Daily Song Study

Scorpions – Wind of Change

In songs on December 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

When we talk about zeitgeist, there may be no better example than today’s song.

Not only is it firmly placed in the power ballad style of the late ’80s, but it carries the particular mix of awe and hope that possessed many of us who came of age “watching the world wake up from history,” as Jesus Jones would put it. It’s a song that could only have been written by a band from eastern Europe, in this case Germany, which saw some of the most stark divisions of the Cold War. In hindsight it’s a bit naive, considering the rampant mob-ocracy that soon emerged in so many former Soviet territories, but at the time the wide open vista of the future seemed so much less dark than the grim history that preceded it. And in many ways it has been, particularly in unified Germany.

It’s a singular thing when history takes the form of a song, and even more so when it is written from a firsthand perspective. The idea that an ’80s hair metal band could make a substantive, lasting statement on geopolitics seems absurd, but there it is.

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  1. […] Yesterday’s trip into hard rock circa 1990 made me think of another tune from that year with rather less deliberate historical time-stamping, but with just as much lyrical relevance. […]

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