In the press -”What’s the main ingredient of a winning Eurovision lyric?” asks BBC journalist Mark Savage in his article, and his answer is “love”. Savage looked at the lyrics of each of the winning songs since 1956 and analysed the words that are used. “Love” accounts for an impressive 2% (one in 50 words in a Eurovision winner). For the article they took every single winning lyric (including English translations where necessary) and fed them into the Wordle website, which then provided an image of the most popular Eurovision words in 56 years:
Romantic lyrics are extremely popular. With “baby” at the end of a sentence, “eyes” to stare into and being “together” the image of a couple in love is omnipresent.
Thanks to Italy’s Insieme “Europe” is also represented and “Hallelujah” features prominently thanks to Israel’s 1979 entry and Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah.
There are some nonsense lyrics as well like “lalala” (remember Massiel?) and “oh oh oh”. Other popular words include music styles like “swing”, “rock” and “rock’n'roll” as lyricists turn to the uniting power of music for inspiration.
Savage also looked at the most popular Eurovision languages. Unsurprisingly, English takes the pole position, being the main langauge of 42% of all winners. If you don’t include the periods where countries were allowed to sing in any language they pleased (resulting in 80% of the entries being in English), French emerges as the most popular language, responsible for 31% of winners, compared to 26% for English. Other languages don’t even come close: Joint third place goes to Dutch and Hebrew, with just three winners (5%) each.
The 2010 Contest
Then Savage focuses on this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and filtered the lyrics used in all 39 entries.
Again, love is the dominating theme. Germany’s “Satellite” which went on to win the entire contest, according to the “Lyric theory” had always been the clear winner. 7% of the lyrics of the song are made up of the word “Love” .
Otherwise, “oh”, “just” and “let” retain their popularity.
Thanks to the Dutch entry “shalalie” and “shalala” also make a strong showing. Futhermore, English was the dominating language (25 of 39 entries used it)
Mark Savage also points out that the more common themes are heartache “oh, bring her back to me!” , the joy of making music “just me and my guitar” and existential fear “the end is really near”.
All in all a very interesting and informative article!
(image) Source= BBC with Eurovision au quotidien.