The Sad Revelation of “Vienna Calling”

Back in ‘86 I really dug Falco’s “Vienna Calling,” the follow-up single to the number one hit “Rock Me Amadeus.”  Despite the oft-repeated moniker, Falco was no “one hit wonder” as “Vienna Calling” went Top 20 on the U.S. charts. And, to my ears, is still the stronger single. Much dancier but still with the Austrian flair the late performer was known for.

falco

I’ve been hearing Falco a bit more on XM radio lately, so I dug into my MP3 collection to find this 80’s gem. You can watch the YouTube video here. It’s really a great song.

Of course, most of the song is in German as were most of Falco’s songs (especially the parts of the songs actually sung by Falco himself). With a song like this I really don’t mind the foreign (to me) language as it actually kind of sets the mood. It’s probably my second favorite song sung in German, the first being Rammstein’s “Du Hast” (which is the music Hitler’s stormtroopers would be dancing to if they survived into the 1990’s).

Anyway, I though I’d see if the internet could help me interpret Falco’s lyrics to “Vienna Calling” and behold look what I found!

Hello, Vienna calling
Hello, hello, Vienna calling
- Cha!
Hello, hello, Vienna calling
- Cha! Cha!
Hello, oho, Vienna calling, na na na na
Hello, oho, Vienna calling, na na na na

Talking about
Stella sits in Rio
Stella lies in Tokyo
Men ask her for a light,
for the other thing as well

Sugar Chris misses you a lot
your legs and your face
You can do without me -
just not without luxury.
What do little girls play with today,
here and there and there,
whether in Tucson, Arizona;
Toronto, Canada.

Vienna, only Vienna you know me up,
know me down
You know me.
Only Vienna, only Vienna, just you alone
Where have your women gone

Ohoho, operator (so alone am I)
Ohoho, operator (need you to come tonight)
Hello, oho, Vienna calling, na na na na
Hello, oho, Vienna calling, na na na na

Two, one, zero
The alarm is red
Vienna in need
Cha, cha, cha

Vienna calling, oho, Vienna calling, oho

And suddenly Mary is named Marilyn
and Eva is named Yvonne
A young Bogart hangs on
your lips, Kid, and says come.

The glory of the curls is finished
the dancers have stopped
It’s 4:45,
now the position is rehearsed.
What do little girls play with today,
here and there and there,
whether in Tucson, Arizona;
or Toronto, Canada.

Vienna, Vienna, only you know me up,
know me down
You know me.
Only Vienna, only Vienna, just you alone
Where have your women gone

Ohoho, operator (so alone am I)
Ohoho, operator (I need you here tonight)
Hello, oho, Vienna calling, na na na na
Hello, oho, Vienna calling, na na na na

Two, one, zero
the alarm is red…

(courtesy About.com)

Wait a minute…

“Vienna Calling” isn’t some sort of heartfelt shout-out to Falco’s hometown? Not about life on the road and wishing he could call home and talk to his family? It’s about… the fact that Vienna doesn’t have any more good prostitutes?

Well,  I guess this is good news as I’ve been trying to find the third track for my 1980’s Call Girl Mix (to go along with “Roxanne” and “Call Me”).   Seriously… wow.

2 Comments

BillNovember 8th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

When I was contemplating moving to California back in early 1992, I would get excited about the possible move and bast Vienna Calling and sing at the top of my lungs, “Hello, oho, California calling, na na na na…”

[...] to some great production work and a very dancable beat. As I’ve noted on my personal blog, the lyrics have nothing to do with being homesick for your hometown. Nonetheless, the song is one my favorites from the [...]

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