Eurovision Ireland - Is there any hope for our musical culture?
Is there a singer in the house? Anyone? Anyone??
I just watched the short YouTube videos of the Irish hopefuls for the Eurovision. Watching the Eurovision has been a tradition in my house for years. (Don’t worry An Post, we stream it from the Internet now.) This year will be the first time my eldest daughter won’t be with us for the occasion as she has moved to Kerry. But I’m imagining she will be watching it somewhere too, and the texts will be flying back and forth all night.
I started with the winning song - Bambi Thug - interesting name. I thought it was the name of the song, actually, until I saw it was Doomsday Blue, which isn’t a very hopeful theme for our times. The pagan imagery on stage looked promising, some aspect of magic, perhaps, imbued in the performance? Then I see her backing dancers with satanic-like horns on their heads and change my mind. The music industry always was satanic, but now it’s blatantly so (just look at Sam Smith’s video). In the intro we have a declaration from Bambi of her bisexual nature - she fits the agenda with the word QUEER in big letters painted on her jacket. So what. I don’t care about your sexuality. It’s tiresome and boring. Take it behind a closed door. Sexual preferences are nothing to be proud of. What I want to know is, can you sing?
I held my breath waiting for the song to begin and I was quickly disappointed. Doomsday blue indeed. I was open to the possibility that this woman could actually sing, but the power of the lungs, the vocal range, the depth of emotion… All missing. Where are the good singers? Why can’t Ireland have a decent Eurovision song? She was cackling, not singing. It fits, perhaps she could win, who knows what the popular vote will bring. Fizzle and satanic imagery - that is the culture of now.
I looked through the list of the other songs and became curious - can any of them sing? With the added impetus that Sweden is now tied with Ireland for the number of winning songs, I thought at least they’d make an effort this year. I said to my Dad only yesterday that I felt Ireland didn’t want to win the Eurovision since the last time they won, because all the songs since then have been awful. I called it deliberate sabotage. He agreed. With that thought in my mind, I needed to know - did any of the songs/artists have actual Eurovision winner potential?
I scrolled down the list and came across Isabella Kearney. She looked the most wholesome, and had potential to also have a good voice. I put on the video and paid attention to the intro this time. I was, I hate to admit, impressed with the quality of the Late Late production - they really went to town, making the show emulate the actual Eurovision contest. They had a fancy stage, the light show, and, of course, the intro of each artist with a backdrop of their locality. Isabella is an Australian with an Irish mother, living in the USA. Okay, I was sure we could get away with that (but aren’t there any fabulous Irish singers living in Ireland? Is this part of the great blending agenda?) I watched her sing.
The song was Eurovision style, the singer was wholesome, her voice, well, it didn’t hold the depth, but it was nice. A light poppy vibe, on the repetitious side. It would need a lot of plays before people would love it. Not a winner after all. I moved on.
Next on my list was Jyellowl. I liked his energy straight away. His intro showed him walking through Dublin city, talking about his Dad and his love for rap. He was growing on me. Then the song started, and I really wanted to like it. It was… well, weak. His voice - he was almost apologetic. Rap is supposed to be angry and strong. He has potential, he needs some more power behind his rapping voice.
I’m not a professional music critic, I just know what I like, and what I don’t like. This substack is my own humble opinion. Perhaps not so humble. I’m 52, so I can have an opinion at this point in my life. I know what I like - if you don’t agree, that’s fair. But I’m going somewhere with the thread of this, so please bear with me.
Next up was Alisha, a composer of music for computer games. That’s my son’s favourite genre. A genre that never existed when… Okay I’ll shut up. Her song is about the fact that we learn Irish for 12 years and never remember any of it. I have a theory about that but I’ll hold back for now. It is an actual thing, by the way. She was funny, her backing band was bright and vibrant, the music was active and boisterous, and it was refreshing to hear this sentiment coming out on the mainstream. When she said - An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas? over and over again it made me laugh. This was the video I sent to the family what’s app group. But she couldn’t sing.
Erica Cody was next on my list. She, or he, I’m not sure, was hanging out with drag queens backstage for her intro. As far as I’m aware, adult human females don’t really do that. But I could be wrong… When She (or he) was on stage, she was taller than her dancers who were all bodybuilder types. So a bit gimmicky. I got a failed Beyonce vibe. I spent the whole song wondering if Erica was a trans person, and I honestly didn’t really listen to the song at all. Do I want to go back and listen again? Not really.
That was it for me. I had it. I was disappointed with the lack of, well, music, in any of these entrants. Another deliberate sabotage by the Irish Jury. Then I saw the last entry, I had missed it in the lineup.
A boyband - Next in Line, they were called. Cute. I put it on. One of the boys narrated their intro and they were filmed from quite a distance away so we didn’t actually get to see their faces, or learn who each of them were. A lost opportunity, but time in a show like this is tight, so that was fair enough. They came on stage. They were young, bright, vibrant, and nervous. They started to sing. Wait! What’s that? A voice? Each one of them had a voice! They started to warm up on stage and their voices became even better. They begin to have fun. They danced around on stage in their jeans and teeshirts and smiled at the audience, and at each other. Old style. No gimmicks, no satanic imagery, no fancy light show. Actual singing voices. You could see they were really enjoying themselves; singing a song about falling in love. It was innocent. It was pure. And I started to cry.
I really did - I started to cry.
When all hope seems lost for a culture that has truly lost its way, there is a quiet hope, a pureness still there, somewhere. There are people with good hearts who can sing.
These boys were so young, though. They would get macerated on the Eurovision stage, in the charts, in the world. They need time to mature, time to grow into themselves. I hope they stay together, practice and really become the Next in Line.
I started wondering, does the world still love a boy band? Are we stuck with bisexual transexual satanic performers who can’t sing without computer enhancement?
I’m not au fait with the charts anymore because, just like the songs above, the music does nothing for me. I mostly listen to classical piano at the present time. I was looking at the list of the other clips from the show and I saw there was one more act I hadn’t watched yet. The Kalush Orchestra. A little bit of orchestra would do me some good at this point I thought, with a grimace. I put on the video.
Pretty quickly I realised that they weren’t an orchestra at all, they were the Ukrainian winners of the Eurovision from 2022. I had forgotten their name, this blatent mis-use of the world orchestra, well, it seems nothing is sacred anymore. I remembered back to May 2022, I think the Irish lockdowns were over at that point? I could be wrong - remind me in the comments please, we need to remember this stuff. I do remember that everyone was home for Eurovision family night, there was popcorn on the floor and the dog was wondering why everyone was up so late. We were laughing and arguing about the text vote, about whether Australia is actually in Europe, and whether they would host the Eurovision in Ukraine if they won. That was the year of blonde Sam who came second - someone actually voted for the UK song! Historic!! I turned on the video.
The music started. The professionalism of the group really contrasted against the young happy boys that I had just watched. My emotion had dissipated, and I decided to enjoy the video for what it was - the song was tight, the harmony good, it was an enjoyable performance. The flute was fun, and the characters as they traipsed around the stage, were fun, too.
Then I realised. This is a boy band! A boy band won the Eurovision in 2022! Perhaps all is not lost after all.
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