D’Schnitzelbängg and the football match Albania-Switzerland

Even a football agnostic notices that the upcoming European Championship will be special for the Swiss and the Albanian teams

Though being a football agnostic, I have noticed that the European Championship in France will be special for Switzerland and Albania: Quite some of the players in the Swiss team are from Kosovo-Albania and so are some in the Albanian team – all of them trained in Switzerland. When the two teams play against each other, they might talk in Swiss German. This has been commented by the “Schnitzelbängg”.

“Schnitzelbängg” belong to the Basel carnival (“Fasnacht”) that was celebrated in mid February this year: For three days my town was focused on nothing else but their Fasnacht. There is a lot to say (and love) about the “Basler Fasnacht”: The Morgestraich, the Cortège, the Guggekonzärt, the carpets of Räppli… and there are also the “Schnitzelbängg”.

Schnitzelbängg” are a kind of minstrels forming small groups that walk from one restaurant to the next in the evenings, presenting (mostly singing) short verses about what has happened during the year – in Basel, in Switzerland and in the world. This year they also commented about the match Switzerland – Albania in the European Championship. Here I am citing some verses, also trying to translate them into English and adding the links to the presentations of the “Käller-Assle” (the cheerful group of “cellar woodlouses”), the “Tam Tam” (The Tam Tam in their beautiful yellow trousers illustrate their verses with requisites they pull out of their large pockets – they won an award for their performance) and the Bataillioons-Glunggi (explanations below).


D Käller-Assle
(the verse about the football match starts at about 4:50 minutes)

Uff em Fuessballfäld dien sich bewege
Zwai Team, wo mit’nand Mundart rede.
Das passiert und isch kai Witz
Schpielt Albanie gege d’Schwyz.

On the football field there are running
Two teams that talk in dialect to each other
This will happen and it is not a joke,
When Albania will play against Switzerland.


Tam Tam
(first verse in the series)

Für d’EM z’Frankrych wird my Schtube zum Fussballstadion.
Drei Match am Daag uff der Kautsch, das bruucht Kondition.
My Frau schleppt’s Bier, pro Schpyl e Gatter. Voll yne, uuse läär.
Numme  Schwyz – Albanie lueg y nit. Do waisch nit, wär isch wär.

During the EM in France my living room will become a football stadium.
Three matches a day on the sofa, that will require physical shape.
My wife will carry the beer, per match a sixpack. Coming full and going empty.
Only Switzerland – Albania I will not watch. Because we will not know, who is who.


Batallioons-Glunggi (they furl the flag of Albania before starting with this verse)
(first verse in the series)

Mir hän ufem Wääg in Dienscht im Zuug die Faane gschwänggt.
Dr Ueli Muurer froggt uns, was das soll was hän der eych do dänggt.
E Skandaal syygs und vor Wuet do kunnt er grad e kli ins schwitze,
Drbyy hän mir nur welle d’Schwizernazi understyytze.

I am explaining the idea of this verse: The “Batailloons-Glunggi” come dressed up as soldats, as they pretend to be the “sloppy guys” (soldats) of the battalion. They are not serious about the “battalion” – this is a carneval/Fasnacht joke. They sing that they take the train to join the military service (many younger citizens are doing some practice days each year). In the train, they wave the Albanian flag. The head of the defence department (Ueli Muurer) asks them angrily, why they are doing so. They apologize (last line): “Well, we just wanted to support the Swiss national football team.”

The Albanian flag is the black eagle with two heads on red. Here it is with the bust of Skanderbeg in Lezha (Albania).


Well, may be – even as a football agnostic – I will watch the match Switzerland – Albania, but then I will not know which team to support.

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