As described on my website and in numerous articles, I explained that I have Asperger Syndrome, a lifelong condition which is considered a form of autism. Hence I find it interesting to find songs with an autistic character, as they are easy to relate to for me. There are several of those, such as "Charlotte Sometimes" to name one. "Charlotte sometimes crying for herself, Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself" and "Sometimes I dream while all the other people dance" have a very autistic undertone: the autist sitting alone in the corner, thoughts far away in a dream world. "Dear Prudence" both in the versions of the Beatles and of Siouxsie & The Banshees is another good example, the song being an invitation to come out of reclusion and join the playing. None of those songs have been written specifically about autism though. I am unsure if "Künstliche Welten" by German synthpop/wave act Wolfsheim was written about autism, but for sure it is the most autistic song I ever heard, a song to which I can relate to very large extent. A very dreamy and soothing song also.
The song is one of the few tracks the band sung in their native German language, so for those who don’t understand German it may be hard to decipher. An English translation exists but it is nowhere as poetic as the original version written and performed in German.
The video of the song shows a young Polish child (the scenes where it is filmed are definitely Polish, that can be concluded from the opening seconds of the promo video where the mother of the child tells him in Polish not to watch as much TV) who escapes in a dreamworld and hops on a truck driving through town. The child waves to people and poeple wave back to him. He beholds a wedding ceremony and other pretty sights. His dream world is clearly his place where he hides from the outside world, and where everything is just the way he wants it. The video in itself has an autistic undertone somehow, but then we’re not even talking about the lyrics. I will below recite the lyrics and translate them, note that they are property of the band. The translation is done by myself and as close to the original as possible, so it is nothing like the recorded English version where a less literal translation was used.
"Ich komm´ zu dir
halt´ deine Hand
wir gehen gemeinsam durch dies wunderbare Land
das ich für dich erfand
mit mathematischem Verstand
Ref.: ein Wunder hier
ein Traum gleich dort
grad´ noch hier und doch schon fort
ich zeige dir mein Angesicht
doch du siehst mich nicht
Ich weiß genau was dir gefällt
ich schaff dir eine neue Zauberwelt
in der kein Regen fällt
in der nur deine Wahrheit zählt
Ich zeig dir Berge
zeig dir Seen
hier brauchst du alles nur mit meinen Augen sehen
und nicht zu verstehen
keine Angst du kannst ruhig mit mir gehen
In ein großes All
ganz für dich allein
hier kannst du endlich mal du selber sein
fang ich dir deine Wünsche ein"
"I come to you, and hold your hand
Together we go through this wunderful land
that I created for you with mathematical precision
(chorus) A wonder here, a dream already there
Just here and yet already
I show to you my face, but you don’t see me
I remember well what you like
I create for you a new magical world
where no rain falls, and where only YOUR truth matters
I create mountains and lakes, here you can see everything through my eyes
without the need to understand
Have no fear, you can calmly come with me
In a huge "all" only for yourself alone
Here you can finally be your true self
In a neon sunshine, I will make your wishes come true"
Especially the line "In ein grosses All ganz für dich allein, hier kannst du endlich mal du selber sein" moves me whenever I hear it. This song will definitely speak to many people in the autism spectrum, but the soothing voice of Peter Heppner and the dreamy sounds and lyrics make this song very uplifting, as a dream away to a place where life is painless. This song was a favourite of the band themselves and I too would rate it on par with the song which the band is most famous for, the eerie and bleak "The sparrows and the nightingales", a song I will definitely cover in another article as this is (despite the bleakness of that track) a true gem as well.