Rammstein Mutter lyrics with English translation

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Die Tränen greiser kinderschaar The tears of senile childs
ich zieh sie auf ein weisses Haar i put them on a white hair
werf in die Luft die nasse Kette throw it in the air, the wet chain
und wünsch mir das ich eine Mutter hätte and wish i had a mother
 
keine Sonne die mir scheint no sun that shines to me
keine Brust hat Milch geweint no breast cries milk to me
in meiner Kehle steckt ein Schlauch in my throat there is a tube
hab keinen Nabel auf dem Bauch have no navel on my belly
 
Mutter … Mutter Mother … Mother
Mutter … Mutter Mother … Mother
 
Ich durfte keine Nippel lecken i could not lick the nipples
und keine falte zum verstecken and no fold to hide inside
niemand gab mir einen Namen no one gives me a name
gezeugt in Hass und ohne Samen made in hate and without sperm
 
der Mutter die mich nie geboren to the mother that never born me
hab ich heute Nacht geschworen i swear this night
ich werd dir eine Krankheit schenken i will give you a disease
und sie danach im Fluß versenken and after that i will sink it in the river
 
Mutter .. Mutter Mother … Mother
Mutter .. Mutter Mother … Mother
Mutter .. Mutter Mother … Mother
Mutter .. Mutter Mother … Mother
 
In ihren Lungen wohnt ein Aal in her lungs there lives an eel
auf meiner Stirn ein Muttermahl on my face there is a birthmark
entferne es mit Messers Kuß remove it with the kiss of the knife
auch wenn ich daran sterben muß also if i die of it
 
Mutter … Mutter … Mutter … Mutter !! Mother … Mother … Mother .. Mother !!
 
In ihren Lungen wohnt ein Aal in her lungs there lives an eel
auf meiner Stirn ein Muttermahl on my face there is a birthmark
entferne es mit Messers Kuß remove it with the kiss of the knife
auch wenn ich verbluten muß also if i bleed out
 
Mutter Mother
 
Ohh … gib mir Kraft Ohh … give me strength
 
Mutter Mother
 
Ohh … gib mir Kraft Ohh … give me strength
 
Mutter … Mutter Mother … Mother
 
Ohh … gib mir Kraft Ohh … give me strength
 
Mutter … Mutter Mother … Mother

This song is about a man who never had a mother because he was born from an experiment. The man in the song seeks revenge against the mother that never gave birth to him, while at the same time expressing love for the same mother, exposing the duality in some mother-son relationships in which hate and love exist in parallel to each other.

62 COMMENTS

  1. Like “Tochter” I have spent a lot of time recently crying to this song. I was not sexually abused by my mother, but I was emotionally neglected and abused. From an early age I really felt regretted, and sometimes hated, by my mother. I did not see her as a safe person, I did not see her as a source of comfort; I had no other source of comfort to make up for this loss. I felt like a disease and a curse in her life and eventually I turned those feelings back onto her.

    I basically share “Tochter”‘s interpretation of the first verses: an abused or neglected child is always old. “Mature for their age”. They do not get to be young. They do not get to be what a child should be. They have to be able to take care of themselves in some way that goes beyond the abilities of a child. They prematurely throw away the idea that this is a just world, that they are safe from evil – hence the tears collected on a white hair and thrown away.

    I was born of a difficult birth (C-section) that would cause my mother long-term injuries, and my mother got an infection in the hospital; she was not able to breastfeed; I have heard she was depressed in the early days of my life and others had to step in to give me nurturing. Growing up, I heard a lot about how torturous my birth was, about the deadly rupture which occurred during the later (attempted natural) birth of my sister because of the scar my birth left. No, I don’t think that having a C-section or not being able to breastfeed makes someone a “bad mother” – but in the broader context of the failed bond between me and my mother, both seem significant, like the first disappointments which snowballed into the broader disappointment I became in my mother’s eyes. As I would later learn when studying anthropology, the most “traditional” human (and, more generally, primate) parenting style is one of constant contact between the mother and child, of breastfeeding on-demand… against that standard, I really do feel like a child raised with a tube in my throat, a child with no bond of birth (navel).

