By Nick Harris
16 June 2010
When Germany won the Eurovision song contest last month, it was billed back home as the ‘Miracle of Germany’ because it was so unexpected. The triumph for their 19-year-old songstress, Lena Meyer-Landrut, with ‘Satellite’, was the first time in 13 years that one of the “big four” in the competition (UK, Germany, France and Spain) had won, and was therefore considered to be a win for an outsider, albeit a “big four” outsider.
Given Germany’s 4-0 crushing of Australia in their opening match in South Africa, Joachim Low’s team might now be considered the Lenas of South Africa 2010: a big nation not considered among the hotter favourites before the start but certainly in contention now.
And the German team has inspired a cult hit record back home, based on Lena’s song. It was the brainchild of a couple of students (with a helping hand from a pop svengali), and has already became a YouTube sensation.
When it is released as a single on Friday this week, it is expected to become an instant best seller in Germany and perhaps beyond.
In future years, the quirky but extraordinary story of how some students had a No1 smash hit will be yet another illustration of the global power of the brand of the World Cup at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
The tale of the song began when a student from Münster, called Christian Landgraf, and a group of mates, recorded a parody of ‘Satellite’ and changed the lyrics of the original song so their version became a song about the German team.
The chorus of “Love oh love” became “Schland oh Schland”, with Schland being an abbreviation of Deutschland.
The group, who call themselves Uwu Lena, made a video in park, with one of their number dressed up in a Lena wig and the rest decked out in German football gear and scarves. It took all of an hour to make, was posted on the internet six days ago, and has become a massive hit on YouTube. The video is below. At the time of writing, it has had around 1m hits in less than a week.
At one point it apparently raised the ire of EMI, which owns the original song’s copyright, and the video was taken down. But then the man behind ‘Eurovision Lena’, Stefan Raab (a kind of German Simon Cowell) got involved and said he would give the Uwu Lena boys a record deal.
And he has, amid suggestions that he might have been behind the whole scheme in the first place. Lena even Twittered that she like the footie version, and her own label, Universal Music, signed up the boys and will release the single on Friday. EMI has also given clearance.
“We came to an agreement yesterday evening,” Ulf Switalksi, Uwu Lena’s manager, told Spiegel Online yesterday. “The boys have been celebrating with pizza and beer. We are finalizing the contracts this afternoon and the song will be released online officially on Friday.”
Germany will play their second game of the tournament, against Serbia in Port Elizabeth, on the same day.