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Music

German musician responds to Paris attacks with viral song

Watching a football match, a German singer-songwriter heard explosions. Alex Diehl wrote a song, shared it on Facebook - and reached millions with it. "Nur ein Lied" (Just a Song) now has English subtitles.

Watch video 03:35

Alex Diehl sings for peace after Paris attacks

Alex Diehl has presented his songs on a number of occasions on TV or as warm-up for the concerts of well-known musicians and bands. But suddenly now, the bard with the gentle voice and ardent texts is familiar to millions. DW's euromaxx invited the artist to sing his song in Berlin in front of the Brandenburg Gate and has added English subtitles.

"I wrote 'Ein kleines Lied'… after I saw the football game on TV… It took my breath away when I heard the bang," wrote Alex Diehl on his

Facebook page

, speaking of the terrorist attack at the Stade de France stadium on Friday, November 13 as Germany and France were playing a friendly match. "I think that just about everybody felt under his skin that it wasn't just a firecracker or a joke."

Diehl told German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk that he composed the song in just a few minutes, writing down everything that had "built up inside of me over the past weeks and months."

Music as a "mini-superpower"

The 27-year-old singer-songwriter from Chiemgau in southern Germany recorded his pacifist song, simply called "A little song," on his mobile phone and posted the makeshift video on YouTube the day after the attacks. Five days later, it had been watched nearly 6 million times on Facebook and shared 160,000 times.

Diehl has expressed the hope that music can act as a "mini-superpower" that could possibly have an effect. Not expecting to have generated such a success, he says that if he should earn money with the song, he will contribute it "to a cause where it belongs."

This is the song text that has moved so many people:

Just A Song
(Nur ein Lied)

Haven't you learned the lesson by now?
Haven't you been told what it all means?
How these rules are meant to work?
Know the game and understand.
The world belongs to no one.
You are here and we are there.
Fear stops us from seeing clear.
You are angry and we can understand.
But hate is not the road to travel along.
And won't put to right what is wrong.

Out of fear comes hate, and hate turns to war.
Till humankind lies helpless on the floor.
Till everything around explodes.
And all of our good sense erodes.
As it did in days gone by.

And I for one will not stand idly by
While my whole world goes up in flames.
I've got too many fears to be silent now.

It's just a song, but if we all sing...
Coz just like John Lennon said:
The world could live as one!

Our time on earth is just on loan.
Do we really want to spend it this way?
What has to happen to make you see?
That we are so close to the precipice?
That only together can we work it out.

Out of fear comes hate, and hate turns to war
Till humankind lies helpless on the floor.
Till everything around explodes.
And all of our good sense erodes.
As it did in days gone by.

And I for one will not stand idly by.
While my whole world goes up in flames.
I've got too many fears to be silent now.

It's just a song but if we all sing...
You can spread your hate and sow fear.
But you will lose in the end, it's clear.
Coz just like John Lennon said:
The world will live as one!

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