Merry Christmas Dear Readers — and Happy New Year!
This week’s playlist features Eurovision artists singing traditional and contemporary Christmas songs. Once again, twenty songs curated for your enjoyment, plus a bonus gift at the end! If y’all like this list, let me know, and I’ll be sure to make a new one each year!
Find the playlist on YouTube: Eurovision for Christmas
Kuunkuiskaajat (Finland 2010) – Talven Ihmemaa (Winter Wonderland)
Tina Karol (Ukraine 2006) – Тиха Ніч (Silent Night)
Carola (Sweden 1983, 1991, 2006) – I Wander as I Wonder
Alexander Rybak (Norway 2009) – Tell Me When (Christmas Song)
Anna Vissi (Greece 1980, 2006; Cyprus 1982) – Min Xehnas
Juliana Pasha (Albania 2010) – Krishtlindje te bardha
Ruslana (Ukraine 2004) – Добрий вечір, тобі
Patricia Kaas (France 2009) – Merry Christmas Baby
Paula Selig (Romania 2010, 2014) – Sus, la Porta Raiului
Nox (Hungary 2005) – Szent ünnep
Il Volo (Italy 2015) – I’ll be Home for Christmas
Guy Sebastian (Australia 2015) – Someday at Christmas
Yohanna (Iceland 2009) – Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day
Hera Björk (Iceland 2010) & Chiara (Malta 1998, 2005, 2009) – The Christmas Song
Litesound (Belarus 2012) – Shooting Star
Maria Haukaas Storeng (Norway 2008) – All I Want for Christmas is You
Dino Merlin (Bosnia & Herzegovina 1999, 2011) – Božić Je
Charlotte Perrelli (Sweden 1999, 2008) – Låt Julen Förkunna
Olsen Brothers (Denmark 2000) – We Believe in Love/Så er det Endelig Jul/Feliz Navidad
Celine Dion (Switzerland 1988) – O Holy Night
Bzikebi (JESC Georgia 2008) – Ave Maria
Honorable Mention: Dana (Ireland 1970) – It’s Gonna be a Cold, Cold Christmas; Olivia Newton John (UK 1974) – Christmas Waltz; Bonnie Tyler (UK 2013) – Merry Christmas; Edsilia Rombley (Netherlands 1998, 2007) – This Christmas; Polina Gagarina (Russia 2015) – Опять Метель; and many, many more!
!חג מולד שמח! عيد ميلاد مجيد
Καλά Χριστούγεννα! Wesołych Świąt – Bożego Narodzenia! Веселого Різдва’ – Христос Рождається’! Khrystos Rozhdayetsia! Vesel Božić! Happy Christmas! Весела Коледа! Bon Natale! Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi! Sretan Božić! Mutlu Noeller! Joyeux Noël! გილოცავ შობაახალ წელს! Milad bayramınız mübarək! Glædelig Jul! Bellas Festas! Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Schöni Wiehnachte! Hyvää Joulua! Nadolig Llawen! Счастливого рождества! Il-Milied it-Tajjeb! Priecïgus Ziemassvºtkus! Frohe Weihnachten! ¡Feliz Navidad! God Jul! Христос се роди! Շնորհավոր Ամանոր և Սուրբ Ծնուն! Gëzuar Krishtlindjen! Bon Nadale! Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket! Gleðileg jól! Nollaig Shona Dhuit! Buon Natale! Linksmų Kalėdų! Среќен Божик! Feliz Natale! Blithe Yule! Vesele Vianoce! Schéi Chrèschtdeeg!
Or as my Southern friends here in the US say: Merry Christmas, Y’all!! 🎅
Hello Dear Readers!
Do you like to dance? Do you like to party? Well, good news! This week’s playlist will help you do both of those things! I tried to have a good mix of styles, countries, and finishing positions. No notes this week as most of the songs are fairly self-explanatory, but I did my best to curate a party playlist for you all!
Find the playlist here: Eurovision for Dance Parties
- Israel 2015 – Golden Boy
- Germany 2013 – Glorious
- Armenia 2008 – Qele, Qele
- Hungary 2009 – Dance with Me
- Poland 2011 – Jestem
- Montenegro 2013 – Igranka
- France 2010 – Allez! Ola! Olé!
