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”.