2018 Review: Norway


We all saw his comeback announcement.

We all heard his song and how…wildly different it is to his previous ESC entry.

We all were part of the post-MGP dumpster fire that argued that the “wrong Alex won” and/or the “wrong former ESC entrant won” (to be honest my favorites were Stella + Alexandra, followed closely by Aleksander Walmann).


Alexander Rybak is back to Eurovision 9 years after his Fairytale victory with “That’s How You Write A Song.”

Let’s just get the complaining over with: Fairytale is one of my 2 favorite entries of all time and I don’t think anything’s going to top it after putting in so much emotional effort to tell my story re: refrigerators and current partner. And then there was Norway’s entry last year, which I also ended up putting in my top 3 because it got me through pharmacy school interviews. If Grab the Moment represented me getting accepted to pharm school, That’s How You Write A Song represented me getting a 65% because I couldn’t write the proper lab procedure on how to compound capsules. In short, I already knew I’d be disappointed, and to make things worse I was connecting the entry to a bad experience.

Otherwise, this was my reaction for a while.

this is a hashtag

And the reaction for Norway’s entry came from a Norwegian TV show too…

Judging by Alexander’s Instagram loaded with #SmallPleasures and #MyTrueTalent tags, I’m guessing he was at least partially inspired by those hashtags or whatever was behind them. But at the same time, he does make a point: Yes it is possible to write a song about *anything*. So many songs this year are about love and relationships, current events around the world, or taking a stand for/against something. What about choosing a different topic? As long as you mull over the topic long enough for words to build up and you put the words down on paper, anything could happen. That’s probably how songs about a dog dying of obesity, being broke, a dish of pickled vegetables, or metro safety show up. And in Alexander’s case, it means writing about his love for FIFA, stalkers, getting a bunch of fan mail, or speaking with an accent. As long as you choose a topic you know about, (even if it is something ridiculous like despising chocolate chip cookies or scaling fish), it’s a possibility. Yes there are additional techniques of layering music, choosing a rhythm and rhyme pattern, syllable count, making an Ohrwurm etc, but there is no limit to the song topic.

Granted following the instructions in THYWAS word for word isn’t going to get me a 70, much less a 100 on writing lab procedures, but that’s only one part of the song. (And thank goodness lab instructions only took up 1/3 of my practical grade). Maybe the lyrics won’t show up in AP English required readings (but then again, neither will Fairytale), maybe the music isn’t what I’d listen to every day, but if you’re able to perform the hell out of your song and have the audience believe in it, the song will go somewhere. It’s also really catchy, so it’ll stay for at least 30 minutes after one listen.

So while this song’s not in my top 10, it’s definitely refreshing. And Rybak is Ry…back.



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