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Neunundneunzig Luftballons , "99 balloons" is a song by the German band Nena from their self-titled album. An English-language version titled " 99 Red Balloons ", with lyrics by Kevin McAlea , was also released on the album 99 Luftballons in after widespread success of the original in Europe and Japan.

The English version is not a direct translation of the German original and contains somewhat different lyrics. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft referred to in the German lyrics as a " UFO ". He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector. Also cited by the band was a newspaper article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about five local high school students who in played a prank to simulate a UFO by launching 99 one was lost from the original aluminized Mylar balloons attached with ribbons to a traffic flare.

The red flame from the flare reflected by the balloons gave the appearance of a large pulsating red object floating over Red Rock Canyon outside the Las Vegas valley. Neunundneunzig 99 has one syllable more than "ninety-nine", so the last syllable and "Luft" are blended in the English translation and become "red".

The lyrics of the original German version tell a story: Finding nothing but children's balloons, the pilots decide to put on a show and shoot them down. The display of force worries the nations along the borders and the Defence ministers on each side bang the drums of conflict to grab power for themselves.

In the end, a year war results from the otherwise harmless flight of balloons, causing devastation on all sides without a victor. At the end, the singer walks through the devastated ruins and lets loose a balloon, watching it fly away. The English version retains the spirit of the original narrative, but many of the lyrics are translated poetically rather than directly translated: From the outset Nena and other members of the band expressed disapproval for the English version of the song, "99 Red Balloons".

In March , the band's keyboardist and song co-writer Uwe Fahrenkrog Petersen said, "We made a mistake there. I think the song loses something in translation and even sounds silly. There have been two re-recordings of the original German version of the song that have been released by Nena: Nena , [10] and a retro version in , [11] which included some verses in French. Live recordings of the song are included on all six of Nena's live albums, dating from to A special edit that combined the English and German versions of the song was played on American Top 40 with Casey Kasem for the week of 24 March Program American and Australian audiences preferred the original German version, which became a very successful non-English-language song, topping charts in both countries, reaching No.

VH1 Classic , an American cable television station, ran a charity event for Hurricane Katrina relief in Viewers who made donations were allowed to choose which music videos the station would play. The station broadcast the videos as requested from 2: In his book Music: The promotional video, which was originally made for the Dutch music programme TopPop and broadcast on 13 March , was shot in a Dutch military training camp, the band performing the song on a stage in front of a backdrop of fires and explosions provided by the Dutch Army.

Towards the end of the video, the band are seen taking cover and abandoning the stage, which was unplanned and genuine since they believed the explosive blasts were getting out of control. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Stanislav Petrov , a Soviet early-warning system operator who in disregarded a false nuclear attack alarm from shining clouds, rather than balloons and may have prevented a nuclear war.

List of anti-war songs Lists of number-one singles Austria List of number-one singles in Australia during the s List of number-one singles of Canada List of Cash Box Top number-one singles of List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of List of European number-one hits of List of number-one hits of Germany List of number-one singles of Ireland List of number-one singles from the s New Zealand List of number-one singles and albums in Sweden List of number-one singles of the s Switzerland List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the s.

Retrieved 17 July Retrieved 2 June Retrieved 29 October Retrieved 10 June Nena — 20 Jahre by Nena". Retrieved 27 June Retrieved 8 March American Top 40 with Casey Kasem the s. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 July Retrieved 28 March Retrieved 11 October Nena — Geschichte einer Band. Before It's Too Late. Retrieved 19 June Archived from the original on 9 January Retrieved 4 June Archived from the original on 14 June Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 4 June Archived from the original on 28 May Archived from the original on 30 September Archived from the original on 9 May Archived from the original on 6 October Retrieved 13 May Recording Industry Association of America.

Retrieved 21 June Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Enter 99 Red Balloons in the search field and then press Enter. Nena Live '98 Nena feat. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history.

This page was last edited on 26 September , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. List of anti-war songs Lists of number-one singles Austria List of number-one singles in Australia during the s List of number-one singles of Canada List of Cash Box Top number-one singles of List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of List of European number-one hits of List of number-one hits of Germany List of number-one singles of Ireland List of number-one singles from the s New Zealand List of number-one singles and albums in Sweden List of number-one singles of the s Switzerland List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the s.

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Nena - 99 Red Balloons Lyrics | MetroLyrics

My Opinion The German version is more effective because, unlike the English translation by one of Kate Bush's songwriters, not the band itself , it's a fantasy story that only allegorically refers to the Cold War. In the German version, a general decides to shoot down the balloons in a big show of patriotism.

