What happened? You tell your people that Ukraine is nearly defeated. You tell the citizens of Mother Russia that Ukraine is only popular in the west.
But I was watching the Eurovision Song contest last night and I noticed this strange thing. Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra has won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin, Italy. It did get votes from all European countries
The same Russian threat actors that this week targeted Italian parliamentary and military websites and threatened to disrupt U.K. National Health Service (NHS) services, could now have the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 final in their crosshairs.
The Killnet threat group had threatened to “send 10 billion requests” to the Eurovision online voting system and “add votes to some other country.” But even that didn’t happen, although there were some glitches in the transmission of some countries which have some loyalties to Russia, like Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Comrade Putin maybe you haven’t heard and seen the winning song, so here it is, especially for you.
With the current tension between Russia and the Ukraine, I couldn’t help being reminded of the 2016 Eurovision Song contest winner.
“1944” is a song written and performed by Ukrainian singer Jamala. It represented Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 and won with a total of 534 points.
The lyrics for “1944” concern the deportation of the Crimean Tatars, in the 1940s, by the Soviet Union at the hands of Joseph Stalin because of their alleged collaboration with the Nazis. Jamala was particularly inspired by the story of her great-grandmother Nazylkhan, who was in her mid-20s when she and her five children were deported to barren Central Asia. One of the daughters did not survive the journey. Jamala’s great-grandfather was fighting in World War II in the Red Army at this time and thus could not protect his family. The song was also released amid renewed repression of Crimean Tatars following the Russian annexation of Crimea, since most Crimean Tatars refuse to accept the annexation.
These are the lyrics:
When strangers are coming They come to your house They kill you all and say We’re not guilty not guilty
Where is your mind? Humanity cries You think you are gods But everyone dies Don’t swallow my soul Our souls
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
We could build a future Where people are free to live and love The happiest time Where is your heart? Humanity rise You think you are gods But everyone dies Don’t swallow my soul Our souls
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım Yaşlığıma toyalmadım Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
We could build a future Where people are free To live and love The happiest time
Where is your heart? Humanity rise You think you are gods But everyone dies Don’t swallow my soul Our souls
I couldn’t spend my youth there Because you took away my peace I couldn’t spend my youth there Because you took away my peace.
Tonight is the 2nd semi finals of the 2021 Eurovision song contest. I have to admit I really enjoyed the 1st semis. Lets just have a look back at some of the more bizarre moments in Eurovision history, note this blog will contain some nudity.
Starting off with one of this years presenters. No I am not talking about Nikkie de Jager, the YouTuber, I thought she was very funny during the interval explaining the ‘winners-not winners’ I am talking about Jantje Smit, anyone not from the Netherlands will know that he is quite a big star in the Netherlands(why is still a mystery to me). Not only is he a ‘singer’ he is also a presenter and has his own fashion range. He started off quite young. This is him aged 10 on German TV.
In 2014 Poland decided to send some ‘milk maids’ to the contest. I feel they didn’t get the acknowledgement they deserved. The song was called “We are Slavic” and was performed by Donatan & Cleo and some ladies working with milk in buckets.
When you think of streakers, you don’t necessarily associate that with a live televised Song contest, more with sporting events. Yet in 2017 the performance of the Ukrainian singer Jamala, was interrupted by a man who felt compelled to drop his pants, as true professional Jamala kept singing. There was probably not much to see anyway.
Spain took part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 held in Oslo, Norway. The performer Daniel Diges was interrupted during the song “Algo pequeñito” by someone pretending to be part of the act. To be honest the performance was so silly that the uninvited guest didn’t actually look out of place.
Of course then there was Dustin the Turkey in 2008, lets just move swiftly on. Nothing to see here.
Then we had Ivan the naked wolfman from Belarus. I am still not sure what that was about. The song was titled “Hep you fly” last time I checked wolves don’t fly.
Alex Swings Oscar Sings! – Miss Kiss Kiss Bang the Germany entry at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. The band was accompanied by no other then the Queen Of Burlesque’, Dita Von Teese, wife of shock rocker Marilyn Manson.
