Winners vs predictions

[the next day]

Phew! What an intense evening. One media outlet described it as “beset by chaos”, and there was certainly a lot of drama – from the last minute disqualification of the Netherlands entry to the various geo-political gestures and commentaries. My team and I did pretty well this year – we predicted the top 2 (juxtaposed) and all 7 of my Top 10 nods were correct.

The blogging highlight for me was the discovery/invention of the EPC (Eurovision Population Coefficient) statistic – see Luxembourg commentary below. It’s a way of measuring Eurovision winning history per head of population (Luxembourg, Ireland, and Estonia lead the pack). I hope this can become a thing at Eurovision from now on.

2024 winner Nemo accepts his bouquet for “The Code”, after acing it at Malmö in the final.

We predicted 2nd place – pretty close!


EntryPlacePrediction/scorePre-voting comments
Switzerland – The Code12“This song is, as my Gen-Z students might say, “a lot”. I think it’s great, and should place in the top 5.” [JB]
Croatia – Rim Tim Tagi Dim21“has it all – silly, fun, easy to learn, big semi-rock chorus, and something interesting happening every 8 or 9 bars.” [JB]
Ukraine – Teresa & Maria3Top 10“as good as their winning “Stefania” from 2022. It’s good. But is it good enough to beat the Croatians?” [JB]
France – Mon amour4Top 10“France usually push back against the excesses of Euro-disco, and this is one of their best for a while.” [JB]
Israel – Hurricane53“Quite an achievement to find a relatively unusual combination of the world’s favourite chords! […] I think this one could do really well.” [JB]
Ireland – Doomsday Blue6Top 10“back to the dressing room and an industrial-sized pot of makeup remover. […] Bambie Thug – bravissimə! (although just so we’re clear, it’s not going to win)” [JB]
Italy – La noia7Top 10“This sort of song (cumbia-reggaeton-pop) hasn’t ever won Eurovision, but there’s a lot of it about in the upper-mid scorers… [it] should do well in the room tonight – let’s see if she can convert that Kierkegaardian dizziness into votes.”
Armenia – Jako885%“we will likely all be shouting ‘Jako!’ at our TVs after the first chorus” [MP]
Sweden – Unforgettable982%“This is why my pretty good ESC batting average holds up – I always believe in Sweden.” [JB]
Portugal – Grito1083%“a welcome respite from the sea of electro-pop and Eurodance” [MP]

Original live* analysis and predictions below

Welcome to the Eurovision live musicology blog, now in its 13th year. For context, here’s the 2020 10-year corpus research summary, and the archive of all the posts in reverse order.

Tonight I’m pleased to welcome guest blogger and UK-based copyright analyst Maddy Plummer, who has provided additional research, as well as her own reviews for UK, Austria, Armenia, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal. Additional research was provided by the estimable Rafi Waters, who has done a terrific job working on the BPMs and chord loops. I should also add that he is graduating from Berklee today – congratulations Rafi!

As always, I’ve provided commentary on each song, so you can follow along with the show, or (later) watch the embedded videos. And I’m going to try to predict the winner, before voting begins, then leave the prediction up here for posterity when the votes are in.

  • Americans – the show goes out live at 3pm Eastern time on Saturday May 11, 2024. You can watch live with a free Peacock TV account.
  • Europeans – you know the drill.

* I have actually pre-blogged everything based on the Spotify Eurovision finalists playlist, but the blog is published on the day of the final (before the voting begins) so should be read live alongside the show as it is broadcast.

Predictions 2024

Here are my predictions for 2024, made at 12.50 US Eastern time (18.50 Swedish time), before the show starts in Malmö:

  1. Croatia
  2. Switzerland
  3. Israel

France, Ukraine, Ireland, and Italy to place in the top 10.

(I’ll be watching the show as it goes out, so may change these predictions as I see the performances – but will be sure to lock it all down before voting begins!)

Let’s do this!


01 🇸🇪 • Sweden • Unforgettable

Marcus & Martinus • 117 • C#m

Songwriters: Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Marcus Gunnarsen, Martinus Gunnarsen

What a great way to open the show. Yes, I know the opener and closer are randomly selected, but the dice have fallen fortuitously tonight (more on dice-rolling when we get to Greece later on). This is the sort of thing we’ve come to expect from the Swedes – Electro-pop minor-key bangers, sung in English at around 120BPM with pounding analogue synths, super dry four-on-the-floor kick drum, and lots of those ‘risers’ – the rocket-effect synth lifts that take you into each chorus. Similar songs include “Euphoria” by Loreen (2012), “Heroes” by Måns Zelmerlöw (2015), “Dance You Off” by Benjamin Ingrosso (2018), and of course last year’s winner “Tattoo” by Loreen (2023). And what’s to hate? They do it so well. This is why my pretty good ESC batting average holds up – I always believe in Sweden.

Marcus and Martinus’s performance looks – and sounds – like the VR game Beat Saber. The arrangement is all rising ramps. The kick drum stays away until the second verse “chew you up”, then drops out after only 8 bars so the first pre-chorus has no drums at all. Then everything drips in during the first chorus over each title repeat: kick and bass, then 2x octave synth, short drums tacet for 2 beats, giving us space to feel the beat on the next prechorus. It’s as if a DJ took over the songwriting, and this technique – of simply dropping instruments in and out – creates a fantastic journey for the dance floor, if it’s used with the right timing. I love the extra bar just before the title hook, manipulating the phrase length to keep the dancers interested (it’s an old ABBA trick). For me, it feels like it never quite hits top gear. This is partly because the melody never goes beyond a limited range of a 5th – highest note is G#4, lowest is C#4. And the chord loop is (understandably) the same throughout – | C#m | C#m | A | F#m |.

So this is another one of “those Swedish dance songs” that Eurovision has loved so many times. It’s good, but not exceptional enough to stick in the memory after the laser lights have faded. Maybe that title is asking for too much. 

82%

She comes alive at night
When her prey’s asleep
Make your eyes go blind
And now you’re in too deep

She gon’ chew you up
And leave you empty, hollow
Then she’ll spit you out
Anyway, I follow
She gon’ hurt you bad
But it feels so good
I don’t care
No, I don’t care

You better know she’s dangerous
She is unforgettable (unforgettable)
And it feels so good, it hurts
She is unforgettable

Whoa-oh-oh-oh
She’s unforgettable
She’s unforgettable
She’s unforgettable

Her love is venomous
It’s getting serious (it’s getting serious)

She gon’ chew you up
And leave you empty, hollow
Then she’ll spit you out
Anyway, I follow
She gon’ hurt you bad
But it feels so good
I don’t care
No, I don’t care

You better know she’s dangerous
She is unforgettable (unforgettable)
And it feels so good, it hurts
She is unforgettable

Whoa-oh-oh-oh
She’s unforgettable
She’s unforgettable
She’s unforgettable

Oh
Her love is dangerous
And I know it, it’s venomous
‘Cause I feel it inside of me
She’s unforgettable

Her love is dangerous
And I know it, it’s venomous
‘Cause I feel it inside of me

She’s unforgettable

02 🇺🇦 • Ukraine • Teresa & Maria

alyona alyona & J. Heil • 114 • G Aeolian

Songwriters: Aliona Savranenko, Anton Chilibi, Ivan Klymenko, Yana Shemaieva 

In my 2020 Eurovision research we analysed 259 ESC songs 2010-2019 and categorised them according to various themes: Love, Unity, Self-Assertion, Partying, History, and songs about music/dancing. “Teresa & Maria” covers at least three of these, plus Catholicism, old-school seasonal metaphysics, anti-war sentiments, and life-is-short existentialism thrown in. The message seems to be “seize the day” and Jerry and alyona are selling it well with some joyful vocals and an in-yer-face rap breakdown section. Sonically, it’s an updated Enigma approach; with hypnotic chanting vocals over a Euro-friendly chord loop | Gm F | Cm Eb | and a super basic four on the floor rock beat.

We know there’s a lot of love for the Ukranians right now, and I think this is as good as their winning “Stefania” from 2022 (similar approach in the chorus vocals). It’s good. But is it good enough to beat the Croatians?

83%

Spri-spri-spring
Carves its way
No matter-no matter what
She carries the weight of the world
On her shoulders

The pa-pa-path
Is winding and rocky
But you should know: your own happiness
Is in your hands

Come on, baby, shine
I’m not holy, I’m alive

Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary are with us
Barefoot, as if on a blade, they walked on the ground
With us are Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary
All the divas were born as human beings

Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary are with us
Barefoot, as if on a blade, they walked on the ground
With us are Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary

All the divas were born as human beings
Even when we were little, we searched for a path
But life is like a loop for those who are falling
A girl, who is still so young,
Carries a burden of pain
On her shoulders, seeing it as a flaw
Again not as she should be, either too soft

Or skinny like a twig, half-naked or going down the aisle
Where is your child? What is your life worth?
But years are flying by! And bear in mind: the end is near

And even though someone wants us to break
Even though sometimes the energy in you
Makes you work not elbows deep, but fingers deep

And even though someone hides hatred
And envy behind a smile
When you let anger into your heart

Instead of kindness and love
There are saints in the sky
They have walked this Earth,

And you know, that’s why your thorny
Path is not in vain
And though it may be very scary and dark
And sometimes not easy
But you’ll always have your ancestors
Watching you from heaven

Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary are with us
Barefoot, as if on a blade, they walked on the ground
With us are Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary
All the divas were born as human beings

Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary are with us
Barefoot, as if on a blade, they walked on the ground
With us are Mother Teresa and Virgin Mary
All the divas were born as human beings

03 🇩🇪 • Germany • Always on the Run

Isaak • 110 • Bb minor

Songwriters: Greg Taro / Isaak Guderian / Kevin Lehr / Leo Jupiter

A song of struggling with demons, and trying to deal with the pressures of everyday life. But if Isaak’s smiley and charismatic performance is any indicator, he seems pretty happy with his lot. The delivery is very Lewis Capaldi, and I suspect his selection at Germany’s “Das deutsche Finale” had something to do with his great vocal tone. Clearly the writing team wants to exploit that, so we hear parts of Always On The Run in two different octaves, with the bridge “Run from the silence, screamin’ for guidance” beginning in his baritone range, bottoming out at c#3. When it goes up the octave 4 bars later he has to hit A#4 – quite a spread for (what sounds to me like) an intuitive, non-trained singer. Given that my first listens were based on the German national final, he wasn’t quite managing the lower pitches accurately when singing live (and remember the ESC rules require lead vocals to be fully live). So I’m listening carefully to see if he nails it.

Harmonically, we’re in the ESC-friendly Aeolian mode (natural minor scale). Everything is a 4 or 8-bar loop harmonically; the verses are | Bbm | Bbm | Db | Db | Ebm | Ebm | Bbm | Bbm | (oooh distorted plectrum electric bass – nice!) and the chorus paces up the harmonic rhythm | Gb | Ebm | Bbm | Ab | (x2). The “Run from the silence” bridge uses the chorus chords in a different order | Gb | Ebm | Bbm | Ab | (x4). If the singing is on the money tonight, I’d place this on in the upper-middle of the pack. 

80%

(Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)

I am nothin’ but the average
Even though I’m special to some
I can’t refuse, I’m going under
No one gives a shit about what’s soon to come
What’s soon to come
I know my blessing with the privilege
Of doin’ anything I want
But I don’t feel like getting stronger
In my mind, it’s just a game that can’t be won
That can’t be won

I’m always on the run, run, run, run
Close, but never done, done, done, done
I can’t break out when I’m free
Lost in my own identity
I’m on the run, run, run, run

I’m always on the run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy
Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy
(It’s like I’m on the) Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy
Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy

All I do is keep my head up
But it’s time to keep the pace
Like I’m haunted by the voices deep within
Oh, they’re just never gonna fade
Not gonna fade

I’m always on the run, run, run, run
Close, but never done, done, done, done
I can’t break out when I’m free
Lost in my own identity
I’m on the run, run, run, run

I’m always on the run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy
Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy
(It’s like I’m on the) Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy
Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy

Run from the silence, screamin’ for guidance
Who am I fighting for?
Get out of my head, I’m so sick and tired
Can’t do this anymore
Run from the silence, screamin’ for guidance
Who am I fighting for?
Get out of my head, I’m so sick and tired
Can’t do this anymore

Run from the silence, screamin’ for guidance (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Who am I fighting for? (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Get out of my head, I’m so sick and tired (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Can’t do this anymore (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Run from the silence, screamin’ for guidance (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Who am I fighting for? (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Get out of my head, I’m so sick and tired (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)
Can’t do this anymore (Run, na-na-ayy, run, na-na-ayy)

04 🇱🇺 Luxembourg • Fighter

Tali • 95 • F#m

Songwriters: Manon Romiti / Silvio Lisbonne / Ana Zimmer / Dardust

Luxemburg is back! They have been absent from the contest since 1993. Before that, they won a remarkable 5 times (1961, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1983) – not bad for a country of less than a million people.

