99 Luftballons – Friday Night Music

I liked this song when it first came out in 1983. I did not understand it then and still don’t though know a bit more about it. It is an anti-war song and is quite relevant in 2015 too.

The plot talks about 99 balloons, which were mistaken for UFOs. A general sends pilots to investigate who shoot down the balloons in fun. But, their display of force worries bordering nations resulting in a 99-year war with no victor only enormous destruction. The English version, 99 Red Balloons, is also catchy but is little bit different from the original.

99 red balloons floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it’s red alert
There’s something here from somewhere else
The war machine, it springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
As 99 red balloons go by.

99 Decision Street, 99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call out the troops now in a hurry
This is what we’ve waited for
This is it boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by.

99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Hielt man für Ufos aus dem All
Darum schickte ein General
‘ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher
Alarm zu geben, wenn es so wär
Dabei war’n da am Horizont
Nur 99 Luftballons.

99 Düsenjäger
Jeder war ein großer Krieger
Hielten sich für Captain Kirk
Das gab ein großes Feuerwerk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft
Und fühlten sich gleich angemacht
Dabei schoss man am Horizont
Auf 99 Luftballons

— Nena

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