Genghis Khan was a warrior and ruler of genius who, starting from obscure and insignificant beginnings, brought all the nomadic tribes of Mongolia under the rule of himself and his family in a rigidly disciplined military state. He then turned his attention toward the settled peoples beyond the borders of his nomadic realm and began the series of campaigns of plunder and conquest that eventually carried the Mongol armies as far as the Adriatic Sea in one direction and the Pacific coast of China in the other, leading to the establishment of the great Mongol Empire. He was one of the most brutal dictators who ever roamed the earth. However this didn’t stop the Germans or rather West Germans to send a little endearing song about the man in 1979.
In general the Eurovision is really a platform for national performers to shine on an international stage. Bizarrely enough one of the biggest stars in the world, Sir Harry Webb. aka Cliff Richard competed twice. In 1968 with ‘Congratulations’ and in in 1973 with ‘Power to all our Friends’ he ended 2nd and 3rd place.
The composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier composed six Te Deum, although only four of them have survived.Largely because of the great popularity of its prelude, the best known is the Te Deum in D major, H.146, written as a grand motet for soloists, choir, and instrumental accompaniment probably between 1688 and 1698, during Charpentier’s stay at the Jesuit Church of Saint-Louis in Paris, where he held the position of musical director.
It is thought that the composition was performed to mark the victory celebrations and the Battle of Steinkirk in August, 1692. You probably wonder now what this has to do with the Eurovision Song contest? It is the piece of music which opens every Eurovision Song contest every year.
Finishing up with one of my favourite Eurovision songs, unfortunately it got no points whatsoever.
The highlight of the European Music world is upon us again, the annual ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ So what better time then to look back at some of the rarities of the festival’s history.
Starting off with Mister Eurovision himself, Johnny Logan.He won the contest 3 times, twice as a performer. In 1980 with “What’s another year” and in 1987 with “Hold me now”. In 1992 Linda Martin won with “Why me” which was written by Johnny Logan. What most people don’t know is that in 1984 Linda Martin finished 2nd place, also with a song written and composed by Johnny Logan. The song was called “Terminal 3” was the Irish entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1984.
The first song contest was held in 1956 in Lugano, Switzerland, at the Teatro Kursaal on Thursday 24 May 1956. Seven countries participated in the first ever contest, each were represented with two songs. Two more countries, Austria and Denmark, were also expected to take part in the contest, but they missed the submission deadline and therefore could not take part.
Although there were 7 countries participating, the total number of performers were 11. Luxembourg and Switzerland used one performer for two songs. Luxembourg with Michèle Arnaud and Switzerland with Lys Assia. The winning song was “Refrain” performed by Lys Assia.
There are 20 countries who have never won the song contest:
Malta, Cyprus, Iceland, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, F.Y.R Macedonia, Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Moldova, Armenia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Montenegro, San Marino and Australia. This disperses the Eastern European block voting, because if that was the case it clearly isn’t working.
Australia made its debut at the 2015 Contest with the song “Tonight Again” a song written and performed by Guy Sebastian. It was supposed to be a one off event, but since 2015 Australia has been a contender in the Eurovision Song contest.
In 1969 there wasn’t one winner but 4, Spain, United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.
The voting systems used in the Contest have changed throughout the years. The modern system has been in place since 1975. Voters award a set of points from 1 to 8, then 10 and finally 12 to songs from other countries — with the favourite being awarded the now famous douze points. Historically, a country’s set of votes was decided by an internal jury, but in 1997 five countries experimented with televoting, giving members of the public in those countries the opportunity to vote en masse for their favourite songs. The experiment was a success and from 1998 all countries were encouraged to use televoting wherever possible. But sometimes the voting did not go as foreseen.
Norway could be found at the bottom of the scoreboard as many as eleven times. The unfortunates came last in 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2004 and in the Grand Final of 2012. Nevertheless, they also won 3 times, in 1985, 1995 and 2009.
Sometimes it becomes clear how important tape can be. Javine was the UK entry in 2005, with her song Touch my Fire. During the 2005 UK final (selection) for the Eurovision Song Contest, she had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction.
I could do a blog on Eurovision Song Contest without mentioning the ‘bearded lady’.
