Skip to content. Skip to navigation


Personal tools
You are here: Home Über Forschungs- und Editionsprojekte 1848/49er-Lieder (AHRC-DFG-Projekt) Songs of the 1848-49 Revolution (AHRC–DFG-Project)
Document Actions

Songs of the 1848-49 Revolution (AHRC–DFG-Project)

The editorial project 'Songs of the 1848 Revolution and the History of their Reception in Germany' is dedicated to the research of the songs which have particularly shaped the cultural memory and historical images associated with this period of history. The research deals with songs of well-known and anonymous poets which together have formed an enduring core in the area of German political song.

The aim of the research project is in the first instance to produce historical scholarly editions of this repertoire. It has selected and examined a representative corpus of songs, the spectrum ranging from oppositional songs of the Vormärz period such as 'Fürsten zum Land hinaus', which was sung in the context of the Hambach Festival of 1832, up until the 'Badisches Wiegenlied' from 1849, which was an expression of the final defeat of the revolution.

An essential aspect of this research – in the area of intersection of the study of literature, music, culture, and history – is the search for new source material on the historical origins of these songs and their reception. This includes the exploration of hitherto unknown authors, original musical settings and composers, new information about the social milieus in which the songs circulated, and the examination of their function in their creation of cultural and political identities. Additionally this study deals for the first time with the reception of the 1848 songs in the context of the German Liedermacher and folk scene, which was gamechanging in terms of the ways in which these historical songs were understood in the present.

The research project would particularly like to illuminate the functioning of political ideology in these reception processes. This finds its clearest expression in the cases where myths have arisen with regard to certain songs. The study of the history of individual songs will expose such factually inaccurate revaluations which have influenced the discourse surrounding the reception of these songs.

The research project is a German-British collaboration between

  • Dr. David Robb        (Queen's University Belfast)
  • Dr. Eckhard John     (Deutsches Volksliedarchiv).

Research colleagues

Johanna Ziemann, M. A. (research assistant 2009-2012)
Ingrid Bertleff, M. A. (research assistant 2011-2012)
Renate Sarr, M. A. (documentation of sound recordings)

The project was funded by the British Academy from 2008-2009 and subsequently by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) from 2009-2012.

   BA-logo-strap.jpg               DFG_zweizeilig_sw.jpg               ahrc-grafik-logo.jpg

The following songs have already been published on the website with editions and commentaries:

Additionally the following in-depth historical documentations has appeared in article form:

The research project profits additionally from its linkage to the 'Historical-Critical Song Lexikon'. The following songs which have already been published in the lexikon are important thematically for this 1848 project:

  • David Robb, Eckhard John: "A Man's a Man for A' That" and "Trotz alledem": Robert Burns, Ferdinand Freiligrath, and their Reception in the German Folksong Movement. In: The Modern Language Review 106 (2011), S. 17–46.
  • David Robb: "Playing with the 'Erbe': The Legacy of the Songs of the 1848 Revolution in the GDR". In: German Life and Letters 63 (2010), Nr. 3, S. 295-310.
  • David Robb: The Reception of Vormärz and 1848 Revolutionary Song in West Germany and the GDR. In: Protest Song in East and West Germany since the 1960s. Edited by David Robb. Rochester/NY 2007, S. 11–34.
  • David Robb: Traditionsstiftung der Revolution. In: Die Entdeckung des sozial-kritischen Liedes. Hrsg. von Eckhard John. Münster u. a. 2006 (Volksliedstudien 7), S. 141–152.

Further bibliographical References
  • Heidrun Kämper-Jensen: Lieder von 1848. Politische Sprache einer literarischen Gattung. Tübingen 1989.
  • Barbara James und Walter Moßmann: Glasbruch 1848: Flugblattlieder und Dokumente einer zerbrochenen Revolution. Neuwied 1983.
  • Wolfgang Steinitz: Deutsche Volkslieder demokratischen Charakters aus sechs Jahrhunderten. 2 Bde., Berlin 1954 und 1962.
last modified 31.12.2013 05:24

nach oben | Impressum