All of the neighboring countries misinterpret it, diplomacy fails, and the world is embroiled in 99 years of everyone-against-everyone warfare. That's obviously not something that could happen in real-life , but it makes you consider the threat of living in a world poised on the edge of war.

That's exactly the kind of thing everyone woke up worrying about in in fact, it almost happened in September , although nobody in the west knew that at the time. It's clearly criticizing the Kremlin for being on a hair-trigger, and Reagan for putting them there. There's no universality, and no imagination; as the band put it, it's "too blatant" and "too strident".

Song Meaning I first heard this song in 7th grade German class. Our teacher played it to us, and it haunted me for a long time.

He told us a story with it- The song is about how, when Germany separated into two, they would only let letters that had read a censored go to the people on the other sides. If people said 'im safe and happy' in their letter, then the people who went through the letters might black that out because they didn't want the people on their side of the wall thinking the other side was better.

People started realizing that their family on the other side of the wall because yes there was a giant-ass wall between the two sides of Germany wernt getting their full messeges, and started to come up with other ways to communicate. The song tells a story of how someone sent up a bunch of balloons to try and communicate to their family members on the other side that they were safe.

Unfortunetly, some sensors from the other half of Germany picked up the balloons, and thought, 'oh my gosh their sending bombs over! Everyone was notified of it, and a ton of fighters were sent up, and everyone was bombing each other, the people were in a panic. No one knows exactly what caused this, and everyones confused, and the military from one side thinks theyre helping because no one knows who started it and theyre all like 'yay progress!

After years and years, families are reuniting, friends are seeing eachother again. Thats what my middle school German teacher told us. Dont know it thats correct, but hey, there ya go. My guess is that 'balloons' is a metaphor for hope, and she kept sending hope out but her hope caused trouble, and then the war destoryed it all. In the end, she only had one left, but let it go because she had given up.

In particular, its international chart success followed the United States deployment of Pershing II missiles in West Germany in January in response to the Soviet deployment of new SS nuclear missiles , which prompted protests across western Europe. Unusually, in the United States the German version was more successful, charting at 2 on the Billboard Hot On March 26, , it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, for shipment of over , copies.

Although the German version was the hit version in America, both the German and English versions receive radio airplay in the United States today. The German verse in the song is actually the next to last verse in the original German version, and it replaces the next to last verse in the English version one involving Captain Kirk. A-Spec the song is sung in full English, including the Captain Kirk verse.

The Goldfinger cover was featured in several films, including Grosse Pointe Blank , Not Another Teen Movie , Watchmen , and Eurotrip as well as during various competitions in Nickelodeon's television movie Rocket Power: Race Across New Zealand Viewers who made donations were allowed to choose which music videos the station would play.

The station broadcast the videos as requested from 2: In his book Music: The promotional video, which was originally made for the Dutch music programme TopPop and broadcast on 13 March , was shot in a Dutch military training camp, the band performing the song on a stage in front of a backdrop of fires and explosions provided by the Dutch Army. Towards the end of the video, the band are seen taking cover and abandoning the stage, which was unplanned and genuine since they believed the explosive blasts were getting out of control.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Stanislav Petrov , a Soviet early-warning system operator who in disregarded a false nuclear attack alarm from shining clouds, rather than balloons and may have prevented a nuclear war. List of anti-war songs Lists of number-one singles Austria List of number-one singles in Australia during the s List of number-one singles of Canada List of Cash Box Top number-one singles of List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of List of European number-one hits of List of number-one hits of Germany List of number-one singles of Ireland List of number-one singles from the s New Zealand List of number-one singles and albums in Sweden List of number-one singles of the s Switzerland List of UK Singles Chart number ones of the s.

Retrieved 17 July Retrieved 2 June Retrieved 29 October Retrieved 10 June Nena — 20 Jahre by Nena". Retrieved 27 June Retrieved 8 March American Top 40 with Casey Kasem the s. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 6 July Retrieved 28 March Retrieved 11 October Nena — Geschichte einer Band.

Before It's Too Late.

99 Red Balloons Lyrics: You and I in a little toy shop / Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got / Set them free at the break of dawn / 'til one by one, they. You and I in a little toy shop / Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got / Set them free at the break of dawn / 'Til one by one they were gone / Back at base . The song talks about Nena and the listener buying 99 Balloons in a shop and letting them go, for fun. These balloons show up on the radar as unidentified.