A song is usually also a way to transport a message. But as we all know, communication is not always easy. Sometimes there is a slight risk of misunderstanding. With music and singing – especially in a different language than your mother tongue – the chance that someone doesn’t get the words and their meaning right is even higher. Let’s have a look where one might hear something wrong listening to this year’s Eurovision songs:
As we already saw last year at the Belgian entry, it can be popular to sing about one’s parents like Axel Hirsoux did in a very dramatic performance of “Mother”. You might even think that this year, there are even two candidates singing about their parents: Nina Sublatti seems to begin the “Warrior”-song for Georgia with the word “Father”. Actually, she’s singing – or rather shouting – “Fighter”, though, which admittedly makes more sense considering the rest of song. Apparently, she didn’t become a warrior because of her father… Another dramatic family history can be suspected as the background of the Greek entry “One Last Breath” by Maria Elena Kyriakou. With a look at the lyrics, though, it turns out that it wasn’t the mother who killed the protagonist, but only “my light” that was fading. Whew!
People with a tendency towards brutality might also be worried about Marta Jandova singing “find me with a knife” instead of “find me where the night turns into day”. Fortunately, hope never dies for Marta, Vaclav and the Czech Republic.
Listening to the Russian song “A Million Voices” by Polina Gagarina pessimists might hear the line “We are the worst people”. In fact, the line is supposed to be “We are the world’s people” – no reason to feel bad about yourself at all!
The “golden boy” Nadav Guedij from Israel makes it very easy to understand that he wants to get over his recent heartbreak and therefore – of course – needs to dance and seduce new women with his alleged endless charm. At one point, though, it is quite hard to understand that he says “Pull me, baby, I’m your trigger” (maybe because you probably don’t really want to understand what exactly he is singing…) – could also be “Hold me, baby,…” which appears to be the safer version for womanhood – it seems to be very, very dangerous to be triggered by the golden boy. In the end of the chorus it says “Let me show you Tel Aviv” – rather than “Let me show you that I live”. The poor targeted women would probably prefer to see Israel’s capital rather than the living golden boy.
When you listen to the entry “Chain of Lights” by Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola representing San Marino you might hear things like “people feel ashamed” – a feeling that can easily be evoked by the unforgettable Valentina Monetta’s descendants. Actually, though, it says “people feel the same”. Furthermore you might not get the poetic expression “one’s a lonely number” right away and rather understand “once a lonely lover” – which doesn’t seem to be farfetched at all concerning Michele Perniola.
As a matter of fact, the relationship between the Swiss and the English language is not always the easiest. This was already demonstrated very vividly by Sinplus who represented Switzerland in 2012 and told the world to “sweem against the strim”. Also Mélanie René seems to struggle with expressing herself properly. Listening to “Time to Shine” one might get the impression that René sees herself as some kind of a princess as she seems to think “it’s time for me to stand up and hold my crown”. Instead, she actually just wants to hold her “ground”.
As you can see, it is always a good idea to listen twice and carefully before you jump to conclusions or interpretations which might lead to misunderstandings. Luckily, there are 40 wonderful songs which you can listen to again and again and again until you are sure to have understood every single word.