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Title

Sound: Sonne statt Reagan (Sun Instead of Rain)

Author

Joseph Beuys

Date

1982

Institution Walker Art Center
Joseph Beuys was critical of political systems influenced by the wealth of a few people. He hoped to be a catalyst for creating a new system in which power and decision-making would be in the hands of all people regardless of their economic status. In the 1980s he recorded a pop song called Sonne statt Reagan (Sun Instead of Rain). In German the word "regen" means rain, but it is spelled "reagan," a homophone for the U.S. president at the time. Creating a pop song increased the likelihood that the ideas embedded in the music would reach and inspire more people.

Transcript of translated lyrics: Sonne statt Reagan (Sun Instead of Rain)

From the country that destroys itself and dictates to us the "way of life," Reagan comes bringing weapons and death, and when he hears peace, he sees red. He says as president of the U.S.A., "Nuclear war? Yes please, there and there." Whether Poland, the Middle East, or Nicaragua, he wants the final victory, that's perfectly clear.

2X But we want: sun instead of Reagan, to live without weapons!
Whether West, whether East, let missiles rust!
He wants to provoke those bastards in the East, even those without nuclear weapons, But your war over crazy goals just doesn't work, Reagan--there are too many of us!
Cut it out with your nuclear strategies, your Russian haters, your nuclear fallout.
Hey, wrinkle-face, the jig is up, take your missiles back home with you.

2X Yeah we want: sun instead of Reagan, to live without weapons!
Whether West, whether East, the plague on all Cold Warriors!
This Reagan is married to the defense industry, but the people of the States don't want it--never!
and there will first be true peace, when all people live without weapons.

2X We really want sun instead of Reagan, to live without weapons!
Whether West, whether East, let missiles rust!
Yeah we want: sun instead of Reagan, to live without armaments!
Whether West, whether East, the plague on all Cold Warriors!

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Type: Other, transcript
Source: Joseph Beuys, Sonne statt Reagan (Sun Instead of Rain) (1982), from the website Global Positioning: Exploring Contemporary World Art, 2003.
Rights: Copyright 2003 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009