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detlef schrempf – the song.

April 27, 2014

Note: 11/6/15. I wrote this post over a year ago. I did some research, but got some information wrong. I was corrected today, and that is good. Here is the original post, but with the correction near the bottom, and in italics.

I started listening to a group called Band of Horses a few years ago. I don’t like very many of their songs, but a few of them are some of the best songs I have ever heard.

My favorite Band of Horses song is called “Detlef Schrempf.”  When I read the title, my reaction was.. ?? Why a German title? At least, I thought it was German. I don’t know German, but when I see a language in print, I can often guess what language it is.

I typed in the two German words into google, and found out that Detlef Schrempf is the name of a person, a German-born former NBA player.

Ok..

So why is this song named after Mr. Schrempf?

According to an interview posted on a website called Artist Direct, whichever guy from the band who wrote the song said it had to do with some things regarding Seattle. The songwriter happened to be thinking of the NBA player while working on the song. Why? Who knows. Our brains do odd things.

I’m guessing the songwriter wrote the lyrics first, couldn’t come up with a title, so just randomly scribbled down “Detlef Schrempf” as a working title, and kept it.

Schrempf stopped playing for the Seattle Sonics in 1999. The song is on the album, “Cease to Begin,” which was released in 2007.

There are worse NBA players to name a song after than Schrempf. According to Wikipedia, that guy raised close to 10 million dollars for children’s charities. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detlef_Schrempf#Charitable_work

I’d say Schrempf deserves having a wonderful song named after him, but I doubt the song is about Schrempf. This is a very personal song. I am guessing the band member who wrote it was thinking of someone he knew well.

The lyrics are not at all the typical lyrics in pop songs. This is not a love song. Seems to me it is a person talking with a friend who has said something seriously wrong, (see the lyric,”words can do more than harm”) so that people can’t look at that friend the same way anymore. The person singing the song is giving an admonition to the friend in the third verse:

“So take it as a song or a lesson to learn. And sometime soon be better than you were. If you say you’re gonna go, then be careful. And watch how you treat every living soul.”

Here is the correct info about the song, according to someone who submitted a comment:

“You got it wrong, but at least you’re bringing attention to one of the best bands of the millennium.

Band of Horses is from Seattle, and at the end of his career with Seattle, Schrempf went to play for Portland, a much hated and bitter rival of Seattle. This was considered a horrible slap in the face to Seattle locals because Schrempf was one of NBA’s greats.

The song lyrics are about bitterness and loss of a loved one; it was specifically written for and about Schrempf by the lead singer of the band. You don’t have to take my word for it, Google any of his interviews about the song. The band are all die hard Seattle locals who have great passion and love for their city and felt backstabbed by Detlef’s move to Portland.”

Here are all of the lyrics.

And take a little walk when the worst is to come
When I saw you looking like I never thought
And say you’re at a loss or forgot that words can do more than harm

The town is gonna talk, but these people do not
See things through to the very minimal
But what’s it gonna cost to be gone?
If we see you like I hoped we never would

When eyes can’t look at you any other way,
Any other way, any other way
When eyes can’t look at you any other way,
Any other way, any other way

So take it as a song or a lesson to learn
And sometime soon be better than you were
If you say you’re gonna go, then be careful
And watch how you treat every living soul

My eyes can’t look at you any other way,
Any other way, any other way
When eyes can’t look at you any other way,
Any other way, any other way.

And, finally, here is the song (audio only)..

Beautiful.

The song title “Detlef Schrempf” really stands out on the new album [Schrempf is a former NBA player]. Is that title a total lark? Or is there some deep hidden meaning?There’s not. There are some Seattle themes going on with that one, so I gave it the “Detlef” working title and I just couldn’t bear to change it once it was time to send all the little kids off to the pressing plant. But the Seattle themes warrant a Seattle name, I think, and “Detlef Schrempf” works great.
Read more at http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/news/article/0,,4440700,00.html#LufGu3Jj0DVDc8TY.99
The song title “Detlef Schrempf” really stands out on the new album [Schrempf is a former NBA player]. Is that title a total lark? Or is there some deep hidden meaning?There’s not. There are some Seattle themes going on with that one, so I gave it the “Detlef” working title and I just couldn’t bear to change it once it was time to send all the little kids off to the pressing plant. But the Seattle themes warrant a Seattle name, I think, and “Detlef Schrempf” works great.
Read more at http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/news/article/0,,4440700,00.html#LufGu3Jj0DVDc8TY.99
13 Comments leave one →
  1. aqilaqamar permalink
    May 17, 2015 3:51 PM

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    This is one of the best songs ever and its by Band of Horses

    • tomschronicles permalink*
      May 18, 2015 10:48 PM

      Thanks so much for re-blogging this post!!

