Carnival is the fifth season of the year for many carnival fans. There is always a good atmosphere at the many carnival parades and parties, with lots of swaying, dancing, and singing.
In Germany, especially in the Fastnachts- resp. Carnival strongholds Cologne, Mainz, and Düsseldorf celebrated with funny drinking songs. The carnival music ranges from Olaf Henning’s carnival song “Cowboy and Indian” to “Viva Colonia” by the music group “Höhner” and “Ich hab 3 Haare auf der Brust” by “Bernd Stelter”.
For the 2022/2023 carnival season, we’ve compiled the 100 most popular carnival hits below. The tracklist includes regional party carnival hits as well as national and international carnival songs.
(You can find a Spotify playlist at the end of the article.)
1. Höhner – Viva Colonia
Carnival in Cologne is hardly imaginable without “Viva Colonia” by the group Höhner. The song was released in 2003 and landed on the German charts at number 20. Since then, the song has become a Cologne anthem and is played not only at the carnival but also on many other occasions.
It is hard to find a native of Cologne who does not know this song. With over 150.000 copies sold, the carnival song is one of the best-selling hit songs since 1975. The song is an ode to life and is one of the most popular carnival hits in North Rhine-Westphalia. There are several variations of the song such as “Viva Bavaria” and “Viva Hollandia”.
If you ask a Cologne resident, he will surely call “Viva Colonia” the best carnival song.
2. Brings – Superjeilezick
The Cologne band Brings released the song “Superjeilezick” in 2001, which is written in Cologne dialect. The success of the single prompted the band to focus on Cologne hits and mood music. Superjeilezick quickly became a carnival hit in Cologne.
The song is about a group wanting to celebrate a little more before the party ends and the alcohol stops flowing. Thereby they remember the good old times and how partying was even crazier in former times.
3. The Hummingbirds – Hands to Heaven
Another song that is played at almost every carnival event is the mood setter “Die Hände zum Himmel” by the music group Die Kolibris. The song is not only popular during the fifth season of the year, but has also become a popular Ballermann hit molted.
The song was released in 1998 and reached number 69 on the German charts. “Hands to Heaven” stayed on the charts for 9 weeks and can be found today on many compilation albums whose main themes are drinking and partying. The song is about how everyone should party together and that no one should feel left out.
4. DJ Ötzi – Hey Baby
In 2000, the Austrian DJ Ötzi released a cover of the song “Hey! Baby”, which accompanies us to this day at almost every Ballermann and carnival party. The original song was by Bruce Channel and Margaret Cobb and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the 1960s.
The song gained particular fame again in 1987 when it was used on the Soundtrack of the movie Dirty Dancing was used. DJ Ötzi made it without further ado a German party hit, to which everyone could sing along and reached the top of the charts in many countries. In Germany, it was enough for number 11. The version by DJ Ötzi starts, as it should be for a party song, with the request to sing along.
And so the song quickly made it onto the list of popular carnival songs.
5. Bläck Fööss – You (own the city)
Du (bes die Stadt)” by the Bläck Fööss is another song in Cologne dialect on our list of the most popular carnival songs. The song from 2008 is a declaration of love to the city of Cologne.
The song is based on the bagpipe melody “Highland Cathedral”, which was composed by the two German musicians Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb. “Mer losse d’r Dom en Kölle” by the Bläck Fööss is also a very popular song of the Cologne carnival.
6. Bernd Stelter – I have 3 hairs on my chest
The carnival artist and comedian Bernd Stelter published a song about chest hair in 2001 and landed a surprising success with it, which lasts until today. Stelter’s song is still performed at the carnival and the crowds usually sing along loudly.
The song reached #39 on the charts in Germany and stayed there for nine weeks. The song is about Bernd Stelter’s life, his childhood, youth, and his later life as a father. It is about his school days and his first girlfriend.
Later then around his wife and his two children. The simple melody makes it easy to sing along and sway to the tune.
