Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scorpions -- "Wind of Change"

If you'll indulge me, I'd like to offer you an abbreviated Scorpions discography.

1976: "Virgin Killer," which has a cover that appears to be child pornography. (This link takes you to a picture of the cover, not to a child-pornography site.)
1978: "Taken by Force," the cover of which features two guys pointing guns at each other in a cemetery.
1980: "Animal Magnetism"'s cover shows a woman kneeling next to a dog, in front of a man holding a beer. (They appear to be in the desert for some reason.) Featured track: "Don't Make No Promises (Your Body Can't Keep)."
1984: "Love at First Sting"

I offer you this little snapshot because "Wind of Change" is a classic example of a band with a clear track record of objectifying women and just generally being kind of dick-ish and weird deciding to get all sensitive and shit. Songs of this ilk also tend to have awesomely bad lyrics, and this one is no exception.

Hey, remember the Cold War? I sure don't!

I follow the Moskva / Down to Gorky Park

Lead singer Klaus Meine (the Scorpions are German) clearly mispronounces the "v" in Moskva as a "w" here. Also, why Gorky Park? Are you just naming a random place in Moscow? Why not Red Square or Lenin's Tomb or something? Lenin's Tomb even has the right number of syllables, and is probably more recognizable to your Western listeners, and it's kind of maybe like symbolic of the death of Communism and stuff ... no? You're gonna stick with Gorky Park? Cool.

Listening to the wind of change / An August summer night

As opposed to what? An August winter night? Maybe he means the night is "august" with a small "a"-- a majestic, venerable night. (Actually, that would kind of make sense. Accidentally decent lyric!)

Soldiers passing by / Listening to the wind of change / (whistling solo)

Oh, but I love that whistling solo. Best ever? Any other nominees? "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn and John? "Patience" by Guns 'n' Roses? "Jealous Guy"?

The world is closing in / And did you ever think / That we could be so close, like brothers

I think this is what Gorbachev said to Reagan when they were drunk one night at the Kremlin.

The future's in the air / I can feel it everywhere / Blowing with the wind of change

Uh .... hey, aren't you the Scorpions? Dude! Bro! I love "Virgin Killer" and "Taken by Force" ... those albums are the shit! I was totally listening to "Taken by Force" in college this one time when I was playing beer pong with these chicks, and my buddy Z-Dub slipped some roofies into their cups and .... hey, is this your new jam? (Listens for a minute.) Woah, bro, this is so gay! (Passes out drunk)

Take me to the magic of the moment / On a glory night

I'm sure this lyric is much better when translated from the original Russian.

Where the children of tomorrow dream away / In the wind of change / Walking down the street / Distant memories / Are buried in the past forever

Future in the air? Check. Children of tomorrow dreaming away? Check. Wind of change blowing? Roger that. Distant memories buried in the past forever? Looks that way. Well, boys, looks like old mother Russia has got this whole democracy thing figured out, and nothing can possibly go wrong for at least the next 20 years. (Brushes his hands together briskly, strolls away whistling a happy tune.)

The wind of change blows straight / Into the face of time / Like a storm wind that will ring / The freedom bell for peace of mind

Wasn't this part of one of G.W. Bush's inaugural addresses? I could've sworn he said that in 2005. (Actually, go back and read those lyrics in the Jon Stewart Bush voice. Much funnier that way.)

Let your balalaika sing / What my guitar wants to say

What does your guitar want to say? Hmm? Something about how on some level, we're all the same, and that humankind needs to live in peace and harmony, and MR. GORBACHEV TEAR DOWN THIS WALL and all that good stuff? No? Just wants to play us out with a sweet solo, followed by the chorus and some more whistling? OK. Fine by me.


  1. First - what's a balalaika? Seriously - I'm too lazy to look it up.

    I think "Patience" has a better whistle, FWIW.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Let's try this again... A balalaika is a Russian three stringed and fretted instrument that looks kind of like a lute that's had the body cut in half so that the body roughly looks like a triangle.

  2. The best thing about the Scorpions is that the singer inevitably pronounces the word "way" as "weeeee", which leads to the awesome lyric: "Bad boys running wild/you'd better get out of their WEEEEEE!"

  3. Best whistling solo ever is in Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay, Shirley?

  4. ooh yeah, that's a good one.

  5. scorpions are the greatest band ever ever ever forever !!!

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  7. He follows the Moskva down to Gorky Park because that's what he literally did in Moscow during the rock music festival. Organizers took bunch of people on a river tour through the city of Moscow and the end point if that tour was.... any guesses?