"Vienna" as written by Christopher Thomas Allen, Warren Reginald Cann, William Currie and Midge Ure....
We walked in the cold air -
Freezing breath on the window pain
Lying waiting

A man in the dark in the picture frame
So mystic and soulful.
A voice reaching out and a piercing cry

It stays with you until
The feeling is gone
only you and I
This means nothing to me

This means nothing to me

Oh Vienna -

The music is weaving -
Haunting notes pizzicato strings

The rhythm is calling
Alone in the night as the daylight brings a cold empty silence
The warmth of your hand and a cold grey sky

It fades to the distance.

The image is gone
only you and I
This means nothing to me

This means nothing to me

Oh Vienna -

This means nothing to me

This means nothing to me

Oh Vienna.

Lyrics submitted by Marelle

"Vienna" as written by Midge Ure Christopher Thomas Allen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Vienna song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentDespite Wikipedia, I don't see a single textual reference to 'The Third Man' in the song ‘Vienna’ The Third Man is about a pharmaceutical distributor in post-war Vienna who is responsible for a number of patient deaths because he dilutes medicines delivered to hospitals. The man fakes his own death and disappears when he fears the authorities are closing in on him, but his American friend tracks the man down and eventually kills him. ‘The Third Man’ is a horrifying film that looks into the motivations of a character who commits unspeakable acts for profit and puts the viewer into the position of looking at it based on the question; “What if this were my best friend?”

    The song ‘Vienna’ is about the ebb and flow of sights, sounds and sensations. I like the interpretation of a brief love affair because the lyrics describe sensations that are felt strongly and then fade or fail to have meaning. This focus on severe but transient sensation was a key theme for the new romantics. (“Save a Prayer,” “The Killing Moon,” “Cars,” “Forever Young,” “A Forrest”)

    I don’t see how the images in ‘Vienna’ could possibly relate to ‘The Third Man.’ There are no references to death or any sense of unconscionable acts. The internal emotional focus in the song ‘Vienna’ isn’t consistent with the sense of social morality from the ‘The Third Man.’
    Also, It seems unlikely that ‘Haunting notes, pizzicato strings’ refers to the soundtrack from ‘The Third Man.’ It is more likely that the line refers to the gypsy style of music that was common in the streets and cafés of Wien in which instruments are frequently plucked rather than bowed.
    The most telling element is that ‘Vienna’ references ‘the warmth of your hand.’ Although there is an unrequited love aspect to ‘The Third Man,’ there is no interaction between characters that would really qualify as ‘warmth.’ This line seems very out-of-place for a reference to ‘The Third Man.’

    I did 20 minute interview with Midge Ure once, but intentionally avoided questions about Ultravox. I wasn’t aware then of a potential reference to ‘The Third Man.’ I wish could go back and get him to comment on it.
    juliankeyneson August 11, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentyoutube.com/…

    Midge Ure explains about a minute and a half into the clip.
    MrLongroveon September 25, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentErr, it means nothing to me.
    AbFabon July 05, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenta) Vienna is the name of the girl he is in love with ...
    b) Vienna is the place where he fell in love and their relationship ended..
    baitnswitchon September 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFor the longest time I didn't fully know what this song meant. Then I saw an interview with Midge Ure and he explained that it was a song about a fleeting love affair. For example you go away on holiday for a few weeks, meet a girl and date for a while then once holiday ends so does the romance.
    It's a favorite of mine as well and I believe it's one of the greatest recordings ever made by any artist.
    It came out around the same time some British new wave bands were deteremined to maintain a European identity...and Ultravox and all of their albums (including the ones with John Foxx) were a good example of that attitude.
    MrLongroveon January 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationwhy we love all Vienna so much?
    because of these little drums that are flowing in the tempo of the heart beat. it takes whole three minutes to restart the heart. the same effect we experienced when we got upset or when we got excited :)
    when song kicks emotion like this, when you feel it, you can connect with it, it touches you completely
    then tunes doesn't matter, lyrics doesn't matter, we all feel the meaning deep in our hearts, because it is not about the meaning, but what does it mean to me!
    that is what makes Vienna so perfect, never faded to grey...
    spacebilion March 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is beautiful. Its so haunting.
    Soul_Haemorrageon June 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis has been one of my favorite songs for 20 years! I agree, it IS haunting. I remember hearing some statistic that said out of all the teenage suicides in Europe in the 80's (once this song was released) it was the most common song in their musical reportoire. HOW they got that statistic I don't know, and it very well could have been bunk, but I find it interesting nonetheless.
    PhoebeQon December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely one of the greatest vocal performances of all time. ESPECIALLY the way he did it at LiveAid. My God, what a voice that man has!!!!

    mysterrion June 20, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat does "Vienna" refer to?
    Ashley765on September 05, 2006   Link

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