Written 2000 in Constance, after seeing Herbert Grönemeyer receiving a lifetime achievement award. The song takes this moment as a starting point for a deeper reflection about the meaning of life, relationships, and one's goals.


The small man is just standing
as he gets his lifework award
and the audience and fans are singing
all his well-known songs
And as he looks into their eyes
their sparkle is the best applause
his own his personal reward

You can talk and argue with me
and tell me your plan for luck
And you can utter academic paroles
stifling our love
But what about our actual behaviour
Does it deserve our applause
our own our personal reward

Well you can hide your self-deceptive style
and get your lifetime disguise award
And you can watch your life rushing by
and your time seems to be too short
And you can keep on going in silence
or you can get out running amuck
Or is there something else to face yourself
that you are really devoted for
that you can see lying in your deathbed
something worth applauding for
your own your personal reward

You’ve got a tucked in deep desire
of being respected and adored
Trying to be a Rock’n’Roll star
opening your heart in a song
But when you look into the mirror
do you see what you were fighting for
your own your personal reward

You’d better ask yourself in silence
Is this the role you were looking for
your own your personal reward