It isn’t a mystery to most that the vast majority of songs at the Eurovision Song Contest are, like somewhat based on beauty pageant speeches, but possibly with less grammatical mistakes, about love or peace. However, every now and then, some countries might go incredibly bold and serve us with something different.
In any case, since these two topics are a link between just about everything, either mentioning love, peace or not, some of them will mention those little creatures we either love or remind us of peaceful settings – at least for most ; I’m not talking about Pokemon, yeah we’re not quite the website for those, but simply about animals.
An excellent example of the aspect under which animals are mentioned in Eurovision songs would be the 2000 winning song “Fly on the Wings of Love” by the Olsen Brothers, who represented Denmark. With such a title you’d greatly expect the word “bird” to be mentioned at one point in the song, but not at all. That’s how 99% of fauna in the world has a place at Eurovision : next-to-none. In case you’re not getting what I’ve been trying to explain, as much as birds can be mentioned in Eurovision songs, you’d really struggle to make the same type of article about other species, though some odd birds – pun definitely intended – can appear here there thinking “maybe we could win if we have an entry listing farm and savannah animals”; and you’d be surprised to see how, in the world of Eurovision, that isn’t much of a foolish thought, at all.
This edito article (presenting a non-exhaustive list of specifically chosen songs) will thus introduce you to or remind you of 10 Eurovision songs about or mentioning animals.
tudeludelu…Yeah, I know, we’re off to a great start, but believe it or not that “word” actually is in the song. More seriously, we actually couldn’t have started this list in a better way than with what is the very first Eurovision Song Contest entry, performed in 1956, representing the Netherlands. “Birds from Holland”, is, in case you’re still in doubt, a song about birds, but when I say “off to a great start” it’s because it’s not a song that merely and shyly mentions birds a few times ; it mentions birds from all over the world ! It even is bold enough to compare them ! See for yourself :
|De Franse vogels zingen tudeludelu||The French birds sing toodledoo|
|Japanse vogels zingen tudeludelu||Japanese birds sing toodledoo|
|Chinese vogels zingen tudeludelu||Chinese birds sing toodledoo|
|Maar de vogels zingen nergens zo gelukkig en blij||But nowhere the birds sing so happily and cheerfully|
|Als in Holland in het voorjaar in de wei||As in Holland in spring in the meadow|
The spirit of competition was right there from the very beginning !
Finally we can’t help but wonder if this entry actually wasn’t more of a prophecy than a song, because when you are the first entry of a song competition that mentions “twitter” in its first few lines, establishing a sense of competition (like eurofans on that social network tend to very keenly follow in violent and disrespectful ways for a lot), and some Asian countries that will probably take part in an (for the moment seemingly successful) exportation of that contest, we don’t know what could be more fortune-telling than that !
For that second entry, we’re gonna climb down our prophecy analysis high horses (yeah we’re still on about animals so going full balloons about it) and just focus on a very beautiful line of “Don’t Ever Cry”. That song was the very first to represent Croatia at Eurovision in 1993, Millstreet, that curiously enough, a BBC journalist jokingly called a “cowshed” – something he had to apologise for – shortly before the contest.
Acting more as a class act, 6 members band Put, represented Croatia singing about peace with very beautiful opening lines that go like this :
|Tisuće snova dalekih, ruža u srcima zaspalih||Thousands of distant dreams, roses asleep in our hearts|
|Leptira tisuće šarenih, k’o duše nevinih||Thousands of colourful butterflies, innocent like souls|
So yeah it’s not always about birds after all.
Since we’re on about butterflies, I guess this “masterpiece” was pretty obvious to think about. Heaven knows Belarus has served us worse, but don’t you think it fits pretty nicely on this 24th places wall we published recently ? I mean honnestly, wasn’t there more in the visuals than in the song (like it pretty much is the case for most nowadays?)
The title pretty much says it all for this one. Much more memorable and fun than not only Belarus 2010 but pretty much anything that country has sent ever, Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson represented the United Kingdom in what would be the country’s second appearance, in 1959. A second appearance ending in a second place that would be the first in a long string that ended in 1998 – possibly with a RIP note considering the ordeal the country is going through nowadays to get back up there.
Where are the great times when you only needed lines like “There’s a bird on a branch, There’s a branch on a tree” to score that well ? UK, I feel your pain.