7. Drafi Deutscher – Marble, stone and iron is breaking
With “Marmor, Stein und Eisen bricht” a song from the sixties has crept into our list. Drafi Deutscher’s hit reached the top of the German charts and stayed there for five weeks. To this day, many party people can sing along to the chorus of the classic hit, making it a perfect party song.
One of the most popular carnival songs is about everlasting love. The lyrics are kept quite simple and many parts of the lyrics are repeated several times. Towards the end of the song, Drafi Deutscher challenges his band (and perhaps the listeners) with the lines “Everybody NOW!” to sing along.
8. Michel Teló – Ai Se Eu Te Pego
“Ai Se Eu Tu Pego” means something like “When I get you” and is a song by Brazilian singer Michel Teló. It was released in 2011. The song became a number one hit not only in Brazil but also in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Although the song might be difficult to sing along to for many who don’t speak Portuguese, it is one of the most popular songs due to its catchy rhythm perfect party songs.
The song is about a man who finally gets the courage to approach a girl he likes in a disco. The perfect incentive for all party- and flirt-loving carnival-goers.
9. Marianne Rosenberg – He belongs to me
Another classic carnival song is the 1975 hit “Er gehört zu mir” (“He belongs to me”). The song was sung at that time by Marianne Rosenberg.
The song reached seventh place in the German charts and stayed in the charts for a total of twenty weeks. In 2004 and 2005 the many years old song landed once again in the German charts, where it stayed for eight weeks. The song is a classic love song and the first line “He belongs to me, like my name on the door” can be sung by many carnivals without thinking about it.
10. Tim Toupet – Such a beautiful day (flyer song)
“So ein schöner Tag” by the German hairdresser and singer Tim Toupet is a classic party song. The lyrics are easy to understand and easy to sing along to, similar to a children’s song. Characteristic of the song are the many repeating words as in the lines “And I fly, fly, fly like a flyer/ Am as strong, strong, strong as a tiger”. The song is about a perfect day and the fun in life.
In 2009 the song was released and reached a good sixth place. The song, which was awarded gold, remained on the charts for 53 weeks. Other party hits by Tim Toupet include “Du hast die Haare schön” and “Ich bin ein Döner” (I’m a kebab).
11. Höhner – If not now, when then
Few bands characterize the (Cologne) carnival as much as Höhner. That’s why the band appears twice in our list.
One of the best songs of the band is at the same time a request to remain true to oneself and not to eat everything into itself. The song, which was released in 2007, reached number 1 in the German charts. The song was on the charts for a total of 58 weeks. “If not now, when then” is a popular carnival song, to which every year numerous carnivalists sway and celebrate.
It is a life-affirming song and therefore fits perfectly into the carnival.
12. Helene Fischer – Breathless through the night
Helene Fischer’s “Atemlos durch die Nacht” is a relatively recent addition to the list of most popular carnival songs. The song released in 2013 hit like a bomb.
In Germany, the record was awarded diamond, in Austria double platinum, and in Switzerland also platinum. In the German charts, it was enough for third place and a total of 116 weeks in the charts. In the annual charts, the single even made it to number 1. The song is about joie de vivre and enjoying life and love.
Today there are numerous Cover versions and parodies to the title, including a carnival parody by Bernd Stelter called “Arbeitslos durch die Nacht” (Unemployed through the night).
13. Anna-Maria Zimmermann – 1000 dreams far (Tornero)
Like many other carnival songs, 1000 Träume weit (Tornero) is also a love song. The song, released in 2010, was released by the German pop singer sung by Anna-Maria Zimmermann. The song was comparatively less successful in the German charts.
It was in the charts for a total of 11 weeks and could only reach number 68. Nevertheless, it is a popular song at carnival events, because the lyrics are catchy and radiate joie de vivre. The song is about a burning love that makes the Lyrical I forget space and time.
