Hallo alle zusammen! This week’s Tune for Tuesday comes from German band Nena, who were together between 1981 and 1987. The band is very important to German musical culture, as it was part of the forming of the German New Wave scene (Neue Deutsche Welle). In 1984 their song 99 Luftballons was a huge international success, becoming one of the most popular foreign-language tracks in the history of the US charts.

If you’re a Coffee Break German learner, it’s a good song to listen to, as the vocabulary isn’t too tricky and the lead singer sings fairly clearly. It’s also good practice for your numbers! How many times can you hear her sing “neunundneunzig” (“ninety-nine”)? Let us know in the comments if you think you know! If you’d like to hear the lyrics sung more slowly, we recommend watching the YouTube video below and selecting a slower playback speed by clicking on the settings symbol.

Whichever language you’re learning, we hope you enjoy this song and check out the others in our multilingual Spotify and YouTube playlist below.

For copyright reasons, we cannot publish the lyrics to 99 Luftballons, but you can find them online here.

Watch on YouTube

Listen on Spotify

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Get the most out of Tune for Tuesday

We’ll be publishing our Tune for Tuesday songs on our website and linking to versions of the songs on both YouTube and Spotify. To access the full Spotify playlist you’ll need a Spotify account, but don’t worry, you can create a free Spotify account here.

If you use another streaming service or would like to access the songs on a different platform, just search for the song name in your favourite music app!

The Tune for Tuesday Playlist

5 thoughts on “TFT: 99 Luftballons”

  1. Such a great blast from the past! This was on the airwaves the year we had our Danish exchange student, Peter, with us for 10 months. Such super memories! Thanks! BB&T

  2. Thanks for the memory. In 2015, over 185 people gathered in the German Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio USA to celebrate the 99th year of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. To celebrate the 99th year, people gathered with 99 red balloons and posed in front of the huge Goethe-Schiller statue as the Cleveland Donauschwasbe Blaskapelle (brass band) played the 1983 German pop hit 99 Luftballons (99 red balloons) by Nena. http://www.clevelandpeople.com/groups/germans/2015/99-red-balloons.htm
    PS We didn’t release the balloons for environmental reasons.

  3. Ah, memories. I taught this song to a Year 12 German class for their final school exam. We all loved it.


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