Celebrate Oktoberfest with Smithsonian Folkways!

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As summer segues into autumn, it's time once again to dust off your lederhosen, crack out the sauerkraut, throw the best bratwurst on the barbie and raise a stein to Oktoberfest! This 16-day celebration originated in Munich in the early 1800s and has since been celebrated the world over thanks to hearty German immigrant populations who couldn't bear to part with their Fatherland's festivities. And really, who could argue against an opportunity to enjoy good food and celebrate camaraderie? But no party is complete unless you're prepared to spin some festive music—and Folkways is here to help you spice up your gatherings. So grab the nearest herr or frau, dance along to the tunes from the following albums and have a wunderbar Oktoberfest!

German Drinking Songs: Die Bleibtreu Sänger und ein Stimmungsorchester

What's Oktoberfest without a frau sporting some serious bouffant and some fine steins? Get into the swing of things with this brassy, accordion-happy album.

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German Favorites: From the Hofbräuhaus to the Reeperbahn.

This CD promises music the likes of which you'd hear in places like the Hofbräuhaus brewery and the Reeperbahn, Hambrug's red light district—all packaged with family-friendly cover art that features wholesome images of lederhosen-laden musicians and timber-framed cottages.

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20 Best-Loved German Folk Songs.

Here we have music perfect for an afternoon of frolicking in the Alps. Mellower in mood than the preceding offerings, this CD may be a good choice as you're winding down from a day of drinking.

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German Folk Songs

If you want to double dip in the German folk song fountain, you may want to try this entry, notable for the banjo and recorder accompaniment arranged by Pete Seeger.

About Jesse Rhodes

Jesse Rhodes is an editorial assistant for Smithsonian magazine. Before he became an editorial assistant, Jesse worked at the Library of Congress Publishing Office, where he was a contributor to the Library of Congress World War II Companion.

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