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23 years ago today, this song came out. A song with a conscience! Who would of thought?
Streichholz und Benzinkanister
Hielten sich fuer schlaue Leute
Witterten schon fette Beute
Riefen: Krieg und wollten Macht
Mann, wer haette das gedacht
Dass es einmal soweit kommt
Wegen 99 ballons
Otherwise known as…
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
’till one by one they were gone
Back at base, sparks in the software
Flash the message “something’s out there”
Floating in the summer sky
Ninety nine red balloons go by
I remember thinking back in 83, when I was 11, that the German version sounded SO much cooler.
Some say that this was the first protest song of the 80’s – Later, they’d come out with others, like “Dear Mr. Jesus,” which was a call to arms against child abuse, (as was “Luka,” by Suzanne Vega, but much more understated.)
Some more good info on Nena here.
Happy birthday, 99 Red Balloons.