Howdy! Welcome to the thirteenth edition of Fête de la Chanson, held in Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America. Twenty four countries from around the world have joined here today in hopes of achieving the end they wish for: triumph and victory in the Olympics of songs.
Hosts: Ellen Degeneres, Martin Stensemeier, and Michael Ealy.
Venue: Bridgestone Arena
Voting: Send your votes to firstname.lastname@example.org by 23:59 CET, 12 June 2016.
1. Sweden (Tehoe): “Deus in Absentia” – Ghost
Explanation: “A recurring theme in this song is the apocalypse – the eventual end of humanity which will undoubtedly bring despair, while many people will feel that they have been forsaken. A very artistic and pessimistic – almost nihilistic – view on the world.
‘The world is on fire
And you are here to stay and burn with me…’”
2. Palestine (Hjallis): “GAZA War” – Mohammad Assaf
Explanation: “The song is a call to end #disgrace, #injustice, #oppression.”
3. United Kingdom (Rob): “Vacant Grace” – George Cosby
Explanation: “The song has such a haunting power that after it has finished the listener feels that they have lost something; that something has ended. However, as he details in the final lyrics, George hopes that ‘one day we can start again’.” Patrick addendum: Because Rob said that he’s not good at giving explanations, I wanted to add that there is a sense of loss within the lyrics of the song themselves. There’s a continual shift between lyrics which imply togetherness and mournful lyrics that imply a broken trust from this togetherness, as if the singer was betrayed by this other person. Now, as the title implies, there is a bittersweet emptiness that is both painful and relieving.
4. Mexico (Patrick): “Soon This Space Will Be Too Small” – Lhasa de Sela
Explanation: “This is a song about birth and death. The song came about based on idea Lhasa’s father had about a child’s conception, where everybody starts as nothing more than a light in womb, and as the child grows, the space around the child, which once seemed huge, becomes small and uncomfortable. Birth is so chaotic and violent that her father believed that every baby believed that birth was death, just to discover that it is just the beginning. And the process begins again in life. You continue to grow until the world you live in becomes to small and uncomfortable before you pass on in what we believe to be death.”
5. Spain (Shevek): “Saariselkä Stroll” – Fernando Alfaro
Explanation: “It’s an enigmatic piece of music about the beginning and end of life; it’s takes place in a Finnish national park, where natures seems to be watching calmly what goes on around it. It ends with the word: ‘cucurbitácea’, the singer’s last word (mi última palabra).”
6. Netherlands (Stommie): “Homeland” – Joris Voorn ft. Matthew Dear
Explanation: “A song about closure, finding peace, coming of age, realization.”
7. France (Ovidarch): “Toi et Moi” – Paradis
Explanation: “This French electro-song portrays a man who has falling deeply in love with a women, wanting to spend the rest of his life with her. However, whenever they catch each other’s attention he doesn’t feel like himself and the words don’t come out. A bit later on into the song he states that if their futures ever merge, they aren’t truly meant for each other: ‘I know what I take there is evil that all that, it’s not normal. Leave me to see what remains to be seen’. This relationship becomes almost like a paradox, and ultimately symbolises that their relationship would never truly last.”
8. Australia (Razvan): “Rosebud” – The Jezabels
Explanation: “The song is about dealing with the death of a friend/loved one, the struggle to let go, the memories we are left behind with and also about trying to move on in the end.”
Explanation: “The song is about the moment a woman realizes that an escape from her dark life is what she needs . She is trying to find her identity and her lost personality by putting an end to the life she lives including her relationship with a man who is rather cold and aloof ! She does want to feel free again and that’s why she decides to walk away like trains do ( koska junat ja naiset ovat luotuja kulkemaan : because trains and women are made to travel ) The rails are calling her and she is now determined to close the door and open a new one!”
10. Denmark (Anders): “Happy Ending” – Jens Unmack
Explanation: “The title speaks for itself, but it is pretty ironic. There’s an outspoken sense of doom in both the music and the lyrics here.”
11. Italy (Emmo): “Mi sei venuto a cercare tu” – Alessandra Amoroso
Explanation: “It is all about the moment when you realize the dead end of a relationship, when you realize that your own self is more important than anyone and it’s not worthwhile to believe a single tear. It’s only worthwhile to believe in yourself. It’s all about the moment you really feel strong enough to make the step forward you didn’t have the courage to do. So behind the sad melody all I listen to is the strong, confident voice of a new era, a new self.
“You came to look for me
With those big eyes of yours
But in your mind
a new life is unacceptable
And you who didn’t even have
any idea of my dreams
You came to look for me
But I no longer want you
I no longer want you, no”
12. South Korea (Jon): “Mind Your Own Business” – Ailee
Explanation: “Well, this song for me is an empowering song. It’s basically Ailee telling to her (I guess) soon to be ex-boyfriend that she’s tired of the situation between them, tired of his attitude and that she doesn’t need all that negativity in her life. That she deserves better and that she will not regret getting him out of her life. I feel I can identify with this song because I lived two disappointments in the past 18 months and I learn a lot from them, but the most important thing I learned was to value more myself . I learned that if I have to take someone completely out of my life for the sake of my wellness I should do it because no one will take care of myself better than me. So never be afraid to say ♪♫bye bye bye♫♪~ if needed, it can be the best decision you could ever make.”
13. Indonesia (Bay): “(I Can’t Believe) You’ve Cheated on Me” – Mocca
Explanation: “An ironically joyful song about a girl realized that his boyfriend had cheated on her, thus she decided to say goodbye to him.”
14. Belarus (Arpatilaos): “Caves” – Weesp
Explanation: “It seems the sun is hiding from us.
Don’t be afraid, we’ve done nothing wrong.
I threw rocks at your window, we escape.
