Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


How to win Eurovision

Some people think that Eurovision could be fixed by not revealing the nationality of the songs. I guess the thinking behind this is that people vote based on nationality rather than what they actually like.

However, Rod Liddle in The Spectator has a different idea: Perhaps people actually vote for the songs they like, but cultural differences mean that they like different tunes in different parts of Europe. In his own words:

The UK’s song was a piece of savvy, soul-inflected 12-bar blues; that’s what we usually do for the Eurovision, sometimes witlessly, sometimes — as with Andy Abrahams — with a degree of panache. But the one thing none of the countries east of the Oder-Neisse line have is a tradition of 12-bar blues. It may, up to a point, form the basis of our pop music, but it is an alien, disconcerting life-form in Chisinau and Belgrade and Vilnius. Over there, they like stuff in a minor key, the melodic extension of the Imam’s wail or the pobodny liturgies of the Russian Orthodox Church.

If we take part next year, here’s the way to win. Choose someone swarthy and hirsute — preferably a woman — and shove her in the sort of dress worn by Joan Sims in the early Carry On comedies. Ensure that she does not shave her armpits. Give her a song in a minor key wedded to a moronic 4/4 disco beat but which begins with a sort of quasi-spiritual ululating. Let the chorus be along the lines of ‘Life Ees Good!’ or ‘We Are All Frentz!’ — and, from Riga to Baku, watch the votes roll in.

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