Posted by Andy “inteligenta alec” Bell
As we speed towards the arrival on-air of “Euro Song Countdown 2012” on April 7th it’s no real surprise that there is some online sharing of ground.
So blogposts appearing here are also popping up elsewhere in an adapted form.
It’s known as maximising content delivery potential differentials … or having the penny and the bun.
And so to some thoughts about lingo & the ESC in 2012.
It appears that yet again far too many would-be Eurovision winners – singers, writers & broadcasters – are still determined to hobble what chances they might have by deciding to sing in what they presume to be the language of success, riches and global understanding.
And it ain’t Esperanto.
Call the supremely lovely Pasha from Moldova.
Come on, how long did it take you to discern that he was not singing in Romanian (the language of the song’s title) or Moldovan, but in English ?
Once I had stopped giggling, grimacing and the rest, I settled down and thought – “hey, this tune isn’t the worst”.
But it was too late.
My first impressions overwhelmed my later considerations – shallow I know, but that is Eurovision for you.
Sorry Pasha, your winning ways were struck down the moment you opened your mouth.
Call the Hungarian bears. (Gay reference offered with love)
The lyrics offer wonderful sentiments:
“The whole big world is just one place
You can say it’s all the same
You may feel hatred’s it sows
We can show it’s no way to go.”
Even the apostrophes are in the right place.
But when the performance comes along any fine and noble thoughts disappear down a plug hole of aural nonsense.
The emphasis isn’t never quite right, consonants are given one hell of a beating and it all sounds linguistically blancmange-like.
And here’s another thing.
“This is a zeal from above and it can say it all.”
Singers who struggle with English pronunciation should never, ever be given the word “zeal” to sing.
Somehow knowing Compact Disco are singing about the brotherhood of man (& woman) would do the trick for me.
Hearing them singing in their own language might even add a layer of magic & mystery to those fine sentiments.
But once a song sung in your own first language has to be deciphered that song is in big trouble as far as I am concerned.
All too often I end up with an attitude of “can’t be bothered”.
Harsh I know, but these things need to be said.
Call the cute piano playing singer.
In 2011 Italy had a song which was, in my humble view, head and shoulders above the rest.
But it had a fatal flaw.
In Düsseldorf Raphael Gualazzi felt obliged to sing a few words in English early in the piece and then halfway through.
It did not serve him or the song well.
Back at Sanremo when he & his song were selected there was a tiny phrase of English buried in the song at the midway point.
By then I was totally in the thrall of “Follia d’Amore” and those performing it.
It’s all in the individual ear I guess, but I sincerely wish that “day by day” and “night by night” those who’ll be converging on Baku in a few weeks time think long & hard about the lingo thing.
And if they do feel pressured to switch to what we call in Welsh “yr iaith fain”, the thin language, they do so in a strategic way.
In Eurovision as in the blogposting world, you can have the penny and the bun !!