7 of this year’s 43 Eurovision entries are performed entirely or mainly in another language than English. We take a look at these songs in order to understand what exactly they are bringing to us, and the TV viewers not familiar with their language.
In the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Ukraine, France and Italy are competing with songs which are either entirely or mainly non English in its lyrics. Let’s take a look at what the songs from these seven countries are about:
Austria’s 2016 representative Zoë is performing her entry Loin d’Ici completely in French. Within her song the young lady is looking for a paradise which is far away as she says in the lyrics. It is further a love story that contains a beloved person who is going ahead, whereas Zoë is just following in order to reach that mentioned paradise. The atmosphere of the song, conveyed in the lyrics as well as musically, is very positive and is confirming the power of love.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Love is also the main topic of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s entry Ljubav Je which translated means Love Is. The singers Dalal and Deen respectively the rapper Jala are all using very strong expressions in order to make their message understandable. Deen is “dying for her body”, whereas Jala mentions that “the end will be tragic”. In contrast to the song from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s 2016 entry conveys a dark atmosphere and is dealing with a love relationship that is everything, but not perfect. Even though the chorus of the song makes it clear that love has the power to overcome all these problems and finally leads to a happy ending of the love story.
Greece’s 2016 representative Argo competes with the song Utopian Land. The lyrics of the Greek entry are dealing with forgetting and repressing all the problems in our world that is anything else than perfect. It is not about finding an utopian and perfect world, but about not thinking of all the trouble. The mentioned solutions are drinking alcohol and going to parties. In this way people have the feeling of overcoming all their issues but, in fact, are leaving the “dusk” and “heading to the dawn” – so they are literally going nowhere. The lyrics are alluding to the bad financial situation of many Greeks as a consequence of the economic crisis and further are working as a criticism of the Western world which is not supporting enough.
The FYR Macedonian returnee Kaliopi participates with the song Dona. It deals with something beautiful and powerful which is not named within the entry. The title has no meaning in Macedonian but in Catalan it means woman. The meaning of the mentioned title can not clarified however, but the addressed Dona smiles and looks at Kaliopi, a human behaviour that confirms the assumption that this Dona might be a woman. The person Kaliopi is singing about is metaphorically described as “God’s flower” and the FYR Macedonian representative is showing a thankful attitude towards this person.
Jamala, Ukraine’s representative for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest is trying to put a strong message across. It deals with the deportation of Crimean Tatars back in 1944 and is pronouncing all the emotions of fear, sadness and anger. Jamala is directly mentioning murder and death without circumscribing these facts. The highlight of the song is reached when the singer is singing in Crimean. This important part of the song can be translated as “I couldn’t spend my youth there because you took away my peace” – an address to Stalin and all the guilty parties of the murders.
Amir’s 2016 entry J’ai cherché means “I have been looking for” and describes the search of happiness. Within his song the performer is explaining that we is looking for a sense to his existence and importance of life as love and recognition. All these missing pieces were finally found in music and love, both aspects that brought happiness into Amir’s daily life and made him overcome fear and hurt.
Francesca Michielin talks about a love relationship within her song No Degree Of Separation. It conveys an atmosphere of happiness which is created by this mentioned love. There is no hesitation and both persons were going into the same direction. Before this love, Francesca “watched the world from a door”, whereas now the young singer has lost all the fear and is literally shining.