This information has inspired me to create a new statistics game. If we know the population of a European country, the number of times they’ve entered Eurovision, and the number of times they’ve won, we can create a win-rate ‘score’, prorated for the size of the country. I’m going to call it the “Eurovision Population Coefficient” (EPC). It measures the proportional level of Eurovision-win talent in each citizen. Here is the formula.

If we multiply this number by 1 million this provides a wins-per-million (WPM) stat in the population. Here are the EPC scores across the whole history of the Contest 1956-2023, for the top 20 of tonight’s finalists. As expected, Luxembourg has the highest EPC by a huge margin. To beat them, Ireland is going to have to really ramp up the wins in future. Or join the Schengen area and start a mass emigration scheme to Luxembourg…

  • Luxembourg: Wins 5, Entries 38, Population 0.63M, EPC 1035.65
  • Ireland: Wins 7, Entries 54, Population 4.99M, EPC 163.83
  • Estonia: Wins 1, Entries 28, Population 1.33M, EPC 26.82
  • Israel: Wins 4, Entries 43, Population 9.29M, EPC 19.55
  • Norway: Wins 3, Entries 61, Population 5.4M, EPC 15.22
  • Latvia: Wins 1, Entries 21, Population 1.86M, EPC 14.64
  • Netherlands: Wins 5, Entries 62, Population 17.44M, EPC 8.25
  • Sweden: Wins 6, Entries 60, Population 10.35M, EPC 0.58
  • Serbia: Wins 1, Entries 13, Population 6.92M, EPC 2.09
  • Ukraine: Wins 3, Entries 17, Population 41.3M, EPC 0.12
  • Italy: Wins 3, Entries 46, Population 60.36M, EPC 0.46
  • Switzerland: Wins 2, Entries 61, Population 8.57M, EPC 0.43
  • Austria: Wins 2, Entries 53, Population 9.01M, EPC 0.43
  • Finland: Wins 1, Entries 54, Population 5.54M, EPC 0.33
  • Spain: Wins 2, Entries 61, Population 47.35M, EPC 0.36
  • Greece: Wins 1, Entries 42, Population 10.42M, EPC 0.23
  • United Kingdom: Wins 5, Entries 64, Population 67.22M, EPC 0.18
  • France: Wins 5, Entries 64, Population 67.39M, EPC 0.18
  • Portugal: Wins 1, Entries 53, Population 10.28M, EPC 0.18
  • Germany: Wins 2, Entries 64, Population 83.2M, EPC 0.01

Anyway, back to the song. Luxembourg are celebrating their return with this fun upper-middle-ranking entry. More of the almost-cumbia minor-key groove material that we’ve seen so much of in the last 10 years or so (and more since Despacito). For me, there are two really cool bits – the “hah!” in the middle of each chorus and the “J’avoue, j’avoue, je sais pas, je veux tout et rien à la fois” bizarre but arresting harmonic minor run at the end – where did that come from? The indomitable spirit of the lyric stands out – sort of Firework meets You’ve Got a Friend. Not a lot of win potential, but it’s good to have them back.

74%

French

T’as plus vingt ans, t’as plus le temps
De faire l’enfant, de faire que la fête
T’as plus d’argent, pas d’élan
Tu vas vraiment droit vers la défaite

Et j’entends au loin, au loin, au loin
Cette petite voix, chant de sirène
Qui me dit : “Mais viens, vas-y, prends ma main
Allez, je t’emmène”

Ah, a-ah, ah, a-ah
Qui me dit tout ba-a-as, ah, a-ah

Come, I will never let you down
I know you’re a fighter
Hold in your heart the love around
You know you’re a fighter
Et j’entends au loin, au loin, au loin
Cette petite voix qui me répète :
“Non, mais tu vas où ?”

J’avoue, j’avoue, je sais pas, je veux tout et rien à la fois
J’finirai complètement folle, et voilà

T’as pas le droit d’rester comme ça
Faut faire des choix, t’as quoi dans la tête ?
Mène des combats, crois en toi
Le monde est là, pars à sa conquête

Et j’entends au loin, au loin, au loin
Cette petite voix, chant de sirène
Qui me dit : “Mais viens, va vers ton destin
Faut pas que tu freines”

Ah, a-ah, ah, a-ah
Qui me dit tout ba-a-as, ah, a-ah

English

Come, I will never let you down
I know you’re a fighter
Hold in your heart the love around
You know you’re a fighter
Et j’entends au loin, au loin, au loin
Cette petite voix qui me répète :
“Non, mais tu vas où ?”

J’avoue, j’avoue, je sais pas, je veux tout et rien à la fois
J’finirai complètement folle, et voilà

Hear the sound of your dreams, you are so near
They are so near, look around
Hear the sound of your dreams, not of your fears
And just open up your heart

Come, I will never let you down
I know you’re a fighter
Hold in your heart the love around
You know you’re a fighter
Et j’entends au loin, au loin, au loin
Cette petite voix qui me répète :
“Non, mais tu vas où ?”

(Ah) Come, I will never let you down
I know you’re a fighter
(Ah) Hold in your heart the love around
You know you’re a fighter
Et cette voix, elle s’en va
Elle revient, dans ma tête
“Non, mais tu vas où ?”

J’avoue, j’avoue, je sais pas, j’veux tout et rien à la fois
J’finirai complètement folle, et voilà
J’avoue, j’avoue, je sais pas, j’veux tout et rien à la fois
J’finirai complètement folle, et voilà

Et voilà

05 🇮🇱 • Israel • Hurricane

Eden Golan • 87 • Em

[Please note: The ESC is a non-political event, and this blog – and my commentary – is exclusively about music and songwriting.]

This is a great vocal, and although it’s right on the edge of predictable diatonic-piano-ballad-by-numbers, I think the voters are going to go for it. The chorus opening “promise me you’ll hold me again” starts off on a chord of Am, with Eden leaning on the same/equivalent note as starts France’s Mon Amour. There are a couple of moments where the safeness recedes – I like the cross-beat rhymes of the pre chorus “Hours and hours, empowers / Life is no game but it’s ours”. The production gives us some great ear candy – the 8th-note echoed water droplets after chorus 1 are very cool – and Eden does a great job with the up-the-octave theme after the final chorus. The chorus chord loop feels familiar but isn’t – it’s actually quite tough to find a lot of songs with (in G major) | Am | Em | G | D | (ii-vi-I-V). Quite an achievement to find a relatively unusual combination of the world’s favourite chords!

As disclaimer’d above, I make no comment on the politics, but I think this one could do really well.

86%

Writer of my symphony
Play with me
Look into my eyes and see
People walk away but never say goodbye

Someone stole the moon tonight
Took my light
Everything is black and white
Who’s the fool who told you boys don’t cry?

Hours and hours, empowers
Life is no game but it’s ours
While the time goes wild

Everyday I’m losing my mind
Holding on in this mysterious ride
Dancing in the storm
I got nothing to hide
Take it all and leave the world behind

Baby promise me you’ll hold me again
I’m still broken from this hurricane
This hurricane

Living in a fantasy, ecstasy
Everything is meant to be
We shall pass but love will never die

Hours and hours, empowers
Life is no game but it’s ours
While the time goes wild

Everyday I’m losing my mind
Holding on in this mysterious ride
Dancing in the storm
I got nothing to hide
Take it all and leave the world behind

Baby promise me you’ll hold me again
I’m still broken from this hurricane
This hurricane

This hurricane

לא צריך מילים גדולות Lo tzarich milim gdolot
רק תפילות Rak tfilot
אפילו אם קשה לראות Afilu im kashe lir’ot
תמיד אתה משאיר לי Tamid ata mash’ir li
אור אחד קטן Or echad katan

06 🇱🇹 Lithuania • Luktelk

Silvester Belt • 140 • E minor

Songwriters: Silvestras Beltė (Silvester Belt) , Džesika Šyvokaitė (Jessica Shy) & Elena Jurgaitytė (Elayork)

Starts boldly, with the filtered organ part from The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again. Then the beat drops, and it’s pretty sparse – techno drum machine and synth bass all the way. This is one of many songs tonight that deals with themes of emergence, opportunity, breaking the routine, and finding fulfilment, perhaps through love. ‘Luktelk’ means ‘wait’, and it seems to be an exhortation to understanding, as the protagonist shares his responsibility to dance & party, even though he initially doesn’t feel it. I admire the bleak-at-first glance couplet “Stovime tyloje grojančio radijo / Nebenoriu šokt, nebenoriu šokt” (“We’re standing in the silence of the radio playing / I don’t wanna dance, but I have to dance.”). Being stuck indoors throughout 2020 sure did get some songwriters dreaming of a better tomorrow.

The musical backbone of the verses and choruses is a 2-chord 4-bar pattern | Em | Em | Bm | Bm |, apart from a short post-chorus section with no drums that briefly takes us to G major, and also the bridge, which is a descending | Em | D | C | A |. I particularly liked that A major chord at the end of the first repeat, bringing just 4 beats of dorian mode to the song, which is enough of a surprise for the 2-chord loop to drive a sense of chorus-y familiarity when it returns.

Silvester is a deeply engaging performer – he’s dancing throughout and enjoying the moment, all the while waving his arms as if he’s spinning invisible DJ decks. This is one for the after-show party.

77%

Lithuanian

Diena viena ir vėl kita
Tarytum čia, data sustojo
Einu tai ten, einu tai šen
Ir kai sutems, ir vėl iš naujo

Rytoj, rytoj, rytoj
Pažadu mylėt tave rytoj
Laboj, laboj, laboj
Surasi tu mane nakty laboj

Ar aš vis dar gyvas?
Ar tebepažįsti mane?
Saulė nepakyla
Pasakyk, ar liksi šalia

Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk
Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk

Naktis viena, naktis kita
Kaip visada, aš vėl iš naujo

Rytoj, rytoj, rytoj
Pažadu mylėt tave rytoj

Ar aš vis dar gyvas?
Ar tebepažįsti mane?
Saulė nepakyla
Pasakyk, ar liksi šalia

Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk
Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk

Stovime tyloje grojančio radijo
Nebenoriu šokt, nebenoriu šokt
Stovime tyloje grojančio radijo
Nebenoriu šokt, bet man reikia šokt

Bet man reikia šokt

Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk
Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk

Jei gali, dar luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę luktelk
Luktelk, luktelk
Dar vieną minutę…

Pasakyk, ar likѕi šaliа

English


One day has passed and then another
As if, the time has stopped
I go somewhere, then some place else
And after it gets dark, it will repeat again

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
I promise I’ll start loving you tomorrow
Sleep tight, sleep tight, sleep tight
You will find me in the night

Am I still alive?
Do you still know who I am?
The sun isn’t coming up
Tell me, will you stay next to me

Wait, wait
Hold on one more minute
Wait, wait
Hold on one more minute

One night has passed, and then another
But just like always, I’m the same again

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
I promise I’ll start loving you tomorrow

Am I still alive?
Do you still know who I am?
The sun isn’t coming up
Tell me, will you stay next to me

Wait, wait
Hold on one more minute
Wait, wait
Hold on one more minute

We’re standing in the silence of the radio playing
I don’t want to dance anymore, I don’t want to dance anymore
We’re standing in the silence of the radio playing
I don’t wanna dance, but I have to dance

But I have to dance

Wait, wait
Hold on one more minute
Wait, wait
Hold on one more minute

If you can, wait, wait
Hold on one more minute
Wait, wait
One more minute…

Tell me, will you ѕtаy next to me

07 🇪🇸 • Spain • Zorra

Nebulossa • 130 • A minor

Songwriters: María José Bas Arguijo / Giner Puchol Lorenzo

[Guest review by Maddy Plummer]

Couple goals? Enter wife and husband Spanish pop duo Nebulossa! Initially criticised for being ‘overly sexist’, the lyrics for this song were rewritten. Quick etymology lesson: The title of the song, repeated multiple times in the lyrics, literally means “vixen” (i.e. a female fox), however I have come to understand that in Spanish slang, ‘Zorra,’ is a derogatory term for a woman and has vulgar connotations. Adding insult to injury, the euphemistic meaning of the male equivalent, ‘Zorro’, has positive connotations. Let’s see how the attempt to reappropriate and subvert the term translates on the live stage; historically speaking, meta-commentary has not always been palatably received among Eurovision’s more earnest folk, (see Mae Muller 2023, who came 25th). The song itself has an 80s-feel four-to-the-floor electro beat (complete with Simmons drums on stage!). The slow-release low-pass filter on the intro is straight out of Madonna’s Stuck On You, which combines well with María’s soft monosyllabic vocals. The formulaic structure prevents much musical progression, but the chord sequence of F / G / Am / Em with the emphatic ascending minor pentatonic fragment of A / D/ E / G in the bass at the end of each chorus, is a great compositional choice. The vocal is somehow simultaneously sullen and vibrant, which works well in conjunction with the brash and outrageously satirical lyrics. A genuinely interesting entry, I hope the voters have a dark sense of humour. 

