Top 10 Most Popular Oktoberfest Songs - Munich Oktoberfest Music Guide
Top 10 Most Popular Oktoberfest Songs - Munich Oktoberfest Music Guide

Most Popular Songs At Oktoberfest:

A huge part of Oktoberfest’s festive vibe are the upbeat songs to sing along with or dance to.  Knowing the top 10 most popular Oktoberfest songs and best music ahead of time will really make it a lot more fun.  To get you started we have put together a complete Oktoberfest music guide covering common questions the explanation of the main song meanings.  We hope this song list and guide helps you with your journey to Munich or to your local Oktoberfest party.  Enjoy!

Common Oktoberfest Music Questions:

Do They Play Polka Music At Oktoberfest?
Germans will tell you NO as the music is German Oompah and definitely not Polka.  Traditional Polka comes from Czech and Poland and relies more on the accordion while German Oompah has more of a brass band (Blaskapelle) feel.  If you are from the United States, Oompah music will sound just like Polka to you as American Polka has more of a German influence than Polka from Europe does.

Will They Only Play Oompah Music?

You are going to be shocked when you realize how many modern songs the Brass Bands do covers of.  Expect to hear tons of American oldies, German hits, and everything from Black Eyed Peas to ACDC.  As the day goes on they even add guitars to the band turning the excitement even higher.

When Does The Main Party Music Start?

Because Oktoberfest is family friendly until the late evening, the bands stick to just brass instruments and don’t use guitars, ect, until after dinner time.  That being said, even the daytime music from the brass bands and chants from the crowd quickly turn the tents into a festive party in no time.

Top 10 Most Popular Oktoberfest Songs::

1. I Salute You (Ein Prosit):

This is THE song of Oktoberfest as it is played like clockwork in the beer tents every 15 minutes.  The song starts out repeating Ein Prosit (Eyn Pro-zit) Der Gemütlichkeit (Dare Gay-mute-lich-kite) meaning I Salute To Our Cozy Friendship & Good Times We’re Having Together.

The next part of the song is a countdown to G’suffa (zuffa) meaning take a big drink.  It is said that the beer tents started playing this song 4 times an hour to get people to take more drinks so they could sell more beer, and it sure has paid off.   Ein Prosit ends with the band asking you if you are having fun with either Ziggy Zocky Ziggy Zocky or Ticky Tocky Ticky Tocky and you respond Oi Oi Oi.  Joining along is really a ton of fun and keeps you drinking!

#1 – Ein Prosit (Skip To 1 Min)

Ein Prosit - Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Songs - Best Music For German Party & Dirinking

2. The Flyer Song (Fliegerlied): 

Released in 2008, a cover of The Flyer Song by Tim Toupet has cemented it in Oktoberfest lore even though it’s a children’s song.  about animals.  The full name of the song is actually Today Is Such A Beautiful Day, but because of the crazy dance involved the nickname Flyer Song has stuck.

You’ll do a lot of singing “La La La La La” & “Schwimm, Schwimm, Schwimm”, it’s the dance that really makes the Fyler Song fun.  If you don’t know the words, just pay attention to the motions the Germans are doing and follow along.  The song has you flying like a plane, then acting strong like a tiger, being tall like a giraffe, hopping like a kangaroo, and of course swimming.

#2 – The Flyer Song ‎‎‎‎(Skip To 90 Seconds)‎‎‎‎

The Flyer Song (Fliegerlied) - Top 10 Best Oktoberfest Songs - Best Music For German Party & Dirinking

3. Hey Baby – If You’ll Be My Girl

Hey Baby is the one song that gets the biggest crowd reaction out of them all as pretty much every person in the tents will be singing along.  The band doesn’t even have to be playing the song as chats of Hey Baby just erupt out of nowhere from the crowd.

Hey Baby has been a huge hit in America ever since Bruce Channel’s original in 1961 hit #1 on the charts, but it was DJ Ötzi that brought it to Germany.  The German-speaking DJ from Austria released a remix to the song in the year 2000 that was popular on radios Worldwide.

#3 – Hey Baby‎‎‎‎

4. Mountain Mother (Sierra Madre): 

It is crazy to think that a German song with a Spanish chorus could be so huge in Munich, but it is, and it is awesome.  The song was originally a 1970’s ballad, but it wasn’t until an emotional cover by the Austrian band Zillertaler Schürzenjäger in 1987 that the song really latched on and became a mega-hit.

