Recommendations

Eurovision Songs as Books

So, I had already scheduled a post for today that wasn’t this but on Saturday it was the Eurovision Song Contest, and that was a slight change of plans. For those who don’t know, Eurovision is a festival held every year where European countries present a song each, with the winner being later voted by a professional jury and the general public. I always love watching Eurovision but this year I was more invested than ever—I even watched the semifinals, which I never do—so I, of course, wanted to write a post with my favourite songs of the night and trying to link them to books.

Also, let it be clear that I want zero envolvement in the drama that usually surrounds the contest—and the months coming up to it—and the malicious claims made about any and every country every single year. I watch for the fun of it and that’s it, believe me when I say I won’t be throwing any fits over it. You can have your own opinions and thoughts, and some banter is fun, but some of the things I see online are… extremely alarming.

Well, without further ado, here’s the lists of songs, in no particular order, and the books I thought would fit them. I’ll be adding the translation to the original lyrics when necessary.

1) ROMANIA: Llámame by WRS

Romania placed 18th out of 25 countries, with only 65 points. I really thought this song would get higher up in the ranking than this seeing as it’s just a fun one that definitely sticks. My only complaint is that I wish they had sang in Romanian, as I always adore when the representatives sing in their native language. I do really like the Spanish chorus and obvious inspiration for the song though. It was an overall quite fun performance.

Love cannot be stopped by anybody
'Cause it's so true
I show it to the world, 'cause I won't hide it
Are you down to believe intenser?

“Llámame” talks about being oneself and presenting yourself authentically while keeping that camp-y and fun tone, so I had to choose Red, White & Royal Blue for it. The book follows pretty much the same pattern of being very fun while talking about identity and of being who you are.

2) FRANCE: Fulenn by Alvan & Ahez

France’s song definitely wasn’t a favourite among the jury nor the public, placing 24th with a mere 17 points, but personally, I really enjoyed it. The mix of EDM and Celtic music was really interesting to me and the fact that they actually sang in Breton was extremely cool. Despite liking it, I just knew it wouldn’t rank high.

Oc'h ober fae deus ar fall loened e tañsan
Me bak an tan en o lagad leun a droukc'hoant
Ha da dreiñ 'n'añ en ur c’han da gan' a-unvan
Dañsal a ra gant an diaoul ha para?
Dañsal a ran gant an diaoul ha para?
I dance, ignoring the wild animals
I steal the fire from their lustful eyes
And turn it into a song to be sung in unison
She dances with the devil, so what?
I dance with the devil, so what

This might seem like a bit of a stretch to some, but I couldn’t pass the oportunity to pair this French song to the iconic French novel The Phantom of the Opera. “Fulenn” deals with a woman dancing with the devil, and that’s just what Christine does in the novel.

3) UKRAINE: Stefania by Kalush Orchestra

Ukraine were the winners of the festival, with a wooping amount of 631 points, 165 points ahead of the second place. I, once again, loved the mix of musical genres, in this case, of folk music and rap. The main discourse online has been regarding Ukraine’s win and the comments sound, in my opinion, from petty to downright horrendeous. I personally thought the song was amazing and I haven’t stopped singing it.

Стефанія мамо мамо Стефанія
Розквітає поле, а вона сивіє
Заспівай мені мамо колискову
Хочу ще почути твоє рідне слово
Stefania mum mum Stefania
The field blooms, but she is turning grey
Sing me a lullaby mum
I want to hear your native word

Malibu Rising is the story of a family and as such, it’s filled with flashbacks and a melancohlic tone throughout. “Stefania” talks about wishing to go back to your mother singing you lullabies and feeling safe, evoking that same melancholy.

4) SERBIA: In Corpore Sano by Konstrakta

Serbia got a well-deserved 5th position, with 312 point. In my opinion, this entire performance was the most original of the night. I loved everything about it, from the hypnotic rythm to the simple yet bizarre staging. I also think the mix of Serbian and Latin lyrics was brilliant. It was a very interesting entry that totally broke away from the conventional and expected.

Mens infirma in corpore sano
Animus tristis in corpore sano
Mens desperata in corpore sano
Mens conterrita in corpore sano
I šta ćemo sad?
A sick mind in a healthy body
A sad soul in a healthy body
A desperate mind in a healthy body
A terrified mind in a healthy body
So now what?

Post-Traumatic follows Vivian, a young woman that, in order to try to get control of her life and trauma, places a lot of importance on the way she looks. Just like in “In Corpore Sano”, a supposedly “healthy body” doesn’t equal a healthy mind.

