In the tiny Bavarian village where she lived, Franziska Pauli had a childhood friend, Astrid Paster, a girl a year younger than she was. Both girls learned to play the accordion at a young age, and the two of them would often entertain guests in the dining room of a local hotel owned by Astrid’s family.

The girls were very outdoorsy, and among hiking, swimming, and other activities, they both took up inline skating, sometimes referred to as rollerblading.

One day after they had been skating, some guests requested that the girls play their accordions. Rather than change out of their blades, they got their instruments and played, sang, and skated around in the dining area. A music producer saw them and was so impressed, he signed them to a contract.

Though Franziska and Astrid are not related, they were as close as sisters. As close, they felt, as twins. So they were billed as the Twinnies.

An album was written for them, mostly in the style of Bavarian folk music, but with a light rock beat. The girls were asked what they wanted to sing about, and the writers produced songs to match their requests. Their CD is called Wir rocken auf Rollen (We Rock on Rolls).

In the United States, most people have never heard of the Twinnies, but for a few years, starting in 2009, the two-girl group was wildly popular in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

At the time, Franziska was 13, and Astrid, 12. The kind of accordions they played are called Styrian Harmonicas. Instead of piano-like keys for the right hand, they have buttons. On the left side, there are also buttons for the bass notes/chords. Anyone who saw them play was awed by their effortless ability.

The songs they sang were the sort that Germans couldn’t help clapping and singing along to.

In concerts, the two of them would bounce lightly on their feet or move side to side in time to their music. They would sing together or trade lines. And audiences went crazy.

On the Internet, there is a video of the Twinnies rollerblading as they sing Bayernmädels (Bavarian Maids). They glide around and between tables full of delighted fans, singing about how Bavarian maids are loved by people the world over.

The song includes such lines (in German, of course) as, “Cowboys in America, think that we are wonderful. Fishermen from North Sea coast, find us fascinating.” Other places the song mentions include Italy, Brussels, Tokyo, Cuba, Canada, Zambia, and Panama. All places, it claims, that love Bavarian maids.

The video has 24 million views. (It now has 24 million and six because I watched it six times. It’s that delightful.)

Today, Astrid, who works for her family’s hotel, doesn’t have much of a musical presence on the Internet, but Franziska does. Search for Franziska Pauli and find her YouTube channel. There you can see her delightful and flawless performance of many a German folk song, as well as some modern pop numbers. You won’t be disappointed.

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