In the world of Eurovision there’s only so many songs about love and peace that it starts to get old at some point. Yet, if there’s another term that is almost as ridiculously widespread as the first two, it’s “believing”. Believing in love, believing in peace, believing that Australia is in Europe, believing that the EBU isn’t corrupted, all these sweet little things that make us believe in even better songs about “believing”, in future contests.
So yeah, there’s quite a lot of stuff to believe in, and sometimes people too (yeah, as incredible as it sounds, it’s still possible) when it comes to Eurovision.
Some as it seems, have just given up and don’t want to believe (Latvia 2005). It’s all the more curious that on the other hand, and as you will see in this list, Eurovision makes Russians huge believers ; we can’t help but wonder why ?…
So as awkwardly frightening as this may sound, get ready for a Russian ivasion, but a positive one this time round as they made 3 of the 10 spots available for this article, can you believe it ?
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 “believing”.
Let’s start this list on a bitter note shall we? Since Russia’s gonna be here thrice, we’ll open with their “oldest” entry to mention “Believe” and that would be their 2004 one. “Believe me” is about a girl who seeminly doesn’t know what to do with the person she has feelings for
|Believe me, I just don’t care|
|If you look away or stare|
|If you choose to go or stay|
|Don’t believe me, I pray|
Far from being the happiest entry the country has sent, singer Julia Savicheva ended up with a result that’s also far from being the country’s best. Interestingly enough, with “Nje vjer, nje bojsa” in 2003 and “Nobody Hurt No One” in 2005, “Believe me” came right in the middle of “heavy atmosphere” entries with lyrics that would represent much more the state and the perception of Russia in the contest a decade later, when it is represented now by much lighter and brighter stuff…
Talking about brighter stuff, 5 years later, after Russia started positively and successfully “believing” again, they organised the (semi finals hosts aside) magnificient 2009 contest in which the Danish entry seems to have somehow taken over the torch in terms of symbolism. Written by Ronan Keating among others (oh, yeah sorry, we’re in 2017, RK was the member of a hugely famous Irish boy band of the 90’s and even co-hosted the contest at 20 years old in 1997!), it’s a song simply titled “Believe Again” that represented the Nordic country for the last but not least year of the decade. It looks like Danes couldn’t resist the Brokeback Moutain, red scarf-round-the-neck look of Niels Brinck over Hera Björk’s transitionning Icelandic black drag queen. And they seem to have done right ! This sweet pop song, which results’ gap between juries and public vote (respetively 6th and 19th) shocked more than one, still managed to get the country its best result in 4 years overall, so not too shabby, right ? Especially when you know that the runner-up of that year’s DMGP didn’t do that well at all the following year when she represented her actual own country.
We stay in 2009 with this time something to store pretty much in the same drawer as Icelandic drag queens (but in the pre-transition folder), who just like them, dared to believe they could be taken seriously, the super Dutch trio The Toppers, but not the kind you’d actually want to meet to… you know, be topped. But they did try hard ! I mean to be sweet, to believe, to shine ! Maybe a bit too much if you want my opinion. But there you go, see for yourself :
|As long as we believe in good in each man|
|As long as we believe in love|
|The light will guide and take us to|
|The world we all dream of|
|Let your light shine|
Such lyrics usually tend to do well at Eurovision don’t they? But the ridiculously cringy degree of the plate it was served on probably explains their 11 little points and 17th position result they got, in the semi final, obviously (there’s no kidding anyone). Since then, it seems they have somehow been luckier, though, since the band even expanded with a 4th member that joined recently. Good for them! Too bad the Ducth broadcaster forgot the rest of Europe wasn’t quite on the same page concerning Cannabis’ legalisation in the 2009-2010 period, they could have avoided some of the national “artists” quite a few misfortunes…
Let’s talk now about actual capital A artists misfortunes. 4 years ago, which already then was a good 15 years after the UK really started to fall from grace, the BBC went bold (lowercase letter b, yep, more that one) sending someone who still is internationally renowned for her “Total Eclipse of the Heart“, Bonnie Tyler. Told you, we don’t only believe in abstract stuff at Eurovision but also in people, since that’s what’s the Welsh singer is asking us herself to do : “Believe In Me” – and the BBC did ! Too bad it took both parties 30 years to realise there could have been something to get onto …Well, it’s not as if the UK was among the desperate ones at that time, is it ?
