top of page
  • Fred

Top 10 Songs - By Original Artists - In a Foreign Language

Yeah, I know, it's a weirdly specific list. Here's the rules: The songs in question had to be released as a single, performed by the artist in their native language, then re-recorded by the same artist in a second language.

10. Mickey by Toni Basil

In Spanish!

Very, very impressive feat for a one-hit wonder. Being a Pop Singer was, of course, Basil's side job. She is still known in Hollywood as an Award Winning Choreographer

9. Heartbreaker by Metronomy

In French!

Metronomy is a quirky pop band from Great Britain that writes simple, yet catchy, ditties. They re-recorded their song Heartbreaker into French with (if you read the comments section on YouTube) mixed results.

8. Without You by Harry Nilsson

In Spanish!

When researching this article, I came across Without You. The title didn't ring a bell, but when I heard the song, ugh, I realized that I had heard the song a million times....but never in Spanish.

Badfinger version? Terrible.

Harry Nilsson version? Horrible.

(But a #1 hit in America.)

Mariah Carey version? I'm turning off my hearing aides.

In Harry Nilsson's defense, it must be excruciatingly hard to translate tripe into Spanish.

7. I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash

In German!

Johnny Cash, love him or hate him, stayed busy and productive for his 71 years on this Earth. Supposedly Cash picked up a fair amount of German during his stint in the military.

6. Games Without Frontiers by Peter Gabriel

In German!

This has to be the LEAST surprising entry on the list. I always thought of Peter Gabriel as a genius that transcended music.

5. Antisocial by Anthrax

In French!

It's one thing for a pop band to translate their own lyrics, it's quite another for lead singer Joey Belladonna to cover the song Antisocial, in French, from English, based on the Trust original in French.

4. 99 Luftballoons by Nena

In English!

The German Version from the German Band Nena went to #1 in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, and Sweden. #2 in America.

The English Version re-recorded by Nena went to #1 in Canada and the United Kingdom. Nena spoke repeatedly that they themselves disapproved of the song that they loosely translated and re-recorded.

3. I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

In German!

I guess this song is not that rare. "Komm, gib mir deine Hand" was recorded trying to market the Beatles in Germany right after they recorded the original. The song did go to #1 in Germany.... the English version.

2. Punk Rock Song by Bad Religion

In German!

This is an amazing version of a great punk song.

1. Jurassic Park by Weird Al

In Japanese!

Even if you don't like Weird Al, or Novelty Music, or the movie Jurassic Park, the degree of difficulty on this song is off the charts. Watch how Yankovic nails it.


This one's for my Mom.

Waterloo by ABBA

In French!

And this one's for me.

Du Hast by Rammstein

In English!

The English Version didn't quite have the gravitas of the German Version, but how many bilingual Metal Bands are out there?


Full Disclosure: I haven't written many posts because I have been swamped at my day job. My dream is to make Beacon of Speech my day job, but alas, that's probably not meant to be.

I rarely complain about BOS host Wix on my website, because I am usually pleased with our partnership, but today they poked the bear.....

I looked at their tips and they helped 0%. Here's the tip I need: How to monetize BOS without compromising my principles or stripping out the site's core.

How 'bout a tip for that?


Update: Friday, September 13, 2019

Young Fred is Furious!

How could doddering Old Fred forget one of the Greatest Odes to getting high in the history of Music?

Insane in the Brain by Cypress Hill

In Spanish!


45 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page