Mein Teil: A Love Story
Rammstein: a Little Background
"Mein Teil" is a song by Rammstein. It translates to "my part." I'll let you guess what part they are speaking of but if you are completely clueless as of yet, I guarantee you won't be by the end of this article.
A little background information about Rammstein: this is a German industrial metal group that consists of six members, Till Lindemann, the lead singer and song writer, Richard Z. Kruspe, guitar and back vocals, Paul H. Landers, guitar and back vocals, Oliver "Ollie" Riedel, bass guitar, Christoph "Doom" Schneider, drums and electric percussion, and Christian "Flake" Lorenz, electric keyboards. They formed in Berlin in 1994. Their debut album was titled, "Herzeleid." And if you have never heard of them, get ready to have your mind blown.
I'll just say this, as a fan, what compels me to listen to their music, aside from the awesome sound, is the lyrics. Till Lindemann is a poetic song writer that can find the love and passion in just about any situation and turn it into a love song. "Mein Teil" is a perfect example. But before you can truly appreciate his talent you must listen to the song. Better yet, watch the video.
The Story Behind "Mein Teil"
You can probably tell from the video, even if you don't speak German, that this song is pretty twisted. It is based on an actual event, however. A man named Armin Meiwes, now known as Der Metzgermeister, or the Master Butcher, placed an add on a cannibalism fantasy website that read: "looking for a well-built 18- to 30-year-old to be slaughtered and then consumed." Several people replied to this add but backed out at the last minute. Bernd Jürgen Brandes replied to it, too, and he did not back out. On March 9, 2001, they met and Armin proceeded to "butcher" him.
Here's where it gets weird. Brandes wanted Armin to start with his penis. He wanted Armin to bite it off at first, but after trying and failing, Armin cut it off. Brandes, now bleeding to death, wanted to eat his own penis, so Armin fixed some with salt, pepper, wine, and garlic and the two men ate.
The meat was a bit too burned, so the rest was fed to Armin's dog. After that, Brandes lay in Armin's bathtub for three hours while Armin apparently waited for him to die, but he eventually ended up stabbing him to death. Guess he got tired of waiting. Armin then hung Brandes' body on a meat hook in his Slaughter Room, where he would come to cut pieces of him off for consumption for the next ten months.
But before Armin killed Brandes he kissed him. Now, I don't know about you but this makes all the difference to me. This and the fact that it was consensual on Brandes' part. No one forced him to meet Armin to be slaughtered. By societal norms, this was murder plain and simple, and a gruesome one at that. But I think one has to look a little deeper here. And, for the record, Armin was initially only sentenced to eight years. It was only after the media took over and the story reached the public that he was retried because of public outrage. Something to think about, huh?
So this, in a nutshell, is the story behind "Mein Teil." Still don't think this could possibly be a love story? Let's look at the song's lyrics.
'Looking for a well-built 18 to 30-year-old to be slaughtered' The Master Butcher Today I will meet a gentleman He likes me so much he could eat me up Soft parts and even hard ones are on the menu Because you are what you eat and you know what it is It is my part "“ no My part "“ no There that's my part "“ no My part "“ no The dull blade good and proper I'm bleeding heavily and feeling sick Although I have to fight to stay awake I keep eating while in convulsions It's just so well seasoned and so nicely flambÃ©ed and so lovingly served on porcelain And with it, a good wine and gentle candlelight Yeah I'll take my time You've got to have some culture Because you are what you eat and you know what it is It is my part "“ no My part "“ no Because that's my part "“ no Yes it's my part "“ no A cry will ascend to heaven It will cut through hosts of angels Feather-flesh will shriekingly fall from the top of the clouds onto my childhood
Mein Teil Lyrics and Translation
Suche gut gebauten Achtzehn bis Dreißigjährigen zum Schlachten Der Metzgermeister Heute treff ich einen Herrn, der hat mich zum Fressen gern. Weiche Teile und auch harte, stehen auf der Speisekarte. Denn du bist, was du isst und ihr wisst, was es ist Es ist mein Teil (nein) Mein Teil (nein) Da das ist mein Teil (nein) Mein Teil (nein) Die stumpfe Klinge gut und recht Ich blute stark und mir ist schlecht Muss ich auch mit der Ohnmacht kämpfen, Ich esse weiter unter Krämpfen. Ist doch so gut gewürzt und so schön flambiert und so liebevoll auf Porzellan serviert. Dazu ein guter Wein und zarter Kerzenschein Ja da lass ich mir Zeit, etwas Kultur muss sein Denn du bist, was du isst Und ihr wisst, was es ist Es ist mein Teil (nein) Mein Teil (nein) Da das ist mein Teil (nein) Yes it´s mein Teil (nein) Ein Schrei wird zum Himmel fahren Schneidet sich durch Engelsscharen Vom Wolkendach fällt Federfleisch Auf meine Kindheit mit Gekreisch Das ist mein Teil (nein) Mein Teil (nein) Da das ist mein Teil (nein) Mein Teil (nein)
It Can be Nothing if Not a Love Story
After learning about the story and seeing the lyrics, how can anyone claim that it is anything but a love story? Weird? Yes. But it is definitely a story about unbridled, unbiased, love. Although Armin was convicted of murder and is currently serving a life term in prison, there can be little doubt that Brandes acted voluntarily and ultimately died the way he wanted to.
Till Lindemann has said that the song is sung from Brandes point of view. Obviously, if a person goes in search of someone to slaughter him, it must be his desire to do so and I think Till captures this perfectly with this song.
As for me, I am fascinated by this song and the story behind it. I think it wasn't necessary to convict Armin of murder but I also understand that modern society has a hard time accepting things they do not understand. Classifying it as a crime and putting a man away for life is always the answer in these cases. While this event makes most cringe and want to avoid it, even, Till embraces it and is able to see the passion within it. I applaud him for that.
This isn't the only song Till has written that deals with non-pleasurable circumstances. He wrote a song titled, "Weiner Blut," which translates to Viennese Blood, about the infamous Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who kept his daughter locked up in his basement for decades and repeatedly raped her, resulting in offspring, some of which died.
There are others, but rather than list them here I urge anyone interested to listen to Rammstein's songs and look for the meaning behind the lyrics.
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