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Nina and her 99 balloons

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Jan 17, 1984, 11:31:26 AM1/17/84

Would some enterprising humanoid out there please post/mail the
lyrics to the tune before I go nuts attempting to figure out what she's
ranting about?

Thank you.
"Go ahead...make my day."
Darth Wombat
{ allegra, decvax, ihnp4, harpo, seismo, teklabs, ucbvax } !pur-ee!rsk

Rich Rosen

Jan 18, 1984, 12:55:15 PM1/18/84
The song by Neena, "99 Luftballoons", is in German (I believe, certainly
not in English), and this may explain why you can't understand what she's
saying. The ending of that song has got to be the Yes-iest thing to come
out in ten years, and I'm not just talking about the steel guitar slide.
Anyone else out there have that same reaction to the song?
(Speaking of Yes ripoffs, does anyone out there remember a band called
Druid? Their drummer went on to play for Gary Numan. It seems that "Loner
of an Only Heart" has precipitated a mini-revival of this whole style.)
Pardon me for breathing...
Rich Rosen pyuxn!rlr

John Labovitz

Jan 18, 1984, 1:54:57 PM1/18/84
I have some of the words from the english version (not sure all
of this is correct; I listened to the song and wrote them down,
and I might have missed the first verse):

99 red balloons
floatin' in the summer sky.
panic bears, it's red alert.
there's something here from somewhere else.

the war machine springs alive
opens up one eager eye
focusing it on the sky
as 99 red balloons go by.

99 decisions tree,
99 ministers meet.
to wary, wary, super scary
call the troops out 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 lites up the air
with super-high-tech jet fighters.
everyone's a superhero,
everyone's a captain kirk
with orders to identify,
to clarify and classify.
scrambling the summer sky
as 99 red balloons go by
as 99 red balloons go by

99 dreams i have had,
everyone a red balloon.
its all over and i'm standing pretty
in this dust that was a city.
i could find a souvineir
just to prove the world was here.
and here is a red balloon
i think of you and let it go.

And here is the German version, translated into English (not
the best translation, tho):

Have you some time for me
Then I will sing a song for you
Of 99 air balloons

On their way to the horizon
If you are thinking of me
Then I will sing a song for you
Of 99 air balloons

99 air ballons
On their way to the horizon
Mistaken for UFO's from space
Therefore a general sent
An air division after them
To give an alarm if it was so
But there on the horizon were
Only 99 air balloons

99 jet fighters
Everyone was a great warrier
Thought that they were Captain Kirk
Then there were great fireworks
They neighbors had not caught on
And felt put out
That's why one shot on the horizon
At 99 air balloons

99 Ministers of War
Matches and benzine [gasoline] drums
Thought that they were smart people
Would earn a bundle
Shouted "War" and wanted power
Man, who would have thought
It would ever go so far
Because of 99 air balloons

99 years of war
Left no place for winners
War Ministers don't exist anymore
And also no jet fighters
Today I gather my rounds
Look at the world in ruins
Have an air balloon found
Think of you and let it fly.
John Labovitz


Jan 22, 1984, 3:16:42 PM1/22/84
I don't think it sounds very much like Yes; it's more a like patchwork of
funk, ``new wave'' (circa 79), and some graceful synth stuff. I like the
Geran version better; the language forces the singer to pay attention to the
lyrics (because one has to concentrate on pronunciation of such an emphatic
language). Same goes for >>Der Komissar<<

Ja, Rock und Roll,--
``Bob'' Robert P. Krajewski ARPA: RpK@MC
MIT Local: RpK@OZ
UUCP: ...!genradbo!mit-eddie!mitvax!rpk


Jan 24, 1984, 6:56:07 PM1/24/84
Both this and Der Comissar are examples of German
New Wave, a response to years of American and English
lyricists playing in Europe. Now, in Germany at least,
one hears more rock with German lyrics than English.
Personally, I like it.

Mike Kelly

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