Friday, 30 April 2021

Ain’t gonna leave no survivors

Mata Hari

Now here’s a story. Back in 1905 a woman pitches up in Paris and gets famous as a performer of Asian-inspired dances. Give it a few years and she’s touring all over Europe, telling some tale of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari - “eye of the day” in Malay.

The problem is that it was all bollocks. In truth Mata Hari was born in a little town in northern Holland in 1876, and her actual name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. She’d acquired her pretty superficial knowledge of Indian dances when she lived for a few years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army. As such, if anything, she was a pretty much a small-town girl in a big arcade (who got addicted to a losing game etc).

And I never thought you'd bury me and you

Vincent Bueno

Just look at the absolute state of this Austrian entry from 2005. The country that brought us Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Falco decided to enter a six-piece folk group in tracksuits doing a Latin song about "a girl from Cuba" infused with yodelling.

The chorus "exhorts everyone to dance like the girl would", but the only dancing the sole woman in the group actually does is this bit where she rubs her backside up against a trombonist. Then after they failed to qualify with this aural abscess, their broadcaster pulled out in 2006 and had the brass neck to argue that "talent ... is no longer the determining factor in contest success".

Thursday, 29 April 2021

We got style and lasers, yeah


Terrible alphabet news here. Sadly, the Pyreneesian principality of A for Andorra isn't taking part again this year, which is a shame because this was an absolute banger. As was this, although I do feel like she was aiming the title at me.

There's loads of great facts about Andorra too - women live longer than men, it has an army of 12 people, the eldest able-bodied man in every family is required by law to keep a loaded rifle, and as a co-principality it's ruled by two princes! Princes who adore you! Just go ahead, now.

Bundle tears in my hand - they are rusty

Anxhela Peristeri

Here we go again! Here we go-go-go to the temple of consumption!

Can you believe that? It says here that the lyrics to Stakka Bo's 1993 tinwhistle smash "Here we go" were not, actually, "to the topper topper pop charts" (which is what I've been singing to myself ever since) but were, in fact, a biting comment on late capitalism! The lyrics to his only other "hit" (reaching #64 in the UK Top 40) were easier to understand, to be honest.