Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lili Marleen

We recently completed an album of sheet music covers from all over the world for the song "Lili Marleen" (sometimes "Lilli Marlene" or "Lilly Marlen" or suchlike), spanning the song's nearly 100 year history. The song is associated with Marlene Dietrich (appearing in most collections of her standards), although it was first recorded by German singer Lale Andersen in the 1930s. Dietrich sang the song across Europe and in North Africa while touring to entertain Allied soldiers during World War II.

Below are four early covers, all based upon the artwork done for the original German edition (top). Note one subtle but startling difference between the German and Italian cover artwork: the Italian Lili is grasping three red roses, but is otherwise very similar to her German namesake.

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