This weekend is a big weekend.
Okay, yes, it’s Pentecost, so it was a big weekend at church, as well. We had a combined service with the neighbouring parish, which resulted in a packed-out church and a shared lunch made entirely of red food.
Also, the neighbouring parish doesn’t have a church building big enough to host us all, but it was their year to host, so they hosted at our place. It was confusing. And then our priest got out his firebreathing equipment.
So what else am I talking about? Have I spoilt it by putting it in the post title?
Eurovision is basically my version of sport. I’m not a hardcore fan. I’m not going to start getting up at 3am to watch it live. I pay attention to the extent that I’m typing this while watching the finals repeat. But Eurovision has just sort of always been part of my life.
Yes, since before it was the “cool” thing. I was talking about Eurovision at primary school when I was one of just two pupils who knew what it was.
So, here are some of my favourites (and not-so-favourites) from this year and previous years, in no particular order.
As I look back over what I’ve already typed, and glance up at the screen, I realise that a packed-out church with red and sparkly robes and a priest breathing fire is basically Eurovision, isn’t it? Anglicovision.
Germany, 2010 – Satellite, Lena
This was Year 9. I started going to the German school a year later, and this was the dance party song. It was right up there with Schnappi, and Lena was talked about almost as much as Justin Beber (as we insisted on spelling it).
France, 2015 – N’oubliez pas, Liza Angell
I shared this one last year. It’s still my favourite from last year’s Eurovision.
Sweden, 2016 – If I Were Sorry, Frans
Moderately good, but not a favourite, mostly because it’s a bit repetitive. I’ve mostly included it because he sounds almost exactly like a male Lena. (Julia Zemiro thought of that one, not me, but it’s true).
Russia, 2012 – Party for Everybody, Buranovskiye Babushki
Okay, I’ll admit it, I can’t actually really remember the song. I just remember these dear old ladies. They came second.
Italy, 2016 – No Degree of Separation, Francesca Michielin
Not an absolutely brilliant song, but amazing background graphics.
Italy, 1958 – Volare, Domenico Modugno
Speaking of Italy, my primary school choir learnt this for open day when I was in Year 6. (I grew up in a very Italian area. Almost all of the grandparents could probably speak Italian. And not English.) I didn’t realise until last year just how old this song was. I assumed, because we were learning it, that it was a recent Eurovision entry.
Lithuania, 2006 – We Are The Winners, LT United
My sister and I were singing it for months. Still are, occasionally. Well, I am, anyway.
Finland, 2006 – Hard Rock Hallelujah, Lordi
I ran out on this one, back in the day. I still don’t think much of death metal – although I am a fan of Klingons. But it’s not a song you forget easily.
England, 2003 – Crybaby, Jemini
Speaking of songs you don’t forget easily, have you ever heard anything so off-key? It’s so awful, the official Eurovision channel doesn’t even have it.
Ireland, 2008 – Irelande Douze Pointes, Dustin the Turkey
And speaking of complete flops… I’ve been assured that the turkey was very popular in Ireland, but… I’m convinced they should have been disqualified for exceeding the 6-person limit.
Germany, 1982 – Ein bisschen Frieden, Nicole
This is easily, absolutely, completely my all-time favourite Eurovision song ever.
Israel, 1979 – Hallelujah, Gali Atari
See, how can you say Australia isn’t European enough? Israel’s been in Eurovision since the 70s.
On another note, a great song for cheating on Hebrew homework with. “But I have been practicing Hebrew!”
Austria, 2016 – Loin D’ici, Zoe
Speaking of unusual languages… It’s not a bad song, but my head hurts just thinking about it. Merci, Autriche.
Russia, 2016 – You Are The Only One, Sergey Lazarev
You don’t have even to listen to it, just watch the amazing visuals. The song isn’t bad, though. I just can’t really remember it because I was distracted by the visuals.
Australia, 2016 – Sound of Silence, Dami Im
It’s not just patriotic. I definitely think it’s one of the best this year, even if I’m completely sick of it. Not worse than Ukraine, though. I don’t mind not winning – two years isn’t enough for Europe to be okay with it, and Eurovision is ultimately political – but I’d have rather lost to Russia or Italy or Austria… or Sweden again.