Meaning and Lyrics of 99 Red Balloons by Nena

Song Lyrics meaning of 99 Red Balloons by Nena

About Nena

Nena is a German musician and singer best known for her hit song 99 Red Balloons. She was born in Hagen, West Germany on March 24, 1960. Nena rose to fame in the 1980s with her band Nena, and their song “99 Luftballons” (the German version of “99 Red Balloons”) became an international hit. Nena continues to perform and release music, maintaining a successful career in the music industry.
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Meaning of 99 Red Balloons by Nena

“99 Red Balloons” by Nena is a powerful and thought-provoking song that tells the story of a peaceful act turning into a potential catastrophe due to misinterpretation and escalated tension. The song begins with an innocent scene of buying balloons with a loved one and setting them free. However, as the balloons drift away, they are mistaken for an unknown threat, causing panic and triggering a chain reaction.

The lyrics describe the reaction to the sight of 99 red balloons in the sky, triggering a red alert and mobilizing military forces. The imagery of the war machine coming to life and the president being informed of the situation reflects the quick escalation of a situation based on misunderstandings and fear.

The verses portray a sense of urgency and tension as the world prepares for war over a misunderstanding. The reference to “Captain Kirk” and superhero imagery in the third verse adds a layer of surrealism, highlighting the absurdity of the situation and the ease with which conflicts can arise.

The outro of the song reflects on the aftermath of the conflict, with the singer lamenting the destruction and longing for a token of what once was. The red balloon symbolizes both the innocence lost and the connection to a loved one, with the act of letting it go signifying acceptance and moving on.

Overall, “99 Red Balloons” is a cautionary tale about the consequences of miscommunication, unchecked aggression, and the human tendency towards conflict. It serves as a reminder of the fragility of peace and the need for understanding and diplomacy in the face of uncertainty.

Lyrics of 99 Red Balloons by Nena

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

Instrumental Interlude

Verse 1
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
When ninety-nine red balloons go by

Verse 2
99 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

Verse 3
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
Ninety-nine red balloons go by
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 standin' 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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