Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Eurovision

Today I managed to stream most of the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest and kept up a potted commentary throughout. (The second takes place Thursday and the final Le Samedi)

The classic out of tune, no relationship to note, lyric and tune relationship of the Eurovision songs thankfully persists, along with a bucket of necessary kitsch. It only becomes utterly troubling when the various countries forget to pack the synth and omit the standard recipe of devout Euro-pop and take the whole thing way too seriously.

What has crept in is, an unfortunate, global generic influence, especially evident is the temdency to impersonate Celine and J-Lo, both odd choices given the key ingredients to the Eurovision of old. Also, people are no longer singing in their own languages they’re now singing mainly in English but with a select vocabulary that is redolent of car bumper stickers and advertising slogans on packets of tissues. (the words today, tonight, life, you, your heart, the radio, me, the one, put in a high percentage in the songs, if not flooded them all).

I recall Eurovision parties in Dublin bedsits in my twenties and everything about watching the Eurovision is its own chronology , whether the songs still hint at music we danced to in the marketplace in Yugoslavia or just that Euro pop is a bit like bread the ingredients are fairly stable. And then there’s the costumes and the dancing and what seems a universal requirement that you cannot actually sing in tune. Ran into a neighbour who’s from Paris at the shop and we had such a laugh exchanging reflections on the Eurovision past and present that we invited a few dour looks. (doesn’t take much in Vancouver ….built in citizen noise police in some spots) .

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