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Too much pain? Ireland’s 2017 Eurovision entry.

May 4, 2017

Ireland

As my Maynooth colleagues John Brennan and Adrian Kavanagh have pointed out – the pivotal year in Eurovision history was 1998, when the insistence on nation states singing in their own language was removed.   Ireland last won Eurovision in 1996 and the UK in 1997.  The previous sentence and the sentence before it are intimately and causally related.

To put it bluntly, English is (to deploy a hilariously inappropriate phrase) the lingua franca of popular song.  When Ireland and the UK used to do well at Eurovision it was less to do with any politicised sense of affinity with the nations of North West Europe and more to do with the fact that songs sung in English communicate more readily and easily than songs sung in any other language.  With the loss of this advantage, Ireland and the UK have floundered in the competition ever since.

Little Brendan Murray from Tuam is Ireland’s entry this year.  His song was co-written by Jörgen Elofsson, which confirms the dominance of Swedish song-writing imput across this vague and uncertain region we annual call “Europe”.

I think I may have misread this video when I first saw it.

http://entertainment.ie/music/news/WATCH-Irelands-Eurovision-2017-song-has-been-selected-watch-the-video-here/391261.htm
Originally it seemed to tell the tale of Darren wandering along a coastal footpath (in and around Bray) unable to escape the mental image of the girl he has a crush on in bed with someone a bit older and cooler looking than him.  There is not more gut-wrenching experience for a teenager.  But now I see it again, I’m convinced that Darren is just the narrator here and that although he deploys the perpendicular pronoun in his lyrics, the love affair is simply being acted out by the paired lovers we see in the film.  Darren seems rather young to be consigned to this essentially choric function within the narrative, but never mind.  Anyhow, an actor from Offaly is sort of “playing” Darren, possibly because Darren himself looks far too young to be having sex (as do most people, to me, these days).

I believe it was John Brennan who declared that this year was the year of the fresh-faced unthreatening boy.  Ireland, Austria, Bulgaria and Australia are all playing this card in 2017.  If Darren is to progress to the finals this year, he is going to have to yell his little heart out on May 11th, play up his vulnerability and emotional desperation for all that it’s worth.   He has to make his elders (and nearly everyone’s his elders) from Reykjavik to Baku want to pick him up and smother him with love.

Ireland’s entry is, I think, more emotionally involving than Denmark’s:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/some-eurovision-songs-you-really-struggle-to-say-anything-interesting-about-denmarks-2017-eurovision-entry/

Right now I prefer cultural nationalism when it isn’t Hungarian:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/i-just-wish-this-song-was-the-product-of-a-nation-with-a-slightly-less-horrible-government-hungarys-2017-eurovision-entry/

The Netherlands offers something altogether safer:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/the-three-sisters-go-to-kiev-rather-than-moscow-the-netherlands-2017-eurovision-entry/

Utterly (winningly?) different is Romania:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/this-one-has-the-drunk-vote-in-its-pocket-and-thats-a-critical-demographic-romanias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Less immediately exciting is Malta:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/drowning-by-numbers-maltas-2017-eurovision-entry/

So you might prefer Macedonia:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/is-she-alone-or-isnt-she-macedonias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Or you can “Climb Every Mountain” with Nathan from Austria:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/he-doesnt-actually-run-all-that-much-austrias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Serbia offers a big ballad about rising and falling and falling and rising:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/forget-phil-collins-tijana-bogicevic-is-in-too-deep-serbias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Meanwhile, here is Sweden:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/no-theyre-not-a-boy-band-its-just-robin-swedens-2017-eurovision-entry/

Here, meanwhile, is Omar belting it out for Slovenia:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/omars-on-his-way-with-costume-changes-and-interpretative-dance-slovenias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Portugal offers something just a bit more special:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/marlene-dietrich-is-alive-well-young-bearded-and-living-in-portugal-salvador-sobrals-2017-eurovision-entry/

Anyhow, Portugal’s offering is infinitely more palatable than Poland’s:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/am-i-supposed-to-take-you-seryiously-just-because-youre-naked-pompous-nudity-and-polands-2017-eurovision-video/

A man who needs a deal of personal space is this guy from Montenegro:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/do-not-attempt-to-dance-within-a-five-foot-radius-of-this-man-as-the-knot-at-the-end-of-his-pigtail-will-take-your-eye-out-montenegros-eurovision-entry-2017/

Equally sexualised is the Moldovan entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/chisinau-thats-what-i-call-music-moldovas-2017-eurovision-entry/

Latvia offers a more techno-trance version of minimalism:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/anyone-else-miss-early-90s-trance-music-meet-latvias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Iceland’s entry isn’t really a Eurovision song either:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/bring-your-dottir-to-the-slottir-icelands-2017-eurovision-entry/

Georgia’s offering is undoubtedly a bigger if not bolder initiative:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/big-dress-big-voice-big-chance-greeces-2017-eurovision-entry/

Frankly, I prefer Finland:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/she-knows-where-the-bodies-are-buried-finlands-2017-eurovision-entry/

I’ll be sorely vexed if Finland doesn’t do better than Cyprus

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/hovig-loves-hovig-and-i-want-to-slap-him-cyprus-2017-eurovision-entry/

Frankly I’d rather the Czech Republic won – though they won’t…

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/my-turn-probably-not-czech-republics-2017-eurovision-entry/

Belgium looks like a better bet:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/belgiums-2017-eurovision-entry-i-always-get-it-wrong-but-this-could-win-really/

But if it isn’t, maybe it will go to Azerbaijan with this…

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/azerbaijans-2017-eurovision-entry-keeping-you-awake-at-night-with-skeletons/

Armenia’s Entry is nowhere near as scary:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/she-once-met-whitney-houston-apparently-armenias-2017-eurovision-entry/

In the meantime here are my thoughts on the Australian entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/oldyoung-isaiah-firebrace-australias-2017-eurovision-entry/

And here’s Albania…

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/albanias-2017-eurovision-entry-the-centerpiece-of-a-dystopian-german-expressionist-musical-called-fritzlanglangland/

 

 

 

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