Merkel picks German punk singer Hagen for last serenade

Angela Merkel will not leave office as chancellor of Germany until next week, but on Thursday evening a military ceremony was held in her honour, and with her choice of music.


At the event, Mrs Merkel urged the audience to "always see the world through the eyes of others".

The ceremonial tattoo, or Grosser Zapfenstreich, is now a tradition for departing political figures.

And after her 16 years as leader, the ceremony comes with a marching band and torchlight procession.

But what set German tongues wagging was the music she chose.

Mrs Merkel is a passionate music lover, but in her words "mostly classical music", and she's a regular visitor to the Bayreuth Festival, which showcases the work of composer Richard Wagner.

So it came of something of a surprise to find German punk singer Nina Hagen was one of her three musical choices.

The other two pieces were fairly standard - a popular song by Hildegard Knef called For Me It Should Rain Red Roses and an 18th-Century hymn. She is, after all, a Lutheran pastor's daughter.

But Hagen's 1974 East German hit is very much not. You Forgot The Colour Film - Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen - is about a boyfriend called Michael who takes her on holiday and takes a black-and-white film for the camera.