An amateur music video combining Lena's Eurovision tune and a German football fan's shout has become the song of the 2010 World Cup for German fans. Deutsche Welle's Holly Fox is captivated by them and their song.
These are the new internet stars in Germany
Germany is aflutter with the red, gold and black of the national flag right now as Germans cheer their national team at the World Cup in South Africa. But I was still surprised when I kept seeing the word "Schland!" in my friends' Facebook status updates.
I heard "Schland!" again while watching a World Cup match and figured out it was short for Deutschland, or Germany. It turns out the abbreviation isn't new in the world of sports, but suddenly everyone seemed to be using it. I figured out why when I clicked on a YouTube video that some of the posts were linking to.
Uwu Lena's video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times
It's a gaggle of young men singing "Schland o Schland" to the tune of Lena Meyer-Landrut's Eurovision-winning song, "Satellite."
"Germany, oh Germany, we're excited for you," the refrain goes. "That's why we're already celebrating you like world champions."
For extra effect, the video features one of the singers dressed up in a little black dress like Lena wore at her Eurovision performance, topped off with a long black wig. The others are decked out in the German team's jersey, blowing red, gold and black vuvuzelas, the noisemaker of choice in South Africa.
It's a cheeky love song to the German national team that captures the carefree, fun atmosphere that has taken over beer gardens, backyards and apartments across the country. It's been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. It's an internet meme in the making.
From YouTube to record deal
At first EMI Music had the video pulled down, saying it violated its copyright for "Satellite."
Now the video is back and the students who put it and the song together have scored a contract with Lena's label Universal Music to release Germany's new unofficial anthem as a single on Friday.
I caught up with Christian Landgraf, the one dressed up as Lena in the video, as he and seven other friends traveled to Berlin to meet with Universal and do some television interviews.
"We decided that the eight of us who do have the time to do this whole crazy thing right now should all come on tour and stay together and enjoy this," he told me over the cell phone as he and the others sat in traffic.
"It's so unbelievable because we did this just for friends and relatives, people who know us, to celebrate with them," he said. Then, "it went crazy and we couldn't believe it, and, well, we were really shocked!"
The group now calls themselves Uwu Lena, combining Lena's name, the name of German soccer hero Uwe Seeler and "vuvuzela." Landgraf says they're hoping we'll be hearing more from Uwu Lena in the future.
Fans for life
Above all, though, making the song was about having fun and supporting their team.
Lena won for Germany. Will the country's soccer team be able to do the same?
When Lena came out on top in the Eurovision contest in late May, it was the first time Germany had won since West and East Germany were reunified in 1990. Now Germans are hoping the same thing could happen with their soccer team.
Just to be sure, I asked Landgraf who Uwu Lena was cheering for.
"What a question! Of course we're all fans of the German national team," he assured me.
And even if Germany doesn't win the World Cup, Landgraf said, Uwu Lena will stand behind their team.
As the song goes, "We all know, what we could do / Lena somehow showed you too / Even if you don't bring home the cup with you / We're going to love you either way!"
Author: Holly Fox
Editor: Michael Lawton