99 Red Balloons Lyrics Nena English Meaning

4 min read Jun 10, 2024
99 Red Balloons Lyrics Nena English Meaning

99 Red Balloons: Lyrics and Meaning

"99 Red Balloons" is a song by the German new wave band Nena, released in 1983. The song became a global hit, reaching number two in the UK and number one in the US.

The Story Behind the Song

The song is based on the short story "The Little Red Balloon," a story by the French author Jacques Prévert. The story tells the tale of a small red balloon that escapes from a child's hand and floats into the sky, where it is mistaken for a nuclear weapon by the government and destroyed.

Lyrics and Meaning

The lyrics of the song tell the story of a group of people who are celebrating a festival and release 99 red balloons into the sky. However, the balloons are mistaken for enemy aircraft and are destroyed, leading to war. The song explores the themes of misunderstanding, fear, and the fragility of peace.

Here are some key lyrics and their meanings:

"99 red balloons filled with helium" - This line sets the scene and introduces the symbol of the red balloons.

"Floating around like a big red dream" - This line suggests the innocence and beauty of the balloons, and their potential for joy.

"Suddenly the music stopped" - This line marks a shift in the song's tone, as the atmosphere becomes tense and uncertain.

"We're scared, what's gonna happen now" - This line highlights the fear and anxiety of the people who are watching the balloons.

"99 red balloons, red balloons, floating in the summer sky" - This line is repeated throughout the song, emphasizing the tragic irony of the situation.

"Somebody saw them floating by" - This line introduces the misunderstanding that will lead to disaster.

"99 red balloons, went up, up, up" - This line suggests the balloons' innocent ascent into the sky.

"They burst, they burst, burst" - This line describes the destruction of the balloons, and the sudden violence that erupts.

"And the war was on" - This line highlights the tragic consequences of the misunderstanding.


"99 Red Balloons" is a powerful and timely song that continues to resonate with audiences today. It serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of fear, misunderstanding, and the potential for conflict. The song also serves as a reminder of the fragility of peace and the importance of dialogue and communication.

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