Thomas Neuwirth is an Austrian singer, recording artist, and drag queen who is known for his stage persona Conchita Wurst.Neuwirth came to international attention after winning the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 as Austria’s entrant with the song “Rise Like a Phoenix”. Regardless what you think about Thomas/Conchita, the song was great and it surprises me that no one in the James Bond franchise has asked Conchita to do a James Bond song.
The first scandal in Eurovision history occurred in 1957 where the Danish singers Birthe Wilke and Gustav Winckler kissed for 11 seconds in the end of the song. Generating a furious reaction.
Morocco has participated in Eurovision Song Contest. But only once. It was in 1980, the performer Samira Said ended second-last. Morocco only received 7 points from Italy.
In 2020 the contest was cancelled due to Covid 19 restrictions.
The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This year the Eurovision will be held in Turin, Italy.2 semi finals will take place on May 10 and May 12. The grand final will be on May 14.
I remember during music lessons at school we would discuss the 2 super groups that emerged from the 1970’s. The first one was Queen and the other one was ABBA.
Both band of course did not start out with those names. Queen was called Smile first and ABBA’s origin was in the pop, folk and jazz scene of Sweden. Benny Andersson was a member of a popular Swedish pop-rock group, the Hep Stars.
Björn Ulvaeus began his musical career at the age of 18 ,as a singer and guitarist, as the frontman of the Hootenanny Singers, a popular Swedish folk–skiffle group. He started writing English-language songs for his group, and even had a brief solo career alongside. The Hootenanny Singers and the Hep Stars sometimes crossed paths while touring.
Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad sang from the age of 13 with various dance bands, and worked mainly in a jazz-oriented cabaret style. She also formed her own band, the Anni-Frid Four. In the middle of 1967, she won a national talent competition with “En ledig dag” (“A Day Off”) a Swedish version of the bossa nova song “A Day in Portofino”.
Agnetha Fältskog was the singer with a local dance band headed by Bernt Enghardt who sent a demo recording of the band to Karl Gerhard Lundkvist. The demo tape featured a song written and sung by Agnetha: “Jag var så kär” (“I Was So in Love”). In 1972, Fältskog starred as Mary Magdalene in the original Swedish production of Jesus Christ Superstar and attracted some very good reviews.
On June 1972 the four released their debut single called “People Need Love” but the single was released with the band name ‘Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid’ not the catchiest of named to be honest, so in 1973 the band and their manager Stig Anderson changed the name to ABBA.
In 1975 the band had their international break through with “Waterloo” at the 1974 Eurovision song contest, which was held in Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom, on April 6. However Waterloo was not the first choice of the band to be used at the Song contest, They initially planned to enter the song “Hasta Mañana”for the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.
I think things would have turned out very different for the band. I reckon very few people would have remembered the name ABBA.
But as we all know they entered “Waterloo” for the contest making musical history and a legacy that still lives on to this day. Even young kids will know the song Waterloo and ABBA , mostly because of teh musical Mamma Mia and its sequel though.
The musical did spark a revival for ABBA music although their music has always been popular. In a May 2013 interview, Fältskog, aged 63 at the time, stated that an ABBA reunion would never occur: “I think we have to accept that it will not happen, because we are too old and each one of us has their own life. Too many years have gone by since we stopped, and there’s really no meaning in putting us together again” It has been rumoured that they were offered a billion US Dollars to tour again, but I believe that was all though, rumours.
The two men were and still are successful as song writers and composes. In 1983 they began collaborating with Tim Rice in writing songs for the musical project Chess. Which had 2 massive hits with “I know him so well” and “One night in Bangkok”
All of this though started off with the song Waterloo ,inspired by the 18 June 1815 battle of Waterloo.
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No matter what you think of the Eurovision song contest, there is no denying it is a global cultural event. It might not be to everyone’s liking but it is a global cultural event nonetheless.
And it is truly global not only because it goes out live to nations across the world, bit also the last few years Australia has entered the competition.
Even last year’s winner,Israel, although Israel has strong historical,political and economical ties to Europe, geographically it is technically in Asia. But it does ly at the junction of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.
However this blog is not a blog about geopolitical situations but as alluded to a blog about the more bizarre songs which competed in the song contest throughout its history. I literally could pick dozens of songs but I am sticking to the ones that stood out most for me.