Sierra Madre is about a field worker who is greeted by the mountains in the morning as the day breaks and greeted by them again at sunset as he returns home from a hard day’s work.  It is meant to make you reflect on the ending day not in sadness for it being over, but in happiness that you got to experience it at all.  Because of the fitting theme, Sierra Madre is often played as the last song in the tents on the last day of Oktoberfest each year.  In the Hacker Tent, everyone lights sparklers together and sings along in joy.  It is a truly amazing experience.

#4 – Sierra Madre‎‎‎‎

5. Country Roads: 

American musician John Denver is still huge in Europe and even bigger at Oktoberfest as country roads take you home.  Ironically Denver’s real name was Henry John Deutschendorf as he was actually part German.

Many German and Polish bands have done popular covers of this and other John Denver songs.  It’s not just this part of Europe that loves John Denver.  If you go into bars or pubs anywhere you are bound to hear it at some point.  We have fond memories of hearing Country Roads belted out by locals while visiting both England and Ireland.

#5 – Country Roads‎‎‎‎

6. The Donkey Song (Esellied): 

This is one of the only traditional Oompah band songs to actually make our list.  It is one of the main Bavarian songs that you’ll hear and Oktoberfest celebrations in America.  The Donkey Song is also one of the most popular pump up songs at Oktoberfest in Munich.

The full name of the Donkey Song in German is Esellied (Iha Iha Iha oh).  It is about a Donkey that just won’t go home as he waits outside for the lovely female donkey Veronica.   You’ll catch on the Iha Iha Iha oh part pretty easy.  If you are wondering what they are saying when it sounds like “Hey Baba Ria” they are actually saying The Babe River.

#6 – Iha, Iha, Iha, Ho

7. Hands to Heaven (Hände zum Himmel): 

Hands to Heaven is one of the idealistic songs that should come to your mind when you picture Oktoberfest.  This lively song asks for you to put your beers down raise your hands and clap along.

The Germans are going to know all the words, but if you don’t know them it is okay.  Basically, the song asks you to cast aside your worries for the day and be merry.  Getting everyone in your group to clap is corny, but has important symbolism.  Since the 1000s of tent goers have their hands up clapping at the same time, it means that you are not strangers anymore as you are doing something together.   It is a ton of fun even if you don’t know what’s going on.

#7 – Hands to Heaven ‎‎‎‎‎(skip to 3 min)‎‎‎‎‎

8. Angels: 

The smash hit ballad “Angles” by British singer Robbie Williams seems to get bigger and bigger each year at Oktoberfest.  This song is often played at closing time by some tents, and it is bound to get played at least once during the day no matter what tent you are in.  You won’t be able to help but sing along.

#8 – Angels

9. Sweet Caroline

You can’t go wrong with Neil Diamond’s mega-hit about a young Caroline Kennedy riding a bike.  The chorus of this American classic is known by pretty much every person in the beer tents, no matter what country they are from.  Even if you don’t like the song, there is something energetic about it at Oktoberfest as the music really is the universal language.  In 2009, DJ Ötzi released a remix to Sweet Caroline that was very popular in Germany and Austria which helped to reboot the song at Oktoberfest.

When Sweet Caroline comes on at Oktoberfest, expect the people around you to all reach toward the middle of the table and give spirit fingers right before the chorus.  It happens during the lyrics “Hands touchin’ hands, Reachin’ out, touchin’ me touchin’ you” and was captured in the video to the Right.  After watching it you won’t be able to stop yourself from copying them the next time Sweet Caroline is played.  Don’t be alarmed if it feels natural to fist pump during the chorus, it’s Oktoberfest, let loose.

#9 – Sweet Caroline

10. Cowboys and Indians (Cowboy und Indianer): 

Like the Flier Song list above, this is another children’s song that has become a hit with the Germans because of its silly dance; called the Lasso Dance.  The dance is basically pretending like you are riding a horse, then using a lasso, followed by a lot of humping motions.

The lyrics to the song itself are very innocent as it is just about kids playing, so it’s super weird that it became a popular song for adults to drinking too.  It is also a little strange that German kids play Cowboys and Indians anyway since they are so far removed from even knowing what they are.  Either get ready to do your best Lasso Raus.

