1. FC Köln vs. Union Berlin Fan-Generated Imagery Collected

I am very thankful for the ability to follow 1. FC Köln through the internet. Without the wealth of resources available online, the Bundesliga would likely remain a bit of a fading memory from my ten months in Wuppertal.

That’s clearly not where I stand with German football these days.

Maybe my favorite things from following things via the internet are the images and videos shared by people attending matches. You get to see events from a variety of aspects and can even interact with the people sharing their experiences. In no small way has that helped to cement my attachment to the club.

After finishing my piece yesterday, I took a little tour of  the interwebs to see what was posted from match against Union. I thought I’d collect some of them on a post. If this is a complete waste of space, let me know!

What I won’t be posting are the many videos taken of televisions. While I appreciate that it’s ultimately doing a service for those who have no real good opportunity to see the match or its highlights, it’s not what I wish to celebrate.

All hail the fan-sourced highlights!


A view of the south end and a bit of photo-doctoring software and you get a great pre-game shot.


You know the FC-Hymn, right?

It’s the song played as the players enter the pitch. It does not have the young energy of, say, a Dropkick Murphys song (don’t get me started on this one!), but it has local ties I’m not sure can be equalled anywhere.

Höhner, the band who recorded the song, are a bit of a Karneval staple. The song is thick with the local Kölsch dialect, so I’m not too ashamed to admit I once spent an entirely too late night trying to translate the entire song. The sing-along bit “FC Kölle!” is preceded with like “Mer stonn zo dir…” (I stand with you) and “zesamme simmer stark” (together always strong).

It’s a song specifically crafted in tribute to the club, which, for me, makes it a billion times better than anything else that could be played in the stadium, despite my having been raised in a sports culture where arena music needs only be loud and upbeat, often to distract you from the fact you’re being charged piles of money for a boring, meaningless mid-season game.

Just after the one-minute mark, the video switches to a post-goal celebration with the traditional goal hymn from another Karneval favorite De Räuber, “Denn wenn et Trömmelche jeht.”

Again, I’ll give you the part you need to know to sing with. “Kölle alaaf! Alaaf! Kölle alaaf!”, which is a common refrain around Köln’s Karneval celebrations, meaning “Köln above all.”


This is my favorite type of video. Though you can’t really see the goal being scored, the reaction from the fans in the South Curve should be enough to let you know when it happens.

You can’t tell me this doesn’t look like the most-fun place to be on a Monday night.

The song is called “Op de Maat” and is the work of a famed Karneval band called “De Räuber.” As far as I can tell, the translation of the title would be “At the Market.” A bit of research shows there may be mentions of farmers, plums, and eggs, so…okay.

But the part you need to know to play along is the “En Colonia” with the “o” drawn into a few extra syllables before finishing with the “NIA!”

Fun, right?


Sure, it’s a bit blurry and dark, but that’s arty, right?


Even though it’s completely common, I never tire of the players going to the fans after a match for a bit of co-celebration.

This one is similar to the prior video, but taken from closer to the goal and a bit more in the middle of the waving flags and clapping and chanting fans. It’s not as good, quality-wise, but it has a bit more of a feeling of “in the midst of the crowd” to it.


Being in the Sudkurve with all the flags does pose its challenges for still photography.


How about a random shot of people celebrating post-victory?


And, of course, the obligatory shot of the final score on the board.



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11 Comments on "1. FC Köln vs. Union Berlin Fan-Generated Imagery Collected"

  1. …not at all a waste of space, I very much appreciate the collection 🙂 I was there on Monday, but after nights like these I like to wander along the intertubes and find videos/photos like these, myself. Some of these are GOOSEBUMPS quality. But that was a night of goosebumps anyway 😀 Could look at this stuff for hours…

  2. Always enjoy reading your articles!!!
    But two things:

    There is a huge discussion about what “Alaaf” means. Nobody really knows anymore just because the word is so old. But, even though I probably found your source, the translation Alaaf = Köln above all is a minority opinion, to say the least.
    A more common explanation is this one, copied from wikipedia: “Das Wort Alaaf stammt vom altkölnischen Begriff „all af“ („alles ab“ / „alles weg“) ab. Es kann darauf zurückzuführen sein, dass vor der Fastenzeit in der Fastnacht gute Speis und Trank aufgebraucht werden mussten („all af“ = „alles weg“).”

    In addition, “Mer stonn ze dir” doesn’t translate into “I stand with you” but into “we stand with you”.

    Just wanted to let you know. And again: Keep up the great work. I love your blog and your enthusiasm.

    • Great stuff. Thanks!

      I should know better than to trust a single source for a translation, so that is my bad. I will edit the piece.

      I also should have done more work on the Hymn lyric, but I thought I remembered it correctly!


      • Hi Randall

        I’d be really interested to see the translation you did for the FC Koeln Hymne? I’ve been searching the internet and your site is the only that comes up. Google translate doesn’t do “Koelsch”!

        I’d be so grateful if you published it!

  3. you are aware that the melody of the hymn originates from a scotish folksong yes?

  4. Loch Lomond

  5. And rightly so

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