Staring with probably the most bizarre band ,Lordi from Finland with their song “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, what makes this even more bizarre it actually won the competition in 2006.
In 1979 the Germans tried to win the contest with the band “Dschinghis Khan” who had a song with the very original name “Dschinghis Khan”. They reached the 4th place.
In 2003 the Belgians came up with the idea to enter the contest with a song in a made up language. The band “Urban Trad” the song “Sanomi” They reached the 2nd place.
If the contest was measured on the most bizarre songs Belgium would definitely be the winners. In 1980 the band “Telex” entered with the song “Euro-Vision”( I wonder where they got the idea for the title).It ended on the 17th place.
In 2007 the Ukraine came up with a song in Ukranian,German,English and some made up words.But to be honest there wasn’t that much text really. The song “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” the artist “Verka Serduchka” Funny enough it also reached the 2nd place.
Ending with the nation that won the Eurovision the most. Ireland won the competition 7 times. But I don’t think that anyone expected a Turkey to win the competition and yet in 2008 Ireland’s national broadcaster,RTE, did just that. They send a turkey named Dustin asking Europe for 12 points, Hence the title “Irlande Douze Points” strangely enough it didn’t reach the finals.
On May 14 the whole circus starts again with the the 2nd semi finale on May 16th and the Grand Finale on May 18th.
Pssst, come here!Although I am supposed to be a rocker and a serious music fan, I will be watching it, but don’t tell anyone.
I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you.
To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.
Tonight is the first semi finals of the annual circus called the Eurovision Song contest. I have to be honest though, I do like it. It basically goes against everything I like,music wise, the whole bizarre circus and the politics behind it I do find entertaining.
In case you are in doubt it is political you only have to look at last year’s winner. Ukraine;Jamala-1944.
Let’s just look at the history of probably the biggest Television event in the world.
The history of the Eurovision Song Contest began with an idea of Sergio Pugliese, of the Italian television RAI, and then approved by Marcel Bezençon of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
The contest was based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival and was designed to test the limits of live television broadcast technology.
.The first contest took place on 24 May 1956, where seven nations participated. It was won by Lys Assia for Switzerland, with the song refrain.
As the Contest progressed, the rules grew increasingly complex and participation levels rose to pass forty nations at the end of the 20th century. As more countries came on board over subsequent decades and technology advanced, the EBU attempted to keep up with national and international trends.
Ireland won the contest 7 times, followed by Sweden 6 times.France, Luxembourg, United Kingdom 5 times and the Netherlands 4 times.
Of the 7 times Ireland won it, 3 times were by Johnny Logan.
Twice as a performer and in 1992 as the composer with the song Why me? sung by Linda Martin.
Ireland also had one of the most bizarre contestants, a Turkey called Dustin. It was really as a protest against the geographical bloc voting which became evident at the end of the 1990’s and early 21st century,after the introduction of tele-voting and the removal of the jury votes.
Finland who mostly got 0 points or at the most just a few points was the surprise winner in 2006 with a Heavy Metal band called Lordi. Although many people complaint about this, it does show the diversity of popular music on display at the Eurovision.
In general the winners do not enjoy too much success or longevity in the music industry, however there were 2 acts that were able to build a career on the back of their wins at the Eurovision
In 1988 Canadian born Celine Dion entered the contest for Switzerland with the song “Ne partez pas sans moi” she became a global mega star afterwards.
The band that really is associated with the Song contest is of course ABBA, in 1974 they won with their song Waterloo, this catapulted their career into the stratosphere. Their fame was at par with bands like Queen, the Beatles and the Rolling stones.
Going back to the diversity of the Eurovision in 1998 and in 2014 the contest was won by transgender/sexual contestsants, 1998 Dana International for Israel with the song”Diva” and 2014 Conchita Wurst for Austria with the song “Rise like a Phoenix”
In 2009 the contest was won by Norway’s Alexander Rybak with his self-penned “Fairytale”, which received a record-breaking 387 points out of 492, at the time the highest total score in the history of the contest.
Finishing up with the song that won the last time for the Netherlands. In 1975 Teach In won the contest with the song”Ding A Dong” (hey it was the seventies)