    “Ich durfte keine Nippel lecken
    und keine falte zum verstecken
    niemand gab mir einen Namen
    gezeugt in Hass und ohne Samen”

    Since I never came to see my mother as a “safe person”, as the ultimate source of comfort I could always come to, I had “no fold to hide in”. Obviously I was given a name (and my name was chosen by my mother), but as a child I felt like nobody and nothing. I could tell that there was something ingenuine and artificial about the “love” between my parents, and my mother made it pretty explicit that she chose my father as her partner for utilitarian reasons, because he seemed like a good father. Hence my conception feels artificial – “fathered in haste and without sperm”. I did end up developing a better bond with my father than my mother, but there were many many years when I resented and rejected him all the same.

    “der Mutter die mich nie geboren
    hab ich heute Nacht geschworen
    ich werd dir eine Krankheit schenken
    und sie danach im Fluß versenken”

    This is how I felt by the time I was about nine years old. A few years before my parents finally separated. I could not deny the hatred and resentment in my mother’s actions toward me, in the vicious words she hissed at me when I did something wrong – condemning not only my actions but my very being. I had nowhere to go when I felt this pain. I had no acknowledgement – if I tried to express my feelings to ANYBODY, not just my mother, I was treated like a stupid “spoiled brat” who wanted more than I deserved from my poor suffering mother. The idea that my mother was anything less than loving to me was just dismissed straight off the bat by virtually anybody I talked to. The only thing I could do to cope with the pain was turn it back on my mother and finally reject her the way she had rejected me. I wanted to make her feel my sickness. I wanted to devalue her life the way she had devalued mine. I felt like my mother would be relieved if I died (just to be clear: although she said she should never have had kids, she never said she wished I was dead, which unfortunately makes her better than a lot of other resentful and regretful mothers… the feeling that my mother wouldn’t care if I died was something I came up with myself. I know she would.). So at that age I began to think things like “if my mother died, I wouldn’t go to her funeral”.

    I began to wish I could make my mother cry with something I said, just as she had made me cry so many times – but I never did. I’ve still never “accomplished” that (although I don’t really want to anymore). But as an older kid I wasted a lot of energy “throwing rocks” at her with my words and actions, trying to strike a hit, thinking it would make me feel free (like the narrator supposes he will be free of his love/hate for mother once he drowns her in the river). I started to reject love from EVERYBODY – when my mother did show me love (usually in less emotionally challenging situations), I treated it as if it were all a lie, but I extended that same assumption to everybody else’s love and empathy for me.

    In ihren Lungen wohnt ein Aal
    auf meiner Stirn ein Muttermahl
    entferne es mit Messers Kuß
    auch wenn ich daran sterben muß

    I acted as if I didn’t care whether my mother loved me, like her love didn’t matter to me. That’s me “cutting the birthmark from my forehead, even if I bleed to death” – but, like the narrator, it didn’t kill me. Instead I was left hollow and suicidal, having burned so many bridges between me and my mother, begging for the strength to “go all the way” and just destroy my life, which (I felt) had been such a curse on my mother, my whole family, everyone I knew, and myself. I was pining for the love I rejected, but I never really let myself realize that until I was an adult. As a kid, I didn’t acknowledge that need for her love. I didn’t put it into words, even for my own sake. As soon as I had the legal right to stop visiting her (my father was given full custody, but with the condition of us regularly visiting our mother til we were legally old enough to decide whether or not we wanted to), I stopped. My mother had singled me out as the problem to avoid feeling like she was a “bad mother” – now that I was gone and my life & behaviour was improving she couldn’t keep that up. Then my sister started to become estranged from her too, on her own time (previously my sister had been “the favourite”, “the good child” to my mother, the one who received the love I didn’t). My mother became lonely and depressed. In terms of these lyrics, I see that as “my mother lying at the bottom of the river with an eel in her lung”.