71%

Spanish

Zorra, zorra, zorra
Zorra, zorra, zorra

Ya sé que soy solo una zorra
Que mi pasado te devora
Ya sé que soy la oveja negra
La incomprendida, la de piedra

Ya sé que no soy quien tú quieres (lo sé)
Entiendo que te desespere (lo sé)
Pero esta es mi naturaleza
Cambiar por ti me da pereza

Estoy en un buen momento
Solo era cuestión de tiempo
Voy a salir a la calle a gritar lo que siento
A los cuatro vientos

Si salgo sola soy la zorra
Si me divierto, la más zorra
Si alargo y se me hace de día
Soy más zorra todavía

Cuando consigo lo que quiero (zorra, zorra)
Jamás es porque lo merezco (zorra, zorra)
Y aunque me esté comiendo el mundo
No se valora ni un segundo

Estoy en un buen momento
Solo era cuestión de tiempo
Voy a salir a la calle a gritar lo que siento
A los cuatro vientos

Estoy en un buen momento (zorra, zorra)
Reconstruida por dentro (zorra, zorra)
Y esa zorra que tanto temías se fue empoderando
Y ahora es una zorra de postal (zorra, zorra, zorra)

A la que ya no le va mal (zorra, zorra, zorra)
A la que todo le da igual
Lapídame, si ya total
Soy una zorra de postal

Yo soy una mujer real (zorra, zorra, zorra)
Y si me pongo visceral (zorra, zorra, zorra)
De zorra pasaré a chacal, te habrás metido en un zarzal
Soy una zorra de postal (zorra, zorra, zorra)

Estoy en un buen momento
Solo era cuestión de tiempo
Voy a salir a la calle a gritar lo que siento
A los cuatro vientos

Estoy en un buen momento (zorra, zorra, zorra)
Reconstruida por dentro (zorra, zorra, zorra)
Y esa zorra que tanto temías se fue empoderando
Y ahora es una zorra de postal

English

(b***h, b***h)
(b***h, b***h)
(b***h, b***h)

I know I’m just a b***h
That my past devours you
I know I’m the black sheep
The misunderstood, the stone one
I know I’m not who you want (I know)
I understand that I despair you (I know)
But this is my nature
To change for you makes me lazy

I’m in a good moment
It was only a matter of time
I’m gonna go out in the street and shout what I’m feeling
To the four winds

If I go out alone, I’m the b***h
If I’m having fun, I’m the sluttiest
If I go long and it’s daylight
I’m even sluttier
When I get what I want (b***h, b***h)
It’s never because I deserve it (b***h, b***h)
And even though I’m eating the world
It’s not worth a second

I’m in a good moment
It was only a matter of time
I’m gonna go out in the street and shout what I’m feeling
To the four winds

I’m in a good time (b***h, b***h)
Rebuilt from the inside out (b***h, b***h)
And that b***h that you feared so much has become empowered
And now she’s a postcard b***h (b***h, b***h, b***h)

And now she’s a postcard b***h (b***h, b***h, b***h)
Who doesn’t care about anything
Throw stones at me, who cares
I’m a postcard b***h
I’m a real woman (b***h, b***h, b***h)
And if I act viscerally (b***h, b***h, b***h)
I’ll go from b***h to jackal, you’ll open a can of worms
I’m a postcard b***h (b***h, b***h, b***h)

I’m in a good moment
It was only a matter of time
I’m gonna go out in the street and shout what I’m feeling
To the four winds

I’m in a good time (b***h, b***h)
Rebuilt from the inside out (b***h, b***h)
And that b***h that you feared so much has become empowered
And now she’s a postcard b***h (b***h, b***h, b***h)

08 🇪🇪 Estonia | (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

5miinust & Puuluup • 145 • D minor

Let’s start with a translation of that long title. It means “(Really) we don’t know anything about (these) drugs”. It has broken the record for the longest ESC song title ever – deposing San Marino from their top spot with 2012’s “The Social Network Song (Oh Oh – Uh – Oh Oh)”.

There are always interesting and exotic (to me) folk instruments in Eurovision, but there seems to be more of them this year. Estonian household name hip-hoppers 5miinust have teamed up with nu-folk duo Puuluup to deliver us this slice of hurtling Euro-techno, with the main riff played on duelling Estonian talharpas by Marko Veisson and Ramo Teder.

If this song is stuck in your head after it finishes, despite your lack of Estonian language skills, you can blame the hook usage – the whole song consists of 8th note variations around D, C and A (mainly D). Bassline, talharpa riff, vocal line – it’s relentless, but it totally works to maintain the frenetic pace of the song, especially considering we’re all the way up to 145 BPM, making this the 7th fastest song of the night, behind Latvia, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, and Serbia. (The mean average tempo tonight is 126.2 – around 6 BPM faster than most pop, but to be expected, given the smaller number of Big Ballads this year.)

There’s not a lot to be said about the songwriting – it’s just that static melody and its variations over a chord loop (Dm x 4, Gm x 4). Just a container for the words and riffs.

The lyrics are a series of denials, protesting lack of knowledge of drugs, and listing  the innocent items they prefer (Lays crisps, IPA beer, soda water, cider, vitamins). Their interrogators continue to accuse them of possession, and their righteous denials include the phrases “Clouds and mushrooms – where are your filaments / You turn my body on like a kitchen stove […] Ducklings are small, but poppies are so tall”. Seems legit.

68%

Estonian

Me pole narkomaanid pole midagi teind
Kleidid meie seljas on prügikastileid
Politseikroonika ja suvilas on reid
Ainus kott, mis näha, täis pandipudeleid

Me pole narkomaanid pole midagi teind
Kleidid meie seljas on prügikastileid
Politseikroonika ja suvilas on reid
Vormis mehed külas mul on väga okei

(Uuuu yeeee)
Kuula nüüd seda
Saab huugama ära
Meid kuulda on täna
A see kott vii ära

Ma ei tea narkootikume, limpsi tean ja siidrit
Vahet ma ei suudaks teha vitamiinil spiidil

Kuula nüüd seda
Saab huugama ära
Meid kuulda on täna
A see kott vii ära

Pilvikud ja šampinjonid – kus on teie niidid? (See ei ole meie teema)
Käivitate minu keha nagu köögipliidi (Me ei plaani aineid teha)

Pardikesed väikesed, kuid moonid on nii pikad
Mõnuaineid väldime, las seda teevad rikkad
Kohal varahommikul ja kirevad kui kikkad
Ära viisid kommid mul need kurva näoga plikad
(Viiriana Vikkaa)

Mõnuaineid väldime vaid sest me pole rikkad
Tarekese tagatoas on laual ainult IPA-d
Prillid on pupilli.. eino pulli pärast ikka
Läbi näevad kõigest need, kes jõudnud esiritta

Ole vait ja ma pole teind
Kuigi ümber minu aint on see tants vaid siin käind jeaa
Ole vait ja ma pole näind
Kuigi ümber minu aint on see tants vaid siin käind jeaa

Kuula nüüd seda
Saab huugama ära
Meid kuulda on täna
A see kott vii ära

Ma ei tea narkootikume, limpsi tean ja siidrit
Vahet ma ei suudaks teha vitamiinil spiidil

Kuula nüüd seda
Saab huugama ära
Meid kuulda on täna
A see kott vii ära

Pilvikud ja šampinjonid – kuѕ on teie niidid? (See ei ole meie teema)
Käivitate minu keha nagu köögipliidi (Me ei plaani aineid tehа)

English

We’re not drug addicts we haven’t done anything
The dresses on our backs are from a the trash
Police Chronicle have raided our cottage
The only bag on our table is green Lay’s

We’re not drug addicts we haven’t done anything
The dresses on our backs are from the trash
Police Chronicle have raided our cottage
Men in uniforms are visiting I’m totally fine

(Uhh yeah)
Listen to that now
We’ll get it going
You’ll hear us tonight
But take that bag away

I don’t know drugs I know soda and cider
I wouldn’t tell the difference between vitamin and speed

Listen to that now
We’ll get it going
You’ll hear us tonight
But take that bag away

Clouds and mushrooms – where are your filaments
You turn my body on like a kitchen stove

Ducklings are small, but poppies are so tall
We avoid drugs, let’s leave that for the rich
Here early in the morning and crow like roosters
These sad-looking people took my candies away

We avoid drugs just because we’re not rich
In the backroom of our farm there are only IPAs on the table
Sunglasses to hide the pupils… oh no yeah just for fun
Seeing through everything, those who are in the front row

Shut up and I haven’t done it
Although the dance has been going only around me here yea
Shut up and I haven’t seen anything
Although the dance has been going only around me here yea

Listen to that now
We’ll get it going
You’ll hear us tonight
But take that bag away

I don’t know drugs I know soda and cider
I wouldn’t tell the difference between vitamin and speed

Listen to that now
We’ll get it going
You’ll hear us tonight
But take that bag away

Clouds and mushrooms – where are your filaments
You turn my body on like а kitchen ѕtove

09 🇮🇪 • Ireland • Doomsday Blue

Bambie Thug • 130 • Bb minor

Songwriters: Bambie Ray Robinson, Olivia Cassy “Cassyette” Brooking, Sam Matlock and Tyler Ryder

Cork’s Bambie Thug is a practitioner – perhaps the only practitioner – of “Ouija Pop”. As an artist, they have taken a classic rags-to-witches route (ballet lessons, tattooist, musical theatre degree), resulting in the risk-taking song we’re hearing tonight. The charmingly un-Eurovision-y “Doomsday Blue” opens with the famous Harry Potter spell “Avada Kedavra” – aka the “Killing Curse”, leading us into a pounding 12/8 verse that sounds a little like Marilyn Manson producing Lene Lovitch performing Bury a Friend in a church.

Until… the chorus, which changes gear exactly on the barline to a completely unrelated major pentatonic acoustic section that I can only describe as… pastoral. The grinding fuzzed-out guitars of the verse give way to fingerstyle acoustic major 7th chords, with only the kick drum reminding us of the sonic assault we just experienced, like the old man’s imagined heartbeat that forces the murderer to confess all in Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell Tale Heart (perhaps Austria’s 2023 masterpiece Who The Hell Is Edgar is still possessing my spirit from the previous blog).

Chorus 2 is repeated, so we get 16 bars, which takes us just past two minutes, a point where almost all of tonight’s songs have moved into a breakdown, ready to ramp up to the final choruses. Here, Bambie is true to (song) form, although the drop is deliciously dark – a droning synth bass moving down chromatically as Kate-Bush-esque vocals initially follow it downward. But even here we get more of the song’s split-personality approach, where a vocal sample from the chorus modalizes its major-ness so that the hook “I guess you’d rather have the stars and the moon” comes out minor without changing a single note. And then there is no final chorus. This is the bravest break from Eurovision songwriting technique we’ve heard all night – it’s just “blue, blue, blue” over and over, and I love the line that sets it up “your favourite colour / compared to the others… is DOOM”. One more screamed killing curse, and it’s back to the dressing room and an industrial-sized pot of makeup remover.

