Eurovision 2015: A Deserving Winner and an Embarrassment for the UK

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Måns Zelmerlöw from Sweden

The Eurovision results are in and Sweden, the favourite, was declared the winner. It was a catchy song, with simple but effective staging and deserved the crown. I had a good evening – The Bloke and I got the snacky treats in, we gorged ourselves during the contest and I was amused by the thousands of Twitter comments that dominated my timeline for the majority of the evening. Admittedly, it was a little more relaxed (and dare I say, dull) this year – the competition was littered by powerful ballads, with a distinct lack of gimmicks that I have come to associate Eurovision with over the years. Clearly, many have started to take it much more seriously.

To make things a bit more interesting, I had teamed up with Steve from Steve Says and Talk About Pop Music  and Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News prior to the final to offer our predictions for the outcome. Here were our predictions:

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And here is the final list:

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I got seven of the top 10, as did Steve, and Hugh got six, so I think we did quite well. However, all three of us were quite deflated at the fact that the UK yet again was more of the comedy item for the year and we finished in a much deserved 24th place. Steve did a fantastic post about this, that I totally agree with. As one of the ‘Big Five,’ who contribute the most money and automatically gain a place in the final, you’d think that whoever is in charge would take it a little more seriously and stop submitting the rubbish that they come up with every year. It was embarrassing to see our entry – a Mick Jagger tribute and an unknown reality contestant – prancing around on the stage wearing, as Steve put it ‘cheap wrap-around glow sticks purchased at Poundland,’ to some awful charleston inspired nonsense and attempting to resurrect Louis Armstrong. No, BBC, just no.

To make matters worse, we can’t even blame the tactical political voting that has been such a prominent part of the system for so many years – there was far less of this in the competition, with countries giving 12 points to countries that they wouldn’t normally vote for.

I was, however, delighted for Guy Sebastian and his brilliant performance for Australia. So much so, in fact, I bought the song from iTunes and have been listening to it constantly since the competition ended.

What did you think of the contest? Did the right person win?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and my new Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks

 

I Won’t Send Roses

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Banksy

I won’t send roses or hold the door

I won’t remember which dress you wore

My heart is too much in control

The lack of romance in my soul

Will turn you gray, kid, so stay away, kid

 

Forget my shoulder when you’re in need

Forgetting birthdays is guaranteed

And should I love you, you would be the last to know

I won’t send roses and roses suit you so

 

My pace is frantic, my temper’s cross

With words romantic, I’m at a loss

I’d be the first one to agree

That I’m preoccupied with me

And it’s inbred, kid, so keep your head, kid

 

In me you’ll find things like guts and nerve

But not the kind of things that you deserve

And so while there’s a fighting chance, just turn and go

I won’t send roses and roses suit you so

 

Taken from Mack and Mabel, written by Jerry Herman

The Songs Of My Life

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Music has been my life for as long as I can remember. What I love about it is that it is the only universal language and as yet I haven’t heard of a culture that doesn’t have music as a part of their community. 
 
Music has given me the life I currently have. As a violinist I’ve had the opportunity to travel a little, and during my teenage years I toured Europe with the International Youth Orchestra and European Vacation Chamber Orchestra. I’ve played in orchestras where myself and my desk partner haven’t spoken a word of the same language, and yet we’ve been able to play exactly the same notes. It’s given me a job as a music teacher and I’ve made lots of friends through it.
 
What I find most interesting about it is that there is always a piece or a song that will remind us of a particular place, event or emotion. When couples marry it is common for them to have their first dance to ‘their song’. I still have friends that will ring me up at 3am o scream down the phone “they’re playing your song!” (which is lovely, but I now put my phone on silent at night). 
 
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So what is my song? The truth is, I have hundreds. However, there are certain ones that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’ve included ten in my list, but i’m sure I could add so many more.
 
1. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Rogers and Hammerstein. While most people associate this song with a sporting match, I’ll always remember the ‘Carousel’ original version being played at my Granddads funeral. This often proves awkward as it makes me cry, and so when my friends are drunkenly singing it at the end of a night I can be found hiding in the toilets.
 
2. I Won’t Send Roses from the musical ‘Mack and Mabel’. Another one I associate with my grandad-he played it whenever we went to his flat. My favourite is Robert Preston’s version.
 
3. Don’t Stop Believing -Journey. This is truly my song. It was released the year I was born (1981), but it seems to have followed me my whole life, and is always played wherever I seem to be. I love both the original and the newer version with their lead singer, Arnaud Pineda.
Note: GLEE destroyed this song. This is why I have never watched it.
 
4. Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy. One of the highlights if my life so far has been lying on a sun lounger in Malia at the age of 19, bottle of Blue WKD in one hand, cigarette in the other (I was a classy teenager) in scorching heat whilst listening to this. I’ve never been that relaxed since…
 
5. Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen. My dad used to pick me up from school in a red Fiesta 1.1 with a registration that I can still remember and we’d crank this song up and sing it all the way home. 
 
6. Seasons of Love from the musical ‘RENT’. At sixth form college we sang this as a choir. Some of the best times of my life were there.
 
7. Come Go With Me – The Del-Vikings
I watched a fantastic a capella group, which i’ve since discovered are called ‘Select Blendz’ perform this in Washington Square in New York a few years ago and it instantly created a sense of sheer fun. Ever since, whenever I hear the song I am transported back there. Here’s a video of this group in action:
 
 
Video credit: tatum piano 
 
8. A Thousand Years, Part 2 – Christina Perri
I hate Twilight, but this song has stuck in my head ever since I first heard it. It’s one of my ‘go to’ songs when I’m feeling stressed or need to relax. 
 
9. Always – Bon Jovi
This song always evokes images of me and my friend AS practically screaming this song whenever we go to watch Bon Jovi in concert. I adore it – every time it is played I get an instant buzz and sense of elation. It’s a beautiful song.
 
10. Witchita Lineman – Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell is one of my mother’s favourite singers, and this particular song was played many times when we were growing up. She’s seen him in concert since she was a teenager, and I took her to see his farewell concert a few years ago (he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s). When he played this song I instantly had an overwhelming sense of familiarity. 
 
Now it’s your turn – what are your favourite songs? What do they mean to you? 
 
Image 1 credit: digitallife.com
Image 2 credit: favim.com