- Portugal 2014 – Quero Ser Tua
- The Netherlands 2008 – Your Heart Belongs to Me
- Lithuania 2010 – Eastern European Funk
- Cyprus 2012 – La La Love
- Serbia 2011 – Čaroban
- Estonia 2014 – Amazing
- Moldova 2015 – I Want Your Love
- Norway 2007 – Ven a Bailar Conmigo
- Albania 2006 – Zjarr e Ftohte
- Turkey 2009 – Düm Tek Tek
- Greece 2007 – Yassou Maria
- Romania 2012 – Zaleilah
- Ukraine 2006 – Show Me Your Love
Honorable Mention: Moldova 2010, Turkey 2007, Russia 2012, Ireland 2013, Ukraine 2008, Azerbaijan 2009, Norway 2012, Macedonia 2014, Hungary 2011, Austria 2007, Serbia 2010
- While animals are not allowed on the stage, puppets are; and in 2008, Ireland sent their humorous comedy puppet Dustin the Turkey.
- While the title of the 1963 winner from Denmark, Dansevise, translates to “dance song,” the first, truly uptempo song to win the Contest was 1965’s Poupé de Cire, Poupée de Son from Luxembourg (which is featured on my playlist Eurovision for Beginners).
- Of the 63 winners in Eurovision history through 2015 (remember, four songs won in 1969), only 29 (46%) have been moderate to uptempo. Thirteen of which (45%) of those came in the televoting era (1998 to today).
- Greece and Turkey are, generally, the most renowned for their ethnic-pop infused dance numbers. Highlights include: Greece – 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2013; Turkey – 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2012.
What are your favorite ESC songs to dance to?
Missed last week? Eurovision for Anglophobes
Next Week: Eurovision for Rockers (prepare for a lot of Finland and Turkey!)
As we head into the last few days ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 – Malmö, I thought it would be good idea to provide some resources to help your ESC preparations. I have been hosting Eurovision Parties for the last two years with the small group of friends that I have converted to ESC fandom. I have always written up brief profiles of the competing countries as well as several briefs detailing the ESC history, rules, and procedures – as well as notes about the current year’s edition. I have decided to make these available for you to use at your own Eurovision parties (and/or personal edification). I’ll update with the running order numbers after they’re released next Friday morning. On Sunday, I’ll have my final predictions for this year’s Contest!
DJ Bobo, Paolo Meneguzzi, The Lovebugs, and Michael von der Heide, these are the four most recent representatives for the Swiss. Interestingly enough, they are all Swiss nationals, going against the common misconception that Switzerland never sends one of its own to the Contest (you send one Canadian and you will never be able to live it down). These four artists also some of the biggest names in the Swiss music industry across various genres: dance, adult contemporary, rock, and pop/schalger, respectively. Apparently, success in the Swiss music industry doesn’t mean much, as each act failed to reach the Grand Final. This hurts double when you add in the fact that each song charted in Switzerland and, at least the first three, were predicted to have a strong chance of restoring Swiss pride at the Contest (sorry Michael).
But why did these songs fail? Each song seemed to have garnered a strong and vocal fan base prior to the Contest. Each song seemed to have gotten a bunch of publicity beforehand. DJ Bobo’s Vampires are Alive garnered protesters who claimed the song glorified the occult (apparently, no one seemed to notice a new book series written by Stephanie Meyer starting to catch popularity around the same time). The Highest Heights also benefitted from a lot of early press as The Lovebugs had a connection to the band U2. Despite the hype, despite the fan bases, despite the use of various genres, each song fell short of expectations.
Switzerland, while consistently putting in a lot of effort into their entry, seems to fail to realize the importance of promotion. While Michael von der Heide did a better job than his predecessors in performing around Europe, the Swiss continue to shy away from showcasing their act around the continent. Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bosnia & Heregovina, Ukraine are just several countries that have articles about their acts flood the pre-Contest press coverage because, traditionally, they go from country to country across the entirety of Europe promoting their entry, because, as I have said many times, only the Greeks can do well without trying. While everyone whines about these countries having large diasporas, what happened when the United Kingdom tried their trick of trotting their act around the continent in 2009, Jade Ewen finished in fifth place, the best placing of a Briton act in six years. If Switzerland hopes to rediscover success, it will need to do a much better job at promoting its entry.
One possibility seems to have presented itself, in the form of the self-proclaimed “mother of Eurovision” Lys Assia. She has said, countless times, that Switzerland should send her back to the Contest. We know she is a competitor; she represented the Swiss five times. We know she can produce, as she has already won, and has scored several top placings – though, the 50’s/early 60’s was a completely different era for the Contest. Niamh Kavanaugh showed that it takes more than being a past winner with a pleasant ballad to woo votes from the jury and audience with her woeful placing in Oslo. Lys Assia, being the inaugural winner, gets a proverbial free pass to the Final, but can she capitalize on it? She is known for going throughout Europe traveling to various Eurovision events and National Selections. I assume that she performs at these things already, how difficult would it be to add a new song to her setlist to follow Refrain? Lys Assia could be the solution that the Swiss need, but only if they use her properly.