99 Luftballons: World's Worst iPod

May 4, 2016

From the Kitty collection

It's not often that a foreign language song makes it into the Top 40 in the United States---but Nena's "99 Luftballons" was a huge hit, making it up to #2 in 1984.

There's also an English version of the song, but the translation of the lyrics is not accurate, and Nena hates it, refusing to perform that version in public.

As the story goes, Nena's guitar player was attending a Rolling Stones show in 1982 and noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft, and he thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet side of Berlin.

Yeah, it's hard to sing along to, if you don't speak German, but it's still a catchy little anti-war song.