Scorpions’ “Wind of Change” Lyrics Meaning

First off, “Wind of Change” is speaking to the ‘changing’ political climate in a particular country. And for logical reasons, most of fandom has concluded that said nation is actually Germany. In fact in the aftermath of the infamous Berlin Wall being demolished in November of 1989, many people unofficially adopted this song as an anthem celebrating that reality.

But as can be ascertained from the very-first line, the country this song is actually set in is Russia. For Moskva is actually a colloquial synonym (in the Western world) for Moscow. And more specifically, this track centers on the fall of the Soviet Union, with 1989 also being integral in the history of that movement.

Moreover the event they are referring to throughout, which has them going “down to Gorky Park”, was actually a historical concert held in Moscow during August of 1989 that the Scorpions co-headlined. Indeed the Moscow Music Peace Festival, which occurred at a time when the country was less inclined to entertain Western influences, is considered to be one of the key developments which symbolized the fall of the Soviet Union.

A Metaphor for the USSR’s Collapse

So basically, “the wind of change” is a metaphor for the collapse of the USSR, which was one of the most-powerful political states on Earth. And the Scorpions are celebrating the fact that such is indeed transpiring. For they are idealizing the whole event as one which will lead to freedom, opportunity and a brighter day – or as the band artistically puts it “children of tomorrow dream(ing) away”. Indeed also taking into consideration that in 1988 the Scorpions made history by being the first hard rockers to be allowed to perform in Russia, they also perceived that the “wind of change” as resulting in increased ‘brotherhood’, as in Russians embracing the outside world and vice versa. And the Moscow Music Peace Festival was one of the key events, at the very least in their eyes, which was adding force to the wind.

But that being said it is easy how, if not knowing certain specifics of this song, its lyrics can be misconstrued to be pertaining to the Berlin Wall. Indeed the Scorpions are a German band themselves. Moreover the music video depicts footage from the fall of the Wall. But in actuality the “glory night” the group are singing about was in early August 1989. And more specifically, it was a concert where the Scorpions got to rock in one of the most-repressed parts of world alongside other international freedom-loving groups. 

And being that this situation was so close to their homeland, given the overall history of the region they were never much vested and even excited about being personally involved in the “wind of change”, i.e. the imminent fall of the Soviet Union.

"Wind of Change" lyrics

What Klaus Meine has said about “Wind of Change”

According to the band’s lead singer (Klaus Meine), this classic is purely a peace anthem. In addition to that, Meine referred to the song as one that “symbolizes the end of the cold war” as well as the coming down of the notorious Berlin Wall.

The Century’s Top Song

“Wind of Change” is a part of history in more ways than one.  For instance with an estimated 14-million copies being sold globally, it set the record for being the top-selling song by an artist from Germany.

Indeed Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), a German television station, dubbed this track “Song of the Century” in 2005.

“Wind of Change” earned a place at the top of music charts in eight different countries. It also scored a number 2 and number 4 in Britain and America respectively.

Additionally, “Wind of Change” went Platinum in Australia, Austria and Germany.

What is the meaning of “Balalaika” as used in the song?

In the bridge of the song, the Scorpions make a reference to “let(ting) your balalaika sing”. And as alluded to in the following line, a balalaika is actually a traditional Russian instrument which resembles a guitar.

So just how much vested were the Scorpions in the fall of the Soviet Union? 

Well they were personally invited to Moscow by Mikhail Gorbachev, who at the time was the leader of Russia and one of the key figures spearheading the dismantling of the USSR.  And during the visit, the band presented Mr. Gorbachev with $70,000 which were derived from royalties they made via “Wind of Change”.

Indeed there is actually a Russian version of “Wind of Change”, which is entitled “Ветер перемен (Veter Peremen)”.  And there’s even a Spanish rendition out there, which is translates to “Vientos de Cambio”.

Release Date of “Wind of Change”

“Wind of Change” came out as part of the Scorpions’ hit album “Crazy World” on 25 November 1990. It has since been featured on a number of their live and compilation albums.

Who wrote “Wind of Change”?

Klaus Meine, the frontman of the band, is the artist who penned this song. He wrote the song without any aid from the other members of Scorpions.

And the track was actually produced by a renowned American musician named Keith Olsen.

Summary

“Wind of Change” is about the destruction of the Berlin Wall. The song speaks of sights one can visit in Russia, such as the Moskva River in Moscow that flows though Gorky Park, a local theme park. This is to portray the changing times of freedom of movement. It is about the wind of change blowing all over the world such as the fall of the Soviet Union, and close to home, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the future dreams of other world events like democracy coming to apartheid South Africa and many other nations, from the stranglehold of stronger powers.

8 Responses

  1. Juliette Morell says:

    In the video at 1:34 I am trying to identify the young gentleman in the close-up if anyone can provide any info especially if releases had to be signed that would be much appreciated. Please and Thank you.

    • Kiko says:

      The Gentleman in the crowed singing? He’s likely over 20 years old now, must have been someone who attended their live performance and was recorded. Can’t really tell you who is he, given the location of the first gig I would assume he’s Russian.

  2. Steve says:

    It was absolutely about the fall of the hardline Communist regime in USSR, however the Berlin Wall coming down was part of that collapse of USSR and Communism in East Germany. Those were glorious days, I remember them well. Sad to see the West is now trying to go the path of the USSR in it’s early days when Lenin took the country by force and established the USSR.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve always loved this song and the meaning behind it!!! Hopes, dreams and an end to communism!!!

  4. Freedom Fred says:

    Now we need a new version for the fall of Western communism that’s happening in Canada. Jan 30, 2022.

    • Anonymous says:

      We do not get to co-opt this song because you feel unheard in Canada. I had so much hope in my young heart when this song came out and yet Putin lodged himself in the wheel of peace and ground it to a halt setting in motion the Cold War 2.0. If this goes poorly you won’t have to worry about a little shot.

  5. Yvonne says:

    I can relate to this song to our current situation of the world. However showing the pope in the video knowing about their role in the world of evil, and I think I saw one of the Bush’s in the video also bad, and the locking
    of the heavy metal door screams of the children. I believe everything I said here is the true hidden message in the song.

  6. Missy says:

    I pray this will be a victory anthem again when Putin & the authoritarian tyrants are finally gone. A new Brotherhood is rising from those countries coming together to oppose & help Ukraine defeat them. Then Russia, Ukraine, Belarus & others will be free from his terror.

    Praying we can once again gather in Gorky Park on a glory night feeling the free winds of change!!

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