Monday, September 20, 2010

Classic Clip Monday: 99 Luftballoons

Worry, worry, super flurry
Call the troops out in a hurry...

"99 Luftballoons" is one of those memorable quirky 1980s hits that everyone seems to remember fondly. The German version hit #2 in the U.S. -- astonishing, since we're not big on non-English anything. The English version, "99 Red Balloons," never impressed me as much as the original.

The Wikipedia entry on the song notes that many DJs in the U.S. thought "Luftballoons" translated to "Red Balloons" because of the English song, but really it's just "balloons" or "air balloons." As in the Luftwaffe, or as Homer Simpson called them, "the Washington Generals of the History Channel."
Nena's Wikipedia page has some interesting facts about her life, and some sad ones, too. It claimed her first son was born disabled due to medical mistakes that almost killed her during the birth, and that the child died before he was a year old. She had four other children, including 20-year-old twins who now both have children of their own. (The twins had their kids two days apart, when they were 19. That's young to be parents, and young for Nena to be a grandma, but what a cool grandma to have.)

Oh, and fun fact: "VH1 Classic ran a charity event for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2006. Viewers who made donations were allowed to choose which music videos the station would play. One viewer donated $35,000 for the right to program an entire hour and requested continuous play of Nena's "99 Luftballons" and "99 Red Balloons" videos. The station broadcast the videos as requested from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST on 26 March 2006." Wow. That's like...99 Luftballons on the wall, 99 Luftballoons...

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