5) MOLDOVA: Trenulețul by Zdob şi Zdub & Advahov Brothers

Moldova’s song, despite initially not getting many points from the jury, ended up in 7th place, with 253 points, thanks to the public. This song is everything I love about Eurovision in a nutshell: fun vibes, a catchy and danceable rythm, and ridiculous staging. I simply couldn’t help but dance to this, and I’m happy they ended up in the top 10.

Merge trenul, parcă zboară
Dintr-o țară-n altă țară
Merge și nu poate pricepe
Care țară? Unde-ncepe?
Train is going, like flying
From one country to another
It is going and it can’t understand
What’s the country? Where to start?

“Trenulețul” talks about travelling through different countries on a train, and in The Red Scrolls of Magic, Magnus and Alec are starting their tour of Europe. I also think this is a fun song for a fun couple, so it fits just right.

6) NORWAY: Give That Wolf A Banana by Subwoolfer

Another extremely ridiculous performance that I absolutely loved. Norway ended up in the 10th position, with 182 points. Just like with Romania’s entry, the only thing I didn’t love is that they didn’t sing in their language, but the rest was 10/10. I mean, what’s not to love about yellow wolves in suits singing about bananas?

And before that wolf eats my grandma
Give that wolf a banana
Give that wolf
And before that wolf eats my grandma
Give that wolf a banana
Give that wolf
Give that wolf (Banana)

This song gave me such a hard time when trying to find a book for it. Because, obviously, my brain couldn’t stop thinking of Little Red Riding Hood but I also wanted to come up with something more original. And, well, I realised I just haven’t read that many werewolf books. So now, the one link between the book, Animal Farm, and the song is simply that it deals with animals taking over—the wolf eats the grandma, and the pigs end up ruling.

7) SPAIN: SloMo by Chanel

Spain got a historic 3rd position, with 459 points. I can’t even say I’m biased because believe me when I say I never thought I’d be adding my own country to my favourite acts of Eurovision. Obviously this is the song I’ve heard the most since it’s been on TV for months in Spain—and it has recieved a lot of criticism—but I was on board from before she was even chosen. It’s a fun, sexy, and playful song with a killer choregraphy, and I’m glad Spain finally sent something other than boring ballads.

Y no se confundan
Señora' y señore'
Yo siempre 'toy ready
Pa' romper cadera', romper corazones
Solo existe una
No hay imitaciones (Na, na)
Y si aún no me creen, pues me toca mostrárselo
And don’t be confused
Ladies and gentlemen
I’m always ready
To break hips, break hearts
There’s only one
There are no imitations (Na, na)
And if you don’t believe me, I’ll have to show you

There was just simply no way I could choose anything other than Take a Hint, Dani Brown for this one. Both the song and the book are about sexy and confident women, so it’s a match made in heaven. Dani Brown is an absolute force of nature, and so is this performance.

Did you watch Eurovision? What were some of your favourite performances? What do you think of the books I chose for each song? Tell me what you would’ve chosen for “Give That Wolf a Banana”.

See you next time, Maria

23 thoughts on “Eurovision Songs as Books

  1. This is amazing! 😍 While we’ll never agree on Ukraine, I’m completely with you on everything else on your list and the books you chose (at least the ones I’ve read). I didn’t even consider Red, White and Royal Blue for Romania but that’s a genius choice! And you had me laughing by picking Red Scrolls of Magic for Moldova. I just imagined Magnus and Alec being on the train with Zdob şi Zdub (I don’t know if you’ve seen the music video but that’s what I imagined), and Magnus just LOVING it. Alec maybe less so 😂
    Also, I’m kinda glad I’m not the only one who struggled to find a book for Norway. I haven’t read Animal Farm but know enough about it to say that I think that choice is about as good as it can get with a song like that. However, I do think English lyrics was the right choice since I don’t think the song would have worked as well if people didn’t know about the ridiculousness of the lyrics. Or maybe it’s just me translating the lyrics to Norwegian in my head and thinking the song would NOT have the same vibe 😅

    So if it wasn’t clear, I wouldn’t mind if you did this again next year 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We can agree to disagree! Honestly, I can totally see Alex dancing to Llámame! And oh my god, I just watched the music video and now I can even picture it more clearly!! Norway was wayyyy too hard to find a book for. And I agree that at least the chorus should be in English, but the verses would be cool in Norwegian since I think the utter nonsense is already well transmitted with that staging 😂 Although I am saying this as sosmeone who has no knowledge of Norwegian whatsover.

