For two periods in the past, Eurovision has only permitted songs to be sung in an official language of the entrant country. But since 1999, countries can enter in whatever language they feel like. Most choose English.
There’s a kind of glorious poetry to the way that some non-native speakers of English use it. Even songwriters from a country like Sweden, where 89% of the population speaks English, still have their own ways of expressing themselves.
So I present some of my favourite lyrics from this year’s Eurovision.
Would You? by Iris (Belgium)
Lyrics: Nina Sampermans, Jean Bosco Safari, Walter Mannaerts
But what would you do when my house was empty?
I will cried and was felt sad.
Lautar by Pasha Parfeny (Moldova)
Lyrics: Pasha Parfeny
You have never been at my show
You haven’t seen before how looks the trumpet
How looks it? It looks splendid!
I’m a Joker by Anri Jokhadze (Georgia)
Lyrics: Bibi Kvachadze
But the most amazing lyrics of all come from Anri Jokhadze of Georgia, with his song “I’m a Joker”. The song was originally titled “I’m a Jocker”, which seemed to be play on his surname until someone realised it wasn’t really a word.
Anri makes these claims:
I’m a joker
I’m a rocker
I’m a shocker
I’m a poker
I’m a talker
I’m a broker
I’m a slaker
And here’s the thing – all these words rhyme.
But here’s the best couplet:
I’m just a womanizer
Let me be your supervisor
Go on, then. I’ll leave my timesheet on your desk.