What is the meaning of the song and video “Zeit” by Rammstein? March 10, 2022 Rammstein released a new single – “Zeit”. The video was directed by Robert Gvisdek. “Zeit” is a thoughtful ballad about the dichotomy of life and death, the struggle, the war that takes everything from humanity, and the inexorable passage of time, the constant walking through the pages of history, which, as you know, repeats itself. So the video, embodying this idea, is built against the flow of time, returning the viewer to the outcome and reasons for each action shown in it. “Time, please, stop, stop” is the main idea and concept of the song and video “Zeit”, calling to stop what can erase life from planet Earth.
In the song and the video, one can find parallels, images and metaphors related to the current political situation, references to classical literature, mythology and religion. This idea is confirmed by the fact that on the eve of the release of the single, the Rammstein group posted an appeal in three languages on the official website. In Russian, it reads as follows: “The Rammstein band would like to express support for the people of Ukraine, who are resisting with horrific aggression from the Russian government. First of all, at this moment, we deeply sympathize with the Ukrainian people and mourn for their suffering.
Each member of our group, one way or another, is connected with two countries. All members of the group have friends, colleagues, partners, fans in both countries. We understand that many Russian fans may feel desperate about their government’s actions, and we want to remember the humanity that is shared by both Russian and Ukrainian citizens.” It is precisely because of this statement that we can assume that the video and song “Zeit” still have a political connotation and express the attitude of Rammstein members to the current political situation in the world. However, this cannot be said with absolute certainty, because the theme of the war is not the central idea of the video and the song.
The clip of the song “Zeit” begins with images of drowned sailors who slowly return from the depths of the ocean to the boat and meet the face of Death. Immediately after this, the picture is replaced by a battlefield. By playing with time and images, the director of the video shows that the war that unfolded in the lives of fighting soldiers has already happened before, but in a playful way, when they fired from stick-guns, imagining themselves as real soldiers. Time and Death are merciless. Sooner or later they get to everyone: children grow up, become old people and die. The young, who are out of hostilities and out of the power of the elements, do not avoid this either (like the sailors in the first frames of the clip). So Death comes for the girl and takes her to the Rivers of Time. In the video, they are represented by a huge sand stream, in which life is born and ends.
The metaphor of the River of Time, catching everything alive in its streams and irreversibly taking and turning everything that exists into ashes, is the central image of the Zeit video.
And the clip itself, and the text, and the thoughtful composition of the song calls not only for time to stop, but also for people. “Zeit” warns the world against the horrors of disease and war, which can turn into death for all living things. The gloomy, apocalyptic atmosphere of the clip is pumped up with each new frame and plot twist, and its culmination is that the children who have just been born are already ready to fall into the hands of death and give their souls to it.
The idea and the result of the clip are pessimistic, from the first to the last minutes they are saturated with death, fear and a warning that the horrors that the Earth has already experienced will happen again. The compositional component of the “Zeit” video begins with death and ends with a birth, which is not optimistic at all, because newborns are already destined for an early death. This is a warning and a call to stop wars throughout the world before it’s too late. It is on this that the future of the whole planet and many new generations depends.
However, there is no salvation from the flow of time itself and from death, because a person does not have such power over life and death, over the inexorable course of the Rivers of Time, sooner or later “turning back”. No matter how the heroes of the clip, who appeared before Time and Death, tried to stop their flow and the inevitable onset, nothing happens, because all the figures can enter the stream, but cannot stop it or change its course. A person has no power over life and death, is not able to change the course of time, but in his power is a change in the course of history and his own life. “The future cannot be stopped” – so the authors of the song “Zeit” say. Everything that is created by the hands of mankind will be destroyed sooner or later, because time spares nothing and no one, and no matter how vainly a person calls and begs time to stop its course, it knows no pity, does not allow time to fully enjoy the moment. Everything that is experienced by a person remains forever in the past and sooner or later mixes with hundreds of thousands of memories, dissolving in them, like a grain of sand in the oceans.
The meaning of the song and the video “Zeit” is that in the constant struggle of a person over time, he will never become a winner, but, nevertheless, he will continue to do so, because the human essence is in this.