“Poor old man.”
―Burgdorf singing.

The Singing Burgdorf Scene is a scene in Downfall, which is used quite frequently by Untergangers in parodies, due to it being one of the few amusing parts of the film.

In Downfall

Burgy sings a Hawaiian song! Epic!

Burgy sings a Hawaiian song! Epic!

Translated verses of the song.

Wilhelm Burgdorf, who, being drunk, starts to sing a version of the sea shanty "When Jackie Comes Down to Hilo" while Hans Krebs, Martin Bormann and Helmuth Weidling just sit and listen. As Burgdorf sings away, other officers in the hallway look with amusement while Weidling seems irritated. After Burgdorf finishes, Krebs applauds and Bormann congratulates him.

Weidling looks at his watch, saying that he should have been with his troops by now. Bormann tells him that he made a good impression to the Führer. Krebs asks him whether Felix Steiner will attack; Weidling is unsure and tells them that they should know better. Burgdorf says that if Steiner doesn't attack, Berlin would be lost.

At that moment Wilhelm Keitel enters and congratulates Weidling for his report: the Führer has appointed him Commander of Berlin’s Defense. Weidling is visibly displeased with his new post, saying that he would have preferred to be shot than had that honor.

In Downfall Parodies

The scene is fairly commonly used in parodies due to its humorous theme. This is also Burgdorf's most famous scene, as it involves him singing. Many parodies show Burgdorf singing for various (usually humorous) things, such as in Hitler and the Burgdorf shooting Fegelein incident, where he sings his success after he thought he killed Fegelein.


  • The first part of the scene, where Burgdorf sings, is included only in the Extended Edition.
  • The part where Weidling looks at his watch is present in the Theatrical version.
  • This scene shows Burgdorf can sing.
  • The singing incident is noted in James P. O'Donnell's book The Bunker, where he tells that the song he sings is a mixture of German and English (as shown in the film) and that it comes from a sailor's song (a version of When Jackie Comes Down to Hilo). A translation has been made by PiretBCN in this video.


Wilhelm and Dorothee Kranz arguing
Singing Burgdorf Scene
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Peter Kranz's street battle
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