The Scorpions rocked the stage on Tuesday night in Limassol, where many Russians and Ukrainians made their home away from home, but a wind of change was in the air when the band altered the lyrics to the world’s most famous perestroika song.
Germany’s hard rockers Scorpions came to Cyprus this week as part of their “Rock Believer” world tour, with the band rocking the stage in the southern town’s Tsirio Stadium and feeling much loved when lead singer Klaus Meine greeted fans with “Kalispera Cyprus.”
The band from Hanover made news earlier this year when they released their latest album “Rock Believer” which they have been performing in front of faithful fans, young and old, across the globe.
But Scorpions also made headlines in the political arena after the band decided to change the lyrics to their iconic power ballad “Wind of Change,” a chart-topping perestroika song, with the band saying the change was due to the war in Ukraine.
“I changed the lyrics because I think with the war raging on and the Ukraine, it’s not the time to romanticize Russia,” Meine told Cypriot network SigmaLive.
The original song went “I follow the Moskva, down to Gorky Park,” but Meine sang instead “listen to my heart, it says Ukrainia.”
'I changed the lyrics because I think with the war raging on and the Ukraine, it’s not the time to romanticize Russia' Meine told a Cypriot network
Also before the buildup and iconic guitar solo, the phrase “let your balalaika sing” (referring to the Russian triangular wooden stringed instrument) was replaced by “waiting for the wind to change.”
Meine wrote the original lyrics on 3 and 4 September 1989, after Scorpions had performed at the Moscow Music Peace festival weeks earlier.
At Tsirio, a giant peace sign with the colors of Ukraine was also projected on the big screen while Meine was seen wearing the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
But Meine has not shied away from politics either. The lead singer recently challenged ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröde, a fellow Hanoverian, to give up his current seat on the board of a Russian oil company.
Limassol has been home away from home for thousands of Russians living in Cyprus while a group of Ukrainians including refugees also has chosen the southern port city, known colloquially as Limassolgrad, as their place of residence.
Local media reports have suggested there was tension between the two groups on the island, after Nicosia took steps against Moscow in the wake of the war in Ukraine.
This was the fourth time the Scorpions performed on the island.