Scorpions’ classic ballad “Wind of Change” was inspired by their first shows in the Soviet Union back in 1988, as well as a 1989 performance at the Moscow Music Peace Festival, where the German band received a warm welcome from the Russian audience. The song was symbolic of the Cold War coming to an end, but now singer Klaus Meine has been inspired to change a few of the lyrics in support of Ukraine, which is currently under attack by Russian forces.
Fans who attended Scorpions’ recent residency in Las Vegas may have noticed a couple of different lines in the iconic song. As Meine explained to the Ukrainian news outlet TCN, he felt compelled to alter the lyrics.
“We were just preparing a new tour,” he said (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “Since the release of the [new Scorpions] album [Rock Believer] in February, we were preparing a new show, a new set. We were booked for a residency in Las Vegas. I thought this is not the time to romanticize Russia with lyrics like, ‘Follow the Moskva / Down to Gorky Park.’ And I wanted to make a statement that we support the Ukraine in this very difficult situation.”
Instead of the original lines, Meine sang the following during the Vegas residency: “Now listen to my heart/ It says Ukrainia/ Waiting for the wind to change.”
The vocalist continued, “When I wrote [‘Wind of Change’], it was about the time when the Scorpions went for the first time to the Soviet Union back in ’88 when we played 10 shows in Leningrad. After all those years living in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, living with the Iron Curtain, to see how we have the chance with music to build bridges and really come together. So it was so very inspired by this moment of hope, hoping for a more peaceful world and just joining together into a peaceful future. And so that was the expression. And so many years later now, I think the song has lost the meaning of being a peace anthem, being a song of hope. But I had to change those lyrics, like I said.”
Expect Meine to keep singing the new “Wind of Change” lyrics when Scorpions embark on a headlining North American tour with support from Whitesnake later this year. The outing kicks off in August and runs through October, with tickets available via Ticketmaster.
Watch Scorpions performing “Wind of Change” with the altered lyrics while dedicating the song to the people of Ukraine during their recent Vegas residency below, followed by Klaus Meine’s aforementioned interview in which he explains the decision to change the words.