This post is meant as the first in a series in which I explore threads through the history and evolution of music.
As a starting point, let me direct your attention to this piece of throbbing electronic dance music:
The infectious hook of the song is a playful instrumental melody which is repeated in na-na-na sing-along section.
That melody is almost certainly “borrowed” from this German language track:
For reasons of which I am not fully aware, this song has become quite popular among a certain subsection of WWII buffs, and there are many videos on Youtube which feature the song played over archival footage of Wehrmacht troops.
To clear up any confusion, “Was wollen wir trinken?” was not a Nazi marching song. It isn't even German in origin. The band who wrote the song are Dutch. Here is a video of them performing a version in their own language:
Even so, the origin point appears to be deeper. Here is a rendition of a traditional Breton song about drinking fermented cider:
Even now, the appeal of this tune continues to spread internationally. Here is a recent live set by the Russian band Отава Ё. The, by now, quite familiar musical phrase makes an appearance slightly before the 7 minute mark.