I am old enough to remember when East and West Germany reunited. And now that I live in Germany again, happy German Unity Day!

Maybe it seems odd to write about a political event on a blog that is supposed to be about music. But as of today, I’ve been living in Germany again for two months. I had forgotten that today is a public holiday in my current home. However, as a person who came of age in the 70s and 80s, I remember when Germany was divided. I was eighteen years old in 1990, when the two sides formally reunited. This holiday is not actually about the reunification of Germany, but rather it’s about the “unity” of Germany.

I notice a bunch of my neighbors are home today, which is why it’s probably better if I write rather than work on any musical projects. And given that I remember when Germany was divided into the Eastern and Western portions, maybe it’s good to reflect. I bet I can tie this to music, too.

A 1990 era news broadcast about Germany’s reunification…

Germany’s lovely national anthem…

Actually, as I sit here thinking about October 1990, I suddenly feel very old. At that time, I was a college freshman. The music that was popular in October 1990 didn’t appeal to me that much. I also went to college in a rural town in south central Virginia which really didn’t get very many radio stations. So I kind of quit listening to radio at that point, except what was played on our college station which had all of ten watts of power. I eventually became a disc jockey there, but not until the following year.

But what I do remember about that time was that songs like “Close to You” by Maxi Priest were popular… Egad.

Damn, this makes me feel old.

I did like James Ingram’s “I Don’t Have The Heart”, which was popular around the same time period. I always thought it was a pretty ballad.

Of course, now that I listen to this now with its many electronic keyboards, I’m reminded a little of the soundtrack for Saved By The Bell. But it also has nice strings, which gives it sort of a majestic air.

Another popular song in October 1990 was Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”, which ripped off a vastly superior collaboration between Queen and David Bowie.

I never cared for this song, but I have to admit Vanilla Ice is sort of a guilty pleasure for me. He won me over when he was on The Surreal Life with Tammy Faye Messner and Erik Estrada.

I’m not sure if the Germans were into these songs, but they were kind of the soundtrack for this American in October 1990. And October 1990 is when Germany officially started to celebrate its unity, although it’s not the day when the Berlin Wall started to crumble… That event occurred on November 9, 1989.

This was very exciting news at the time…

I think we need to make a point of visiting Berlin while we’re here. I have been to so many European capitals, but I have yet to see Berlin, other than the airport. Berlin’s airport, as I remember it, sucked… though I understand a new one is either in the works or already constructed.

This report has footage as the Wall started to fall…

My husband, Bill, was in Germany when this was going on. He was on his first Army tour here. I remember the last time we lived here, from 2007-09, we visited the Czech Republic a few times. He always marveled as we approached the border, remembering that he was here when that border was off limits and guarded by very large female Czech guards. It turned out the Czech Republic was happy to abandon communism and quick to bounce back. It remains one of our favorite European destinations for the beer alone. Hungary runs a close second, especially since there’s some great music coming from Hungary.

David Hasselhoff was once much loved in Germany. He was at the Berlin Wall on New Year’s Eve in December 1989 and here he is, rocking out with revelers celebrating the new freedom for East Germans!

I want to hassle the Hoff!

Anyway, since it’s Friday and the weather is fine, I imagine we will celebrate too. Maybe we won’t party like the Germans on Unity Day, although it is pretty exciting to be here now that the whole country is united.

Have a great weekend, y’all!