Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
Although the German phrase does not translate to English, "Du hast" can mean "you have," but it can also mean "you hate." Therefore the song has two meanings. One being sort of "You hate me but still want to marry me" (the song is about marriage) and the other being "You want to marry me but I don't want to." (thanks, Oscar - Stockholm, Sweden)
There is another sort of double meaning here. If the line is read as "Tod der Scheide" it would be "until the death of the vagina" and not "until death, which would separate" ("Tod, der scheide"). The whole song is a play on German wedding vows (Wollen Sie einander lieben und achten und die Treue halten bis dass der Tod euch scheidet? - Do you want to love and respect each other and to remain faithful, until death separates you?). Instead of answering with "Ja," Till says "Nein," finally answering the question he said nothing to in the beginning. (thanks, Jason - Elko, NV)
"Hast" is a conjugation of the base form "haben" which means "to have." To hate, would be the verb "hassen" which would be conjugated as "Du hasst mich" (you hate me). Though they are similar they are not homophones in that the S sounds in "hasst" for "hate" would be stressed a little more then it would in "hast" for "have." This is confirmed when Till says, "Du hast mich gefragt und ich hab nights gesagt," which literally means "You have asked me and I have said nothing. "Hast" is used as the "haben" helper verb for the past participle "gefragt," of which its base form is "fragen," which means "to ask." (thanks, Scott - Vincennes, IN)
This song is played in the movie How High featuring rap artists Red Man and Method Man (thanks, Steve - Kitchener, Canada)
Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.
They Might Be Giants
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.