Date: 7 November 2003
Originally published in: NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)
At no. 1 in the Top 50 the song Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime by Nena and Kim Wilde can be found. The single has been a no. 1 for a few weeks now. That probably means that a lot of people like the song.
It is a special kind of song anyway. Because it doesn’t often happen that the lyric of a song is performed in two languages. Can British Kim speak no German and German Nena speak no English? “No problem”, the people who wanted to make a record with Nena and Kim thought, “They can do it in their own languages anyway”.
They picked the song Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann. It is an old song. Singer Nena already had a hit with it in 1985. Because Nena has been singing for a long time. That’s why she recorded a special version of this song for her 20 year jubilee, together with Kim Wilde.
Kim has also been a singer for very long. She doesn’t sing a lot anymore, she prefers to work in gardens nowadays. She wins prizes with those gardens. But for Nena’s jubilee she flew to Germany to sing together with Nena.
When you hear them you know immediately that they are in a hurry. They sing fast and urgently. She have a lot to tell. This is why they use two languages. More people will understand it that way. Nena starts with: “In free fall through time and space / towards eternity / moths fly in the light / just like you and me” (“Im Sturz durch Raum und Zeit/ richtung Unendlichkeit/ fliegen Motten in das Licht/ genau wie du und ich”). Then Kim sings: “Drawn together by the flame/ We are just the same/ Embrace the wind and fall into/ Another time and space”.
That is quite different from gardening or raising four children (like Nena does in her daily life). The story of Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime sounds like an action movie in space. With giant fire balls, giant moths and and black holes. Kim and Nena fly in the middle of all that, like heroines fighting Evil.
But while they are floating through space, tumbling from one dimension to another, they discover something else. They discover it’s not about being a hero or about courage. Life, like space, revolves around friendship and fidelity. This is why Nena sings: “Give me your hand / I’ll build you a castle made of sand” (“Gib mir die Hand/ ich bau dir ein Schloss aus Sand”). Must be stardust, out there in the Milky Way. It is a good lesson by Kim and Nena: friends for life. Wherever or whenever you need me – ‘Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime’. And in any language.