Nshorna and I have watched together the Eurovision Song Contest since she was a little girl. It has become an annual event like a birthday or Christmas.
We plonk ourselves down in front of the sofa, the three grandkids allowing, and watch 25 singers or bands from 25 countries sing their hearts out to a television audience of hundreds of millions. For all its quirky features, it is a celebration of music culture, sometimes over the top, but never dull.
As a sofa commentator, I believe the Eurovision Song Contest has gone one step forward and one step back. The quality of some of the songs, the depths of emotions, and some of the lyrics expressed this year a poetic beauty. This year, there were several truly beautiful songs by great artists.
Modern television technology allows one click of the red button on the remote to enable viewers to see the actual lyrics for each songs at the foot of the screen. There is also one step back. More and more countries opt to sing in English rather than their own language. There is some real loss of cultural expression here.
Sung in English, the Norwegian band won, and received the most votes of any contest since the contest started more than 50 years ago. For myself, the song of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest came from Estonia sung in Estonian by the very beautiful, Sandra Nurmsalu & Urban Symphony – consisting of six young women aged between 16 and 21 who play cello and violin. The song came sixth out of the 25 contestants.
Sandra Nurmsalu’ song is called Travellers. It is hauntingly exquisite. The title has a certain appeal to someone like myself. The meeting of poetry and music has the capacity to express a divine element, a voice of an angel and the articulation of the sublime. If Urban Symphony cut a CD, I will be one of the first customers.
Here are the songs lyrics translated into English.
In the desert heat the sand
Blows like ice-cold snow
Night soon unfurls her wings
Nothing but the wind to escort the nomads
It is the way they wander from one day to the next
It is the way they wander from one life to the next
It is the way it weaves an invisible path
Before them it waits until you are ready to take the risk
It conveys only frozen souls
The moonlight makes shadows of them
Warmth in a ray of sunlight
Is what the morning brings once again
A voice echoes over the mountains up to the heavens
You can watch Sandra Nurmsalu and Urban Symphony sing their Eurovision song on You Tube. Very special. Devas and angels still inhabit the world.