Put your hand in mine and run.
Noone’s gonna find us, noone’s gonna teach us now.
Try to have some sleep I’ll be near,
Listening to your breath like a rote.
Noone’s gonna find us, noone’s gonna teach us,
Noone’s gonna save us now.
These lyrics in combination with this futuristic video clip gives a sense of the world which comes to an end. But the sole things which survives is love which is endless regardless of what is happening around. The sun will hide but your breath will be near me. We’ll be together in a new start of the world. The end of this world is coming. We’ ll be alone in this darkness. All this expresses an optimistic point of view of what will happen to us who are in love after the end of the earth.”
15. Serbia (David): “Pogledaj dom svoj, andjele” – Bora Đorđević
Explanation: “The theme ‘The End’ fits in a way that the meaning of the song is seeing only what we want to see in our lives. If we look around closely, we would all notice that the world we are in is not as happy a place as we originally thought. The song is a warning about blindly going through life and about making a difference for yourself and others by embracing the cruel reality and noticing all the people that struggle, fight, and live in this harsh world.
Here is complete translation of the song. It contains a very deep meaning. It is one of the best songs in history of Serbian culture.
16. Greece (Dimitris): “Miazi me agapi” – Valando Trifonos
Explanation: “‘Miazi me agapi’ is a song about the end of a relationship and how there’s a contrast between the initial enthusiasm and the conviction it’s going to be forever and the end of it when those illusions are shattered.Still,the song is rather optimistic and according to the singer it’s an ode to human contact.”
17. Canada (Andy): “The Great Escape” – Patrick Watson
Explanation: “This is a song about the end of a day and the escape from everyday life. Patrick Watson is one of my favourite Canadian musicians, a true artist and poet. Enjoy!”
18. Portugal (Tecku): “Nothing Left to Say” – AUREA
Explanation: “The song links into the theme as it portrays Aurea nearing the end of her relationship and attempting to start a new one.”
19. Norway (Dino): “Love is so Real” – The White Birch
Explanation: “This song is about the moment a man and woman will eventually fall in love. The process though was not simple as the first voice tell us that the man disguises his feelings (metaphorically; the lyrics cite the face though) for good not letting the woman to approach him (in earlier stage apparently). The man does not necessarily refuses to fall in love with the woman (second voice), he believes in real love and he is ready to hand it in only once he is secure; hence his disguise. The woman (third voice) is determined to unveil the face/feelings of the man and end that race of feelings and emotional fight. The determination and the apparent lack of resistance of the man let us believe they eventually fall in love. In a wider context this song could be the ending of our internal world and opening up of our heart not exclusively to our lover, but to family members, friends or to our own self. This song is the only one where all three members of the band can be heard at once.”
20. Estonia (Sedapsi): “Circles” – Ewert and the Two Dragons
Explanation: “‘This is it – a real goodbye. I cannot walk in circles till I die. Cut the ties and let it go, I’ve crossed a line I drew so long ago.’ I think this song is all about closure. After passing this point, the feelings you had and shared, will peacefully echo on inside you with different hues that change in time, but will never be brought up for discussion again.
21. Armenia (Avat): “Ari Im Sokhag” – Serj Tankian ft. Larisa Ryan
Explanation: “The lullaby itself is an anthem of the end of the day and the start of the new one. ‘Come My Nightingale’ is a lullaby based on the poem by the classical writer Rafayel Patkanyan, inspired by a mourning mother singing on the body of her son-soldier lullaby. Song is about the destiny and that mothers have no strength to fight against the destiny of their children! There are a lot of versions of the song and nearly everyone knows these lyrics by heart since childhood! Regardless of the simplicity of the lyrics “Come My Nightingale” became also an anthem of tragic events causing mothers to mourn.
Here is complete translation of the song.
22. Gambia (Donnie): “Mamamuso” – Sona Jobarteh
Explanation: “In this song the artist is trying to embrace her grandmother’s death by honoring her life. A life of a strong woman named Kumuna, an emblematic figure of Gambia contributing to her very big family which she raised all by herself.
It’s Sona’s intimate way of not mourning death but celebrating life and the ‘music’ it made instead…”
23. United States (Ellie): “Truth” – Alexander Ebert
Explanation: “This song represents the end of phobias, the end of hiding in the shadow, the end of lies, the end of one’s old shelf, the end of an era; now we re turning into a fighter, we build our defenses, and we only love the TRUTH!…enjoy, our freedom!…”
Japan (Nick): “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no you na” – Sayuri
Explanation: “This is hopefully a more uplifting take on the theme, as the protagonist is trying desperately to help this person end a dark period in their life. In “a world that wants to destroy” them, the singer’s song is “a tiny bit of light” that gives the struggling person the strength needed to carry on. This site (http://www.lyrical-nonsense.com/lyrics/sayuri/sore-wa-chiisana-hikari-no-you-na/#page=English) contains a transcription of the original Japanese, as well as translations into English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Italian. For added context (and thematic tie-ins), this song was chosen as the ending song for this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8tTxuO1oIY) gripping series that I had the pleasure of watching earlier in the year.”
- Norway: Dino
- Mexico: Patrick
- Denmark: Anders
- Netherlands: Stommie
- Armenia: Avat
- Australia: Razvan
- Spain: Shevek
- Greece: Dimitris
- Gambia: Donnie
- Serbia: David
- Sweden: Tehoe
- Indonesia: Bay
- United States: Ellie
- Belarus: Arpatilaos
- South Korea: Jon
- Portugal: Tecku
- Canada: Andy
- United Kingdom: Rob
- Palestine: Hjallis
- Finland: Alex L.
- Italy: Emmo
- Estonia: Sedapsi
Need to Vote:
- Japan: Nick
- France: Ovidarch