smooth

    I throw the stone for fun
    the water moves in circles
    the old one looks sadly at me
    and swept it smooth again

    I think that the old man represents a father figure. And the boy (the person who threw the rock into the water, I'm assuming it's a child) may represent a son. The old man fanning the water may represent a father trying to keep balance or maybe trying to keep calm during hard times caused by natural things (the midday's wind) or by other people (the boy). "The old one looks sadly at me" could be about how a parent may get frustrated or disappointed at their child for doing something bad or for acting foolish. Once the old man "swept it smooth again" he maybe trying to "clean up" after his child.

    Premonition sleeps like a volcano
    hesitating, I asked him then
    his head bent, it seemed he slept
    before he died he said

    I'm not so sure what "Premonition sleeps like a volcano" could meam.
    But, I think the old man is passing knowledge from his generation to the next, which is something most fathers want to do with their sons.

    "The water shall be your mirror
    only when it is smooth will you see
    how much fairy tale is left for you
    and you will plead for salvation."

    The reflection in the mirror (water) could represent how one views reality. If the boy spent so much of his life dreaming and having fun (throwing the rock in the water) his view of reality may become disorted like the water, or he may be unable to cope with a reality so void of "fairy tale magic"

    The fan pressed against his body
    his hand stiffens with rigor mortis
    they had to break his fingers
    the fan stays back in the sand

    The old man's hands stiffening may represent a person not wanting to give up their way of life. (not sure)
    "Te fan stays back in the sand" may mean that the fan was left there as a way to remember the old man.

    I call the old one every day
    for him to save me here
    I stay back in the midday's wind
    and I can read in the fan

    Apperently the boy is much older now. "I call the old one every day
    for him to save me here" means tht the boy pray to his dead father for help or guidance with life.
    "I stay back in the midday's wind
    and I can read in the fan" I think this means that the boy either took his father's place fanning the water or simply remembers what the old man taught him.
    DarkFairy003on June 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI just finished listening to the audiobook of H.P. Lovecraft's "The White Ship", and it reminded me of this song. It's more of a sad story than a horror story, but still a relatively cosmic one. The message of the two stories may be quite similar. If anyone else here has read or heard it, can they make the same connection? (For the record, I do not really understand German; I have been to Herzeleid.com and have watched lyricsoframmstein's videos on You Tube, and ended up with a crash course in the language, however. I just didn't feel like posting on the English page.)
    Snyarhediron April 20, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIam German and I unterstand every word in this song, but I have no idea what's it about at all ^^.
    Neltyon April 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about a lonely old man. Kinda sad.
    sunshine_arakhanon December 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEnglish translation at herzeleid.com/en/lyrics/…

    Beautiful song :)
    4d5e6fon September 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about anticipating death? When the water is smooth, you see your age in your reflection.
    niels10000on September 15, 2014   Link

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