Ukrainian hopefuls aren’t so jolly

Posted: 9/3/2005 in:

Controversy is surrounding the Eurovision entry from this year’s host nation Ukraine. The winning song, a hip-hop number called Razom Nas Bagato! (Together We Are Many!) by Greenjolly, won the right to represent the country at this year’s contest last week – but according to BBC News Online, organisers have now decided that the lyrics are far too political for the contest, and have given the band until Thursday to tone them down.

The track became the anthem for the country’s ‘Orange Revolution’ late last year (which ultimately led to the re-running of the Ukranian election and the appointment of Viktor Yuschenko as president), with lyrics that include the phrase: “No to falsifications… No to lies. Yushchenko –yes! Yushchenko – yes! This is our president –yes, yes!” But while this might be inspiring stuff for those taking to the streets of Kiev in protest, it’s a different story when it comes to the Eurovision stage.

“It was a political song so we cannot allow this since this is a non-political contest,” said Svante Stockselius, the contest’s executive supervisor. If the new words don’t meet with the organisers’ approval then Ukraine have until 21 March to submit a different song.

Greenjolly should of course have realised that if you want to make a political statement, Eurovision isn’t necessarily the best place to do it. Witness the case of the contest’s last would-be activist, Finnish entrant Kojo, who gave us the quite staggeringly inept Nuku Pomiin (otherwise known as Don’t You Drop That Neutron Bomb On Me) in 1982, and wound up with a big fat nul points for his troubles. Finland have stuck to inoffensive tracks about tango dancing and the like ever since – thus providing further proof that Eurovision and politics just don’t mix.

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