1999 marked the beginning of the modern ESC: In order to save money, the IBA got rid of the orchestra and essentially turned ESC into a karaoke contest. They also scrapped the “national language” rule, after it got out of hand in the 1990’s, when the winners were either from English speaking countries or entered songs with as few lyrics as possible. (We’re looking at you, Secret Garden). Once this occurred, most of the participating countries changed their entries to English.
However, once the hosts left the stage and the first act started, the audience didn’t hear any English from Lithuania’s entry. They didn’t hear Lithuanian either. Instead they heard the artist Aistė sing in Samogitian, a dialect spoken in the lowlands of the country. Apparently singing a) in a language that wasn’t widely spoken and b) a song that wasn’t very schlager-y meant a lot of people wouldn’t understand what was going on. As a result, they only scored 20th out of 24 that year.
It took me one or two listens to get the song stuck in my head, and I think it sounds pretty cool. It’s not a love song (rather it’s about a song thrush complaining that its feet are frozen and waiting for the sun to come up and melt the ice), and I can feel something similar to the song in my feet in the winter after snowfooting.
After I walk back indoors from maybe a minute or two of snowfooting, my feet start out as if I’m walking on a tightrope since the heat gradually sapped out of my toes. Eventually the heat comes back in short bursts that feel like someone’s splashed me out of a hot tub and back to its original temperature. But then I get bored and have to walk outside again. 🙂 (And just like the song, it’s not exactly mainstream…and it’s also illegal in the chem lab for obvious reasons :))