[asks AI to provide the necessary special character usage for gender-neutral congratulatory Italian exclamations]. 

Bambie Thug – bravissimə!

(although just so we’re clear, it’s not going to win)

82%

The feelings I have, I cannot avoid
Through twisted tongues, a hex deployed on you
That all the pretties in your bed
Escape your hands and make you sad
And all the things you wish you had you’d lose

I, I, I know you’re living a lie
I, I, I see the scars in your eyes
I, I, I know you’re living a lie
I, I

I guess you’d rather have a star than the moon
I guess I always overestimate you
Hoodoo, all the things that you do
I’m down, down in my doomsday blues

I, I, I know you’re living a lie
I, I, I know you’re living a lie
Avada Kedavra, the thoughts in my head
The places I touch when lying in bed
The visions of you, the words that you said, undo
My heartbeat buried in the ground
And to the strings I bind, you’re bound
So when you sleep, you’ll hear the sound (ah!)

I, I, I know you’re living a lie
I, I, I see the scars in your eyes
I, I, I know you’re living a lie
I, I

I guess you’d rather have a star than the moon
I guess I always overestimate you
Hoodoo, all the things that you do
I’m down, down in my doomsday blue

I guess you’d rather have a star than the moon
I guess I always overestimate you
Hoodoo, all the things that you do
I’m down, down in my doomsday blue

For your romance, I’d beg, steal and borrow
It’s draining me hollow, you
(I guess you’d rather have a)
(Star than the moon) you slow dance me out of my sorrow
(I guess you’d rather have a star than the moon) but your favourite colour
Compared to the others is doom, doomsday blue
Blue
Blue
Blue, blue, blue, blue
Blue, blue, blue, blue
Blue, blue, blue, blue
Blue, blue, blue, blue
Avada Kedavra, I speak to destroy!

10 🇱🇻 Latvia • Hollow

Dons 148 C#m

Songwriters: Dons (Artūrs Šingirejs), Kate Northrop, Liam Geddes

Moody intro! Just 4 bars of minor chords in the low register of the piano; feels like he’s conjuring Adele’s Hello. The chord pattern establishes the verse accompaniment with | C#m / / B | E      | F#m / / B | C#m / / G#m |. Melodically it’s a little meh in the verse, but this is explained when you get to the chorus, which is an almost identical melody, just an octave higher. It’s a solid stealth technique for helping us to remember the chorus, and a pleasingly short pre-chorus disguises the similarity. 

It’s good to seem Latvia in the final after some years in the wilderness. They haven’t achieved a Saturday night placement since 2016, although they did win back in 2002 with the fantastic disco-folk song “I Wanna”.

Lyrically, Hollow’s misery-fest didn’t do it for me, despite the passion of the delivery (Dons is a fine fine singer, and a huge star in his home country). The protagonist in the story comes across as narcissistic, without really stating any malaise (what does it really mean to say “I don’t wanna lose me so cruelly”?). I realise, of course, that some may interpret this as a positive anthem to self-care, but for Eurovision, this sort of introspective amateur psychology is not my idea of a good time. There seems to be a lot of Kierkegaardian anxiety around this year’s contest – the Italians are getting in on it too. What happened to love, unity and dancing! If you’re determined to write a morose ballad, at least make it about heartbreak. Take a leaf out of France’s book – French songwriters have been successfully complaining about their romantic losses for centuries.

56%

Don’t look now
You’ll see me crying rivers I might drown
Don’t know how
Oh will I ever find my own way out

I don’t wanna lose me so cruelly
I’m drifting in and out of who I am
So help me understand

It’s killing me slow
Try to make me just another believer
Everybody just pretending they’re preachers, preachers
It’s killing me slow
Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Instead of selling out to something so hollow, hollow

Not afraid
Oh to tell you all my sins I can’t escape
No I won’t change
Woah it’s like a bad disease that I can’t shake

I don’t wanna lose me so cruelly
I’m drifting in and out of who I am
So help me understand

It’s killing me slow
They try to make me just another believer
Everybody just pretending they’re preachers, preachers
It’s killing me slow
Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Instead of selling out to something so hollow, hollow

(Never selling out to something so hollow)

It’s killing me slow
Yeah I’d rather let them dig my grave shallow
Insteаd of selling out to something ѕo hollow

Latvian

Buit
No miris ara
Em veuràs plorant rius, em podria ofegar
No sé com
Oh, si mai trobaré el meu propi camí de sortida

No vull perdre’m tan cruelment
Estic entrant i sortint de qui soc
Per tant, ajuda’m a entendre

M’està matant lentament
Intenta convertir-me en només un altre creient
Tothom només fent veure que són predicadors, predicadors
M’està matant lentament
Sí, preferiria deixar-los excavar la meva tomba poc profunda
En lloc de vendre’m a quelcom tan buit, buit

No tinc por
Oh, d’explicar-te tots els meus pecats dels quals no em puc escapar
No, no canviaré
Uo, és com una malaltia de la qual no em puc desfer

No vull perdre’m tan cruelment
Estic entrant i sortint de qui soc
Per tant, ajuda’m a entendre

M’està matant lentament
Intenta convertir-me en només un altre creient
Tothom només fent veure que són predicadors, predicadors
M’està matant lentament
Sí, preferiria deixar-los excavar la meva tomba poc profunda
En lloc de vendre’m a quelcom tan buit, buit

(Mai em vendré a quelcom tan buit)

M’està matant lentament
Sí, preferiria deixar-loѕ excavar la meva tomba poc profunda
En lloc de vendre’m a quelcom tаn buit, buit

11 🇬🇷 • Greece • Zari

Marina Satti • 102 • E

Lyrics: Marina Satti / OGE / Solmeister / VLOSPA

Music: Gino The Ghost / Jordan Palmer / Jay Stolar / Kay Be / Marina Satti / Nick Kodonas / OGE 

There’s a nice balance here of Eurovision musical tropes and the Greeks’ own quirkiness. The video for the song has an extra meta-intro (which isn’t to be included in the final) of rather nice piano and (i think) bouzouki, leading us into the song itself, which starts with a single staccato saxophone note of E, played 4 to the bar. Annoyingly, while listening to this song I had to stop everything to figure out what double reed woodwind instrument is playing under the “Ta Ta Ta” section (I went through aulos, chalumeau, karamuza, souravli, gaida, floghera, tsampouna, askomandoura, lalitsa, and mantoura before finally finding Zurna, courtesy of a site run by the Turkish government).

A lot of the vocals here rely on some interesting digital processing effects, and the ESC rules state “No on-stage contestant […] shall be allowed to lip-sync in such a way as to give the impression that they are singing when they actually are not.”. I think they’re struck the right balance here: Marina really is singing (and really has the skills) but the obviously electronic bits have been left in. Good compromise.

It’s another of those Euro-reggaeton beats, and here it doesn’t dominate the track, rather just serving as a pop-friendly grid over which Marina’s vocal stylings can be presented. Great vocal, interesting melody. Not universal enough to place in the top 5, but I enjoyed it a lot.

69%  

Greek

Ta ta ta…

Pónos mi mas érthei makári
Péfto kai kyliémai sa zári
Káno pos xechnáo t’ ónomá sou
Ki óla allázoun gýro mou apótoma

O ánemos gia pou tha mas párei
Péfto kai kyliémai sa zári
Káno pos xechnáo t’ áromá sou
Ki óla allázoun gýro mou

I’m gonna do it my way
Sto myaló sou tha bainovgaíno
Giatí de mou ‘doses to chéri
Oúte gia na piastó
Kápote eícha póno gia séna kryfó
T’ afíno óla na vgoúne

Páme
Put your hands up
Káno óti den ítane pséma
Ríxe álli mia teleftaía forá
Ki áse na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
Ta ta ta…

(Ta ta ta….)
Ki áse na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
(Ta ta ta….)
Na mas férei ó,ti thélei
(Ta ta ta….)
Ki as eínai na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
(Ta ta ta….)
Na mas férei ó,ti thélei

Na mi thymithó
Tis óres pou kónteva na trelathó
Áse na mi thymithó
Den písteves
To kárma óti eínai alithinó

Páme
Put your hands up
Káno óti den ítane pséma
Ríxe álli mia teleftaía forá
Ki áse na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
Ta ta ta…

Móni ki an méno
Pánta se periméno
Trémo san flóga
San spírto anamméno
Ótan charázei
Me tróei to marázi
Móni pethaíno an eísai alloú

(Ta ta ta….)
Ki áse na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
(Ta ta ta….)
Na mas férei ó,ti thélei
(Ta ta ta….)
Ki as eínai na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
(Ta ta ta….)
Na mas férei ó,ti thélei

Pónos mi mas érthei makári
Péfto kai kyliémai sa zári
Káno pos xechnáo t’ ónomá sou
Ki óla allázoun gýro mou apótoma

O ánemos gia pou tha mas párei
Péfto kai kyliémai sa zári
Káno pos xechnáo t’ áromá sou
Ki óla allázoun gýro mou apótoma

(Ta ta ta….)
Ki áse na mas férei ó,ti thélei metá
(Ta ta ta….)
Na mas férei ó,ti thélei
Ki as eínai na maѕ férei ó,ti thélei metá
(Ta ta)

Ki óla allázoun gýro mou apótomа

English

Ta ta ta…

May pain not come to us
I fall and move like dice
I pretend to forget your name
And everything changes around me abruptly

Where will the wind take us?
I fall and roll like dice
I pretend to forget your scent
And everything is changing around me

I’m gonna do it my way
I’ll come in and out of your mind
You never gave me a hand to hold
Not even to hold myself
I used to want you secretly
Now I’m letting it all go

Let’s go
Put your hands up
Pretend it wasn’t a lie
Fall one last time
And let whatever happens happen
Ta ta ta…

(Ta ta ta…)
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
Let whatever happens happen

I don’t want to remember
The hours where I almost went crazy
Let me not remember
You didn’t believe
That karma was real

Let’s go
Put your hands up
Pretend it wasn’t a lie
Roll it one last time
And let whatever happens happen
Ta ta ta…

Even if I stay alone
I will always be waiting for you
I’m trembling like a flame
Like a lighted up match
When the dawn comes
I pine away
I die alone if you are not here

(Ta ta ta…)
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
Let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
Let whatever happens happen

May pain not come to us
I fall and move like dice
I pretend to forget your name
And everything changes around me abruptly

Where will the wind take us?
I fall and roll like dice
I pretend to forget your scent
And everything is changing around me abruptly

(Ta ta ta…)
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta ta…)
Let whatever happens happen
And let whatever happens happen
(Ta ta)

12 🇬🇧 • United Kingdom • Dizzy

Olly Alexander • 126 • C minor

Music & Lyrics: Olly Alexander / Danny L Harle 

[Guest review by musicologist (and British citizen!) Maddy Plummer]

Has Olly Alexander saved us from national embarrassment with a revival of disco? It doesn’t feel like a winner, but this is a very valid entry, charged with 80s synth tones, church bells and a pulsing four-on-the-floor heartbeat that makes us want to fall to the floor! A BAFTA nominated actor and already well established frontman from chart topping band Years & Years, famous for songs like ‘King’ and ‘Desire’, Alexander is confidently striking out on his own. Fellow music theory geeks will recognise the chord progression here as a circle of fourths; think of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ or more recently Miley Cyrus’ ‘Flowers’ [also Fly Me To The Moon, 50 Ways To Say Goodbye, You Never Give Me Your Money, It’s a Sin etc]. The main hook in the chorus is simple but catchy. The dotted melody consistently oscillates between major and minor thirds as it descends. The contrast of the melody against the rhythmically straight and strong bass beat helps us really lean into the title’s theme. Alexander’s lyrics sing of a hedonistic, all-consuming desire to go to a euphoric state of timeless ‘dizziness’ with his lover. There’s a nod to wedding church bells, albeit slightly tongue in cheek especially with the Eurovision-themed “will you take my hand”. The song has a rather rigid structure, and the lack of a rhythmic breakdown or harmonic ramp limits musical development; the energy stays at one level for the most part. Olly’s spoken-word bridge is reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys, providing some much-needed contrast with the verses, but lacks power. Harle’s production uses arpeggiators to provide the majority of the interest under the vocals. The success of this song will likely come down to the performance, Eurovision is as changeable as British weather, so let’s hope for a downpour of glitter and energy!

