Thursday, April 18, 2013

99 Luftballons

With all the concern lately about North Korea and their ambition to develop the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon via ICBM to the continental United States combined with a growing concern regarding Iran's similar aims and now add to that the terrorist attack in Boston, MA, the other day and it feels like there is a level of stress of impending doom not felt in my homeland since 9/11 but with more of a nuclear fatalism attached. I must admit that I myself have been mentally contemplating and preparing emotionally for that possibility in the not-to-distant future for some months now and it continues. I am not fearful but I am feeling a growing sense of possibility regarding it and in my mindset I intend to survive. However, that requires I start gaming for it now and mentally-emotionally I already am all the while I'm hoping it is unnecessary.

With that in mind below is the best and most famous song of the 1980's in regards to expressing a young generation's fears of nuclear apocalypse and protestation against that possibility. German band Nena created the pop rock gem "99 Luftballoons" (99 Balloons). There was a German and an English version but the German version sounded better and was more true to the artist as it was in their mother tongue and the subsequent English version had some revisions. Below the music player are the English-translation lyrics. Enjoy!

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, bugs in the software
Flash the message, Something's out there.
Floating in the summer sky.
Ninety nine red balloons go by.

Ninety nine red balloons.
Floating in the summer sky.
Panic bells, it's red alert.
There's something here from somewhere else.
The war machine springs to life.
Opens up one eager eye.
Focusing it on the sky.
Where ninety nine red balloons go by.

Ninety nine Decision Street.
Ninety nine ministers meet.
To worry, worry, super-scurry.
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 ninety nine red balloons go by.

Ninety nine Knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a superhero.
Everyone's a Captain Kirk.
With orders to identify.
To clarify and classify.
Scramble in the summer sky.
As ninety nine red balloons go by.

Ninety nine dreams I have had.
In every one a red balloon.
It's all over and I'm standing pretty.
In this dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenir.
Just to prove the world was here.
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go.

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