#10 – Cowboys and Indians

Honorable Mention Oktoberfest Songs:

11. Seven Nation Army: The chant from the song Seven Nation Army has made the American band the White Stripes a huge hit not just at soccer games, but also at Oktoberfest.  There doesn’t even have to be music playing for the chat to become contagious.

12. Next Door To Alice (Who The Fuck Is Alice?):
 This song at Oktoberfest is amazing!  Originally released in 1976 by Smokie, it is a song about a guy who lived next to Alice for 24 years and he never got to tell her how he felt about her before she moved away.  Sounds innocent enough right?  The song became instant folklore when partiers started adding their own words, yelling “Alice, Alice, Who the Fuck is Alice?” after the chorus.  It is almost impossible not to sing along.

Fürstenfeld: Preformed by the Austrian group STS, Fürstenfeld is one of our favorite songs in the Oktoberfest tents.  Just clap with everyone, reply to Zicke Zacke Zicke Zacke with Hoi Hoi Hoi and you’ll have a great time.  The song is about a young man from Fürstenfeld, a small town in Southeastern Austria near Graz, who is living in Vienna and is homesick.

14. Wahnsinn Hölle, Hölle, Hölle:
 If you want to see some happy Germans singing and dancing around, just wait for this party favorite by Wolfgang Petry.  We really had no idea what was going on when we first heard it, but tossing your arms in the air with the group is fun.

15. Anton Aus Tirol:
 This is really a love it or hate it song that is a very popular song at Oktoberfest.  In 2000 the hit version of the song by DJ Ötzi reached#1 in both German & Austria and it was quickly converted into the Oompah brass band style for Oktoberfest.  The traditional version they do in the Oktoberfest tents is one of the biggest crowd favorites and could easily be in our top 10 Oktoberfest songs.

16. The Hofbräuhaus Song (Steht Ein Hofbräuhaus):
 Written in 1935, this may be the most classic Oompah song in Munich.  The song pays respect to all the great aspects Hofbrauhaus and is a must if you are visiting the old beer in addition to the Oktoberfest tents.  The highlight of the song is the repeated countdown of Eins (1), Zwei (2), G’suffa (zuffa) meaning take a big drink.

17. Breathless Through the Night (Atemlos durch die Nacht):
 Since it was released in late 2013 by Helene Fischer, Breathless Through the Night has become an instant German party hit.  The following year, this song about love and living in the moment, became one of the main Oktoberfest jams.  When done by a live band the song makes the entire tent come alive.   In the years to come, Atemlos durch die Nacht, has a chance to move way up our list as it solidifies itself as a top Oktoberfest song.

18. 99 Luftballons:
 This mega-hit by artist Nena maybe the most widely known German pop song from the 1980s and is still rocking Oktoberfest crowds today.  It doesn’t have the same traditional music feel or crowd chanting as some of the other German songs on this list, but it is still guaranteed to put everyone in your tent in a good mood with pure nostalgia.

19. Even More American-ish Hits:
 Especially after the bands add guitars in the evening expect to hear a ton of American classics.   Germans sure love American music so we felt the need to list a collection of the rest in one post!   You’ll hear everything from Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, We Are the Champions by Queen, No  I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, La Bamba by Ritchie Valens, surprising Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen, Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, plus much more.  All of the tents will play American music, but the Schützen Festzelt & Käfer’s Wies’n-Schänke tents rock them out the best. Expect tons of other English speaking hits like Woman No Cry by Bob Marley (Jamaican) and Shook Me All Night Long by ACDA (Australian).

#11 – Seven Nation Army

#12 – Next Door To Alice ‎‎‎(skip to 1 minute)‎‎‎

#13 – Fürstenfeld

#14 – Wahnsinn ‎‎‎(skip to 1 minute)‎‎‎

#15 – Anton aus Triol

#16 – Steht Ein Hofbräuhaus

#17 – Atemlos ‎‎‎‎(skip to 15 seconds)‎‎‎‎

#18 – 99 Luftballons ‎‎‎‎(skip to 1 minute)‎‎‎‎

#19 – American Jams ‎‎‎‎(skip to 1 minute)‎‎‎‎