Vergehen was first recorded in 1985 as a demo tape, and re-recorded 20 years later, in 2005. Words and music by Aidan O’Rourke, who played keyboards, guitar, programmed the drums and did the vocals.
The track is credited to Urbanstrasse, the musical identity or band name used by Aidan O’Rourke (who is not to be confused with Scottish fiddle player of the same name!)
The lyrics are in German and present a collage of images from the 1920s and 30s, touching on war, totalitarian regimes, the inevitability of downfall and more. The verb ‘vergehen’ means passing away or fading away.
In 2018 Aidan moved increasingly into the medium of video, making slide show videos using images from his photography archive, as well as new photos and videoclips.
This format, mixing images and music, presented an ideal opportunity to present ‘Vergehen’ and ‘Berlin Berlin’ to the public as it combines his three areas of creativity and expertise: visuals, i.e. photography and illustration, music and German language
And so ‘Vergehen’ was uploaded to the Explore Learn German YouTube channel on 16th of January 2019. It was the second video to be added to the channel.
Like other videos on the channel, ‘Vergehen’ is intended to help and encourage people to learn German.
There are some intriguing aspects to the song, which uncannily predicted the future. For those interested in finding out more about this, as well as the meaning of the lyrics and images, Aidan will present a special feature on his Patreon page, for subscribers only!
‘Vergehen’ is credited to Urbanstrasse featuring Aidan O’Rourke
Music and words © Aidan O’Rourke
All photos and illustrations ©Aidan O’Rourke
Keyboards, drum programming and vocals by Aidan O’Rourke
Original 1985 recording made at Cavalier Studios, Stockport. Produced by Lol Cooper.
2005 re-recording made in Vienna, engineered and produced by Rick Turner, with creative input from Isabella Turner.