Things I Like #1: Eurovision Singers’ Odd Syntax
28th Jan 2011 in Uncategorised
If you’ve never lived in Europe, you probably don’t know what Eurovision is. In short: it’s an annual Europe-wide singing contest. Each participating country chooses a performer, and then they all get together for one huge horrendous performance-fest and multi-language voting. It’s ludicrous, over-the-top, and a political farce.
And yet there’s something appealing about it. There are many things to love about Eurovision: the so-bad-they’re- good songs, the tragic attempts at costumes and choreography, and – my favourite – the singers’ odd syntax.
Forty-three countries took part last year (bet you can’t name 43 European countries off the top of your head!), and while almost none of them have English as a first language, many of them sing in English. And herein lies the joy.
It’s Not You Really Need
Russia’s 2006 entry, ‘Never Let You Go’ by Dima Bilan, is three wonderful minutes of odd syntax:
My personal favourite comes in the very first verse: “Ardent look, but no heat, it’s not you really need”. Something about that missing word just makes me smile.
Also worth seeing are Dima’s impressive mullet and dance consisting mostly of thrusts. Check out the video at 1:10: the mullet is so beautiful it makes a girl cry. But don’t worry, she soon cheers up when Dima starts thrust-dancing again.
I Bought New Underwear, They Blue
Lena’s ‘Satellite’, the entry from Germany, won last year. Warning: this might be the most boring music video you’ve ever seen in your life:
The song is bizarre due to her London-accented singing – I can only assume that she’s been listening to a hell of a lot of Kate Nash songs – but my favourite line is “I bought new underwear, they blue”. There’s something so charming about the slight mangling of it.
My final piece of joy today is Armenia’s 2009 entry, ‘Apricot Stone’:
Find someone who can’t see your screen, play them this song, and ask them to guess what the title of the song is. A Pre-Cut Stone? Apree Cutston? Ay Preecot Son? Bet they can’t guess.
What are your favourite songs with odd syntax or pronunciation?