Music is such a big part of the Oktoberfest celebration so I’ve put together this Oktoberfest playlist for you to get in the mood while you’re packing for Oktoberfest, at your at-home Oktoberfest party, or even if you can’t get to Germany but just want to pretend.
Music at Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest music is so much more than the tuba-heavy oom-pah-pah of the Bavarian Alps and National Lampoon European Vacations of yore.
Though there is a healthy mix of the stuff that derived from Alpine folk music, you can also expect to hear some tech-heavy German dance pop, polka, American pop and rock classics, and more German children’s sing-along songs than you ever expected to hear at a beer festival. Actually, this makes perfect sense.
Munich’s Oktoberfest playlist changes with the hour as does the entire experience. Plus, each and every beer tent has its own personal style and, in the case of the Hofbräu Festzelt, its very own songs.
During the earlier part of the day, the music is traditional: oom-pah-pah, polka, and even some classic military marches thrown in. Later in the afternoon you’ll hear a mix of traditional music and high-energy German and American pop hits—mostly determined by the vibe of the crowd.
And at night Oktoberfest becomes the world’s largest party with beer tents 10,000-strong rocking out to worldwide hits from bands like AC/DC, Queen, and more.
There are some places you can hear traditional music at Oktoberfest all day and night–the Oide Wiesn. Here, you an even experience traditional songs accompanied by whips and even interesting alphorn renditions. For more on Oktoberfest’s “secret section,” check out my posts on awesome Oktoberfest tips and Oktoberfest facts you should know.
Oktoberfest songs you need to know
This Oktoberfest playlist has over 60 songs and, while you should know them all (quick! Learn German!), there are a few you should absolutely familiarize yourself with before Oktoberfest in Munich or your backyard bierfest.
If you thought seeing this on the Oktoberfest playlist multiple times was a mistake, you’ve got a lot to learn, young Padawan. Ein Prosit is one of Oktoberfest’s oldest songs and the one you’ll hear most often. Like, every 15 minutes often. It’s short, simple, and encourages you to drink at the end so just embrace it. The lyrics are:
Ein prosit, ein prosit
Ein prosit, ein prosit
Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa!
This translates to:
A toast, a toast
To cheers and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheers and good times
One, two, three, drink!
And if you don’t think you’ll be able to remember that, get yourself (or someone in your group) the Ein Prosit tee to keep you on track! (Available in 5 colors, I’m wearing Heather Black.)
The video below is a great introduction to how it’s sung and what you’re supposed to do. At Oktoberfest, this song is played a couple times an hour and celebrated with as much enthusiasm as you’d expect from a song that tells you to drink up.
If you thought you were going to get through an Oktoberfest celebration without dancing to a children’s song about airplanes and animals, you were sorely mistaken. I don’t think it’s any surprise that beer-drinking adults and kindergarteners get excited by the same things. And when Fliegerlied comes on, you’ll see what I mean.
You can find the full Fliegerlied lyrics here, but the parts you need to know that have corresponding dance moves are:
Fly like a plane
Strong as a tiger
Tall as a giraffe
Jump, jump again and again
Swim, swim over to you
Take you by the hand
Learn the moves, fear not the fragility of the bench you’re jumping on. I’ve only seen one split in half during all my Fliegerlieds. Okay maybe not the best reassurance. You can watch the video instructions here. (Note: This video is now saying it is restricted to viewers 18+ but I can assure you it is safe to watch. Fliergerlied is literally a children’s song about animals.)
Yes, it’s a workout. That’s why I always say “Fliegerlied is my cardio.”
Take Me Home, Country Roads
Another of the absolute biggest Oktoberfest songs of all time is Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. Why? Your drunken guess is as good as mine. For whatever reason, this song has become synonymous with Oktoberfest.
I guarantee 100% that you will hear this song at least once, but bank on hearing it about 20 times. Learn the words here, but know that everyone else will be shouting so loudly you’ll be able to get by with just pretending.
Singing and dancing to these songs is so much more fun in a dirndl! Head here to learn all about what to wear for Oktoberfest.
The perfect Oktoberfest playlist
I’ve created this perfect Oktoberfest playlist for when you’re getting amped up before your trip to Germany, training for any Oktoberfest games you plan to partake in (at your own risk), to play at your Oktoberfest-themed house party, and every other instance in between. Maybe you just need a soundtrack to your at-home beer-drinking, and that’s fine by me.
All the songs on this playlist are songs you’ll hear at the real Oktoberfest in Munich.* After many, many years of attending and leading Oktoberfest tours, these songs are just straight up engraved in the makeup of my brain at this point. My MRI looks like a bowl of Bavarian pretzels and nothing else.
*With the exception of the Chicken Dance. This song is never played at Oktoberfest in Munich but is played at every Octoberfest celebration here in the U.S. This one’s for the at-home Oktoberfesters!
This Oktoberfest playlist contains over 60 songs and lasts almost 3.5 hours. It’s got everything from traditional tunes to German pop to American and worldwide hits and every iconic Oktoberfest song in between. This playlist is meant to be played in order (if possible) but shuffling it up won’t dilute any of the Oktoberfest awesomeness.
Oktoberfest playlist on Spotify
You can find my expertly curated Spotify Oktoberfest playlist below. Listen to samples of each song right here on my page or click through to Spotify to listen for free, follow, and download the whole thing. Prost!
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What’s your favorite song on the Oktoberfest playlist?
Let me know below!
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