Thursday, January 22, 2009

99 Luftballons

So what's with the new song??? It's a relic from my youth. This song was recorded in 1983. So, I guess it's an oldie but a goodie :) Who would have know the wall would come down in only six years? Seems like only yesterday. I thought I would post the history behind the song. This is from Wikipedia.

The translation of the title is sometimes given as "Ninety-Nine Air Balloons". However "Ninety-Nine Balloons" is correct [1][2]. A Luftballon is a colourful toy balloon, rather than a balloon for transport or research. The name is derived from Luft, German for air, but the meaning of Luft does not qualify the type of balloon. The title "99 RED Balloons" scans correctly with the syllables falling in the right places within the rhythm of the first lines of lyrics, with "red" replacing "Luft".

"99 Luftballons" is a Cold War-era protest song by the German singer Nena. Originally sung in German, it was later re-recorded in English as "99 Red Balloons".

While at a Rolling Stones concert in Berlin, Nena's guitarist Carlo Karges noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked nothing like a mass of balloons but some strange spacecraft. (The word in the German lyrics "UFO") He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector.[3]

Both the English and German versions of the song tell a story of ninety-nine balloons floating into the air, triggering an apocalyptic overreaction by military forces. The music was composed by Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen, the keyboardist of Nena's band, while Karges wrote the original German lyrics. - Wiki

Below are the translations I found on a music sight. Notice that the German and English subject verb order is essentially the same. German is such a cool language to learn.

German Direct German Translation English as Sung
Hast Du etwas Zeit fuer mich? Do you have some time for me You and I in a little toy shop
Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich Then I'll sing a song for you buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Von Neunundneunzig Luftballons About 99 balloons Set them free at the break of dawn
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont On their way to the horizon 'Til one by one, they were gone
Denkst Du vielleicht grad' an mich? Are you perhaps thinking of me? Back at base, bugs in the software
Dann singe ich ein Lied fuer Dich Then I'll sing a song for you Flash the message, "Something's out there"
Von Neunundneunzig Luftballons About balloons Floating in the summer sky
Und dass sowas von sowas kommt And that something (like the war) comes from such a thing (the balloons) 99 red balloons go by.

Neunundneunzig Luftballons 99 balloons 99 red balloons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont On their way to the horizon floating in the summer sky
Hielt man fuer UFOs aus dem All They thought they were UFOs from space Panic bells, it's red alert
Darum schickte ein General So a general sent There's something here from somewhere red
'ne Fliegerstaffel hinterher A flying squad out there The war machine springs to life
Alarm zu geben, wenn's so waer To raise the alarm if it was true Opens up one eager eye
Dabei war'n da am Horizont Yet there on the horizon were Focusing it on the sky
Nur Neunundneunzig Luftballons Only 99 balloons Where 99 red balloons go by.

Neunundneunzig Duesenflieger 99 jet planes 99 Knights of the air
Jeder war ein grosser Krieger Each one was a great warrior ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Hielten sich fuer Captain Kirk Thought that they were Captain Kirk Everyone's a Superhero
Es gab ein grosses Feuerwerk There were great fireworks Everyone's a Captain Kirk
Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft The neighbors didn't understand anything With orders to identify
Und fuehlten sich gleich angemacht And felt equally provoked To clarify and classify
Dabei schoss man am Horizont Yet there they shot on the horizon Scramble in the summer sky
Auf Neunundneunzig Luftballons At 99 balloons As 99 red balloons go by.

Neunundneunzig Kriegsminister 99 war ministers 99 Decision Street
Streichholz und Benzinkanister Matches and petrol cans 99 ministers meet
Hielten sich fuer schlaue Leute Thought that they were clever people To worry, worry, super-scurry
Witterten schon fette Beute Already caught wind of great spoils [of war] Call the troops out in a hurry
Riefen: Krieg und wollten Macht Shouted: War, and wanted power This is what we've waited for
Mann, wer haette das gedacht Man, who would have thought This is it boys, this is war
Dass es einmal soweit kommt That one day it would come to this The president is on the line
Wegen Neunundneunzig Luftballons Because of 99 balloons As 99 red balloons go by.

Neunundneunzig Jahre Krieg 99 years of war 99 dreams I have had
Liessen keinen Platz fuer Sieger Don't leave a place for victors In every one a red balloon
Kriegsminister gibt's nicht mehr There are no ministers of war any more It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
Und auch keine Duesenflieger And No jet planes either In this dust that was a city
Heute zieh ich meine Runden Today I'm doing my rounds If I could find a souvenier
Seh' die Welt in Truemmern liegen Seeing the world lying in ruins Just to prove the world was here...
Hab' 'nen Luftballon gefunden Found a balloon And here is a red balloon
Denk' an Dich und lass' ihn fliegen Think of you and let it fly I think of you and let it go.

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