81%

Di-
(Make me dizzy, dizzy, dizzy)

There’s a place where we break the line (make me-)
Make it a circle redefined, mm (di-)
Beautiful gardens, eternal flowers (make me di-)
You know the way, so take me there

Won’t you make me dizzy from your kisses?
Will you take my hand and spin me
‘Round and ’round until the moment never ends? Mm
Make me dizzy from your kisses
Will you take my hand and spin me?
Take me back to the beginning again (again, again)

Pulling me close (close, close), I feel stillness in the air (di-)
Time has frozen, all memories lost

So won’t you make me dizzy from your kisses?
Will you take my hand and spin me
‘Round and ’round until the moment never ends? Mm
Make me dizzy from your kisses
Will you take my hand and spin me?
Take me back to the beginning again (again, again)

So don’t you make me dizzy from, oh, oh
(Oh, won’t you make-)

There isn’t an end, there isn’t a start
I don’t wanna stop, I can’t go too far
There isn’t an end, there isn’t a start
I don’t wanna stop, I can’t go too far
There isn’t an end, there isn’t a start
I don’t wanna stop, I can’t go too far
There isn’t an end, there isn’t

So won’t you make me dizzy from your kisses? (Oh)
Will you take my hand and spin me
‘Round and ’round until the moment never ends?
(Until the moment never ends) uh
Make me dizzy from your kisses
Will you take my hand and spin me? (Take my hand)
Take me back to the beginning again (again, again)

13 🇳🇴 • Norway • Ulveham

Gåte • 130 • B minor

Songwriters: Gunnhild Sundli, Magnus Børmark, Jon Even Schärer, Marit Jensen, Lillebuen Ronny Graff Janssen, Sveinung Ekloo Sundli

Yay! Norwegian prog-folk-rock! Sung in Norwegian! I always admire an artist’s determination to be authentic, even at the expense of throwing away any opportunity of winning. This is the spirit of Eurovision – a country sharing its art with European neighbours to celebrate musical and cultural diversity.

They’re even being (literally) neighbourly in the instrumentation, which is partly Swedish. That violin-like intro is played on a nyckelharpa, a mediaeval Swedish instrument of which I am very fond. There’s nothing quite like it in sound and approach; here’s games composer Kenny Young playing one in the soundtrack for the charming PSVR game Tethered.

Here, the storytelling is dense and dark. Let me summarize, with the correct metatags;

<reverb>
<pitchshift -3>
<vincentprice>

In a realm of sorcery and dark transformations, a young maiden’s tale unfolds tragically as her mother dies during childbirth. Cast under the shadow of an evil stepmother, the maiden is cursed to shift forms: first to a horse serving at the king’s estate, then to a small sword, wielded by many. Her plight deepens as she is transformed into a grey wolf, condemned to roam the forest with a dreadful burden—to seek redemption through a sinister deed involving her own brothers.

In a climactic confrontation, as nine maidens circle ominously, the maiden-wolf seizes her stepmother, tearing her from her mount and exacting a gruesome revenge, tearing out her heart. The curse is finally broken, though it binds her to the darkest of fates.

</vincentprice>
</pitchshift -3>
</reverb>

Musically, this is prog-folk with elements of electronica (Gåte have been around since 1999 and have released 5 EPs; they are much loved back at home). The lineup is guitar-bass-drums-voice-nyckelharpa, and the nyckelharpist (same word in Norwegian and English!) John Stenersen is busting all the same onstage rock power moves as the rest of the band – kind of difficult while holding the bow. Vocalist Gunnhild is bringing all the magical aeolian melismas, with an almost-yodel tone on those lyricless choruses, and wonderful characterisation of our doomed heroine.

I don’t think Eurovision bookies provide the opportunities for lay betting, because, sadly, you could make money on the dead-cert outcome that Ulveham will not win. But I loved this track, and kudos to the Norwegians for entering something interesting, artistic, fun, and authentic.

90% (personal score)

43% (likelihood of winning)

Norwegian

Eg var meg så ven og fager ei møy
Med stimoder vond, mi moder ho døy
Ho skapte meg om til eit svær og ei nål
Og sende meg av ti kongens gård
Og vreida mi stimoder kjende mest
Når alle dei gillaste lika meg best

Ho gav meg ein ham som ulve grå
Ho svor meg til einsam i skogjen gå
Og аldri blir eg heil og god
Før eg fær drukkje min broderѕ blod

English

I was a young maiden
My mother on maternity bed dies
My stepmother turned me into a gray horse
Then she sent me to the king’s estate
Then she turned me into a small sword
My stepmother thought that it was the worst
That all the stately used me the most

[Chorus: vocalisation only]

She then turned me into a grey wolf
She said I should walk the forest
She said I shouldn’t receive penance
Before I drank my brothers’ blood

[Chorus – vocalisation only]

Nine maidens rode in a circle
My stepmother rode further in
So I grabbed her blue coat
And tore her off her grey horse
I then tore out her heart
So her blood flowed free
Then I got to drink my brother’s blood

[note – it appears that the final verse has been cut to meet the 3-minute limit for the Final – Norwegians correct me if I’m wrong. I’m including it here because it tells you the way the story ends!]

14 🇮🇹 • Italy • La noia

Angelina Mango • 112 • D minor

Songwriters: Angelina Mango & Francesca Calearo (Madame)

The rules of the Contest state that “all songs shall be performed live”, but in reality, due to the practicalities of the live show’s changeovers, this means that only the vocals are live; all instruments are prerecorded backing tracks. The Italians are clearly having none of this: the country of Puccini, Vivaldi and Rossini is always going to want to give orchestral players a gig. And so it was that in Italy’s national “Festival di Sanremo” ESC song selection final, Angelina sang this charming cumbia-disco pop track with a live band with a conductor and 20-piece string section.

The title means “the boredom” which maybe flies in the face of the energy of the performance and groove. And this protagonist does seem rather dissatisfied with their lot: in fact they seem annoyed that they don’t have much to be annoyed about: “I live without suffering / There’s no bigger cross […] A crown of thorns will be the dress code for my party”. Angelina is clearly conjuring Søren Kierkegaard’s “​​Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom” here. 

The verse chord loop is | Gm A | Dm | Gm A | Dm (D) |, and that occasional change to the D major is a lovely bit of extra harmonic camp.

Most of the songs so far have a dynamic drop at about 2:05, taking us low enough to create an exciting ramp up the final choruses, and this is a really nice one. It sounds like a celesta playing those rippling arpeggios here and there, although that drop is taking ages – how is she going to get to a loud last chorus in time for the 3 minute cutoff? And… there it is. Once round a full band chorus, and a dead stop. Total!

This sort of song (cumbia-reggaeton-pop) hasn’t ever won Eurovision, but there’s a lot of it about in the upper-mid scorers usually (Israel, San Marino, Russia, Serbia in 2021, or Malta, Cyprus and Belarus in 2019). Angelina is a fantastic performer, with presence and attitude (and she’s a co-writer on La Noia). This should do well in the room tonight – let’s see if she can convert that Kierkegaardian dizziness into votes.

86%

Italian

Quanti disegni ho fatto
Rimango qui e li guardo
Nessuno prende vita
Questa pagina è pigra
Vado di fretta

E mi hanno detto che la vita è preziosa
Io la indosso a testa alta sul collo
La mia collana non ha perle di saggezza
A me hanno dato le perline colorate
Per le bimbe incasinate con i traumi
Da snodare piano piano con l’età
Eppure sto una Pasqua guarda zero drammi
Quasi quasi cambio di nuovo città
Che a stare ferma a me mi viene
A me mi viene

La noia
La noia
La noia
La noia

Muoio senza morire
In questi giorni usati
Vivo senza soffrire
Non c’è croce più grande
Non ci resta che ridere in queste notti bruciate
Una corona di spine sarà il dress-code per la mia festa

È la cumbia della noia
È la cumbia della noia
Total
Ah, è la cumbia della noia
La cumbia della noia
Total

Quanta gente nelle cose vede il male
Viene voglia di scappare come iniziano a parlare
E vorrei dirgli che sto bene ma poi mi guardano male
Allora dico che è difficile campare
Business parli di business
Intanto chiudo gli occhi per firmare i contratti
Princess ti chiama princess
Allora adesso smettila di lavare i piatti

Muoio senza morire
In questi giorni usati
Vivo senza soffrire
Non c’è croce più grande
Non ci resta che ridere in queste notti bruciate
Una corona di spine sarà il dress-code per la mia festa

È la cumbia della noia
È la cumbia della noia
Total
Ah, è la cumbia della noia
La cumbia della noia
Total

Allora scrivi canzoni?
Si, le canzoni d’amore
E non ti voglio annoiare
Ma qualcuno le deve cantare
Cumbia, ballo la cumbia
Se rischio di inciampare almeno fermo la noia
Quindi faccio una festa, faccio una festa
Perché è l’unico modo per fermare
Per fermare
Per fermare, ah

La noia
La noia
La noia
La noia

Muoio perché morire
Rende i giorni più umani
Vivo perché soffrire
Fa le gioie più grandi
Non ci resta che ridere in queste notti bruciate
Una corona di spine
Sarà il dress-code per la mia feѕta

È la cumbia della noia
È la cumbia della noia
Total
Ah, è la cumbia della noia
La cumbia della noia
Total
Totаl

English

I drew so many drawings
I stay here and look at them
None of them come alive
This page is lazy
I hurry

And I’ve been told life is precious
I wear it proudly around my neck
My necklace doesn’t have pearls of wisdom
I was given coloured beads
For the little girls messed up with trauma
To untangle slowly with age
Yet I am a pure one, look, no drama
I almost change city again
‘Cause if I stay where I am, then I get
I get

The boredom
The boredom
The boredom
The boredom

I die without dying
In these worn-out days
I live without suffering
There’s no bigger cross
Nothing left but to laugh in these burnt-out nights
A crown of thorns will be the dress code for my party

It’s the cumbia for boredom
It’s the cumbia
For total boredom
It’s the cumbia
It’s the cumbia
For total boredom

So many people see the bad in things
The urge to run away as soon as they start talking
And I’d like to tell them I’m doing fine but then they look at me wrong
So I say it’s hard to get by
Business, they talk about business
Meanwhile, I close my eyes while I sign contracts
Princess, they call you princess
So stop doing the dishes now

I die without dying
In these worn-out days
I live without suffering
There’s no bigger cross
Nothing left but to laugh in these burnt-out nights
A crown of thorns will be the dress code for my party

It’s the cumbia for boredom
It’s the cumbia
For total boredom
It’s the cumbia
It’s the cumbia
For total boredom

So you write songs?
Yeah, love songs
And I don’t want to bore you
But someone’s got to sing them
Cumbia, I dance the cumbia
If I risk stumbling, at least it’ll stop the boredom
So I party, I party
Because it’s the only way to stop
To stop
To stop, ah

The boredom
The boredom
The boredom
The boredom

I die because dying
Makes days more human
I live because suffering
Makes joys greater
Nothing left but to laugh in these burnt-out nights
A crown of thorns
Will be the dress code for my party

It’s the cumbia for boredom
It’s the cumbia
For total boredom
It’s the cumbia
It’ѕ the cumbiа
For total boredom
For total boredom

15 🇷🇸 Serbia • Ramonda

Teya Dora • 170 • A minor

Songwriters: Andrijano Kadović Ajzi & Teodora Pavlovska (Teya Dora)

In case you’re wondering, this is a ramonda.

It is also known as the Serbian Phoenix Flower, and it is noted for its ability to ‘rise from the dead’ after cold winters. In Serbia it is a symbol of hope and renewal, and often associated with the WWI armistice day of 11 November 1918. There are many conflict remembrance flowers, including the poppy (UK, France, Belgium, Ukraine), cornflower (Germany), corn poppy (Poland), Easter lily (Ireland) and daisy (Italy).

Teya has provided us with an anti-war song that can also be interpreted as any kind of rising-from-the-ashes message. It’s a simple Aeolian ballad, leaning heavily on Am and F changes, but the simplicity of the melody doesn’t jar on me at all; the only lyric in the chorus is “lila ramonda” (lilac ramonda), and that’s all it needs.

