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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 child's balloons, the pilots decide to put on a show and shoot them down.At the end, the singer walks through the devastated ruins and lets loose a balloon, watching it fly away.The English version retains the spirit of the original narrative, but many of the lyrics are translated poetically rather than directly translated: red helium balloons are casually released by an anonymous civilian into the sky and are registered as missiles by a faulty early warning system; the balloons are mistaken for military aircraft which results in panic and eventually nuclear war.American and Australian audiences preferred the original German version, which became a very successful non-English language song, topping charts in both countries, reaching No.1 on the Cash Box chart, Kent Music Report, and No.Viewers who made donations were allowed to choose which music videos the station would play.One viewer donated ,000 for the right to program an entire hour and requested continuous play of "99 Luftballons" and "99 Red Balloons" videos.

Nonetheless, he cautioned: "It must be admitted that this song suffers from an embarrassingly out-of-place disco funk interlude, and the word kriegsminister." The promotional video 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., "99 balloons") is an anti-war protest song by the German band Nena from their 1983 self-titled album.An English-language version titled "99 Red Balloons", with lyrics by Kevin Mc Alea, was also released on the album 99 Luftballons in 1984 after widespread success of the original in Europe and Japan.The display of force worries the nations along the borders and the Defence 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.

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