      • aqilaqamar permalink
        May 20, 2015 9:47 AM

        Don’t thank you. It was a brilliant post about an underrated song. It’s bittersweet temerity about both escapism and determination to stay concrete in eroding economies, small town sensibilities and how to rescue your originality and integrity from mass produced personalities. I am not American or European. This song encompasses both love for others and self-identity and so it used its working title and I am happy by naming a song after a basketball player who embodies some of these qualities they made it organic and also made other parameters. Great write on it too Tom 🙂

  2. Bill W permalink
    November 6, 2015 6:56 PM

    You got it wrong, but at least you’re bringing attention to one of the best bands of the millennium.

    Band of Horses is from Seattle, and at the end of his career with Seattle Schrempf went to play for Portland, a much hated and bitter rival of Seattle. This was considered a horrible slap in the face to Seattle locals because Schrempf was one of NBA’s greats.

    The song lyrics are about bitterness and loss of a loved one; it was specifically written for and about Schrempf by the lead singer of the band. You don’t have to take my word for it, Google any of his interviews about the song. The band are all die hard Seattle locals who have great passion and love for their city and felt backstabbed by Detlef’s move to Portland.

    • tomschronicles permalink*
      November 7, 2015 12:11 AM

      Thanks for correcting me. I did a bit of research, and found one interview, but I guess the info was not right. It’s a bummer I got my info wrong. This is one of my most popular posts, and is read several times a day. I’m going to put your correction in the post, in case people don’t scroll down to read the comments.

  3. February 27, 2016 7:57 PM

    I am so glad this post exists. I’ve watched many of Ben Bridwell interviews on youtube but never saw anyone ask him about this song. Very fascinating indeed, how it works as a love song, a bittersweet personal tale, yet is also autobiographical in the real world of athletes…

    Thanks for the blog entry and for updating it when new information was gathered.
    It’s a wonderful time to be alive!

    • tomschronicles permalink*
      February 27, 2016 11:57 PM

      A very good comment. Yes, this song definitely can be interpreted in different ways. When I first heard it, I thought it was a tragic love song about one person having wronged the other. But later, hearing the lyrics more clearly, I wasn’t sure what to think. That’s one of the reasons I did some research.. that and wondering about the German title, and because I just love the song.

      This is one of my most popular posts, and is read almost everyday. Thanks for letting me know you appreciate it.

  4. November 22, 2016 7:09 PM

    A great song and great info you got here, thaks, now the song has a depper meaning. 😀

    • tomschronicles permalink*
      November 28, 2016 7:35 PM

      You’re welcome! Thanks for your comment.

  5. Fernando permalink
    October 13, 2017 8:29 AM

    Great post indeed. From where I live (Brazil) it’s hard to get in touch with others Band of Horses fans. And it’s great to find out it’s about the german player I used to watch play back in the 90’s.

    • Tom Meninga permalink*
      October 14, 2017 2:15 AM

      Brazil? Great! I love it when I am able to reach people outside the US. Thanks for stopping by!

      Do you listen to Bebel Gilberto? I have one of her CD’s. Portuguese sounds nice, especially when it is sung,

      Yes, it is wonderful to connect with people who have common interests. Two of my best facebook friends are guys I’ve never met.. one lives in Australia and one in England. You can find me on FB if you want. My name is Tom Meninga, and I live in Boise, Idaho.

      It’s also wonderful that practically anything can be found on youtube. I’m on that site most nights, usually watching music videos. I’m thinking most of my posts in the future will be of either photography (I take a lot of pictures) or music.

      Thanks for your comments!

      • Fernando permalink
        October 16, 2017 1:40 PM

        Yeah man, the internet has made wonderful things possible!

        I never listened to Bebel Gilberto, but I could sure point some of my favorite brazilian artists: Los Hermanos (even though the name is spanish…great indie band), Engenheiros do Havaí (mostly 80’s rock) and Lenine (real original sound). There’s a lot of others, but that would just mix things up.

        I’ll check you on FB, see ya.

  6. Tom Meninga permalink*
    October 21, 2017 1:21 AM

    Great! I will check out those bands! Thanks for finding me on FB! Only one problem.. I don’t speak or write Portuguese. Silly me.. I’ll try using google translate.

    There’s a song with your name on it.. all this time I thought Abba was singing the word “Fandango,” but they were singing “Fernando.” Turns out the song is about a fictional fighter in the Mexican revolution.

    Sometimes songs I haven’t heard in many years pop into my head. I’ve no idea why. This one showed up in my mind a few days ago. I wanted to listen to it, so I pushed the button for Siri on my iphone, said “Abba, Fandango,” and came up with “Fernando” instead.

    Sometimes I’m not the brightest bulb in the box. Oh well. Good song though.

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