Since we’ve started to focus a bit more on the performers than on the song themselves, we’ll carry on for a bit with that very special band
unfortunaly especially created for Eurovision. I am talking about the super “Swiss” band six4one that represented Switzerland in 2006. Yeah, go home Armenia with your Genealogy and pain carrying and passing down lineages throughout the world, Switzerland was first with a more fun and original – yet barely more successful – idea. That was the theoretical perspective of the project. In practice, because Ralph Siegel (who surprisingly was behind the whole thing, can you believe it?) was already starting to let stuff that have probably fathered “Spirit of the Night” out in the open for us to suffer, this entry didn’t live up to the hype there actually was about the song. The only “positive” thing to remember about it, is that it was the first time and probably only ever for Andreas Lundstedt to set foot on Eurovision stage ; as much as we wish Alcazar did – AND I SAID DID – it at some point, that can be consolation enough, right ? Because the lyrics of that song aren’t helping either to be honnest…
|If we give a little love|
|Just believe it’s really worth|
|Many million hearts are beating on this earth|
From the Swiss or rather international “Many millions hearts beating on this earth” to the Swedo-Russian “A million voices”, we now travel 9 years forward to find ourselves in 2015 with Polina Genova, who, despite her million faces pulled on stage – probably due to stress, bless her – never gave birth on it unlike the Eurovision urban legend goes, or at least not as much as Rona Nishliu did in 2012. Talking about giving birth, wasn’t the video with all the children for this entry the cutest thing ever ? Yeah, as I told you, with Russia, and despite everything that’s going on off-contest and maybe even in (yeah, we won’t forget the exciting smart ass game played with Ukraine this year) this decade is all about being much brighter of a happy candyland compared to the heavy atmoshperes entries sent in 2003,2004,2005. And it turns out they get much better results too! Can you believe it ? I mean, for having this one as my personal winner for 2015, I just can’t complain about it finishing top 3. I also believe in dreams more than in “heroes”, am I to blame for this? (We believe, we believe, in a dream – in case you forgot the line).
Talking about voices, we will now focus on the last actually beautiful and memorable one to have represented Luxembourg as of this date, I’m obviously talking about Lara Fabian’s in 1988. Yeah we’re not all about songs in english, people who don’t speak it, nor understand it are also allowed to believe in stuff! So there you go for your french lesson of the day, “believe” in french is “Croire”, which exactly is the title that represented the Grand Duchy some 29 years ago now (yeah, it’s been that many years that Céline Dion won for Switzerland, I know, right ?). “Croire” pretty much tells you all the stuff you can believe in, going from the very believable/feasible to the least with that last killer line that goes “when we have love within us”. “Croire” is thus pretty much an example of powerful lyrical composition like you can’t find much in recent contests, and in case you’re still trying to argue about whether she was the last great voice to represent Luxembourg, well, she was the last to have finished top 5 for the country, and this I’m not forcing you to believe in, cause it’s just a fact.
Also, maybe I should give my number to that host for some french lessons too because she doesn’t seem to have gotten it… “Trust”…*sigh*
Someone else that probably got it wrong, but this time for a qualification to a Eurovision final, is David D’or, who represented Israel at the 2004 contest. To be honnest, I don’t think there’s another Eurovision song that repeats “To believe” that many times (about a dozen). Do you think that D’or (which by the way means “made of gold” in French, something that can’t be that surprising for an act representing Israel) didn’t get to shine enough ? For someone who has tried to represent his country before, maybe did he go too hard once he managed to ? Heaven knows Israel has sent worse, espcially when you know he is famous for having a vocal range than more of 4 octaves but when you think that “Wild Dances” was the winning title that year – then maybe this one came across as too “cotton candy” for the period ? We really don’t know what to believe about this one !
In a much less puzzled manned we will now reminisce of the entry representing the United Kingdom in 1972. That was a time when UK fans pretty much didn’t need to believe in their acts that much since as extremely weird as it may sound nowadays the UK was finishing like automatically top 10 on an almost constant basis, Sweden-style. Still the happy yeeppy hippie band that represented the country that year, being all hippie as they were, just couldn’t help mentioning the b-word in the most cheesy line not even eastern countries (but maybe San Marino) would dare to send nowadays : “Cause you believe love makes it all worthwhile (All worthwhile)”. And worthwile it apparently was indeed, since the band, that very astonishingly still exist as of today, came 2nd, 14 points behind Luxembourg, in Edinburgh. All in all and compared to quite a few, rather than believing too much it really looks like sometimes you just need to believe in a discrete manner to make an impact.
Finally, just like in the previous episode, we’ll end on a higher note, with a winner. The only Eurovision winning song actually titled with today’s star term “Believe”. Russia’s first and only victory already happened almost 10 years ago, can you Believe it ? (Bare with me, it’ll soon be over). We all know the gag, he came once, he finished second, and 2 years later, he came back barefoot, almost bare top, with a famous iceskater, and a famous violin player, pretty much the perfect “Russian avengers” team – but with quite some golden campy reactions as the 12 points were coming in – and he got it. The gag probably most of us have forgotten though, is the fact that he remains as of today the worst placing semi-finalist that went on to win the final, as he finished 3rd behind Greece and Armenia back then. The final running order certainly has helped him quite a bit – which shows you how wrong it is for producers to have any kind of say in that – especially when you think that Eurovision is or at least was meant to be A COMPETITION. However, as much as I would have personally prefered any of the lower 3 positioning contenders to win – the magnificent 2009 edition made this victory much easier to eventually live with, yeah, I should have myself believed all along too…
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 : Believe
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.