As introduction to this special multi-cultural socio-legal episode of Sunday music blogging, the YouTube intro composed by "dionnewarpig" should do nicely:
Here is a 1969/70 video of Cindy & Bert doing "Der Hun [sic!!] Von Baskerville"- a brilliant cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" apparently with lyrics relating Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mystery The Hounds of Baskerville. Features a bored looking Cindy and Bert, some bored looking German mod dancers and an extremeley bored looking pekingese.
I would add only that dionnewarpig is obviously not skilled at detecting excitement in Germans (which can sometimes require careful observation). Without further throat-clearing, roll the clip [h/t JR]:
This video raises another interesting question: did Black Sabbath actually get paid for the use of the melody from 'Paranoia' used in this song? If you listen to German Schlager from the 1960s to 1980s, you constantly encounter songs in which the German song's melody and rhythm are exactly the same as some English or American pop hit on the order of Do You Know the Way to San Jose? or Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head. However, the lyrics are generally completely different in German — that is, there's been no attempt to translate the English-language original. Generally, there's no acknowledgement on the record packaging that the melody and rhythm aren't original (although that may be because I am buying ultra-cheap compilations from the grocery store).
This makes me wonder whether German record companies were routinely stealing melodies and rhythms from English and American pop music, sticking new lyrics on them, and reaping fat profits. The German record companies probably thought to themselves: "The sort of Germans who listen to this music are unlikely to care where these somehow-familiar melodies originated. And the likelihood that the Western pop stars and record companies who own the copyright to these melodies and lyrics are going to realize what we've done is probably minimal. How much time does Glen Campbell spend listening to German mass-market Schlager?"
Now, perhaps all of this was done completely legally, either on a song-by-song basis or by some large-scale licensing deal. But if it wasn't, then there might be some lucrative lawsuits out there waiting to be filed. As George Harrison and Rod Stewart found out the hard way, riffs and melodies are copyrightable intellectual property…