Song of the Day: Rändajad by Urban Symphony

Song of the daySong of the Day – We all have Eurovision songs that we love and listen to regularly. But then there are songs we might only remember because someone posts a link on Facebook or a Forum. We will shuffle through Eurovision history and present a random song every now and then during summer to bring back memories and give you the chance to discuss songs and years during the “Eurovision drought”. Our song of this day is Estonia’s Urban Symphony singing ‘Rändajad’.

The 2009 contest in Moscow threw up this little gem, sung in Estonian. ‘Rändajad’ (meaning nomads or travellers) was performed by Sandra Nurmsalu, Mann Helstein, Johanna Mängel and Mari Möldre and they gave Estonia a great 6th place finish after 5 consecutive years of non-qualifying for the final. The song went on to be a hit in Estonia, Finland and Greece and even charted in the UK, Sweden, Belgium, and Switzerland.

Songwriter Sven Lõhmus also wrote the Estonia 2005 entry ‘Let’s get loud‘ by Suntribe and the 2011 entry ‘Rockerfeller Street‘ by Getter Jani.

Backing singers Mirjam Mesak and Marilin Kongo have appeared in more than one Eurovision, Mirjam was on stage in Helsinki 2007 when Gerli Padar represented Estonia, while Marilin had earlier taken part in the Estonian national final for Eurovision (“Be 1st” in 2006). She was also to return on Eurovision stage as a backing singer in 2011 and 2014.

If you would like to nominate a song of the day, email us at eurovisiontimesesc@gmail.com and tell us the song title, artist, year, and why!

31 comments on “Song of the Day: Rändajad by Urban Symphony

  1. A very cool song with an astonishing, atmospheric performance. The opening is probably one of the best ever imo. And Sandra has this fascinating, cold and yet relaxing aura that makes her a very remarkable artist in my eyes. To sum it up; the song that brought Estonia back to their great days again after several dark years. Next to France, the best song of 2009.

  2. “Rändajad” is a song that is in my esc pantheon. <3
    I love the imposing,dreamlike orchestration,the lyrics,Sandra's cold performance.The fact she keeps a distance and narrates a story.She always gave me the impression that she was coming from another world,like she popped out of the pages of the Lord of the rings.No need to mention it's Estonia's best entry by miles.

  3. Oh my absolute number 1 for the previous decade (2001 – 2010). Probably my favourite esc song of all times I dare say. The closest thing to musical perfection this contest has witnessed. The atmosphere, the lyrics, Sandra’s presence and vocals..It’s pure magic truly…

  4. LOVE it !!!
    My 2009 winner followed by France !
    Iceland, BiH and Slovakia complete my top 5 that year.
    Croatia,Azerbaijan,Portugal, Israel, Lithuania were very good too.
    And I can always enjoy Turkey, Norway and Denmark (studio version)
    I am among the very few that like Latvia that year. On the other hand I can’t see the Armenian appeal (song-wise)

  5. “Rändajad” would be among the best ESC songs ever if they had decided to end after 2 minutes. Unfortunately, they run out of ideas or inspiration after 2 minutes which makes the last minute a dullfest. Zzzzzzz :( What a shame!
    First 2 minutes: 12/12.
    Last minute: 6/12. :(

    • I think it’s Estonia 2009,Ireland 1996 and Norway 1995(?) the songs that you’re at odds with the majority of the people here.Am i right?

      • I would not call it “at odds”. I have “Rändajad” at 10/12 andlove the first 2 minutes of the song, which I think are among the best ever to be presented in ESC. I’ts such a shame that they felt they had to fill the 3 minutes and ran out of ideas. Norway 1995 is another 10/12. It’s a great piece of music but not much of a song in the traditional sense. The human voice doesn’t play a huge part. You are right about Ireland 1996 though, which I really used to dislike and even had in last place on my 1996 list when I was still young and passionate. I still think that “The Voice” is rather pretentious but have upgraded the song to 8/12 and 12th place on my 1996 list now. The lyrics are good, but the fact that there were some outstanding songs on offer in 1996 (Poland, Portugal) still makes me angry.

    • I so totally agree with you here! There was always something about this song that made me shut it down when I listened to it on spotify and stuff. I love the beginning, but your right the end is just kinda meh :/ But still one of the best songs that year! :)

  6. I absolutely love this song, and in 2009 I voted only once (I don’t remember why) – it went to “Rändajad”.

    It’s a very simple composition actually, but it works. Combining melodic beauty, melancholy and mysticism. A bit sad, but also seductive and perhaps a bit dangerous as well. Fascinating. The production is more complex, combining elements of classical music with electronica and a certain oriental flavour as well. Plus, it has a very Nordic tone which I love.

