Wind of Change – Scorpions

Wind of Change is one of the biggest hit singles of all times, and certainly one of the greatest songs from the German band Scorpions. The origins of the...

Wind of Change is one of the biggest hit singles of all times, and certainly one of the greatest songs from the German band Scorpions.

The origins of the song date back to a performance in Moscow in 1989 at the Music Peace Festival, a two day hard-rock event that included the participation of prominent musicians such as Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row and Mötley Crüe.

According to Klaus, the band’s lead singer “[e]veryone was there: the Red Army, journalists, musicians from Germany, from America, from Russia – the whole world on one boat. It was like a vision; everyone was talking the same language. It was a very positive vibe. That night was the basic inspiration for Wind Of Change.”

Now lets remember this was the end of the Cold War and there was a huge sense of change and liberation, especially in that area of the world. The breaking of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the end to 28 years of oppression and division of the German city. When the border between East and West Berlin was officially closed at midnight on August 13, 1961. East Berlin was controlled by Communist Russia and became a socialist state. Families were separated, houses were divided, and many working on one side and living on the other found themselves either homeless or unemployed. At least 136 people are confirmed killed trying to escape from East to West Berlin, there were probably many unconfirmed murders too.

The Scorpions were actually supposed to have performed the previous year in Moscow as part of their tour in the Soviet Union, however, officials cancelled their visit with fear that it would provoke a riot. The band ended up by re-scheduling and performing in Leningrad instead, being the first hard-rock band to play in Russia, which according to the guitarist Rudolf Schenker “[i]t was a dream come true […] because of our German history, we did so many bad things in Russia that we wanted to do something good”.

The song talks about peace and reunification in a time that was marked by the collapse of the Iron Curtain. When the song was released in 1991 it became the unofficial anthem of the End of the Cold War and hit the top of the charts in many countries, such as Austria, Germany, France and Sweden, among others. Today, Wind of Change is still widely listened and remains one of the most popular songs from the 90’s.

In 2005, viewers of the German television network ZDF chose “Wind of Change” as song of the century. It is the highest ever selling song in Germany, and is frequently played with footage of the Wall coming down.

Here are some important words to put in context when reading the lyrics:

Moskva – the name of a river that runs through Moscow
Gorky Park – an amusement park in Moscow
balalaika – a musical instrument of Russian origin that is fretted and has three strings and looks an awful lot like a Gibson Flying V guitar.

Lyrics:

I follow the Moskva

Down to Gorky Park

Listening to the wind of change

An August summer night

Soldiers passing by

Listening to the wind of change

The world is closing in

Did you ever think

That we could be so close, like brothers

The future’s in the air

I can feel it everywhere

Blowing with the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow dream away

in the wind of change

Walking down the street

Distant memories

Are buried in the past forever

I follow the Moskva

Down to Gorky Park

Listening to the wind of change

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams

With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow dream away

in the wind of change

The wind of change

Blows straight into the face of time

Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell

For peace of mind

Let your balalaika sing

What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams

With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment

On a glory night

Where the children of tomorrow dream away

in the wind of change

Categories
Sounds from the Bucket
Silvie Vale

Passionate about LGBT issues and human rights, Silvie Vale has recently graduated in Development and International Relations from Aalborg University, Denmark. She is specialized in Global Gender Studies and is particularly interested in creating awareness about matters of social justice. She loves travelling, researching and learning new things.
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