Serbia 2012: Nije Ljubav Stvar- I was debating whether to use his 2004 entry or this one, but it’s the same singer. (And now I get to use Lane Moje for a different day of the 30 Day Challenge!) Željko Joksimović is probably one of my favourite ESC singers, because it’s really easy to feel the emotions in his music, often by cramming way too many syllables into one line. In this case, it’s no exception. Even though some people think it’s really formulaic (gradual buildup until hitting a climax), I love that it starts out gentle with a piano and violin and ends with a full band and backing vocals.
Yugoslavia 1983: Džuli- It’s just so happy: the backup singers are having lots of fun dancing on stage, the accordionist is smiling, and Daniel is singing an upbeat song. Even if I had no clue what the lyrics meant, I was already dancing and singing the refrain of “Džuuuuuli, Džuuuuuuli!” After looking them up, I can’t help but imagine the story being about a lifeguard on duty meeting a tourist one summer. Considering that this gets stuck in my head for a really long time after just listening to it a few times, I really hope my dorm-neighbor Julie doesn’t get sick of me playing this song…orz
Serbia 2007: Molitva- I first heard this song shortly after discovering ESC with “Fairytale.” Even though the lyrics were in Serbian, I felt as if I could understand the story behind the song through her facial expressions and the tune. After looking up the lyrics, one translated line stood out: “Your name is my only prayer.” Considering what had happened a few weeks before discovering ESC, the song was a shot to my gut, that feeling of him running away and refusing to talk. Eventually I managed to separate the song from the story to simply listen to the song, but there are some times that the two are stuck together. And I listen just to catch the swirl of emotions.
Croatia 1999: Marija Magdalena- When I first heard this song last year, I didn’t know whether it would be appropriate for blasting in the shower (considering that some people could get offended simply by the thought of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code) even though I was hooked by Doris Dragović’s voice telling a story that I couldn’t understand. The song sounded as if she was proud to tell her story, even if there was a bit of sadness in the tune. Maybe it was the first time she fell into LAFS, and she was on stage telling everyone, “Hey, this was the first time I fell in love, and I’m sharing Chapter 1 of the story.” Maybe her song ended at the climax of the story and went downhill emotionally, but no one knows for sure.
Turkey 1997: Dinle- I only found this song a few months ago when reading about statistics of countries performing 2nd. The part the grabbed me was the driving beat, especially in the refrain. Even though I hadn’t looked up the lyrics yet, I could make a story from the song: She’s telling her lover to come over, but then she starts telling him off about the crap that occurred during their relationship, somewhat similar to a street musician performing a satirical song in front of some important government building. As of so far, this song sounds best after a bad day in the chem department, even if no one can hear me complain.
Israel 1983- If you already know that I’m not exactly fond of the winner of 1983, it’s because of this song. So happy and cheerful and not what they entered 17 years later…
Out of all the entries from the 30 Day Challenge, this one was/is/probably will be the easiest to write…
Norway 2009: This was the first Eurovision song that I had listened to under the context of ESC. (That means listening to “Schland O Schland”, “The Voice”, and “Waterloo” didn’t count…) The timing was also just right. I had just returned home from a 3-week summer exchange, still sad/disappointed/annoyed/[insert feelings here] that the person in German 2 that I liked quit talking to me after I told him, and I needed to let it out somehow. Through discovering Humon’s webcomic “Scandinavia and the World” on DeviantART, I managed to find the right song to tell people. A minor key set the tone, and the oom-pah baseline sounded like a beating heart. Alexander Rybak wasn’t just a singer/songwriter during those first 3 minutes; he was a storyteller helping to share my story with more than 150 million people.
Some people on YouTube still flame that he didn’t deserve all 387 points, that the song isn’t that special. I really don’t care. I’m just glad that his song helped me to gradually move on. (Apart from all the mushy ranting, it’s the song that got me obsessed with Eurovision. And because of this song, some of my favourite entries are the ones that tell stories)