And don’t doubt the Serbs’ ability to do well in their native language: they won in 2007, their first year they entered as an independent country, with Marija Šerifović’s Molitva, sung entirely in Serbian.

The orchestration follows the usual wedge-of-cheese ESC road map for big ballads – poignant piano vocal opening, building instrument by instrument into strings, choir, drums and bass for the the belting final chorus, followed by an on-the-barline dynamic drop for the final 4 bars where we go back to piano/vocal, as the animated ramonda opens on the final beat. In terms of songwriting technique, this is a great example of the power of using a concrete noun hook to focus the lyric theme. I found it really affecting.

88%

Serbian

Nemam nemam nemam ja
Nemam mira nemam sna
Ne da noć da dođe dan
Teško onom ko je sam

K’o pod vodom tiho je sve
Vrištim al’ se ne čuje
Iza gora beli sjaj
Ja ne nazirem kraj
Ovo put je za ranjene

A nema ko da vodi me
Do svetle zvezde Danice

Gori svet, svaki cvet
Gde su nestale lila ramonde

Lila ramonda
Lila ramonda
Lila ramonda
Lila ramonda
Ramonda
Lila ramonda
Lila ramonda
Lila ramonda

I nema ko da vodi me
Jer zvezde sve su zaspale
Ne pomažu ni molitve
Gde su nestale lila ramonde

Lila ramonda…

Lila ramonda…

Diže ѕe iz pepela
Jedna lila ramondа

English

I don’t have, I don’t have, I don’t have
Neither peace, nor sleep
The night frightens the day
The lonely ones suffer

Everything is quiet just like under the water
I scream, but the sound doesn’t come out
There is a white flare behind the mountain
I cannot see the end of it
This is the road for wounded

And there is no one to guide me
Towards the bright North Star

The world is on fire, every flower too
Where have lilac ramondas disappeared to?

Lilac ramonda
Lilac ramonda
Lilac ramonda
Lilac ramonda
Ramonda
Lilac ramonda
Lilac ramonda
Lilac ramonda

And there is no one to guide me
‘Cause all the stars fell asleep
Prayers also don’t help
Where have lilac ramondas disappeared to?

Lilac ramonda…

Lilac ramonda…

It rises from asheѕ
One lilac ramondа

16 🇫🇮 Finland • No Rules

Windows95man • 160 • B minor

Songwriters: Jaakko Sakari Salovaara / Henri Ilari Piispanen / Teemu Keisteri / Jussi-pekka Roine

Windows95man states “I only live by one rule / And the rule is… No rules”. 

The Eurovision Song Contest does, in fact, have rules, and one of them is “no contestant, delegation or country [may be] ridiculed in any manner”. But this song is really pushing it.

Sadly, he has also obeyed the 3 minute time limit rule, which means we have to listen to this drivel all the way through.

35%

Welcome
My name is Windows, Windows95Man
And I only live by one rule
And the rule is
No rules
(No rules)

Silence, I say
This is my time, my stage
Call me what you may
See if I care, see me slay

Is there something wrong with the way I look?
Is there something wrong with who I am?
If I’m not alright, tell me why do I
Feel so beautiful tonight

No rules!
It’s how I live
How I find the wind beneath my wings
It’s how I learn to fly (let’s go)
No rules!
In the heat of the night, in the thrill of the fight
I don’t even care what’s wrong or right
It’s how I live my life
No rules!

Quiet as I speak
I am the king, I am the queen
And you all gonna be free
Forget the rules and scream

Is there something wrong with the way I look?
Is there something wrong with who I am?
If I’m not alright, tell me why do I
Feel so beautiful tonight (move your body)

No rules!
It’s how I live
How I find the wind beneath my wings
It’s how I learn to fly (come to me)
No rules!
In the heat of the night, in the thrill of the fight
I don’t even care what’s wrong or right
It’s how I live my life
(No rules)

It’s how I live
How I find the wind beneath my wings
It’s how I learn to fly
(Make some noise, let’s go)
In the heat of the night, in the thrill of the fight
I don’t even care what’s wrong or right
It’s how I live my life

No rules!
It’s how I live
How I find the wind beneath my wings
It’s how I learn to fly (come on)
No rules!
In the heat of the night, in the thrill of the fight
I don’t even care what’s wrong or right
It’s how I live my life
No rules!

17 🇵🇹 Portugal | iolanda – Grito

iolanda • 152 • Eb minor

[Guest review by Maddy Plummer]

With a stunning solo a cappella beginning to the song, we are experiencing a Eurovision rarity, and I am thankful for it. The simplistic but emotive style of ‘Grito’ is a welcome respite from the sea of electro-pop and Eurodance this year. The song wouldn’t be nearly as great without the Iolanda’s beautiful vocals; for me, she has one of the more distinctive voices of all this year’s performers. This sort of stripped-back, melodically linear orchestral ballad rarely wins Eurovision, but it is possible the lineage will be recognized; anyone else getting flashbacks to Portugal’s 2017 winner “Amar Pelos Dois“? Like many of tonight’s songs, the lyrics could be interpreted related to mental health challenges; ‘Grito’ translates to ‘scream’, and Iolanda’s protagonist tries to find the strength to overcome hardship. She also performs a vocal belt towards the end of the song that resembles a literal scream. The arrangement builds from classical guitar, outlining the initial 12/8 arpeggios that drive the song’s rhythmic feel – interestingly, the snare always appears on beat 3 (i.e. 7) of the 12/8 pulse, meaning that the rhythm never ‘kicks off’ and this is clearly intentional – it paves the way for an incredibly downbeat ending. The concept of freedom and personal bravery is one that is generally quite successful in Eurovision, so it is very possible that the song will do well, even without the energy of Eurodance production.

83%

Portuguese

Ouvi, senti
O corpo a carregar
Seguimos assim
Um e outro
Um e outro
Um e outro

Sou queda livre
Aviso quando lá chegar
Entrego-me aqui
Pouco a pouco

Passos largos presa na partida
Quero largar o que me deixou ferida
Peço à estrela mãe que faça o dia
Nascer de novo

Transformei cada verso de mim
E entregue à coragem
Que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Bate a luz no peito e abre
Sou chama que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Ainda arde

Hoje eu quero provar a mim mesma
Que posso ser o que eu quiser
Juntar quem me quer bem numa mesa
Perdoar quem me quis ver sofrer
A mim não me enganam! (Não!)
Eu sou todo o tamanho
Ainda lembro quando era pequena
Eu sonhava primeiro

Passos largos presa na partida
Hoje eu largo aquilo que me deixou ferida
E peço à estrela mãe que faça o dia
Nascer de novo

Transformei cada verso de mim
E entregue à coragem
Que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Bate a luz no peito e abre
Sou chama que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Ainda arde

Sou chama que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Sou chama que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Arde
Arde
Arde

Transformei cada verѕo de mim
E entregue à coragem
Que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Bate a luz no peito e abre
Sou chama que ainda arde
Ainda arde
Ainda аrde

English

I heard it, I felt
My body carrying me
We keep going
One and the other
One and the other
One and the other

I’m free falling
I’ll let you know when I get there
I surrender myself
Little by little

Long strides, stuck in the starting line
I want to let go of what hurt me
I ask the morning star to make the day
Rise again

I’ve transformed every verse within me
And given in to the courage
That still burns
Still burns
Beats the light in my chest and opens
I’m a flame that still burns
Still burns
Still burns

Today I want to prove to myself
That I can be whatever I want
Gather those who love me around a table
Forgive those who wanted to see me suffer
I can’t be fooled (No!)
I am whole
I still remember when I was little
I dreamed first

Long strides, stuck in the starting line
I want to let go of what hurt me
I ask the morning star to make the day
Rise again

I’ve transformed every verse within me
And given in to the courage
That still burns
Still burns
Beats the light in my chest and opens
I’m a flame that still burns
Still burns
Still burns

I’m a flame that still burns
Still burns
I’m a flame that still burns
Still burns
It burns
It burns
It burns

I’ve transformed every verse within me
And given in to the courage
That still burns
Still burns
Beats the light in my chest and opens
I’m a flame thаt still burns
Still burns
Still burnѕ

18 🇦🇲 Armenia • Jako

Ladnivia • 140 • Ab major

Songwriters: Anderz Wrethov, Jimmy Thörnfeldt, Julie Aagaard, and Thomas Stengaard

Rooted in Armenian folk music and nurtured within the vein of Latin American, Russian and contemporary pop influences, this is a celebration of culture and musically very colourful. It is composed in the D Phrygian Dominant mode with an unusual chord sequence of D, Eb, D, Cm (D), not typically heard within mainstream Western music which sadly may not successfully translate in a commercial tone. The fast paced chorus melody is very catchy and it sounds as if singer Jaklin is dancing up and down the phrygian dominant scale. With both Thomas and Jaklin having trained at the Lille Conservatory in France, Jaklin’s ability to successfully execute such melodic passages live will be a testament to her talent. The use of sparse texture while she sings the main chorus hook consecutively followed by unison instrumentation is highly effective in invoking that celebratory tone; as if she is shouting ‘all together now’! This also feels like a great opportunity for audience interaction. I worry that some may not realise the depth of the song’s meaning; a self-titled ode to her own freedom and empowerment – Jako is a nickname for the Ladaniva’s lead singer Jaklin. The upbeat tone may not fully convey Jaklin’s criticism of female societal expectations and there is a danger of it being shrugged off as merely a party song. The recorder solo by French multi-instrumentalist Louis Thomas feels well placed among this year’s many folk instruments. A charismatic duo not to be overlooked, we will likely all be shouting ‘Jako!’ at our TVs after the first chorus.

85%

Armenian

ԻLa lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
Haaaa

La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la

Indz asoum en, Jako, kez khelok bahi (Jako!)
Shad mi khosa
Shad sous el mi nsdi
Haki, patsi, pagi
Aghchga bes kez bahi
Yes aghchig em azad
Yes g’barem, tou el nayi

La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la

Ari, ari, ari, tou indz miatsi
Mega, mega, mega, ov inch gasi
Eli, eli, eli, zhamin chenk nayi
Heli, heli, heli, boyit madagh
Ver gats, bari

La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la

La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
Haha
Haaaha
Haaaha

La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la

English

La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
Haaaa

La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la

They tell me, “Jako, behave well (Jako!)
Don’t talk too much
Don’t sit too quietly
Wear this, open that, hide this
Behave like a girl”
But I’m a free girl
I will dance, and you will watch

La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la

Come on, come on, come on, join me
No matter what anyone says
Get up, get up, get up, we won’t look at the time
Come on, come on, come on, please
Get up, dance

La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la

La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
La lai la lai la
Haha
Haaaha
Haaaha

La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la
La la lai lai lai la la la la (Jako!)
La la lai lai lai la la la la


19 🇨🇾 Cyprus | Silia Kapsis – Liar

Silia Kapsis • 100 • Bb minor

Music & lyrics: Dimitris Kontopoulos, Lyrics: Elke Tiel

[Guest review by Maddy Plummer]

This comes across as an attempt at the normally successful trope of I-Will-Survive empowerment, but for me it falls flat. Cyprus have tried to evoke a sense of intrigue, power and impending justice with intermittent low stabs of brass instrumentation and lively electro-pop percussion, contrasting with the descending treble keyboard scale and ambience inducing synth tones, however this is not really achieved. For a song that is denouncing ‘fakeness’, it lacks authenticity. The lyrics are very generic, and the monosyllabic style with note repetition in the verses comes across as almost clumsy; it is arguably more effective and emphatic when used sparingly in the choruses as a pivot point between the oscillating minor thirds (Bb and Db). The melismatic melody of ‘you’ and ‘through’ in the pre-choruses are melodically more interesting, but this ingenuity is not really applied elsewhere. The saving grace is the wonderfully produced drum track that keeps us listening (and dancing). The bridge is musically anti-climatic, but does make space for a solid dance break, trading sonics for visuals. Unlikely to place highly.

