Narrhalla Marsch


FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)


FZ in the liner notes of The Yellow Shark (1993):

Also, there's a march in there called the Narrhalla Marsch, which is a traditional music played during Karneval, an annual festival in Germany. The part that goes "dat-DAHH, dat-DAHH, dat-DAHH" is called a "Tusch." The function of the Tusch is to alert the inebriated German audience to the fact that is is now their duty to laugh at whatever the master of ceremonies has just said. That's why percussionist Rainer Römer is in the background saying, "Laugh now!" This is all part of the mysterious folklore of Karneval entertainment. Also, the dialect Rainer is using is a typical dialect used by emcees during Karneval.

Marc De Bruyn (, August 31, 2003

Alaaf! Helau! Seid Ihr bereit? (Tusch !) Am besten ist, man bleibt zu Haus und sperrt den Wahnsinn aanfach aus. Man schließt sich ein paar Tage ein und lässt die Blöden blöde sein! Der Trick ist, dass man sich verpisst bis widder Aschermittwoch ist! (Doppeltusch, Rakete!) Und steht ein Zombie vor der Tür, mit so 'nem Pappnasengeschwür und sagt statt "Hallo" nur "Helau", dann dreh sie um, die dumme Sau und tritt ihr kräftisch in den Arsch und ruf dabei: "Narrhalla-Marsch!"

The "Narrhallamarsch" goes way back to 1838 and to Kapellmeister G.C. Zulehner (1805-1847), who used snippets of Adolphe Adam's comical the opera "Der Brauer von Preston" ("Le Brasseur de Preston"), to compose a "Karnevalsmarsch" for the newly erected "Mainzer Carneval-Verein". Adolphe Adam (1803-1856) was a French composer who has written 40 operas, 14 ballets and numerous light operas and vaudevilles (an important work was the music for the ballet "Giselle", for which he is probably best known today; it premiered at the Paris Opéra June 28, 1841).

From "Carnival in Germany" (

Once a year the reputation of Germans as an orderly, obedient, sober, rational and humourless people gets severely damaged. The time of year in question is known as the 'fifth season' and people everywhere go barking mad, so it seems. However, Carnival divides Germans into those who absolutely hate it and those who eagerly make fools out of themselves. Opponents say that it's a 'timed' event and enjoying oneself on command is not funny at all. Furthermore, they see no point in all the rules which have to be strictly followed. The opponents are simply ignored by the members of the fanatic fraction who put enormous effort into their guises, speeches, and performances. Their parole is: "Anyone who is not a fool at Carnival is foolish for the rest of the year".

A typical Pomp Convention of course starts at 11 past the hour with the opening address from the President of the Elferrat, who is Master of Ceremonies as well. He's also responsible for the welcome addresses to politicians and other honourable people who sit dispersed among the guests. The evening is a colourful mixture of speeches, ballet-like performances, songs, and parodies. Speakers are introduced by the Master of Ceremonies and his mandatory question to the public: "Wolle mer'se roi losse" ("Are we going to let them in?") is frequently quoted in everyday life.

Speeches must rhyme and have to be given from out of a cask (die Bütt). Language is the local idiom, hence these speeches aren't good opportunities for learning German. There are two types of speeches: political satire (the areas around Mainz are famous for these), and the purely jokey ones which cover all aspects of life and which are prevalent on the Lower Rhine. The following is a good example of one such speech (the speaker enters the Bütt to the sounds of the Narrhallamarsch): "Se Caanevell, sis is a feast ver trabbel is to be found. If you haven't got a nouse at least and akt like a zilly klown!"; (the band) taTäääh, taTäääh, taTäääh...

This type of speech is supposed to be hilariously funny, but it's impossible to miss a joke since a Tusch (tatäääh) is played by the Kapelle (the band, dressed in fancy uniforms) whenever the audience is expected to be laughing. Speakers switch places to another 'Narrhallamarsch!' after the Master of Ceremonies has asked his mandatory question. The political type of speech reviews the past year and turns the tables on the politicians in an ironical and sarcastic way. Very often these speeches are real marvels of humour, truth and philosophy and indeed continue the tradition of the Crown Jester.

"Wolle mer'se roi losse? Narrhallamarsch!" Songs are of the Schlager variety, they also have some funny text, but they mainly serve for synchronizing the Schunkeln (hooking elbows with one's neighbours and swaying right-left-right-...) of the guests. Anything written in 3/4 time will do, and if a song is written in 2/4 or 4/4 the band just change it to fit. Narrhallamarsch!


Site maintained by Román García Albertos
This page updated: 2015-09-10