Liz & Dan's HomeNet

These are the lyrics for the regional hit song Kiosk by the Swiss rock band Rumpelstilz sometime in the early 1970s, sung in Bernese Swiss-German.

Transcription and translation to English by Dan Muller. Version 1, April 2020.


Verse 1:

Er sammli für ne gueti Zwäck
Seit da Fritz wo vor mir steht
Dabi muess i sälber sammle
We dass so wieter geht!
Sie weh alli öppis vo mir,
Z’Militär u d’Stüürbüro,
Obscho sie erscht grad kürzlich hei
Mi Zautag übercho!

Nachher heists in mini Stammbeitz,
"Du, zahl mir no n’es Bier!
Aber I weiss nid wo her nah,
I bi ja schliesslich sälber stier.
U da chomt scho wieder einer,
Wott e Zigarette nah,
U natürlich isch’s mi letschti gsi,
U n’es Füür han i’n au noh gaa!


Bin i Gottfriedstutz e Kiosk
Oder bin i öppen e Bank?
Oder gsehn i uus wi nes Hotel,
Oder wi ne Kasseschrank?

Repeat chorus

Verse 2:

Ja da chuunt so ’nen wilde Hippie
Mit gflickti Hosebei
Er fragt mi überfründlich,
"Säg, häsch du mir zwei Stei?
U chuum zäh Meter wieter
Da kwatscht mi einen a:
Es läng ihm nüd für z’Busbillet
Ob er chünt es Füfzgi ha?

Un i chätsche mi Chätschgummi,
Da lacht me es Meitli a.
Laht Wimpere lah klimpere,
U fragt, "Darf i eine ha?"
Es wüsse nid wo pfuuze,
Ob es viellich gieng bi mir?
Aber si hei me doch grad kündet,
I stah selber vor de Tür!

Repeat chorus (three times)


I bi Gottfriedstutz kei Kiosk!
I bi Gottfriedstutz kei Bank!
Un i gseh nid uus wi nes Hotel!
Un i bi nid e Kasseschrank!

English Translation

This is not a literal translation. It’s idiomatic to U.S. readers, and tries to keep, roughly, the cadence of the song. (Getting both the cadence and rhyming right was beyond me.)


He’s collecting for a worthy cause
Says the bloke who blocks my way.
But I’ll have to start begging myself,
If things go on like this!
They all want something from me,
The military and the IRS
Even though they only just
Took my whole paycheck!

Later in my home pub,
"Hey, buy me another beer!
But I can’t find cash either,
I am flat broke myself.
And now here comes another,
Wants to bum a cigarette.
And of course it was my last one,
And I lit it for him, too!


Am I gosh darn a kiosk,
Or am I some kinda bank?
Or do I look like a hotel,
Or like an ATM?

Verse 2:

Yeah, here comes some wild hippy
With patched up crappy jeans,
He asks me really nicely,
"Hey, you got two bucks for me?"
And then a few feet further,
Someone chats me up this way:
He’s short on cash for his bus ticket,
Can he have two bits from me?

I’m chomping on some chewing gum,
When a girl smiles at me.
Flutters her lashes sweetly,
And asks, "Can I have one?
She has no place to bed down,
Perhaps she could, with me?
But I was just evicted,
I’m out on the street myself!


I am gosh darn not a kiosk!
I am gosh darn not a bank!
I do not look like a hotel!
And I’m not an ATM!