56%

Waking up in the morning and I’m, I’m feeling like ooh-la-la
It’s about to go down ’cause I found out the truth, la-la
Nine o’clock in the morning and I know this is our last night
I know what I’m doing ’cause, yeah, I got it on black and white

Should’ve known that you are a liar
But I looked the other way
Should’ve known you’re a trouble maker
But you act too nice to hate
I knew we couldn’t get much higher
But you promised the world to me
Do you see that you light my fire?
Now I know what I know

Because of you
I’ll make it through

Take a look at yourself ’cause that’s what you need to do, to do
‘Cause the only problem in this room is about you, about you

‘Cause you’re a liar
Liar, liar, liar
Yeah, yeah, yeah
You liar, liar, liar, liar
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Waking up in the morning and I’m, I’m feeling like ooh-la-la
Now I know that your heart and your mind don’t align, la-la
I can see it in your eyes that you don’t like to be this way
I know that you’re fighting back, guys like you can’t be changed

Should’ve known that you are a liar
But I looked the other way
Should’ve known you’re a trouble maker
But you act too nice to hate
I knew we couldn’t get much higher
But you promised the world to me
Do you see that you light my fire?
Now I know what I know

Because of you
I’ll make it through

Take a look at yourself ’cause that’s what you need to do, to do
‘Cause the only problem in this room is about you, about you

‘Cause you’re a liar
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Because of you
I’ll make it through

Take a look at yourself ’cause that’s what you need to do, to do
‘Cause the only problem in this room is about you, about you
‘Cauѕe you’re a liаr

20🇨🇭 • Switzerland • The Code

Nemo • 160 • F minor

Songwriters: Benjamin Jon Alasu, Lasse Midtsian Nymann, Linda Dale, Nemo Mettler

This is Nemo’s song of self-expression and freedom. The lyric theme is the embrace of their nonbinary identity; the “Code” of the title is broken by our protagonist.

And if the performance art video is anything to go by, an important part of that self expression is through the medium of… hats. We see the train conductor’s cap, a pink fur number lifted from Jamiroquai, a charming bunny-ears balaclava, and an au naturel look leading up to “this story is my truth”. I’m pretty sure the “tru-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-uth” 8th notes on that high C is a nod to Mozart’s Queen Of The Night Aria from The Magic Flute.

The chorus is more predictable Eurovision fare – 16th hi-hats, a 3-note melody, and a nice pitch peak where Nemo shows us that there’s no tonal gap between their tenor and falsetto range. And “paradise” pretty much rhymes with “ammonites”.

There’s an interesting post-chorus (breakdown section maybe) where they just ascend the Fm7 arpeggio over “Somewhere between the 0’s and 1’s” and then repeat the same melodic phrase over different chords, flipping between Dorian and Aeolian minor scales. And this takes us to the wonderful Bond-theme outro, in which the voice rises to the high G for the “oooh-ooooh-oooh” (C-G-F-C). Arguably a quote from The World Is Not Enough – 4 notes in common, same key, and same chord. 30 seconds of this, then it’s head down for the final 16-bar chorus. No time for a dynamic drop here, or a diva-friendly final orchestra chord. It just stops dead on after the title line with “oh oh oh”. They really broke the code.

This song is, as my Gen-Z students might say, “a lot”. I think it’s great, and should place in the top 5.

87%

Welcome to the show, let everybody know
I’m done playing the game, I’ll break out of the chains
You better buckle up, I’ll pour another cup
This is my bohème, so drink it up, my friend

Uh, uhh
This story is my truth

I, I went to hell and back to find myself on track
I broke the code, oh ohh
Like ammonites, I just gave it some time
Now I found paradise
I broke the code, oh ohh

Let me tell you a tale about life
‘Bout the good and the bad, better hold on tight
Who decides what’s wrong, what’s right
Everything is balance, everything’s light
I got so much on my mind and I been awake all night
I’m so pumped, I’m so psyched
It’s bigger than me, I’m getting so hyped, like

Uhh
Let me taste the lows and highs
Uhh
Let me feel that burning fright
This story is my truth

I, I went to hell and back to find myself on track
I broke the code, oh ohh
Like ammonites, I just gave it some time
Now I found paradise
I broke the code, oh ohh

Somewhere between the 0’s and 1’s
That’s where I found my kingdom come
My heart beats like a…
Somewhere between the 0’s and 1’s
That’s where I found my kingdom come
My heart beats like a drum

I, I went to hell and back to find myself on track
I broke the code, oh ohh
Like ammonites, I just gave it some time
Now I found parаdiѕe
I broke the code, oh ohh

21 🇸🇮 Slovenia • Veronika

Raiven • 135 • F minor

Songwriters: Bojan Cvjetićanin / Klavdija Kopina / Danilo Kapel / Martin Bezjak / Peter Khoo / Raiven

There’s a really good bit at the top of the first chorus – a sort of “hddddrrrrrrap!” sound that Raiven uses as a vocal riser to deliver the high-point “Najdi me, rani me, brani me” (“find me, wound me, protect me” – followed by a similarly contradictory “lift me up, let me go, love me”). This is an interesting take on the folk-dance song ESC format; the 135BPM can be counted as half time, making it a powerful ballad, or as 4 to the bar, making it a faster-than-usual dance number. The former feel predominates, mainly because of the lack of an obvious snare backbeat, and this gives an unusual feeling to the listener, of a high BPM song that isn’t meant for the dancefloor. The melody is interesting – I especially liked the harmonic minor interval leaps in “Ogledalo sem brez robov” (“I am just a frameless mirror”), which lifts it melodically out of the oh-so-predictable Aeolian mode and into something that sounds more authentically Slovenian (or so it seems to me).

It’s dramatic, dark, interesting and lyrically intriguing. The final lines step into the third person “Jaz sem… Ti si… Veronika… Tvojo resnico le ona ve”. “I am… you are… Veronika… Only she knows your truth”. Veronika’s stage persona comes across as empowered and perhaps slightly intimidating, but if she is reading my mind right now, she already knows that I liked the song.

79%

Slovenian

Skrila sem se v reko
in odšla v tiho noč
Z glasnimi koraki
nemi klici na pomoč

Zdaj, ko sem le voda
v valovih iščem mir
Utopim se v sebi
se svetlobi prepustim

Najdi me, rani me, brani me
Koga loviš, ko me zapustiš?
Dvigni me, pusti me, ljubi me
Kdo te lovi, ko se me bojiš?

Koga se bojiš
ko svoje želje zatajiš?

Gledaš me v oči
podoba tebe v njih žari

Ogledalo sem brez robov
Le odsev tvojih sem strahov

Najdi me, rani me, brani me
Koga loviš, ko me zapustiš?
Dvigni me, pusti me, ljubi me
Kdo te lovi, ko se me bojiš?

Jaz sem
Ti si
Veronika

Tvojo resnico le ona ve

English

I hid in the river
And went into the silent night
With loud steps
Voiceless cries for help

Now that I am just water
In the waves, I seek peace
I drown in myself
I surrender to the light

Find me, wound me, protect me
Who do you chase when you leave me?
Lift me up, let me go, love me
Who hunts you when you fear me?

Who are you afraid of
when you deny your desires?

You look me in the eyes
The image of you shines in them

I am a frameless mirror
Just a reflection of your fears

Find me, wound me, protect me
Who do you chase when you leave me?
Lift me up, let me go, love me
Who hunts you when you fear me?

I am
You are
Veronika

Only she knows your truth


22 🇭🇷 • Croatia • Rim Tim Tagi Dim

Baby Lasagna • 128 • E phrygian

Songwriter (music and lyrics): Marko Purišić

Just one chord for the whole first whole minute! It’s a novel but not-so-subtle bit of psychology – to make the bassline, intro, title hook and verse vocal melody the same riff (EEEFED over “Rim tim tagi digi”). I have loved this one since the moment I heard it, and so it seems has everyone in Europe. In this week’s radio show I was talking to the estimable Ewan Spence who Is one of the founders of ESC Insight, The Unofficial Eurovision podcast. He’s actually there in the room in Malmö right now, and he told us that Croatia were a big hit with the crowd right from the first semi-final rehearsal. 

Got to love the DJ-meets-keyboard-player, who seems to be doing the same hand gesture on both instruments to no discernible musical effect – this is one of those “press the spacebar and retire to a safe distance” programmed riffs. In case you’re wondering, “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” is not in fact Croatian; it’s just one of those glorious Eurovision titles that doesn’t mean anything but is really fun to sing. See also “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley” Sweden 1984, “Boom Bang-a-Bang” United Kingdom 1969, “La La La” Spain 1968, “Ding-A-Dong” Netherlands 1975, “Bana Bana” Turkey 1989, “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” Israel 1978, “Tra La La” Germany 1962, “Bim Bam Toi” France Junior Eurovision 2019, “Ring-Dinge-Ding” Germany 1961, “Bum Bum” Finland 1977, “Lalala” Israel 1973 (yes, you really can ask ChatGPT anything).

The song is the classic story of a country boy leaving home to make his fortune in the big city. There is some social commentary about Croatia’s quite genuine population drain through emigration. Though to be fair Mr Lasagna (Marko to his friends) is having a lot of fun with it. I particularly like “I’m a big boy now / I’m going away and I sold my cow”, and “Gonna miss you all but mostly the cat” (neatly mashing up Jack & The Beanstalk, Dick Whittington and “She’s Leaving Home”).

The chorus chord loop is more familiar Eurovision fare: Em C | Am D |, and then a big build on the V chord of B for yet another title hook. They’re throwing in a breakdown section at the 2 minute point. ESC rules mean you can’t go over 3 minutes, so they’ve got just over 50 seconds now to get from this section into the inevitable chorus repeats to get us to the build. 8 bar breakdown, 9 bar 4-on-the-floor chorus, 9 bar loud chorus, and then 2 bars of riff. Phew. Made it!

This has it all – silly, fun, easy to learn, big semi-rock chorus, and something interesting happening every 8 or 9 bars. I think it’s a winner. Probably the winner.

94%

Ay, I’m a big boy now
I’m ready to leave, ciao, mama, ciao
Ay, I’m a big boy now
I’m going away and I sold my cow
Before I leave, I must confess
I need a round of decompress
One more time for all the good times
Rim tim tagi digi dim tim tim

Gonna miss you all but mostly the cat
Gonna miss my hay, gonna miss my bed
Most of all, I’ma miss the dance
So come on y’all, let us prance

Now don’t call, don’t write
I’m leavin’ with the first light
Don’t cry, but dance
Rim tim tagi digi dim tim tim

There’s no going back
My presence fades to black
Yeah, there’s no going back
My anxiety attacks
Rim tim tagi digi dim tim tagi digi

I hope I find peace in the noise
Wanna become one of them city boys
They’re all so pretty and so advanced
Maybe they also know our dance

Bye mom, bye dad
Meow, cat, please meow back
Don’t cry, just dance
Rim tim tagi digi dim tim tim

There’s no going back
My presence fades to black
Yeah, there’s no going back
My anxiety attacks
Rim tim tagi digi dim tim tagi digi

There’s no going back
My presence fades to black
There’s no going back
My anxiety attacks
Rim tim tagi digi dim tim tagi digi

There’s no going back
My presence fades to black
Yeah, there’s no going back
My anxiety attacks

22 🇬🇪 • Georgia • Firefighter

Nutsa Buzaladze • 116 • E minor

Songwriters: Ada Satka and Darko Dimitrov

In my songwriting classes at Berklee, we sometimes talk about the three main lyric themes in popular music; they are: love songs (happy or sad), dancing songs, and songs of self-assertion. This is broadly true, statistically, across subgenres (although for Eurovision we had to nuance this back in 2020, to add Unity, Partying, and European History). Well, tonight Nutsa is bringing us a self-assertive danceable love song! Firefighter is an extended metaphor, albeit a slightly confused one. If there are ashes, the Firefighter’ may no longer be necessary, or at least be on their way home after a successful day at work (“running through these ashes like a firefighter”). At the very least, the post-chorus’s exhortation to “put out the fire” has already been achieved before the start of verse one.

Musically, this is a lovely overlay of two much-loved Latin rhythmic ideas, the son clave rhythm, and the more recent Reggaeton pattern, which shares some of its heritage. For the verse “put out the fire” we’re hearing the son clave with an occasional dry kick drum, then when the pre-chorus picks up “the ceiling is falling” it switches to the reggaeton feel. Then for the first chorus “I see it in the air” it’s 3 bars of four on the floor euro-beat kick drum, with the other parts gradually re-introduced, before the “put out the fire” section. 

