A dusty German children’s song has gained new life after Catalans misheard the lyrics as “Viva Puigdemont” and turned it into a viral sensation. The hashtag #BiBaButzemann now leads to posts from the separatist movement.A German children’s song has become a beloved anthem of Catalan separatists. A woman listening to the radio broadcaster RAC-1 noticed a lyrical similarity between the chorus “Bi-Ba-Butzemann” and the chant, “Viva Puigdemont” (“Long live Puigdemont,” a reference to the ousted president of Catalonia).
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After the broadcaster played the song repeatedly, the original German folk song went viral on You Tube and Twitter.
Although Germans would say you’d have to bend your ear quite a bit to hear “Viva Puigdemont” in the lyrics, in Spanish, the V and B are pronounced similarly, turning “Bi-Ba” into “Viva.”
People in Catalonia went on to adapt the text at demonstrations held over the weekend, where the melody was played by a variety of musical instruments, including the accordion and drum duet seen in the tweet below.
In one video montage making the rounds online under #bibabutzemann, clips of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano, dancing at a wedding, are spliced with the song over the top.
The original song
In the German traditional folk song, children sing the lyrics “Es tanzt ein Bi-Ba-Butzemann” in alliteration as they tell of a Bogeyman who comes in at night. He dances and shakes his hips in the hallways of a house just before bedtime, distributing apples from a sack to all the good kids.
First appearing in Germany in a book by one of the Grimm brothers in 1808, the song was used as a warning to stay away from the demons, who will tempt them.
ct/eg (with dpa)