I had to wait a while to write this because at the time, Macedonia (FYR) was at the top of my list. I loved listening to Daniel Kajmakoski’s voice and spent a lot of time listening to his X-Factor Adria performances, and after stumbling for hours over the lyrics I managed to sing along with the song. I swear I had minor blood pressure spikes from watching videos that constantly ranked Lisja Esenski in bottom 2, and celebrated when people started ranking other entries last. So that was then…
…And then they changed the entry. Not only did MRT/MKRTV change the lyrics from Macedonian to English, the tune was changed from the original upbeat Skopje Fest version to a slower, sadder, Balkan ballad-esque, final version.
I wanted to explode at the time. I complained to my friends that the entry got ****ed up, that I didn’t care if Daniel advanced to the final anymore; the Macedonian delegation wouldn’t qualify and that would be their punishment for sending a screwed-over song.
But then I listened to the new version and the old version next to each other over and over. The English version used autumn leaves to symbolize the end of a relationship, while the Macedonian version used them to symbolize falling in love:
Koga životot mi beše taka siv vo boja ti go napravi, sega lebdime sami kon ljubovta slobodni ko lisja esenski
“When my life was grey you added colour. Now we float, free to love like the autumn leaves.”
Since the Macedonian version was more upbeat due to the theme, the slowed down English version makes more sense. It would sound weird if a breakup song was happy. Besides, why else would the Balkan ballad-style violins show up? The English lyrics aren’t that bad either. Unlike some songs that seem to have been written via Google Translate, the lyrics are coherent and do tell a story. I still find myself getting chills from the song’s emotions and tune, so that’s a good thing.
Also, how does someone not enjoy the doodles?
So it’s probably not my number 1, but it climbed from emotionally-charged bottom 10 back to somewhere in my top 10 again. And I really hope Daniel makes the final. I do miss the awkward foot-slide-y dance from the Macedonian version, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep practicing.