‘Peck the bait!’ The political messages hidden in Eurovision songs | Music

aAfter Israel was admitted to this year’s Eurovision song contest amid calls for a boycott, organizers will scrutinize Israel’s political messages, particularly whether they contain lines such as “Good for everyone” It turns out. Children could refer to the current conflict in Gaza or the hostage situation. Especially since Israeli state broadcaster KAN revealed last night that the song’s name is October Rain. The rules describe Eurovision as a “non-political event” which “must under no circumstances be politicized, instrumentalized or brought into disrepute in any way”. It is said that

Israel’s culture minister insisted the song was “not political” and said KAN would reject any requests to change the lyrics. Whatever the intent, there are plenty of other songs that have slipped by the rules.

Italy 1974

Giliola Cinquetti’s song “Si” is a very nice ballad in the style of Bacharach, in which the heroine is thinking about breaking up, but decides to love and says “Yes, yes!” . There was nothing wrong with the Eurovision organizers, but unfortunately the contest coincided with Italy’s divorce referendum, so the song was considered pro-marriage propaganda and was broadcast on Italian radio and television. Banned. The re-recorded English version depicts Cinquetti telling the man to leave her, in characteristically British fashion.

greece 1976

I don’t have the mid-’70s Eurovision rules handy, but I can’t imagine a song floating around the internet today that directly laments the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Mariza Koch doesn’t hold back, referencing refugee camps and even the napalm bombing of Cyprus in the 1960s. Turkey, which was not participating in the competition, censored the song on television and replaced it with a nationalistic Turkish song.

Türkiye and Norway 1980

In 1980, Turkey was in a political crisis and, unlike other countries in the region, had to import most of its oil. You might have expected them to do something fluffy and escapist at Eurovision, but instead, they faced their woes head-on with Azida Pecan Petol Oil and literally went high. He personified gasoline with an octane love song. . Only Eurovision! Take it away Azida:

When you came, it was like the sun dawned
My life was wonderful, shining day and night
Now suddenly everything has changed
Life is difficult and difficult without you

[hand gestures intensify as the chorus drops]

Nice gasoline, sweet gasoline!
I need you now, gasoline!

Elsewhere in the year, Norway adopted traditional Sami songs to sing in solidarity with Sami activists on hunger strike in front of Norway’s parliament over the construction of a hydroelectric dam.

georgia 2009

As we’ll see, you can get away with some pretty explicit content at Eurovision, but here’s one that didn’t. “We Don’t Wanna Put In” is a disco number about Georgia rejecting a certain Russian leader, but making an offer to join the EU in the closing minutes with the dexterity of a 17-year-old boy. It is. “I love all the countries of Europe” and I love Europe – ah / say: give me sexy, ah!” The title is clankly obvious, a gun-to-the-head dance move Combined with this, I could read the line “I’m about to shoot.” As an incitement to assassination, he never made it to the finals.

armenia 2015

The Armenian song “Don’t Deny” has been described by Eurovision organizers as being about happiness “when people come together and live in harmony with themselves, their families, their romantic relationships, etc.” There is. However, Turkey and Azerbaijan said the title was a political statement directed at them about the 1915 Armenian genocide, and also said the title was a political statement directed at them about the 1915 Armenian genocide, and also said that the title was a political statement directed at them about the 1915 Armenian genocide, and also said that the title was a political statement directed at them about the 1915 Armenian genocide, and that it also featured a film featuring a family dressed in early 20th century costumes interjecting footage of empty chairs. He also mentioned the “Obviously Obvious” music video. Armenia officially changed the song’s title to the perhaps even more derogatory “Face the Shadow,” but everyone was appeased.

ukraine 2016

Naturally, in recent years Ukraine has been given a little more leeway than other countries. 2023’s Heart of Steel was a reference to the battle at the Azovstal Iron Works, and 2022’s Mother had a patriotic tone to its imagery. Stefania won the contest. However, they have been more intensely political in the past. In 2005, hip-hopper Green Jolie’s “Razom Nath Bahat” was the anthem of the previous year’s Orange Revolution, but Eurovision organizers had the lyrics altered before allowing it to compete. Ukraine won. 2016 and 1944 is a song about the ethnic cleansing of Crimean Tatars by Soviet forces in the same year. Meanwhile, drag performer Verka Serduchka’s 2007 “Dancing Rasha Tumbai” received complaints from Russian listeners who thought the nonsense phrase “Rasya Tumbai” sounded like “Goodbye, Russia.” A voice rose. Although Serduchka denied it, she used those exact words in her performance after the Russian invasion.

iceland 2019

Iceland’s Hatari holds the Palestinian flag during the 2019 tournament. Photo: YouTube

Iceland’s Hatari performed at Tel Aviv’s Iceland is one of the best tracks in Eurovision 2019 history, Hatori Mun Sigura’s nihilistic techno-pantomime with its sinister “hate will win” cry He showed off. Command: “Universal Obfuscation! Despite the wail in the chorus, the song is clearly aimed at fascism, as the band made an even clearer political statement by waving the Palestinian flag during the vote. , and was fined €5,000. Madonna also carried the Palestinian flag during her guest performance that year, but combined it with the Israeli flag to show unity of hope.

Croatia 2023

Belarus’ authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko is the subject of the country’s entry for 2021 by Garash Zmesta, a band that has supported him at political rallies, with the song “I want you to dance to my tune.” I’ll tell you, I’ll do it,” he sang. Teach me to peck the bait, I will teach you to walk the line, you will be satisfied with everything. They were officially banned. A more veiled and critical reference to Lukashenko later appeared in Mama Å Äā by Croatian comedy rockers Let 3, whose music video featured them riding a tractor dressed as the dictator. This is a tribute to the tractor that Lukashenko gave President Vladimir Putin on his birthday. the current.

switzerland 2023

Perhaps the words of the militarily neutral Switzerland were easier to swallow, but the strongest anti-war message in the midst of the Russia-Ukraine conflict was in Remo Forer’s entry, “Water Gun.” “I don’t want to be a soldier, soldier/me” No need to play with real blood. We can’t turn and run/We don’t have water guns/We’re just body bags. ” Forrer’s interview is also an objective lesson in how. Ostensibly neutral Eurovision participants must hope that people will read the breakdown: “My generation has to live with the consequences of decisions we didn’t make.” It’s frustrating, but I have hope that change is possible. ”



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