Yesterday morning my other half and I watched,
make that fast-forwarded,
through a video of the European Song Contest.
(I have to. My voice students and adult beginners’ choir regularly ask questions on such things, and are always disappointed if I say “huh?”)
Anyway, the ESC
no jokes about an escape key, please,
is something so popular over here,
a huge crowd stood outside all night
in the pouring rain, no less,
on the Hamburg Reeperbahn.
(The Reeperbahn, for those who haven’t heard of it,
is in the harbor district,
in addition to things like the Ohnsorg-
a world-famous North-German dialect-speaking theater,
a very good international stand-up comedy club,
several huge musical houses,
and the largest branch of the Salvation Army anywhere,
is also the largest red-light district in the world.
an atmospherically correct place to watch Swedes,
dress in Ghengis Kahn suits,
“you pathetic earthlings” costumes,
a formal Japanese kimono so huge the poor bald-headed singer was nailed in position and unable to move,
and, for Germany,
a teen with a, in my opinion, wonderful voice,
and a lot of talent,
but in a wierd cross between an Alice in Wonderland and a Lolita costume.
with cotton knee socks, no less.
Topped by a bizarre manga-Minnie Mouse headdress she built herself.
Which, I have to admit, should have gotten her the talent section award.
Especially since, in my humble opinion,
she and the young man from Poland
were the only ones who could,
or were allowed to,
But that’s not what it’s about here.
In case you haven’t watched,
or haven’t really understood what was going on-
how could you-
The point being,
as the show hosts,
with a lot of panache,
sang to us-
in my opinion,
the only song worth listening to all evening-
unless you like lyrics like:
“they don’t know how to value unicorns,”
“you ride a black horse in the rain,”
“you’ve been wierd, been a mess”
“under the spotlight, I howl in the moonlight”
maybe I can meditate and go there.
Surely I can understand this…
So the point was,
the moderators told us the absolute truth:
the computer analysis of how to win the contest:
Take a lot of costumes and scenery and computerized special effects,
add an aged gentleman from the country singing at the moment,
dress him in a local costume from about 1800,
have him pretend to play an instrument no one has ever seen before,
add a group of Japanese ritual drummers,
a dj who scratches,
sing a text with bizarre lyrics
and a fast refrain of la la la,
or dum da da dum
so everyone can sing along…
And then there was the winner of the night,
who, regardless of my personal humanitarian and political views,
sang a “non-political” song for the Ukraine
called “they kill you all.”
My heart is with her.
But the point of the contest is,
as everything else at the moment,
Which is why the Australians are singing in the ESC.
Or, as it was explained on local tv here in Gutenberg land,
the ESC want to expand.
With an Asian contest,
taking place in Australia,
and then, on to…
the other two who were greeted last night?
China and the USA?
So the next step can be a Universal song contest,
with the winners from each of the continents?
And who knows-
since scientists have now discovered new, possibly habitable planets,
out of this world
galactic song contest.
With performers from…
wasn’t there a bar scene somewhere in Star Wars?
Be still my heart.
I wonder how they’ll glue those Manga headdresses
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