What are you listening to?


The Living Force

The sun shines
And people forget
The spray flies as the speedboat glides
And people forget
Forget they're hiding
The girls smile
And people forget
The snow packs as the skier tracks
People forget
Forget they're hiding
Behind an eminence front
Eminence front, it's a put on
It's an eminence front
It's an eminence front, it's a put on
An eminence front
Eminence front, it's a put on
Eminence front
It's an eminence front
It's an eminence front, it's a put on
It's a put on, it's a put on, it's a put on
Come and join the party
Dress to kill
Won't you come and join the party
Dress to kill, dress to kill
Drinks flow
People forget
That big wheel spins, the hair thins
People forget
Forget they're hiding
The news slows
People forget
Their shares crash, hopes are dashed
People forget…


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
During the cold war, after the end of WW2, there was the separation of Germany into East and West as well as the division of the city of Berlin. During this time there was a silent tension in Europe which expressed itself in different ways including music. "99 Luftballons"/"99 Red Balloons" from 1983/1984 was a song by the German group Nena, also artistic name for the singer of the band, Gabriele Susanne Kerner. "99 Luftballons" is written by the guitarist Carlo Karges with music by keyboard player and composer Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen.
From Can You Sing '99 Red Balloons' in German? there is a comment and short translation:
"99 Luftballons" was an antiwar protest song written by the band's guitarist Carlo Karges. Karges had attended a Rolling Stones concert in 1982 in what was then West Berlin, where that band released hundreds of helium-filled balloons. He wondered how East German or Soviet forces might react if balloons crossed the Berlin Wall, which still stood at the time.
Recently it has popped up on a couple of rather different occasions, so why not put it into context.
The lyrics with translation into english as well as the lyrics for the modified English version can be found here: In The 80s - 99 Luftballons, Side by Side Comparison

The 99 Luftballons - Wikipedia has:
The lyrics of the original German version tell a story: 99 balloons are mistaken for UFOs, causing a general to send pilots to investigate. Finding nothing but children's balloons, the pilots decide to put on a show and shoot them down. The display of force worries the nations along the borders and the defense ministers on each side bang the drums of conflict to grab power for themselves. In the end, a 99-year war results from the otherwise harmless flight of balloons, causing devastation on all sides without a victor. At the end, the singer walks through the devastated ruins and lets loose a balloon, watching it fly away.[6]
For a direct translation of the original German text from Can You Sing '99 Red Balloons' in German?

"Do you have you some time for me,​
if so I'll sing a song for you​
about 99 balloons​
on their way to the horizon.​
Maybe you're thinking about me right now​
if so I'll sing a song for you​
about 99 balloons​
and that such a thing comes from such a thing.​
99 balloons
on their way to the horizon
People think they're UFOs from space
so a general sent up
a fighter squadron after them
Sound the alarm if it's so​
but there on the horizon were​
only 99 balloons.​
99 fighter jets​
Each one's a great warrior
Thought they were Captain Kirk
then came a lot of fireworks
the neighbors didn't understand anything
and felt like they were being provoked
so they shot at the horizon
at 99 balloons.​
99 war ministers
matches and gasoline canisters
They thought they were clever people
already smelled a nice bounty
Called for war and wanted power.
Man, who would've thought​
that things would someday go so far​
because of 99 balloons.​
99 years of war
left no room for victors.
There are no more war ministers
nor any jet fighters.
Today I'm making my rounds​
see the world lying in ruins.​
I found a balloon,​
think of you and let it fly (away)."​

For Youtubes in English and German [The German version has 50,000,000+ views and more than 20,000+ comments]:
The English is
The German:
In the Youtubes there are some special effects, but apparently quite live:
The English Wiki has
Music video
The promotional video, which was originally made for the Dutch music programme TopPop and broadcast on 13 March 1983, was shot in a Dutch military training camp, the band performing the song on a stage in front of a backdrop of fires and explosions provided by the Dutch Army. Towards the end of the video, the band are seen taking cover and abandoning the stage, which was unplanned and genuine since they believed the explosive blasts were getting out of control.[21]
99 Luftballons - Wikipedia
99 Luftballons - Wikipedia
If you watch the video, pay careful attention to the scenes and editing from around 3:00 minutes until about 3:14, say 3:02 where Nena puts her hands to her head and 3;05 where the keyboard player Uwe embraces Nena. And we also only get distant shots so what happened to the film crew? If anyone has an idea of what explosions sound like, no wonder they have had their eardrums and bodies shaken... it's more than what most rock concerts can offer on a steady basis ;-)

Perhaps it was unintended that the group in the video should abandon the stage, but the Universe has its own way of communicating. At least this song is still alive, and while the East West issue in Germany is solved, it is far from solved in Europe as a whole. The atomic bombs are still there and the tension has come back, thanks mainly to the ambitions of the US Government that actually never left Germany.


Black Dog, British techno overlords. Been an excellent band since about 1990, still making superb IDM.

This track is taken from a 2009 album, summed up by the band thus; The follow-up to Radio Scarecrow, Further Vexations, was released in 2009. It was described as having a dark cynicism of Orwellian practices of government and the passivity of the general public.[11] "We’ve helplessly watched with mounting horror, while the government trashed the country, signed away its sovereignty to Brussels (with a flourish of a specially minted silver pen), sold off precious national industries and assets at next to bargain basement prices, and indulged itself with two utterly pointless wars which it couldn’t afford," the group stated on their home page.

So, not a mindless head banging techno act. Enjoy!

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