    So the wound left when I cut that last bond with my mother didn’t kill me – it just hurt and festered, as I’m sure it did for the narrator of this song. I wasn’t any happier than I had been before I “cut out the birthmark”. Inside I was still crying out for my mother. I started to want her again, in late adolescence, but it’s been “too little, too late” – whatever sort of relationship we can build now is no substitute for the relationship with my mother I needed then. I want to try. She wants to try now. She is more willing to talk and acknowledge than she has ever been. But I am scared. I am scared it will be the same as always when I try to talk about the pain – “I don’t remember that”.

    When I listen to this song, when this song comes into my head, when I think of my mother, I regress to 9 years old. My emotional reactions are the same as I would have at that age. I shrink away and cry quietly. A sort of creaky whiny cry is trapped in the back of my throat but I don’t let it out. I imagine vivid scenarios of what I would say to her, what I would ask her if she was across from me in that moment, what I would say if I could go back in time to when those horrible things happened… hoping my mother would give me strength, heal me, make me whole again. But the bond between us is fundamentally, irreparably broken in some way – whatever kind of bond we could build now is something different, no substitute for the bond we could have had as mother and daughter.

    Maybe it could have been healed if I had “been the bigger person” when I was a preteen or young teenager … but at least I know that’s not something you can reasonably expect of a child, especially one that has not had enough emotional nurturing to even know how to take on that role. So I feel like the protagonist who has cut the last bond of birth with his mother from his forehead, bleeding but not to death, begging for his mother back, feeling no better than he did before he killed her (in my case I “killed” the hope of a loving mother).

    I needed my mother … I still need my mother. I loved my mother, I love my mother … every time I said something bad to her as a kid, she knew it was just talk, she knew I loved her, she told me as much in the moment once, but just like I tried to “fight fire with fire” (fight my mother’s rejection by rejecting her), she attempted to fight THAT fire “with fire” (reacting to my apparent rejection with MORE rejection and anger). It’s too late now to undo the damage. I can’t go back in time, yet I find myself again and again regressing into the mindset of me as a child, just thinking over and over again “I wish I had a mother”, powerless to change anything. That possibility – of me being a child feeling loved by my mother – is dead and buried. I killed it. But I am still crying out for Mother. I am still crying out for Mother to give me strength.

    If you read this, thank you. I don’t want you to think that my mother is a horrible person. My mother is a broken person. She has done and said horrible things. But please rest assured that I have thought about the reasons for her actions. I have empathized with her. I have thought for years and years and years about “what I did wrong as a child to make her act that way”. Since I was a child, many people have tried to make me think about these things when I (foolishly) expressed my hurt about my mother, as if I hadn’t already thought about them, and it always bothered me. For my own sake, I just need to express my deepest feelings of hurt. So if you read this and you empathize with me, thank you.

  2. My heart goes out to all of you who do not have a mother, or have been deeply hurt by your mother. May the Universe bring good people into your life who will show you much kindness and unconditional love, a way a mother would. Please don’t allow the past hurt and pain to push good people away, you are deserving of love and a happy life, what they did, was on them, not you. REM said it best. “Everybody hurts”. Please, break the Cycle! Forgive them! You deserve your best life! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. You made it! Take care! Mahalo!

  3. I have a little bit correction. As I can hear Till sings “gezeugt in Hast und ohne Samen” that means “in a hurry” not “in hate”. The meaning becomes some different!

  4. The child said that he didn’t have a mother, but there’s still the face that can show his mother’s form, and no one can escape. I think it’s what the word “muttermal” actually means. Scar…Track…All of us human being will definitely find our mother somewhere on face.
    What’s more interesting, compare to die Mutter, is der Vater that haven’t been mentioned at all in the song!

