Sunday, 11 May 2014

Music and Eurovision Songs

I love listening to music and even enjoy it as background to my writing at times, choosing relevant tracks and eras to fit. It can be anything from the Baroque period of Bach and Albinoni, to Scottish and Irish Celtic style, to contemporary pop. My daughter has even compiled a couple of CDs for me with a variety of modern tracks I particularly like. One of my current favourites in the afternoon is a new CD she bought me by singing duo The Civil Wars which is in danger of wearing out soon as I love it so much.

Grand Piano in German Museum
But I also find music hugely inspirational as a writing prompt, in much the same way as art is one of my favourite visual sources of ideas. I'm not surprised that Stephanie Meyers listened to such a great soundtrack when writing the Twilight series as some of her choices immediately make me think of paranormal type stories.

So one TV highlight I never miss is the extravaganza that is the Eurovision Song Contest! As always, I sat through the whole programme last night and mostly enjoyed it all, from the sublime to the ridiculous. I hadn't heard any of the songs before last night, apart from the UK entry, so I had no preconceptions. We always have lots of complaints over here about the political voting and how the UK will never win against the type of voting that goes on between certain countries. Well, in my humble opinion we haven't had a good enough song for the past several years! I did have high hopes for Molly last night, as I think Power to the People was one of our best and strongest songs for ages. It had me at the drumbeats and her performance was very good.

However... Austria, Sweden, The Netherlands and Armenia proved to be too much competition and we ended up in 17th place - surely not helped by the fact of being last to sing. Of these top songs, my favourites were Austria and The Netherlands so I wasn't surprised when Austria won. Although Conchita, the 'bearded lady', was one of the more controversial acts, her stunning voice, performance and song fully deserved the accolade. It was the kind of Bond-theme type song I really like and the lyrics of Rise Like a Pheonix seemed particularly apt.

I'm sure it was a subliminal message to some of the less tolerant countries, but what surprised many was the overall agreement on the winner for a change, and fewer obviously political 'back scratching' votes between neighbouring nations. While understandable, it seemed a shame that Russia was booed at every mention when the singers were two sweet young 17 year old twins, although they stayed smiling all evening. In the end, it was surely all about the music (cheesy or not) and its power to bring millions together in common pleasure.

Anyone else willing to admit they like the  Eurovision Song Contest?!

Rosemary

16 comments:

Cara Cooper said...

I NEVER watch it usually, but caught the end last night and marvelled at the spectacle. They really do go all out don't they? I also thought it was nice to see so many young hopefuls, there was a lot of energy there.

Patsy said...

I can't listen to songs while I write as the words distract me. Hubby and I share an office and he likes music while he word, so we listen to quite a lot of instrumental stuff.

Only realised it was Eurovision when I asked why facebook was taken over by pictures of long haired bearded people wearing eyeshadow.

Patsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vikki said...

I love listening to music when I write as it helps spark off some creativity!
I don't remember the last time I watched Eurovision but glancing at my twitter feed I feel like I missed out on something quite special...

Jean Bull said...

Yes, Eurovision is always a guilty pleasure too for me. I thought that the staging was amazing this year, but wasn't keen on all the songs.
It went on late, didn't it? 11.45 here is 12.45 in Europe. How did all those thousands of people get home???

Becca McCallum said...

I enjoyed Eurovision last night. It's always more fun to watch with other people. I hadn't heard any of the songs before so it was all a complete surprise. It does go on late though - I don't know how they can still be partying in Europe by the end!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for commenting, Cara - it's all good fun!

Instrumental music is often best for work, Patsy!

Yes, music really can spark creativity, Vikki. It was a right spectacle last night!


Rosemary Gemmell said...

Glad you like it too, Jean! I hadn't even realised it was so late at first. Agree that some of the songs weren't so good.

Hi Becca - glad you enjoyed it too! Seems lots of people make a whole night of it. I lasted only until I heard the winning song again.

Maria said...

When I write, I like to listen to almost anything by Hans Zimmer, he has composed music for hundreds of films. My favourites are the soundtracks to Gladiator, Pearl Harbour, The Dark Knight and Inception.

I caught the back end of the Eurovision song contest, I'm not really a fan, and haven't really watched it since the heady days of Dana in 1970 when she sung All Kinds Of Everything, I was eight years old. She went on to win the contest, and my dad was over the moon as her father hailed from his home town of Derry in Northern Ireland.

In fact, I'm going to head over to YouTube and remind myself of how that song sounded.

Thank you for sharing - good post Rosemary

Becca McCallum said...

I can write to instrumental music, but not to anything with lyrics!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for your comment, Maria - I love many of the theme tunes. I remember watching Dana too! Those were the days - seem so innocent now.

Hi Becca - yes, I can understand that! For me, it depends on the type of music - my Celtic CD is lovely in the background.

Rena George said...

Love or hate Eurovision, it must be doing something right when we're told that more than 100,000,000 people tune in to watch it.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I think it's the fun escapist extravaganza, Rena!

Joanna said...

I loved Eurovision as a child and had a score sheet cut out from the Radio Times so I could award my own points! Sadly I never get to see it these days as the rest of the family don't like it.
I love music while I work, but sometimes I need silence. Music has to be instrumental only, otherwise the lyrics are too distracting. My writing speeds up during the fast bits, which always amuses me. xx

Sean Prince said...

Being an ardent fan of Pop and Adult Contemporary music, Sunny 107.9 is always my first choice for non-stop entertainment. Whether in my car or at home I’m always tuned in and kept entertained by the station's great music. Stream online at www.sunny1079.com or tune in live.

Wendy's Writing said...

I think the Eurovision Song Contest has its place - as long as it's not taken too seriously. When I was little, my whole family would sit in front of the TV with paper and pen and give all the songs marks out of 10. Then we'd see who got the closest. Of course this wouldn't work now as the scoring has little to do with the singers or the songs. I usually just watch the end where they run through all the acts and chuckle to myself.