Playlist of the month: Eurovision hits

Unlike last month, I’m actually publishing this month’s playlist mid-month. And seeing as it’s Eurovision week, these are all my favourite hits from previous Eurovision years. My verdicts on this year’s songs are here.

You can listen along to this playlist on Spotify if you wish.

  • “Dancing Lasha Tumbai” by Verka Serduchka. A memorable performance from Ukraine in 2007. Allegedly ‘Lasha Tumbai’ was changed from ‘Russia goodbye’, as Eurovision tries to be non-political (but invariably is). It came second, losing to Serbia. It’s one of those very silly songs that epitomises Eurovision.
  • “Euphoria” by Loreen. Currently holds the record for most votes for any song performed in a Eurovision final and rightly a winner for Sweden in 2012. Loreen went on to win Eurovision again for Sweden last year, although I’m not so keen on her 2023 song “Tattoo”.
  • “Ooh ahh… Just A Little Bit” by Gina G. The British entry from 1996, and an absolute gay anthem. It didn’t win, although it came seventh which is pretty good compared to recent British Eurovision performances (2022 excepted). Gina G is actually Australian, and now Australia competes in Eurovision. Please don’t think too hard about the geographical implications of this.
  • “Satellite” by Lena. A fun little song which won for Germany in 2010. Lena would represent Germany again in 2011 but wasn’t as successful.
  • “Je Me Casse” by Destiny. The Maltese entry in 2021. A friend described this as Lizzo meets Mr Saxobeat (an Alexandra Stan song) and I agree, but it works. It came seventh. 2021 was an unusual event as it was the first show since 2019 and had a significantly smaller audience. Also, four countries (including the UK) got nul points that year.
  • “Only Teardrops” by Emmelie de Forest. This was the 2013 winner for Denmark.
  • “Thing About Things” by Daði Freyr. The probable winner for the contest that never was. This was Iceland’s entry for the 2020 contest that was cancelled due to you know what. Daði Freyr came back with a new song for 2021 but didn’t win.
  • “Diva” by Dana International. This won in 1998 in Birmingham, following Britain’s most recent win in 1997. Dana International was the first openly transgender Eurovision contestant and won with a great song.
  • “Toy” by Netta. Israel’s win in 1998 was followed by another win 20 years later, with this unusual but catchy song.
  • “Glorious” by Cascada. Whilst Cascada’s lead singer is British, this was the German entry for 2013. It didn’t do so well, coming 21st overall.

Eurovision 2024 – my verdicts

An AI-generated image of a performer at Eurovision waving a Swedish flag

It’s Eurovision time again! It’s in Sweden again this year, after Loreen chalked up her second victory last year. The first semi-final was last night, and the second semi-final is tomorrow, with the main event on Saturday.

Watching the Eurovision finals used to be a big thing for us, and we would either go to friends’ houses for a Eurovision watching party or host our own in previous years. However, with an eight-year-old to get to bed, it’s not proved practical in recent years. Still, I’ve listened to all 37 entries on Spotify, and here are my highlights and lowlights:

Douze points

  • “The Code” by Nemo (Switzerland). Heartfelt lyrics by the singer about coming to terms with their non-binary identity.
  • “No Rules” by Windows95Man (Finland). This was the first song that I heard, due to its video going moderately viral on social media a few weeks ago. Very much a novelty song, but catchy.
  • “Rim Tim Tagi Dim” by Baby Lasagna (Croatia). A thumping beat drives this song.
  • “We Will Rave” by Kaleen (Austria). Feels like 1990s Eurodance, but in a good way.
  • “Always on the run” by ISAAK (Germany). A good voice; Germany came last in 2023 (they should have chosen Patty Gurdy) and this is a much stronger entry.
  • “Unforgettable” by Marcus & Martinus (Sweden). Not as strong as some of Sweden’s previous entries but a good performance on Saturday could see Sweden hosting two years in a row.
  • “Liar” by Silia Kapsis (Cyprus). This was ranked top in last night’s first semi final, and rightly so. Silia is only 17 too.
  • “SAND” by SABA (Denmark).
  • “Loop” by Sarah Bonnici (Malta). Malta have put entered some good songs over the years but never seem to win, which is a shame. This is a good one.
  • “Ulveham” by Gåte (Norway). I like this one. It won’t win because songs that aren’t in English rarely do well.
  • “11:11” by Megara (San Marino). As above, unlikely to win but this is a pretty storming song.

Nul points

  • “Europapa” by Joost (Netherlands). Like Austria’s entry, sounds like 1990s Eurodance but not in a good way. More suited to kids birthday parties.
  • “Doomsday Blue” by Bambie Thug (Ireland). This just sounds like a lot of noise and unnecessary shouting to me, but it made it through last night’s semi final.
  • “Hurricane” by Eden Golan (Israel). This is a by-the-numbers Eurovision entry that will probably not get through the semi-finals because of who the host country is. I’m surprised Israel was permitted to take part this year, as Russia and Belarus have been banned for the past three years.

The UK Eurovision entry

This year, the UK will be represented by Olly Alexander from Years & Years with “Dizzy”. It’s not bad; I don’t think it’s the best song, but often success is determined by the quality of the performance on the night.

The UK has had mixed success in recent Eurovision competitions; Sam Ryder’s “Spaceman” came second in 2022, leading us to host last year through Clearing as Ukraine (the actual winners) couldn’t host, due to being invaded by Russia, another Eurovision country. However, last year, Mae Muller’s “I Wrote A Song” didn’t achieve the same success and came second from bottom. Which was a shame as I felt it deserved to do better.

It would be nice if the UK could repeat its 2022 success, but I don’t think it’ll be our year.

Patty Gurdy

I’ve been getting a little obsessed with the song Melodies of Hope by Patty Gurdy. Imagine folk-pop music, but instead of a guitar solo, there’s the sound of a Hurdy-Gurdy instead.

I’ve only recently come across Patty Gurdy, through her recent collaboration with Alestorm on their recent single Voyage of the Dead Marauder – which is excellent by the way, and a real return to form. She’s apparently quite big on TikTok, although I’ve decided that I’m too old for TikTok which is why I haven’t heard of her until now.

If Melodies of Hope sounds like it would make a really good Eurovision entry, that’s because it was a finalist for Germany’s entry for 2023. Had Patty Gurdy won, she would have represented her native Germany in the Eurovision finals in Liverpool last year, but her song wasn’t selected. A shame, because I expect it would have done really well. As it was, Germany went for Blood and Glitter by Lord of the Lost, and came last.

I also think it’s worth noting that she isn’t signed to a record label, and all her music is self-released. You can sort of tell, as the production values for her music videos are basic. But when her music is this-good, this is merely nitpicking.

Besides listening on Spotify and buying her music at the usual places like iTunes, you can support her on Patreon.