  5. “In any case I am always so grateful toward metal bands like these pushing these levels of darkness into the public eye, making it’s expression more acceptable and less feared. We all know some kind of darkness, Rammstein recreates it so we can just shout, scream, enjoy, cry, release or whatever anyone needs.”
    @Ryuaka23
    Hear hear!

  6. Nice one Artemis. Grendel would defnitely fit the lyrics (and thanks for making me think of Marillion)

  7. As I have been sexually abused by my mother from age 4(?) onwards, this song carries a deeply personal meaning with me. Also, I tend to listen to this song a lot. And singing along. And crying.
    So I also have my own interpretation of the lyrics I’d like to share with you:

    Die Tränen greiser Kinderschaar/ The tears of ancient childs (I like ancient better than senile, maybe because it sounds like the german word senil, which would imply Altzheimer’s or something similar – being „greis“ just means being very old)

    Abused children never have the chance to be young; thus they’re ancient despite (physically) being still young. And as adults, there’s is still the hurt little child inside. They also tend to cry a lot.

    Ich zieh sie auf ein weißes Haar/I put them on a white hair
    werf in die Luft die nasse Kette/throw it in the air; the wet chain

    An ancient child would also have white hair, but it could also imply that the child is old when it finally finds the resolve to act. More important in my opinion is the throwing away of the chain, symbolizing the childs refusal to be a victim any longer. With it it also throws away the metaphorical chains binding it to its miserable existence.

    Und wünsch mir das ich eine Mutter hätte/ And wish, I had a mother

    A mother has so much more responsibility than just giving birth. And so many chances to f*** up. Also there’s a theme in the song of mutual disowning.
    The second stanza is more in line with the „clone story“, but there are still some things I can relate to:
    – A mother should be the sun to her child
    – Breastfeeding and the umbilical chord are symbols for the bond between mother and child, when the child sings of not having a navel, it’s not so much literal: The bond between mother and child never existed, therefore the child has no navel.

    Und keine Falte zum verstecken/and no fold to hide inside

    Children hide themselves in the folds of their mothers skirt. But where do you hide from your own mother?

    Der Mutter die mich nie geboren/To the mother that never gave birth to me

    In my interpretation this is another example of the mutual disowning of mother and child: The mother says, she could never have birthed such a child. The child responds by disowning the mother itself, by saying she could never have birthed such a child. So both despise each other.
    The rest of the stanza is about the child wanting to kill its tormentor…

    In ihren Lungen wohnt ein Aal/In her lungs there lives an eel

    One of the stranger lines Till has written… I think it’s mostly about something disgusting inside the mother, and „Aal“ was the only word that rhymed with „Muttermal“. On the other hand „Laichzeit“, with its Metaphors about fish, is also a song about incest and an eel happens to be a fish. But that seems maybe a bit far-fetched?

    Auf meiner Stirn ein Muttermal/On my forehead is a birthmark (is there no word with „mother“in it?)
    entferne es mit Messers Kuss/remove it with the kiss of the knife
    auch wenn ich daran sterben muss/even if I have to die of it

    This is about disowning the mother symbolically, despite the high price of it. For what is a child without a mother?
    Also, mothers often kiss their children on the forehead. So the knife replaces the motherly love. But the child doesn’t possess the strength needed to carry out its plan and it pleads to its mother to give it the strength. It realizes that it still needs and loves its mother, despite everything. And so the screams of „Mutter“ fade away, the child so full of hatred that it wants to kill its mother (at least metaphorically) and still so full of love it can’t…
    Such a sad song, and yet so beautiful.

    • Vielen Dank für İhre İnterpretation. Sie hat mir sehr gefallen. Ich wünsche Ihnen ein sehr gutes Leben, sehr helle Zukunft trotz alter und so tiefer Wunden.

    • Dear “Tochter” I am not sure if you will see my answer but I want to say that you have a deep understanding and a lovely heart. Even though I don’t know you personally, I really felt the existence of a strong bond between you and me. I will think about you while listening this song- though probably you will never know it.

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