• They fly up and trigger a radar alert which leads to nuclear war, as far as I know...
  • I interpret it as 'Panic' Nena - 99 Red Balloons Lyrics 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 99 red balloons go by 99 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 Where 99 red balloons go by 99 Decision Street 99 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 99 red balloons go by [Instrumental Interlude] 99 Knights of the airway Ride super-high-tech jet fighters Everyone's a Silverhero Everyone's a Captain Kirk With orders to identify To clarify and classify Scramble in the summer sky As 99 red balloons go by As 99 red balloons go by 99 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 souvenier Just to prove the world was here And here is a red balloon I think of you and let it go
  • I think it means, we (the human race of today) is so paranoid and on edge, that the smallest thing can trigger a major catastrophy .
  • The original German lyrics were darker than the English version. In that version, a bunch of balloons is let go in the sky. Some people think they're UFO's. Generals who see them interpret them as enemy craft and start a giant war. It seems to be a commentary on how quick to the trigger armies can be without first finding out the fact of a situation. Belor are the translated lyrics, credited to Hyde Flippo (and if my rusty German can be relied on, they're pretty accurate): 99 BALLOONS Have you some time for me, then I'll sing a song for you about 99 balloons on their way to the horizon. If you're perhaps thinking about me right now then 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 UFO's 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.
  • Sorry "MotoArena" But you are misinformed, that is the English Version which was in a way censored. The first response is quite correct. That is the translation, and the meaning is really self interpretation, but you can see the message they are trying to portray. But everyone has their own opinion, and mine is that the cold war was very much similar to this, because one nation began working on nuclear weapons, the other became afraid and started to build more to match the other nation. Both sides are keen on staying on top, and not knowing themselves the outcome of their own technology, they are sitting on the edge of their seats, they then find on the horizon 99 red UFOs. They believe these to be the work of the opposite nation and begin to war each other rather than doing a full amount of research. (As in they were so jumpy, both sides sent up fighters to investigate, thought each other was going to attack, and fought each other. Which in turn results in the end of the world.)
  • The actual answer (fact, not a guess) is to do with the radar system the US used to detect nucleam missiles during the cold war. A missile on the radar was shown as a red balloon, and the song sings about red balloons, symbolising missiles, being fired from Russia to destroy the US, and there being nothing the US can do. The red balloon at the end is an actual red balloon flying up to the sky when the earth is destroyed by these missiles to symbolise going to heaven.
  • Ali is super lame.
  • It has to do with red balloons at a Rolling Stone concert in Germany and someone seeing them or imagining them going over the Berlin Wall.
  • It is a poetic war and war head reference
  • That the mutual DISTRUST among nations ITSELF is enough to start a war. When one side over-reacts to something innocent.
  • it sounds so nice though.... :)
  • It was meant to be an anti-nuke song, originally sung in German entitled 99 luft Balons. I think the singer eventually married and gave birth to tatu, which pretty much soured any validity she may have had on the protest circuit.
  • 99 red balloons floating in a summer sky are just 99 balloons on the horizon. People don't take a closer look to see what is really there. So, they get out their war weapons and fire away. Destruction follows. She is looking through the rubble to make sense of the waste. She finds "one" red balloon. 99+1=100. They had missed the 1 balloon. It would have told the whole story had they looked closely before they attacked. The nice part is that she lets the balloon go.
  • During the cold war, the United States and the USSR had a combined 99 nuclear missle silos that were known. The song is about ''Mutually Assured Destruction'' or MAD. If one nation would fire a missle, it would take several minutes to fire across the Atlantic Ocean. By that time, the other nation would of fired all of their missles. Each nuke is represented as a red dot, or ''a red balloon'' on radar. The song is in protest that two nations at war will fire all their ''balloons'' and destroy the entire world.. even the ''innocent'' countries.
  • The song was written because the allies had planned an attack and the singal of where to drop the bombs was supposed to be red balloons. well it just so happened that that day an elementary school had planned a project to tie post cards to balloons and release them to see who would write back. but the allies misinterpreted the project as the signal and ended up bombing the elementary school. just goes to show how screwed up war can be sometimes huh? if consenting adults want to go blow each other up thts their problem, but these were just little kids...

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