When I Cry, I Cry for Both of Us – Israeli Politics and the Eurovision

Everything you do or say in Israel can be construed as political, from the paper you read to the lunch you eat. It’s no wonder, then, that so many songs sent to represent Israel at the Eurovision song contest over the years have raised quite a bit of ruckus on the way. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane:
In 1974, just after the Yom Kippur war, Israeli band Kaveret sang at Brighton, UK, “There’s enough air for a country or two”. In 1983, a decade after the Olympics massacre and half a century after WWII, singer Ofra Haza, in front of a German audience in Munich, sang “I am still alive”. In 1991 at Rome, Italy, a singing Duo Datz wished whoever comes ‘Ahalan’ in Arabic, but stated they were born ‘here’ and so were their children. At the 2000 contest in Stockholm, Sweden, things got so hectic that the band Ping-Pong were disavowed by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority after insisting on waving an Israeli and a Syrian flag (and some cucumbers). In 2007 at Helsinki, Finland, Israeli band Teapacks warned the world that you-know-who is “gonna push the button”.

Held this week in Moscow, Russia, the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest will include another political song from Israel, but one that is quite sober and realistic. Sung by “an Arab girl who looks Jewish and a Jewish girl who looks Arab” this song might not win Europe over, but I believe singers and songwriters Noa and Mira Awad will make many Israelis proud by their simple statement in English, Hebrew and Arabic: There must be another way:


There Must Be Another Way – Noa & Mira Awad – Lyrics

 
English:
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
Arabic:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
Arabic:
 
 
English:
 
 
 
 
 
Hebrew:
 
 
 
 
English:
 
 
 
English Translation:
There must be another
Must be another way
 
Your eyes, sister
Say everything my heart wants to say
We’ve come a great distance
Our road has been long and hard
Hand in hand
 
And the tears fall, flow, in vain
Our pain has no name
We are both waiting
For the day ‘after’
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
 
Your eyes say
One day, the fear will be gone
In your eyes there is determination
That we can continue
Our journey
For as long as it takes
 
For there is no address to sorrow
I cry to the open plains
To the merciless sky
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way
 
A long and hard journey
Lies before us
Together, on our way to the light
Your eyes say
All the fear will someday disappear
 
And when I cry I cry for both of us
My pain has no name
And when I cry I cry
To the merciless sky and say
There must be another way
 
And the tears fall, flow, in vain
Our pain has no name
We are both waiting
For the day ‘after’
 
There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way
Phonetic:
 
 
 
Eina’ih, ahot
Kol ma shelibi mevakesh omrot
Avarnu ad ko
Dereh aruka, dereh ko kasha
Yad beyad
 
Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
Ke’ev lelo shem
Anahnu mehakot
Rak layom sheyavo ahrei
 
 
 
 
Aynaki bit’ul
Rah yiji yom wu’kul ilkhof yizul
B’aynaki israr
Inhu ana khayar
N’kamel halmasar
Mahma tal
 
Li’anhu ma fi anwan wakhid l’alahzan
B’nadi lalmada
L’sama al’anida
 
 
 
 
 
 
Derech aruka na’avor
Derech ko kasha
Yachad el ha’or
Aynaki bit’ul
Kul ilkhof yizul
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
Ke’ev lelo shem
Anahnu mehakot
Rak layom sheyavo ahrei
 
 
 
 

Update:
May 12, 2009 – Israel qualified for the final contest. Russian host Andrey Malakhov: “The most political-correct [sic] song goes to the final! Congrats Israel”.
May 17, 2009 – As expected, Europe did not fall in love and with 53 points Israel has finished in 16th place.