      Honestly, it was really fun to write, so I might resurface this idea next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHHHH – I’ve been eagerly anticipating this ever since silently stalking your comments on Line’s post, and it turned out just as great (if not better) than I expected!! 🤩 Even though I’m not sure why the two of you like Romania’s entry so much – I mean, it’s alright, I guess? 😅 – I’m so glad we both at least agree that France should be second! That song was so cool!! I just love the witchy vibes, and like you, I was totally fascinated by the Breton lyrics 🥰 And, I must admit: Ukraine’s song is starting to grow on me. I still don’t see it as first place material and am very upset that they didn’t win last year instead, but the more I listen to it, the more I actually find myself liking it! So who knows? I might be sold at some point 😂

    And gosh, your pairings were ingenious! Sure, the Norway one might be a bit of a stretch, but you mentioned Animal Farm, so it’s okay 🥰 And I snorted at you pairing Spain with Dani Brown 🤣 Oh my God, I liked Dani, but reading about her greedily eyeing Zaf’s various body parts every opportunity she got was a bit much at times! So I see parallels to the song for sure! 😁

    Anyway, I’m with Line – please make this a tradition! I’m already hoping next year might finally be the one where I can watch the finale live, rather than spending the entire night grading exams and then almost burning my dinner when I trying to catch up the next day while cooking… Oops 😂

    (Also, I still haven’t read Red Scrolls of Magic and now feel guiltily reminded that I’ve been meaning to for years 😅)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHAHAHAH I’m glad you liked it 😂 I mean, I can’t speak for Line but to me it was just a nice fun danceable song and I was sold (I never claimed to be a music connoisseur, I simply ~vibed~ with it) 😎 Also, they were really appealing to the Spanish public and I guess it worked because we gave them 10 points from the televote! Also, I’m not saying it was my number 1, I simply didn’t know how to order my favourites (Serbia’s might actually be my number 1, but I’d have to think about it too hard and I simply cannot be bothered 😅), and that was first on my notes app, so I put it first, heh 😇

      France’s entry was great!. Aas soon as the commentator said they would be singing in Breton I was reaaally looking forward to it, and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint 🥳 Honestly, I really enjoy fast raps so Ukraine immediately caught my attention. Also, that cool flute they play is fascinating 😍 Last year’s entry was also great, but as an absolute Måneskin lover, I can’t say I’m mad about the result!

      I’m glad you approve of my pairings. Norway really had me squeezing my brain, you don’t even know the number of times I changed my mind about it. I just went with that because why not? 😂 On the other hand, SloMo was easy peasy. It might be because this song has been playing everywhere for the past few months so my brain subconsciously might have had already linked a book to it, I don’t know. But yeah, Dani was the only character I could think of that would absolutely smash this with confidence 🔥

      It really was a lot of fun to write, so I might! Oh god, that sounds like quite the night (and day 😂). I watched the contest with my parents while having dinner as per the last few years (I managed to make them love it!!).

      And don’t worry about The Red Scrolls of Magic, only the first two books are out so far and I don’t see a third one coming out any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fully agree that choosing songs based on vibes is the best way to go! We don’t need any pretentious connoisseurs here 😂 Personally, I just thought that Estonia had even better vibes! 🥰

        And I love the cool Ukrainian flute! 🤩 That’s one of my absolute favorite parts of the song! It’s just the rap part that I’m not the biggest fan of… 😅 Rap is always rather hit or miss for me, and I don’t know – I just didn’t find it all that gripping this time around… 🙈 (But my ESC opinions are very unpopular anyway because – please don’t hate me too much – I didn’t really see what the big fuss surrounding Måneskin was, either 😅)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I really liked the voice of Estonia’s representative but I wasn’t too sold on the song. But that’s the fun of the contest, there’s something for everyone!

          Glad we agree on the flute hehehe 😂 And no worries, I would never hate you for having an opinion (I see plenty of people fighting over and being rude about opinions and it is genuinely the silliest thing I’ve ever witnessed!!). But personally, I’m just glad I got to know them through the festival because they really are everything I love in music.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, I love the Eurovision Song Contest it’s just such a fun night. We always make a game out of it at home to see who’s favorites come closest to winning. I loved Ukraine’s song as well as Norway and Spain. For once the UK wasn’t awful as well.
    Loved this post it was such a fun idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never been the biggest follower of Eurovision, but I saw moments of the show and one song that I saw and stood out to me was Norway. My favourite thing about Eurovision is how it can be so fun, wacky and weird. I like the performances that stand out and how people are free to be as random as they want, and for it to be celebrated! It is a hard book to match with the song, Red Riding does seem the most relevant, but I liked your link to Animal Farm.
    I hadn’t heard of the book Post-Traumatic before, but it sounds like an interesting read. I will definitely have to check it out in the future!
    This was such a fun post. I LOVED reading it and embracing your love of Eurovision. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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