Friday, April 29, 2011

Quatre vingt dix neuf anneés de guerre

It seems some people have been having an 80's fest today. My turn:
Actually, I prefer the German version - this one has English subtitles so you can study the difference in the lyrics:
There are lots of versions around; I like this Franco-German one:
And finally, a live version from 2002:
Is it the same keyboard player? I think so.


andrew jones said...

I am a big fan of this song and I agree that the German version is superior. As is true of many 80s tracks it's often better not to probe too deeply into the lyrics. As you know, the premise of 99 red balloons is that buggy spy software mis-identifies red balloons causing the airforce to destroy a city. Hmmm,the honest inanity of dance songs suddenly seems preferable...
As a friend of mine was apt to point out... "in the german version I'm not sure the balloons are red you know....

The Editor said...

Actually, the story is quite interesting as explained in the Wikipedia article

The orginal version says that a General sets off his jet fighters to take a look at a UFO (the balloons); the English version talks about this being due to bugs in the software.

And sure, the toy balloons in the song weren't identified as "red" but "99 Red Balloons" does scan like "99 Luftballons".

Great song; of its era - reminds me of the fear of nuclear war.

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