    It was a great comeback for Estonia, and arguably their best ESC entry. The Danish commentator in 2009 didn’t like it for some reason.

  7. In general. 2009 is probably the best year of the 00’s, but I don’t think it is that great. There are some really great songs, but some plastic pop as well, and a couple of directly embarrassing efforts as well (f.e. Bulgaria). Perhaps the giant high-tech stage with its advanced LED images made some of the songs seem better than they actually were.

    Personal favourites, apart from Estonia, include France, Armenia and Portugal.

    • Worst thing about the 2009 contest: The semi final hosts.

    • If you add BIH and Moldova, we have the same pantheon for 2009. :)
      Bulgaria is my last place too but I also have a strong dislike for the songs from Poland, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Greece and Slovenia.

      • Bosnia: a good song indeed, but perhaps a bit too theatrical for my taste.
        Moldova: I like the energy of it, but I don’t really think the composition is something to write home about.

  8. The points of the 2009 edition, from the Niclas jury:

    12 France
    10 Estonia
    08 Armenia
    07 Moldova
    06 Portugal
    05 Malta
    04 United Kingdom
    03 Lithuania
    02 Germany
    01 Russia

    Just outside: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Latvia, Slovakia

    Arguably the best year of the 00’s, followed by 2008 and 2005 for me. Patricia Kaas is of course in a league of her own here. As for Malta, I even think “What if we” could be the best Chiara song and as for Germany, well, I think it’s fun so don’t judge me to hard on this. :$

    • I don’t like Malta nor Germany but I can understand them. It’s the UK I don’t get!

      • I don’t like Malta either, but that isn’t a question of song quality but due to my personal taste. In contrast, the UK is just awful from every perspective imo.
        And I really enjoy Germany 2009. I would call it a guilty pleasure if I believed in guilty pleasures …
        Btw, do you already know at what time ETSC will start tonight?

    • My attempt at a top 10, in that the 12 and 10 points could as well exchange.

      12 Estonia
      10 France
      8 Armenia
      7 Portugal
      6 Norway
      5 Bosnia and Herzegovina
      4 Malta
      3 Russia
      2 Lithuania
      1 United Kingdom

  9. The second best song from the best contest imo. Ofc Norway has to be top <3

  10. Love it.

  11. One of the best that year and one of my all time favorite ESC songs!

    I love Estonia along with France, B&H, Armenia, Moldova and Portugal in no order.

    Iceland, Turkey, Azerbaijan, the UK, Russia, Serbia, Latvia, the Slovak Republic and Lithuania are good songs. Ukraine is…unique lol.

    I like Israel and Finland in studio version but their lives were letdowns. Romania and Montenegro are my guilty pleasures and I do acknowledge that were bad on stage.

    Bulgaria was the worst one by far, and I didn’t like Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

    Pretty good year overall.

  12. Estonia is my number 1 for 2009. Such a beautiful song and stage presentation! I love it. Since the introduction of Eesti Laul that year, Estonia has become one of my favourite ESC countries.

    Also, the previous Song of the Day, Fiumi di Parole, was my number 1 for 1997! I’m liking the choices so far.

  13. such a great song in Estonian language, personally I love a lot of songs from Estonia (that’s another story), another story was this dear guy from Estonia ,I remember it well because my dear friend here also interviewed him here for Spanish media, it was the height of Spanish eurovision media frenzy at the time and that dear Estonian guy fighting against communist regime :-) etc

  14. In 2009 one lady shadowed all the contestants! Patricia Kaas …. Randajad was among my favorites that year! Btw I’m quite surprised with Nor Par’s post contest success! I remember how people hated it in the beginning and were laughing at girls styling! In Armenia aswell people bashed our entry as majority thought that Gutan suited Anush and Inga more https://youtu.be/xP8klSRbeYI
    Girls were bashed also because their result was the worst one Armenia had at that moment!

  15. and I know it’s a bit off topic, but recently in UK, were voted most famous UK duo of all time, ahead of any any rubbish singing duo either, and within the eurozone too , for fans of ice skating or not (am sure there are plenty here?!), to watch pure perfection in any discipline of any sport is to watch torvill/dean Helsinki world championships 1983 or Olympics Sarajevo 84 ask yourselves if you coud do that on ice…-) I know there are sports fans here,,!

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