The English lyrics of Nena’s “Genau Jetzt,” GENAU JETZT für dich

Hallöchen alle!

Popping in from my blog hiatus to tell you all that Nena (of 99 Luftballons fame!) has a new single and video and it is KILLER. She is 56 and looks and sounds amazing.

In keeping with my tradition of putting my German PhD to use and translating random video content into English, here are the (very literal) English lyrics to Nena’s killer comeback hit, “Genau Jetzt” (“exactly now”). Enjoy!


Vielleicht ist es zu spät
Vielleicht ist es zu früh
Vielleicht ist es genau jetzt

Perhaps it’s too late
Perhaps it’s too soon
Perhaps it’s exactly now

[repeat chorus]

Ein Moment
Zwei Personen
Eine Seele
Ein Herz
Zwei Personen
Ein Moment
Zwei Meinungen
Ein Ende

One moment
Two people
One soul
One heart
Two people
One moment
Two opinions
One end [double meaning: an end]

Manchmal sind zwei Eins
Und manchmal sind zwei Zwei
Manchmal heisst es “Hallo”
Und manchmal heißt es “Bye bye”

Bye bye

Sometimes two are one
And sometimes two are two
Sometimes it means “hello”
And sometimes it means “bye bye”
Bye bye

[2x Chorus]

Genau jetzt
Im Moment
Was Morgen kommt weiß keiner

Leb jetzt im Moment
Wenn du auf die Fresse fällst steh auf und
Lauf weiter

Exactly now
At this moment
Nobody knows what comes tomorrow
Live now in the moment
When you fall on your face stand up and
Walk on

Der Moment in dem es entsteht
Der Moment in dem es zerfällt

Der Moment wo ein Fremder ein Freund wird
Oder ein Freund so fremd
So fremd

The moment in which it arises [double meaning: ent*steht is a prefixed form of stehen, “stands”]
The moment in which it decays [double meaning: zer*fällt is a prefixed form of fallen, “falls”]
The moment when a stranger becomes a friend [double meaning: Fremder=stranger AND “foreigner”]
Or a friend so alien[ated]
[Chorus 2x]

8 thoughts on “The English lyrics of Nena’s “Genau Jetzt,” GENAU JETZT für dich

  1. I found many musical moments in *Deutschland 83* quite affecting. Was there, for example, a more underrated band in the 80s than Tears for Fears or a better song than “Mad World?” But the two musical scenes that really stand out are less about the soundtrack and more about character revelation: Martin’s child-like delight at discovering the Walkman and Schweppenstette’s arrhythmic and deeply inhibited grooving to Udo Lindenberg.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is just beautiful, and by all means no a One Hit Wonder, take some time to search Youtube if you like; and you will find that she is more and beyond the iconic “99 Luftballons” many wonderful and meaningful songs from children songs to life-inspired songs, Nena has something for almost anybody!

    Nena: beyond the anthem of 99 balloons of war.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nena might have only had one hit in the US but has long been a household name at home. I remember falling in love with her voice in 1979 when I first heard her singing “Ecstasy” with her first band, The Stripes. A couple of years later, I moved to Australia and was beside myself when her first internationally released single with the new band made it to number 1 there.
    As most Germans will agree, this song has a really great lyric but its translation is completely lost in the English version (it isn’t a translation at all), which, against the band’s wishes, assisted in making it some kind of anti-war protest song. To this day, Nena pretty much only sings this song in German when she performs it live. It has also been revamped a few times by her (and others) over the years and even given additional French lyrics in a 2009 retro version. The original is still the best version, in my opinion. The band released 4 English singles including “Just A Dream” (the English version of,”Nur Geträumt”), but all failed to chart. An English version of the album, “Feuer und Flamme” (“It’s All in the Game”), was released in 1985 but this too failed to chart. Like all English singles released, these were by no means ‘translations’ but rather new lyrics by Canadian singer, Lisa Dalbello. One of the singles from this album, “Haus der drei Sonnen” (“House of the Three Suns” – on the English album, this is the title track, “It’s All in the Game”) was revamped in 2010 and is an excellent track. There was also a reworked version of the hit, “Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann” (German version of “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime”) and re-recorded in English and German together with British 80s icon, Kim Wilde, for jubilee album, “20 Jahre Nena – Nena feat. Nena” in 2002, which consists of new versions of all hits, including, “99 Luftballons”. Kim Wilde, along with numerous other distinguished guests, performed this at Nena’s ‘jubilee concert’.
    One of the best concerts I have ever been to is Nena’s ‘jubilee tour’ in Frankfurt of October 2002. I have now been to countless Nena concerts and, man! this grandmother really knows how to work the crowd into a frenzy in every single one of them. Hard to believe she’s just turned 56 by the way she moves on stage…
    I know I’m biased but anyone who likes what they’ve heard by Nena should really check her out further on Youtube. Every album she’s released, both solo and with her bands, are truly amazing. Despite the fact that she only tends to sing in German, I’m still quite surprised that she wasn’t more successful internationally. Even though I love her new song, “Genau Jetzt” (which I would rather translate as “Right Now” – sorry but ‘exactly now’ just sounds wrong to the ear), this incredible lady has countless other fantastic songs. “Liebe Ist” (“Love Is”) was a massive hit and was the title track of a very popular German TV show, “Verliebt in Berlin”, which was based on “Ugly Betty”.
    Together with her life partner, Philipp Palm, she also founded a school (‘Neue Schule Hamburg’) in 2007, where Philipp was the headmaster.
    Oops! Just realised how carried away I became writing a ‘comment’ here 🙂 Anyone tell I’m a huge fan? .


    • …And I don’t blame you, she deserves all the good music lovers fans that she can gets, from Australia to Zambia.
      I can’t wait to see her live in her (at last) US concerts!
      She inspired me to learn German, though I have a medium fluency in German (and unless I have German partner willing to teach me more I won’t be that fluent anytime soon) but it’s all thanks to her.


  4. Nice to see Nena is in the States. 99 Luftballons was-is a great song(‘Deutsche [spelling? tho I do speak German] version. Very few in the states speak German. The German version was the hit, even tho I do not think many people understood it. Disagree with reviewer in New York Times who thinks more women like it basically because she thinks it is depressing and she thinks women like that. Disagree with her on all that. Even tho I speak German (poorly) I did not find 99 Luftballons depressing then or now. The song is not at all dated . Do wish Nena could get the studio to remaster and release a Stereo version. All I can find are mono versions. Most songs by 1983 (really by the early 60s) were recorded mutitrack and thus amenable to a stereo mix.


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