For the bridge (IMO the best bit of the song), all three elements are combined, for a glorious excitement lift, leading to the inevitable and necessary drop to the bottom of the dynamic ramp for the climb. Not two but three choruses to end, with Nutsa delivering some last-minute vocal pyrotechnics, ending on the title hook. Fine, fine work!

86% 

I see it in the air, I see it in the air
I’m running through these ashes like a firefighter

Put out the fire, put out the fire.
Did we build empires just to watch them burn?
My heart’s beating louder, I’m running like tigers.
No fear in my eyes though.
I will save this love.

The ceiling is falling, the windows are burning.
It’s getting harder to breathe.

Can you hear me calling?
I see ashes falling.
I’m down on my knees.
But I will save this love.

I see it in the air, I see it in the air.
I’m rising from these ashes like a phoenix, yeah.
You know I’ll be there.
You know that I’ll be there.
I’m running through these ashes like a firefighter.

Put out the fire, put out the fire.
Put out the fire, put out the fire.
Put out the fire.

Come dance with the thunder,
Cause love makes us stronger.
We’re not here forever.
So can we save this love?

From lovers to fighters,
Oh, why do we do this?
We’re meant to rise higher and higher and higher.

The ceiling is falling, the windows are burning.
It’s getting harder to breathe.

Can you hear me calling?
I see ashes falling, falling, falling.

I see it in the air, I see it in the air.
I’m rising from these ashes like a phoenix, yeah.
You know that I’ll be there.
You know that I’ll be there.
I’ll be there, I’ll be there.

I see it in the air, I see it in the air.
I’m rising from these ashes like a phoenix, yeah.
You know I’ll be there.
You know that I’ll be there.
We’re running through these ashes like a firefighter.

I see it in the air, I see it in the air.
We’re rising from these ashes like a phoenix, yeah.
You know I’ll be there.
You know that I’ll be there.
We’re rising from these ashes like a phoenix, yeah.

25. 🇫🇷 • France • Mon amour

Slimane • 142 • B minor

Songwriters: Slimane Nebchi, Yaacov Salah and Meïr Salah

Wow! 199 words in 3 minutes! And all the more remarkable, considering the slow tempo. But come on, France, musically this is Lionel Richie’s Hello! Try it, and sing along. When Slimane sings the “Je” of “Je t’aime” at the top of the chorus, align his “Je” (it’s the same note) with Lionel’s “can” from “I can see it in your eyes”. You can sing the whole thing – all 16 bars of each chorus – and it even lines up the chords nicely when you get to “or is someone loving you”. The similarity is nowhere near copyright infringement, of course (it’s just the circle of 4ths), but someone really should have had a word with that bass player.

This is the ballad version of the song. Good choice, Slimane – I do prefer it to the Euro-beat version he also released (although that works pretty well too), and notwithstanding the embarrassment of Richie-ness, this is France doing something they do better than anyone else – the chanson. No-one says “Oh my love / Please come back to Paris / Do it for us, I am begging you” like a heartbroken French citizen. This is one of those toplines a great singer can really lean into – the love and loss is sort of built into the progression and the always-falling melodic direction. And Slimane is selling it tonight. Great job, all round. France usually push back against the excesses of Euro-disco, and this is one of their best for a while.

86%

French

Mon amour
Dis-moi à quoi tu penses
Si tout ça a un sens
Désolé si je te dérange

Mon amour
Te souviens-tu de nous ?
Du premier rendez-vous ?
C’était beau, c’était fou

Je t’aime
J’sais pas pourquoi
Je rejoue la scène
Mais c’est toujours la même fin qui recommence
Tu n’entends pas
Ma peine, on en fait quoi ?
Est-ce que tu m’aimes ou pas ?

Mon amour
Je ferai tout ce que je peux
Un océan dans le feu
L’impossible si tu le veux

Oh Mon amour
Allez reviens à Paris
Fais-le pour nous je t’en supplie
Je le promets j’ai compris

Je t’aime
J’sais pas pourquoi
Je rejoue la scène
Mais c’est toujours la même fin qui recommence
Tu n’entends pas
Ma peine, on en fait quoi ?
Est-ce que tu m’aimes ou pas ?

Dis-moi l’endroit, je t’attendrai
Et si tu ne viens pas, je t’attendrai
C’est bête je sais, je le ferai
Rempli d’espoir je t’attendrai

Je t’aime
J’sais pas pourquoi
Je rejoue la scène
Mais c’est toujours la même fin qui recommence
Tu n’entends pas
Ma peine, on en fait quoi ?
Est-ce que tu m’aimes

Est-ce que tu m’aimes ?
Est-ce que tu m’aimes ?
Est-ce que tu m’aimes ?
Ou pаѕ ?

English

My love
Tell me what’s on your mind
If all of this makes sense
Sorry if I disturb you
My love
Do you remember us?
Our first rendez-vous?
It was beautiful, it was insane

I love you
I don’t know why
I replay the scene
But it’s always the same ending that keeps repeating
You don’t hear anything
My pain
What do we do about it?
Do you love me, or not?

My love
I’ll do all that I can
Create an ocean in the fire
The impossible if you want me to

Oh my love
Please come back to Paris
Do it for us, I am begging you
I promisе, I learned my lesson

I lovе you
I don’t know why
I replay the scene
But it’s always the same ending that keeps repeating
You don’t hear anything
My pain
What do we do about it?
Do you love me, or not?

Tell me the place, I’ll wait for you
And if you don’t come, I’ll wait for you
I know it’s silly, but that’s what I’ll do
Filled with hope, I’ll wait for you

I love you
I don’t know why
I replay the scene
But it’s always the same ending that keeps repeating
You don’t hear anything
My pain
What do we do about it?
Do you love me?

Do you love me?
Do you love me?
Do you love me, or not?


🇮🇱

25 Austria • We Will Rave

Kaleen • 140 • Ab major

Songwriters: Anderz Wrethov, Jimmy Thörnfeldt, Julie Aagaard, and Thomas Stengaard

[Guest review by Maddy Plummer]

A solid mashup of contemporary production techniques and ’90s rave tropes, this is a strong contender for Eurodance club anthem status. In an energetic, electro-pop track reminiscent of Germany’s Cascada 2013 entry, Austria is extending an invitation to give ourselves over to the empowerment of dance. There are some subtle and not-so-subtle sonic nods to the rave years here – the offbeat closed-hat from early techno, the heavy resonant filter sweeps in the bassline, and some snare parts towards the end that are straight out of the Prodigy’s “Block Rockin’ Beats” and “Smack My B***h Up”. Eurovision nonsense-speak is alive and well here – “ram-di-dam-dam-dam” could have been a 1960s title. Kaleen’s contrast of whispery vocals on the ascending and descending scalic melodic lines heard in the verses, compared to the emphatic note repetition with stronger vocals in the choruses, is an effective songwriting and performance technique, evocative of many a noughties synth-pop anthem. Even if this doesn’t find its feet at Eurovision, I predict we’ll see it on TikTok (in fact it’s already started). Kaleen has won more than 100 national and European dance championships, and the danceability of the song seems tailored to her strengths. 

66%

Ice running through my veins
You just did it again
Go, ’cause I can’t be your friend
I’m cold, but this is not the end

So I go, go, go
Where them broken-hearted go
No one knows a thing ’bout my heart and soul
I go-o-o
Wanna dance it off alone
I won’t let it show
They will never know

When the darkness hits, and we can’t be saved
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave
When our hearts are burning, we feel no pain
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave

We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam (we will rave)
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam (we will rave)
(We will rave)
(Rave, rave ra-a-a-a-a)

We will rave

See only silhouettes
I just wanna forget
About everything we said
And the demons in my head

So I go, go, go
Where them broken-hearted go
No one knows a thing ’bout my heart and soul
I go-o-o
Wanna dance it off alone
I won’t let it show
They will never know

When the darkness hits, and we can’t be saved
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave
When our hearts are burning, we feel no pain
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam (we will rave)

We will rave
We will rave

We will rave
(Rave, rave, rave)
We will rave

When the darkness hits, and we can’t be saved (can’t be saved)
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave
When our hearts are burning, we feel no pain
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave (we will)

We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave (we will)
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave (oh-ooh)
We ram-di-dam-dam-dam
We will rave

26 🇳🇱 • Netherlands • Europapa

Joost Klein • 160 • B minor

[JB comment: Joost was disqualified on the afternoon of the final, following a backstage incident. I have included my original review here, which was based on the pre-semifinal video.]

Songwriters: Joost Klein, Maradonnie, Tim Haars, Dylan van Dael, Paul Elstak, Teun de Kruif, Thijmen Melissant

My musicology research colleague Maddy is an expert in sampling, and (this is absolutely true), when she first heard the low-mixed siren in the middle of Joost Klein’s rap section she said “oh, that’s good – he’s using “‘Pulsar City Alarm’, from Adams & Fleisner’s 1984 album ‘Digital Effects – fix your own mix: Space”. [Who listens to 80s sound effects records for fun? Only the best people].

This is a joyful and playful song of, and about, the European Union. Like the Croatian entry, it’s a celebration of the opportunities that crossing borders can bring. Joost lost his parents when he was very young, and Europapa is both an homage to his absent father, and a riff on how the Schengen area’s lack of travel restrictions can bring people together : “Visit my friends in France / Or take a long walk to Vienna / I want to leave the Netherlands / But my passport is gone / Fortunately I don’t need a visa to be with you”. This seems to me a beautifully bureaucratic way to deliver the common Eurovision trope of one-world unity between nations.

It’s a full-on 160BPM – I think the fastest tempo so far – and everyone is clearly having a lot of fun throughout, from the retro single-shot vocal sample retriggering, through to the chorus loop | Em | A | F#m | Bm | which is almost Never Gonna Give You Up (and a ton of other Stock, Aitken and Waterman songs). There’s a fine list of stereotypical national dishes “I don’t need es-car-gots, don’t need fish ‘n chips / don’t need paella, no / I don’t even really know what that is” although it gets meta and obscure towards the end.”Turn on the radio, I hear Stromae with Papaoutai”; this is a reference to the 2013 song which is written to sound like the French phrase “Papa, où t’es” (Dad, where are you)?

Europapa made me grin throughout; not only because of the canals and (yes) windmills in the video, but also because of its completely non-cynical message of love-thy-neighbour. Weirdly but honourably, Joost throws away any possibility of success in the voting with an incredibly downbeat but heartbreakingly poignant ending of a message to his father: “At the end of the day / We are all human beings / My father told me once that the world has no borders  / I miss you every day is what I whisper to myself / You see, dаd… I did liѕten to you”.

No, you have something in your eye.

84%


Europe, let’s come together
(Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa)
It’s now or never
I love you all
(Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa)

Welcome to Europe
Stay here until I die
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa
Welcome to Europe
Stay here until I die
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa

Visit my friends in France
Or take a long walk to Vienna
I want to leave the Netherlands
But my passport is gone
Fortunately don’t need a visa to be with you
So take the bus to Poland or the train to Berlin
I have no money for Paris so use my imagination
Do you have a euro please? Say “merci” and “please”

I lost everything except time
So am travelling every day for the world is mine

Welcome to Europe
Stay here until I die
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa
Welcome to Europe
Stay here until I die
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa

Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa
Euro-pa-pa-pa (hey)
Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa
Eu-ro-pa (hey)

I’m in Germany but I’m so alone
I am in Italy but still I feel pain
Am running from myself
Calling for “help” all day long
Yes I even give people money, but there is no one to help me
I don’t need es-car-gots, don’t need fish ‘n chips
Don’t need paella, no
I don’t even really know what that is

Turn on the radio, I hear Stromae with “Papaoutai”
Won’t stop until they say, “Yes, yes, he does that very well ey!”

Welcome to Europe
Stay here until I die
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa
Welcome to Europe
Stay here until I die
Euro-pa-pa, Euro-pa-pa

Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa
Euro-pa-pa-pa (hey)
Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa
Eu-ro-pa (hey)

Euro-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa…
Welcome to Europe, boy

(Hey)
Eu-ro-pa

At the end of the day
We are all human beings
My father told me once that
The world has no borders

I miss you every day
Is what I whisper to myself
You see, dаd
I did liѕten to you