99 Luftballons in Our Time

Hast du etwas Zeit für mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont
Denkst du vielleicht g’rad an mich
Dann singe ich ein Lied für dich
Von 99 Luftballons
Und dass so was von so was kommt

The song tells of 99 balloons that are released into the sky above the Berlin Wall and are immediately misinterpreted. Thinking the 99 balloons are UFOs, the air force sends 99 hot-shot pilots who all think they are Captain Kirk. They shoot at the balloons creating fireworks in the sky for the nearby country to see and get nervous about. 99 war ministers start shooting back… leading to 99 years of war.

99 Jahre Krieg
Ließen keinen Platz für Sieger
Kriegsminister gibt’s nicht mehr
Und auch keine Düsenflieger
Heute zieh’ ich meine Runden
Seh’ die Welt in Trümmern liegen
Hab’ ‘nen Luftballon gefunden
Denk’ an dich und lass’ ihn fliegen

Today I was walking among the ruins of the world. I found a balloon and I thought of you and let it fly away.

Such is the nature of this surreal song that it echoes and resonates in the world today just as it did in 1983 when it was first played by the German band Nena. We see things we don’t quite understand. And if we don’t understand it, we try to shoot it. Over-reacting and under-reacting work together to brew up disasters.

You have to be aware of the potential dangers of letting goldfish chew gum and blow bubbles with it.

Maybe we ought to do something positive for a change. We have a criminal president. He apparently can’t be charged with a crime. Republicans are immune to the accusations they always use on Democrats. We have a dying planet with warming and polluted air. Soon we won’t be able to breath if we are not already dead in hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other global-warming-related disasters. How many more balloons do we have to shoot at or decide not to shoot at? How many more mistakes can we make?

But I like the song. I listen to it, and I forget my mistakes and the troubles they have caused me. Well, at least for the duration of the song.


Filed under commentary, feeling sorry for myself, music, Paffooney

2 responses to “99 Luftballons in Our Time

  1. I have always love Nena and the German version of that song. They did an English version but immediately disowned it saying that it didn’t reflect what the song was really about.

    It was inspired by a prank by UNLV students who wanted to release 100 very large balloons at once to see if anyone responded. One of the balloons failed so they only had 99 for the stunt. It was picked up on radar but nobody reacted to it.

    There was a really good music video of this song but I can’t seem to find it. It was set on a military training ground with tanks and explosions and smoke. Can’t find it anymore.

    • I heard the story you mentioned. I didn’t know all of the details you presented and am enlightened by them. I was listening to the German version of this song when I decided to make it the topic for today.

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