Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

EU takes exception to freedom song

By Aussiegirl

Let the nonsense begin. From the Eurovision website comes this bit of Euro-weenie tom-foolery -- Greenjolly to rewrite Eurovision song.

Oh yes, it's too controversial -- it's a song which actually captured the imagination and spirit of a nation in the grips of a democratic revolution -- so by all means -- force them to rewrite it and water it down for the Euro-weasel sensitivities. If I were Greenjolly (and I'm obviously not) I'd simply withdraw the song and refuse to rewrite it. How dare they censor free speech and the freedom of artistic expression? What is the purpose of art if not to reflect and inspire?

The Euroweenies are completely lost -- and I sometimes despair that Ukraine's only hope seems to be to incorporate itself with this bunch of ossified political hacks and cowards. Ukrainians are getting a taste already of what it's like to tangle with the Euro-bureacrats who are often no better than the KGB appartchiks and Ministries of Culture that they used to have to deal with in the Kremlin. It may be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. My only hope is that by the time the Euroweasels get around to admitting Ukraine the EU would have already collapsed under its own weight -- including that Constitution of theirs of over 511 pages. This makes about as much sense as the Ministry of Funny Walks, come to think of it, that was at least funny.

Read it and weep:

Ukrainian Records, a division of music giant Universal today held a press conference to talk about the controversial Eurovision song from their signing Greenjolly. The band confirmed that they are working on a new version of the winning number.

On Sunday evening, the Ukrainian national final took place. Greenjolly won, sparking huge media coverage across the world for their song in support of Ukrainian President, Victor Yushchenko.

After the song was chosen for Eurovision, some criticised it, saying the Eurovision is not a contest for political songs. European Broadcasting Union (EBU) spokesman Svante Stockselius was asked to investigate the song, with some fearing it was unsuitable for the contest.

The hip-hop tune became the unofficial anthem of the so-called Orange revolution in Ukraine at the end of 2004. Two local radio DJs from the west of the country recorded their song, 'Razom nas Bagato' (Together we are many) just days after witnessing the public protests against the Ukrainian election result, putting many of the slogans they heard to music. They made the song available on the Internet and people rushed to download it. Just two days after recording the song, they performed it in Independence Square in Kiev, the crowd already knew the words and sang along. It echoes the sentiments of the famous revolutionary song 'Pueblo unido jamas sera vencido!' (The people, united, will never be defeated!) from the 1960s.

The victory was expected to cause some tensions due to its overt support for Yushchenko. Although he was declared the new president of the country, his victory was far from a runaway one, with strong support remaining for former President Yanukovych. The runner up at the national final was Ani Lorak, known to have supported the Yanukovych campaign.

There were protests outside the building where the press conference was taking place. Members of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Youth Union chanted, "Ani Lorak - Tak! Ani Lorak we are for you! Shame on the Eurovision!"

The manager of the Ukrainian Records, Andrei Dahnovski, said "Greenjolly is the only chance for Ukraine to get a good result at the Eurovision 2005 and to show something to Europe. We are planning a world promotional tour for the band."

Greenjolly will be appearing in the USA, Canada, Belgium, UK, Germany and France.
Greenjolly have said that they plan to change the lyric of the song, "Only chorus will be the same, the verses and even the title of the song will change completely. We have three weeks left before we have to submit a final version of the song. Some suggestions we have had for the title include 'Freedom Song' and 'Song of the Free People'."

The duo stressed that taking part in the contest had not been their idea, saying that if people wanted to restage the vote from the contest, they would be happy to see this happen. There was some question about the result after telephone lines failed and only SMS votes were counted.


At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Aris Katsaris said...

Tell me, what kind of connection do you think exists between the EU (and "euro-bureacrats" or "euroweasels") and Eurovision?

Or are you one of those people that randomly combine the term "EU" with anything European they don't like, no matter whether it actually applies or not, facts be damned?


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