14. Mickie Krause – 10 naked hairdressers
Where carnival is, Ballermann hits are often not far away. The Ballermann hit “10 naked hairdressers” by Mickie Krause is one of the most popular carnival hits. Searching for a deeper meaning is probably useless with this song.
It’s just about the fact that the Lyrical I has already had countless women, but really only wants one thing, namely 10 naked hairdressers. The song was released in 1999 for the first time and stayed 9 weeks on the charts. The highest position in the German charts was 26. Place.
However, the song was particularly successful at the Ballermann and the characteristic that it is easy to bawl along with makes it also a successful carnival song.
15. Gottlieb Wendehals – Polonaise Blankenese
“Polonäse Blankenese” by Gottlieb Wendehals is a carnival classic. It is the most successful song of the artist Werner Böhm, who slipped into the role of the artificial figure Gottlieb Wendehals for the song. In 1981, the year of its release, the song reached number 1 in the German charts, where it stayed for many weeks. Especially famous are the lines “Here the holes are about to fly out of the cheese / Because now it starts, our polonaise”.
Equally well known are the lines “We’re off with big steps / And Erwin grabs Heidi’s shoulder from behind” where many first-time listeners might expect a more frivolous word. According to the title of the song, a polonaise is often danced to this song.
16. Die Atzen – Party (I want to go)
“Party (Ich will abgehn)” by Die Atzen may not be a carnival hit for traditional carnival events, but it is often played at parties around the carnival. After all, the song is about partying and just having a good time with other people. For many party people, it is, therefore, one of the best party songs.
In the German charts, the song reached number 45, while in Austria it was only enough for number 50. Party” stayed in the German charts for a total of seven weeks.
17. Matthias Reim – Damn, I love you
With “Verdammt, ich lieb Dich” (“Damn, I love you”), a love song once again makes it onto the list of the most popular carnival songs. The heartbreak song of the German singer Matthias Reim was a big hit not only in the year of release 1990. Even today, many people still know the catchy lyrics of the song and so it is perfect for singing along and swaying.
In Germany as well as in Austria and Switzerland the song reached the top of the charts at number 1. In Germany, the song was on the charts for a whole 39 weeks.
18. Carrot – 20 centimeter
With “20 Zentimeter” by Möhre, today better known as Mirja Boes, another Ballermann hit joins the list of popular carnival songs. The lyrics of the song are rather vulgar, which is why singing along is rather unsuitable for the sessions often broadcast on TV. In short, it is about the man’s best piece and its length.
The song was published in 2000. There is no chart position, but the song can be heard at numerous parties and was included on the sampler “Fetenhits – The Real Après Ski Classics”.
19. Wolfgang Petry – Madness
Wolfgang Petry’s hit “Wahnsinn” is a hit song that is hard to escape at parties. The song, released in 1983, reached only 38th place in the German charts, but it is probably one of the longest-lived songs of german hits of the 80s.
The song is about lovesickness. The Lyrical I rears up one last time to fight for his love, even if it causes him agony. At the latest with the lines “This is madness, why do you send me to hell?”Even the last ones will be carried away by singing along to this cult hit.
20. Olaf Henning – Cowboys and Indians
The last song on our list is also a love song. Even if this time with rather brisk music underlaid. The song was recorded and released in many versions.
The most successful version was released in 2008. This reached a peak position at number 6 in the German charts. In Austria, the single landed on the 12.
The places 21-100 of the best carnival hits 2022/2023:
Each song is linked via the title with the corresponding music video.
Carnival Hits Spotify Playlist:
In the carnival, there are many mood makers and classic carnival songs. There are the classics like “Viva Colonia”, “If not now, when” or “I have three hairs on my chest”, which can be heard at many meetings. On the other hand, there are mood makers like “Hey! Baby”, “Ai Se Eu Te Pego”, or even Helene Fischer’s “Atemlos durch dir Nacht”, which are more likely to be heard at the parties that take place around the sessions.
There are many sides to the carnival and at the end of the day, it’s all about a “superjeilezick” for everyone.