Oh Sanna. Deary deary me. There’s only one way I can start my 2014 review of Eurovision lyrics and that’s with the lyrics to Sweden’s Undo. “Undo My Sad” is entering the pantheon of all-time worst Eurovision lyrics. That lyric ruined my enjoy. It’s really strange because, in Sweden, their English is a good. They speak it better than most people who live in my near. Everyone listening will notice the incorrect from the first moment they do a hear. It’s inexcusable.
Sadly, for someone who is very picky with Eurovision lyrics, Sanna isn’t the only one this year to mar their entry with shoddy penmanship.
At least Albania has the language excuse that Sanna doesn’t. I think One Night’s Anger should have stayed in Albanian, because while it’s a quite nice little tale about a desire for reconciliation after an argument, the language issue tends to get in the way.
Ooh, these doubts are so tickly. Hersi’s boyfriend must be giggling uncontrollably with uncertainty. For some reason Hersi looks like someone who would enjoy tickling people. I have no idea why I think this, but I can’t get the mental image of her tickling people out of my head now. Luckily for Hersi, the poor English that led to this lyric also saves her from it. Her spoken English is so bad, I could only tell what she was singing from reading it. Let’s hope her diction doesn’t improve before the contest.
Ukraine presented its writers with a real lyrical challenge when they came to rewrite Tick-Tock for Eurovision. Untangling Maria Yaremchuk’s mess of casual incest and tricky ticky tock tock tocks must have been harder than writing a speech for Aram MP3 at gay pride. Unfortunately, they haven’t quite succeeded.
Where Lulu’s heart goes Boom-Bang-A-Bang, Miss Li’s goes boom and Olly Murs’s skips a beat, Maria’s heart maintains a steady healthy rhythm that you could set your watch to. While that will surely ensure her fine health in later life, a pop lyric it does not make.
What makes it worse is that Maria then invites her beloved to kiss her until she drops. So his love makes her week at the knees but her heart remains unaffected. It sounds like they’re just in it for the fucking.
Belarus is another one that lets itself down lyrically. I really like the song. It has a cool funky vibe to it and I find Teo a very charismatic performer, but there’s some things I can’t quite let him get away with. As much as I would like to shut my brain off and enjoy a light hearted bit of kitschy fun, I can’t pretend that his lyrics are perfect. They’re quite plainly not and it bothers me greatly.
It’s YOUR sweet cheesecake! I don’t care that it has speech marks when it’s written down; it sounds wrong when sung out loud. Teo is not his own cheesecake. Why has nothing been done about this? It’s a simple change. It doesn’t affect the pacing of the song at all. It’s obvious. I just find it so frustrating.
Denmark frustrates me further. Cliche Love Song is a massive missed opportunity. There are so many clichéd lyrics in Eurovision, having one that addresses this head on is a great idea. Based on the title, Basim was onto a winner.
Where are the clichés? I want him to be climbing the highest mountain and swimming the widest seas. He should be getting down on his knees. This is not the time for jazz vocal improvisation! He gets a bit closer in the second verse.
It’s cloud nine. How can he get the wrong pissing cloud? This guy is not qualified to write a cliché love song. If Basim had hired Gerard James Borg he would have got this song sorted in five seconds flat.
Borg, the author of Maltese national final classics such as Lovetricity and Loverdose, has worked his special magic on Russia’s song, Shine. Alas, he couldn’t unleash another of his fabled love puns on the world. He had to make do with the latest chapter in Shine’s ongoing contest with “This is/It’s My Life” for most clichéd song title. Borg is instead let loose on delivering three minutes of the blandest emptiest sentiment to fill a Eurovision song. Rising suns ride like the wind as the Tomalchevy Twins wish on a star and live on the edge. It’s a song about nothing. Well, almost.
Some have tried to suggest this is a subtle reference to Russia’s invasion of Crimea. It’s not subtle. If it is anything other than a piece of political bravado, one has to ask, what crime? There’s no mention of any sort of crime or wrongdoing elsewhere in the song.
Of course, none of the other lyrics have any relation to the rest of the song either. They’re just mild platitudes thrown together for little reason other than they sound nice. However, that’s also why “Closer to the crime” jars. It’s not a phrase. No one says that.
Another lyric that doesn’t quite work in Shine is “our love will last a thousand miles”. Something lasts a length of time, not a length of distance equal to roughly the journey from Moscow to Sebastopol. The song is blatantly about Russia’s takeover of Crimea. Fluffy lyrics about masterpieces of love and a cute pair of blonde twins are not enough to hide it. It’s shocking that no one’s made an official complaint. Russia should be disqualified for this.
The United Kingdom’s entry has no such problem with it being about anything. Like all UKish fans, I was massively excited when it was first revealed that we’d got someone through BBC Introducing. Then I found that the song had been written specifically with Eurovision in mind. This spelt trouble. A lame love and peace song was on the way.
Empty love and peace songs are my pet Eurovision hate. They’re lame, cynical, lazy, unimaginative and did I mention lame? Nothing like this ever gets in the charts or on the radio. The title alone makes my skin crawl.
That said, it’s a bit more revolutionary than the average love and peace song. The children want to own the universe, or maybe the edge of time. One way or the other, there will be dancing.
Molly sings about “Power to the people” and ending suffering. She wants some sort of wider societal change, but has no clear aims or message. It’s reminiscent of Russell Brand’s revolutionary nothings. It’s a call to overthrow some non-specifically rotten status quo and replace it with people and they’ll give power to them. I find it incredibly shallow.
No I don’t!!! What do you want, woman?!!!
On the other side of the coin, there are plenty of songs that satisfy my lyrical demands. Norway’s is up there with the best. I particularly like the bridge.
I like how the first line evokes a manly power. Carl is the subject of the sentence, he’s active and he’s using his hands like a burly woodsman. Then in the second line he’s passive and powerless against the metaphorical bruises. He doesn’t know how this happened. Other parts of the song drop a little into cliché, especially when he’s flying, but the overall impression is very good.
I love the lyrics of France too, despite them being in Foreign. It’s just so typically French that a song as outwardly ridiculous as Moustache is actually a scathing critique of our individualistic consumerist society.
This song is more than just a cheerful paean to the style of a young Burt Reynolds. It is a tale of a desperately self-centred person who, despite his wealth and success, can never be satisfied. No matter how many worldly goods he collects, there is always a hairy nirvana that remains tantalisingly out of reach. He always wants what he can’t have. The moustache of the title represents more than a shaggy top lip. It is the neverending search for spiritual peace.
What is strange is that the lead singer of Twin Twin has a twin brother who sports a fabulous moustache. Maybe he’s not trying hard enough.
I think my favourite lyrics in this year’s Eurovision belong to Germany. Is It Right manages to contribute an instantly singalongable chorus without coming across as childishly simple. Then in the verses it approaches a grown up topic – indecision over whether to end a loveless relationship – and does it seriously and straightforwardly.
I wouldn’t say there are any great poetical flourishes in the song, but it’s nice to have a song that is about not being in love and approaches human relationships in a less black and white manner. I find it speaks to me on an emotional level far more than anything else this year and for that reason, it’s my number one.