Biggest crime of all of this cancelling eurovision business is not seeing Efendi singing Cleopatra on stage. Imagine the possibilites for the staging.
Good evening, folks, and welcome to today’s Eurovision map, which, following my usual traditions, shows what I deem - with the help of some research - to be the main lyrical content theme of each year’s song. It was certainly one of the more heterodox years when it came to what people are singing about, but as always, these can be simplified into a few key categories. Sometimes, a song can fit into more than one category, in which case I’ve gone for the one that feels more principal to me.
The first and once foremost, although not this year, is songs about positive interpersonal relations. I remember when I first started doing this map and this category comprised over half the songs - but after 2019, when all of the top 3 sang about negative ones, perhaps it’s no surprise to see this category at an almost historic low. Given the cyclical nature of ESC, perhaps one of these songs could have won - I particularly fancy the chances of Iceland’s ode of parental love, though I could also see the Mamas’ profession to do anything for their love managing a high position, especially with the juries.
The biggest category this year is songs about negative interpersonal relations, and what I find extremely striking is how many of these are found in a contiguous area in eastern and south-eastern Europe, from Belarus’ tale of forced marriage and Ukraine’s song of frustrated love down to Croatia being left behind in the autumn colours in the aftermath of a love as destructive as a wild wind, or Bulgaria’s scars and wounds.
We also have a bumper amount of songs with a motivational message or songs about overcoming difficulties, something quite apt for this sad, demotivating year. They cross Europe - from Ireland’s song about being true and what you want to be to Azerbaijan’s about standing up for yourself - but I am interested to see three little clusters of such songs: two of the three main Germanophone nations, two of the three Baltics (Latvia’s message of perseverance and Lithuania’s of not letting age define you or defer your dreams) all the Caucasian countries (yes, even Armenia, who use diamonds as a metaphor for one’s self-worth, or Georgia, whose song is ultimately about knowing your value as an individual). Some of these motivational messages veer into the realm of the self-aggrandising… but given the situation of this year, I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt.
Every year also has a handful of songs with a political, philosophical or existential message, and 2020 is no exception. Switzerland’s song is a string of rhetorical questions about our existence, Spain is a song to the universe about not using our voice, San Marino’s is all about life being too short to not be yourself, no matter how eccentric; Poland’s is about today’s politics, climate change and empires building and destroying themselves; Slovenia’s is a pretty deep reflection on the duality of nature typified by water, a source of life that can also destroy life.
We then have a few smaller categories, though a few songs categorised elsewhere could have fallen into these too. One is saudade - typified this year by Italy and Finland. Both songs sing of loss - Italy’s, the silence left behind after a relationship fails; Finland’s, about how we appreciate things most only after they are gone - but can’t be put into negative interpersonal relations because both speak of a love left behind. Germany and Macedonia provide examples of songs about lusting for someone on first sight, whilst Russia’s madcap entry is so sui generis that I can only sum it up in a category of its own for Spanish numerals.
i want europe to know an important fact
this dude from little big’s clip “uno” is going to esc with the band, his name is yura, he’s cool, check his band “the hatters”
so the fact is that he has a tattoo of ilya’s (little big’s frontman) face on his ass. thanks for your attention.
What is Eurovision?
For one night a year, Europe comes together for a night filled with gay pride and political turmoil.
Oh yeah, and there’s a song contest or something IDK…