Eurovision Blonde Contest 2008

Watching the Eurovision Song Contest last night, I could not help notice that while each country had a different representative delivering its votes, somehow the female representatives showed similar characteristics. I am a firm believer in the law of large numbers and thus think a large sample size can sometimes reveal significant issues. As an artist I use mosaics from time to time to express various opinions, and so after composing this new work I think we can agree Europe still thinks women are nothing more than eye candy:

[singlepic id=73 w=450 h=540 float=center]
For higher resolution, press F11 and then click the image

 

Following is a legend with the name of each country corresponding to each photo’s location:

United Kingdom Ukraine Estonia Bosnia & Herzegovina Belgium
Latvia Bulgaria Serbia Israel Cyprus
Iceland Romania Portugal Hungary Armenia
Czech Republic Spain The Netherlands Turkey Malta
Ireland Switzerland Azerbaijan Croatia Belarus
Russia Montenegro Georgia Denmark

 

 

* Out of a total of 43 representatives, 14 males were excluded.
Insignificant minor retouching was done on some of the photos.
The Turkish representative’s shirt was heavily retouched to remove some superimposed graphics

Oh Europe, Where Oh Where Did It All Go Wrong? – The Rise and Fall of The Eurovision Song Contest

It all went to the crapper in 1999 when two rulings annihilated the core essence of the Eurovision song contest we knew and loved: the cancellation of the national language restriction and the abolishment of the mandatory live orchestra rendered an annual event of joy and pride (!) into an annual ceremony of exasperation. Where once entire families gathered and listened to every song by every country, and crossed their fingers during the long tallying of the votes – now it seems that families gather to watch the opening performance, only to be dispersed by the second or third song, then gather again when someone yells ‘We’re on next!’, only to retire to bed as soon as it is clear which Eastern Bloc country excelled in mimicking a Britney karaoke performance. The time of Poupée de cire, poupée de son (Luxembourg, 1965) and J’aime la vie (Belgium, 1986) has gone, and the time for Every Way That I Can (Turkey, 2003) and Hard Rock Hallelujah (Finland, 2006) has come.

This year’s official Irish submission for the 53rd Eurovision Song Contest is called Irelande Douze Pointe (sic) and I believe it will win. Like the 1992 Israeli submission ‘Ze Rak Sport’ (6th place) it is a Eurovision song about the Eurovision song contest, a 21st century Ars Poetica, if you will. Oh yeah, the lead singer is a puppet named Dustin the Turkey.

The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest will be held on May 24, 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW8IHDxsTLE

Dustin the Turkey feat. Kitty B – Irelande douze pointe – Lyrics

Oh, I come from a nation
What knows how to write a song
Oh Europe, where oh where did it all go wrong?
Come on!
 
Irlande douze points
 
Drag acts and bad acts and Terry Wogan’s wig
Mad acts and sad acts, it was Johnny Logan’s gig
 
Shake your feathers and bop your beak
Shake ‘em to the west and to the east
Wave Euro hands and Euro feet
Wave ‘em in the air to the turkey beat
 
Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points
To the funky beat
Come on
 
G-O-B gobble B-L-E, yeah…
 
Hello ABBA, hello Bono, hello Helsinki
Hola Prague, hello sailor, c’est la vie
Auf Wiedersehen, Mamma Mia and God Save the Queen
G’day Austria, bonjour Serbia,
You know what I mean
 
Shake your feathers and bop your beak
Shake ‘em to the west and to the east
Wave Euro hands and Euro feet
Wave ‘em in the air to the funky beat

Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points
(fart)
Aha
 
Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points
To the funky beat
Come on
 
Give us another chance, we’re sorry for Riverdance
Sure Flatley, he’s a Yank
And the Danube flows through France
Block vote, shock vote
Give us your twelve today
You’re all invited to Dublin, Ireland
And we’ll party the Shamrock way
 
Irlande douze points – Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points – Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points – Irlande douze points
Irlande douze points – to the funky beat
Come on
 
Irlande douze points, Irlande douze points
 
Eastern Europe, we love you
Do you like Irish stew?
Or goulash, as it is to you

Yes, it’s Bulgaria, we love you
Belarus, Georgia, Montenegro
Moldovia, Albania, Croatia
Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia
Don’t forget Turkey
Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia
Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegova
And don’t forget the Swiss – cheese!