Talking about ordeal, Cyprus’ record shows they’ve been through quite a few of their own, and among them their 2009 entry “Firefly” by Christina Metaxa. Yeah by 2009, long gone was the time you only needed to look cute to get anywhere at Eurovision, because honnestly that entry really was cute, I swear ! I mean winning the national final scoring twice the amont of votes the runner-up did, does mean something, doesn’t it ? Nikolas Metaxa, the singer’s bro who wrote the song and courageously submitted it a year after he unfairly came second to something not even worth mentioning, ever, maybe just picked the wrong animal to get to an Eurovision final ? As for Cyprus, it’s really too bad they still had faith in national talent back then. How dared they ?
The video even features horses in it ! Could that entry be any more perfect ?
Back to birds now and going ten years back we find ourselves in 1999, the contest opening with what’s Lithania’s second entry ever. First year with the contest rules opening up to english again after about 25, audacious Aisté dared not only to sing not in English, nor in Lithuanian but in Samogitian (which is a dialect of Lithuanian). Though one would think she could have been more generous in teaching us words of a language never heard by like 99,9999999% of Europeans before (the song contains only about 20 different words !), the song remains nonetheless one of the most beautiful pieces ever sent by the country, if not the one. Yeah, as a personal winner for that year, I find it sad that this sweet little song about “freezing song trush feet” only gained a frozen heart response from most.
Frozen heart is the one of Leena Tirronen in the lyrics of wonderful “Blackbird”.
Told you, these spieces are like the animal version of Sweden at Eurovision, they come in all shapes and colours, playing for all countries. Unfortunately it turns out genuinely poetic “Blackbird” playing for Finland doesn’t do the trick as much as commercial, yet cheap Sweden does the trick for Cyprus. That’s how you end up with a song featuring one of the most beautiful piano bridges ever to compete not qualifying leaving a country that’s been ridiculously overlooked countless times, unfairly getting the treatment once again. At least we know that even in such a dark atmosphere, Finland remains true and beautiful, unlike most.
We remain in the dark with a country that had pretty much been through hell for almost a decade, til the day the then 38 year-old Anouk came along with “Birds”. Though the Netherlands saw the light of the Eurovision final again, it curiously was with one of the darkest songs ever to compete (it was about suicide for those who didn’t get it – which says a lot about the Netherlands’ state after 9 consecutive non-qualifications). Doesn’t it feel like birds have pretty much done everything in Eurovision songs by now ?
Also don’t worry too much about them, we heard they did “Rise Like a Phoenix” the year after…
On a much more positive note, if you have made the wish to hear about other animals than suicidal birds and Belarusian butterflies, then hold your breath, your wish is about to come true!
For someone who’s been following the contest for over 5 years like me, but unlike the social networks know-it-all fans, when you think about “animal(s)” and Eurovision there’s no more obvious entry than the absolutely nuts one Austria (yeah, very unconventional way before Mama Chita) sent in 2003. Was it a statement against the EBU for expanding the contest into semi final stages? a confession of weakness ? a brownie funnily stuffed ? or maybe an inspiration coming from a stuffed animal’s head against the wall of an Austrian Alps’ chalet ?
“Weil der Mensch zählt” (“Because People Matter”) mentions 8 different animal species, in a song we challenge you to make sense of, and same about the result.
We end this list on a much more poetic and even more impactful song than the last (yes, it is possible, those crazy Austrians didn’t thankfully win in 2003 after all) with a Eurovision winner.
“L’oiseau et l’enfant” won the 22nd Eurovision Song Contest held in London for France. This song, selected from a national final that it won with almost twice as many votes as the runner-up, pretty much is a trip through people, cities, animals, time, space, in which all that’s expected is love. Love that already is carried by the bird and the child, metaphor of a couple “love is you, love is me, you’re the bird, I’m the child”.
So, there you go for some of the most outstanding Eurovision songs mentioning animals in them. As you can see Eurovision is quite *any kind of insect*-phobic-friendly, but you never know what the next batch of song may bring to us…
Finally, if you feel like it, you can also make your own top of these 10 songs ! With the help of our very own sorter right here : Animals
We can’t wait to see what your tops are like, don’t hesitate to share them with us right here or in the comments section.