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I’d feel a lot happier about this jolly video if I wasn’t afraid that it was filmed at gunpoint. The Belarus 2017 Eurovision Entry.

May 9, 2017

belarus

Ah yes, we love hearing indigenous languages sung at Eurovision don’t we?  France and Italy will never sing in English of course, but it’s nice to hear smaller economies sticking up for the dulcet tones of their native tongues ain’t it?  Well… when those smaller countries are Hungary and Belarus it’s hard to cheer unreservedly.  Belarus has been promoting the exclusive use of Belarusian very vigorously recently, and in Belarus, such things tend to be top down impositions rather than bubble up popular expressions.

In this video, our two singers are frolicking through the forest looking happier than any other Eurovision entrants this year.  Just a little bit too happy if you ask me.  The last time I saw people singing this patriotically in majestic scenery they were led by Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and they were on their way to the border.  Perhaps the lake (or is it river) in this video is a border of some kind.  And perhaps their supposedly random waving is actually a signal to bring a boat over.

Given that Belarus, despite increasing competition, probably still has the most repressive government in Europe, the more innocent and happy the video, the more sinister the overall impression.  The forest is full of snipers.

The Belarusian section of the official Eurovision website won’t even provide an English translation of the lyrics, so I had to cut and paste the original text and put it into google translate in order to produce the following.  With it’s talk of blood sparkling in the sun, I’m reminded of “Angelo”, a suicide pact ballad by former Eurovision winners Brotherhood of Man.
Story of My Life

Will shine even brighter

Our blood will sparkle with the sun

All the beauty of your eyes

Where will you be,

I’ll find

Find more high points

Today will be the beginning

New desires, the best ideas

Story of My Life

Will shine even brighter

Our blood will sparkle with the sun

All the beauty of your eyes

 

I could pretend I don’t know a darn thing about Belarus and just listen to Naviband on its own terms as a decidedly effective bit of upbeat affirmation performed by people who seem happy.
No.  No I couldn’t.

All I can hope for Naviband is that they are one day as happy as they seem.

There’s something a bit too tasteful about Switzerland’s entry:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/who-do-you-think-you-kidding-mr-nietzsche-if-you-think-apollos-doneswitzerlands-2017-eurovision-entry/

For something superficially a bit “edgy” – try Norway:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/whenever-im-told-i-have-to-jump-up-and-seize-the-day-i-want-to-go-back-to-bed-and-do-absolutely-nothing-for-at-least-a-week-norways-2017-eurovision-entry/

Croatia, on the other hand,  offers two voices for the price of one:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/a-neat-trick-if-you-can-do-it-croatias-2017-eurovision-entry/

Here’s Ma and Pa in San Marino:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/im-wondering-how-many-nightclubs-there-are-in-san-marino-and-thinking-maybe-just-one-san-marinos-2017-eurovision-entry/

For youthful angst – Ireland:

https://conradbrunstrom.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/too-much-pain-irelands-2017-eurovision-entry/

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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