Sunday, May 30, 2010

A surprise Eurovision post

I take little interest in the Eurovision song contest so it's a tiny bit surprising to find myself writing a quick piece on the thing. Apparently the UK came last, for the third time in a decade, with some dismal sub-pop tripe. It constantly bemuses me why we enter tunes that patently have no artistic merit.

I suppose it's worth noting that the UK have only started coming last after we began deciding our entries on a public vote. If you're going to let the public decide I suppose you will get Stock, Aitkin and Waterman - without the Aitkin even.

Of course the nay sayers have two essential arguments about why the world is so unfair. Firstly that, yes, our song was shit - but it's Eurovision for heavens sake - it's meant to be shit. Au contraire mon frere, it's music and therefore meant to be tolerable at the very least. It's a general rule that the winners of the contest tend to be better than the losers. Next year why not maximise the UK's chances of wining by entering a song that it's possible to listen to without retching.

The second point they make is that all the voting is political so we just don't have a chance. Well, it's nice that these people admit that a decade of international belligerence has made us a pariah state, but sadly it's just not true. Last year we came in the top five by using the sneaky technique of getting people who know what they're doing to put our entry together. It's possible to do well, but not if we enter the musical equivalent of scabies, but without the glamour.

This year we had possibly the classyest entry from Armenia, if by classy you mean cheap where the camera wuld literally have had to climb into the lead singers cleavage to get a more obvious breast shot at the beginning of the piece and there was also a well meaning stage invasion during the Spanish entry which I found rather charming.

Anyway, this is the second time that Germany have won the competition, the first time being in sunny Harrogate in 1982, a Eurovision that was wracked with controversy as the French refused to enter saying that "The absence of talent and the mediocrity of the songs were where annoyance set in. [Eurovision is] a monument to inanity."

How things have changed.

Anyway, 1982 was the year that my very favourite Eurovision song was entered, by Finland it was entitled "Bomb out" a piece dedicated to international brotherhood and the simple plea that nobody was to drop a nuclear weapon on the band, a Eurovision practice that has certainly had it's worthy advocates over the years.

Kojo's cold war anthem Nuku Pomiin had a great deal to merit it, even if it were not exactly a cultural masterpiece. You can find the lyrics here, but I think if I tell you that the opening lines pose the rarely asked question "If someone soon throws some nuclear poo here on our Europe, What will you say when we get all the filth on our faces?"


Who could believe that it received just nul points? A scandal Eurovision has yet to recover from.

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