Which artist sang the song 44 bars

It was in Shanghai"Is one of the four songs that Jean Jülich," confessing, well-known and extremely active Cologne Edelweiss Pirate, made available to us as a recording to give young musicians a first and very lively impression of the musical culture of that time.

Despite its touching content that “smells” of freedom, the song has remained without reinterpretation by current artists, which is probably due not least to the simple perfection of the Jülich version. Almost laconic and yet full of real, lived longing, someone sings one of the favorite songs of his youth here. And that was a very hard time for his generation, when for the unadapted there was often little else than dreaming away into a freer, more colorful, more cosmopolitan life in distant countries and with loyal comrades - Americans, French, Mexicans - or whatever Jean Jülich says: "Back then we were already singing songs that were multi-cultural."

The song, so Jean Jülich looking back, was one of the most popular hitchhiking songs and was probably sung by all edelweiss pirates during the war. It is documented in the Gestapo files, for example, for a very active group of edelweiss pirates who met regularly at Leipziger Platz in Cologne-Nippes in 1942.


Jean Jülich was born on April 18, 1929 in Cologne. The six-year-old very soon experienced the effects of the new Nazi regime firsthand, because his father, a Communist Party functionary who remained active after 1933, was sentenced to ten years in prison in 1935. Jean grew up with his grandparents.

In 1939 he joined the “Deutsche Jungvolk”, the organization of the “Hitler Youth”, in which ten to fourteen year olds were grouped together. However, service and military drill in the young people very soon repelled him and he increasingly kept his distance.

In 1943 the fourteen-year-old and some of his friends came into contact with older edelweiss pirates. The younger ones got closer and closer to the Edelweiss pirates, learned to play the guitar and the lyrics and finally - when the older ones were drafted into the Reichsarbeitsdienst or Wehrmacht - became their "successor".

Conflicts with the Hitler Youth were not absent, but this did not prevent Jean Jülich from continuing to meet with others in parks and squares in Cologne or to take trips to the Cologne area, especially to the nearby Siebengebirge. In addition, through his friend Ferdi Steingass, he came into contact with the Steinbrück Group in Ehrenfeld, which also included some Ehrenfeld Edelweiss pirates who were arrested in October 1944 and publicly executed on November 11th without a trial.

In this context, Jean Jülich was arrested and imprisoned in Brauweiler. He was transferred to the Rockenbach detention center via Siegburg and Butzbach in February 1945 before the approaching Allied troops. In March 1945 he was liberated by American troops.

Jean Jülich lives (and sings!) Today in Cologne and in the Bergisches Land. Anyone who would like to find out more about his exciting and varied life can do so in detail, because his autobiography was published at the end of 2003: "’ Kohldampf, Knast un Kamelle ’- An edelweiss pirate tells about his life".


It was in Shanghai
At midnight in the Ohio bar
three hitchhikers met
who had traveled the world.
Jim Parker, who came from Frisco,
Long Hein from Hamburg
and Charly, who made the suggestion:
"Comrades, we're hitchhiking."

On a schooner
Did they drive over to Hawaii
under coconut trees
sang a song softly, the three,
a song full of love and loyalty,
a song full of home and happiness,
but no one, he was gripped by remorse
and no one who longed to return.

She moved on
down to the black sea,
they drilled oil and became horsemen
in Kolchak's white freedom army.
They made their way through Russia's steppes
Down to the edge of the Volga,
they fought for freedom and rights
and for a slave country.

Oh Jim, oh Jimmy
we have to leave you now,
down there in the taiga
lies a grave under rustling bushes.
Here you finally have your peace
here you have rest from long hitchhiking,
but we have to move on now
further and further south.

At the campfire
a wind blows across the prairie
the Mexican takes on the guitar
and José sang like never before.
He sang about the dark rose
and from the puszta and prairie,
and Charly, the little French,
longed for Paris.

And further down
In an unknown Africa
where bright stars twinkle,
I still know a grave in the jungle.
Goodbye, my dear Charly,
you have always been a good comrade to me,
I return home alone,
because I'm so sick of hitchhiking.

Are you coming to Hamburg
to the port bar to the "Black Shark",
there you will find caraway and rum
the tall Hein, the vagabond.
He tells you about Jimmy and Charly
and from the puszta and prairie
and also fondly thinks back to Shanghai,
where they met one day.

Jean Jülich around 1943/44 in the Beethoven Park
The friends from Manderscheider Platz (Jean Jülich on the right, Ferdi "Fän" Steingass on the left)